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Hope Springs Eternal

A schmaltzy headline? No question about it.

But I am sincere when I say that with the arrival of spring practice this Friday I find myself excited, optimistic, renewed. The slate is wiped clean - for players, for teams, for fans. With spring practice, we begin to look forward again as losses from the departed season finally drift from our present conscious to become a part of history.

With the clean slate, we think less of the loss to Texas A&M and more of what a Muckelroy-Norton-Kindle linebacking trio might look like anchoring Will Muschamp's defense. We turn our attention to the future of John Chiles. We daydream about the next great Texas tailback. And we start obsessing over 16 and 17 year old kids who might come to play for Texas in the fall of 2009.

People who aren't from where we're from sometimes ask me why I love college football as completely as I do. This is why. Like all team sports, college football starts fresh each season. And like all team sports, there are year round stories to follow, trends to track, and developing players upon which we can speculate. But more than any other popular sport in America, there's as much drama in the speculation and anticipation as there is in the performance.

So this Friday, we start anew. We grab what we want to remember from the previous season, build on what we think we've added, and start to formulate theories of how it all could end in championship.

Long live sports. And in particular, long live college football.