I've been gabbing to anyone who'll listen about how much better the Big 12 is going to be this season, but as of tonight, we have confirmation that the improvement does not extend to the bottom of the food chain.
Iowa State dropped its season opener to Kent State 23-14. In Ames. Phil Steele thinks Kent State is going to win the MAC East, but even so, that's a pretty sad welcome from Gene Chizik. Raise your hand if you think Iowa State was foolish to fire Dan McCartney? Raise your other hand if you think Gene Chizik made a mistake taking the job?
Since we've all got both hands raised, wave 'em around or something. Raise the proverbial roof. Unless, of course, you're an Iowa State fan. In that case: use both hands to grab a large bottle of liquor. Drink generously from it.
Kirk Bohls unveils his annual predictions column. I note this not because I'm a big fan of these types of columns, but because his '06 column happened to be eerily accurate.
I've shied away from prediction-based posting leading up to this season for a number of reasons. Mostly, I think this is a team that can go undefeated or lose three games, depending on how healthy we are and whether the small breaks go our way. To his credit, Bohls' bases his own predictions on the fact that there are too many question marks to take the optimist's route with any certainty.
I'm just going to avoid going on the record altogether. I'll reserve the right to beat the undefeated war drums if things start to play out well, but last season's mishaps humbled me a bit. I know how quickly things can fall apart. I also know that Mack Brown can assemble a national title winner.
(This? This is fun. Summer's over. The fall is here.)
Y'all might get sick of me talking about this (I doubt it; that's why we're all here), but Mack Brown is at least saying all the right things about this offense heading into the season. From Chip Brown's latest, we get this exciting Q&A:
CHIP BROWN: More and more, Brown sounds like a coach who is ready to use the arm of Colt McCoy to set up the run. "We've come to learn a balanced offense is one that scores a lot of points," Brown said Wednesday. "We're off of the run and the pass. We want to run it really well when we run it. But when you have a guy like Colt McCoy, you have to take advantage of it. So we are not going to be concerned about stats on Saturday, except for points."
Yes. Yesyesyes. My advocacy for a spread out, pass-first attack has nothing to do with believing that's The Way to being a great offense. Running the offense I want this year with Vince Young? That would have been a mistake.
No, this isn't about believing there is one way to run a great offense. The name of the game is getting the most out of your personnel. And damnit, this team can put up a lot of points with a McCoy-centered offense. Not only that, but the running game will thrive because of it. And, as Mack says, the objective here is points. It doesn't matter how you get 'em. So long as you get 'em.
Last, I want everyone to enjoy this Friday. One of the oddities of human life is that we derive a great deal of pleasure anticipating events that will never live up to our expectations. If you can try to remember that more than half the fun is the anticipation itself, you won't waste the greatness that is the lead up to all these events we center our lives around.