21 for 2021 College Football Topics, No. 21: 21 thoughts, wishes and hopes for the 2021 season.
21. Oh yeah, COVID.
I’m in the camp that believes that by late August, going into a CVS to get a COVID vaccination will be as simple as buying a package of M&M’s – at least until the person behind the counter refuses to accept that I’m not a rewards member and demands to look up a phone number from 12 years ago.
I’m also in the camp that believes everything isn’t going to be 100% normal yet by the time the football season rolls around. However, there was a 2020 college football season.
It was twisted, weird, and borderline immoral, but it happened. If we could have college football through that, we’re getting something stronger and better this time around.
And we deserve it.
However, I have but one humble request …
20. “It’s so good to have (insert fans/band/whatever) back.”
Announcers, social media heads, and those who’ll romanticize this with plinky piano music and reverent tones, you get one week to go overboard with the gushing about how wonderful it’ll be to have the fans back in the stands, the sounds of the bands, and the feelings that one gets after something so loved was taken away.
And then that’s it. Just like it became nails on a chalkboard every time some play-by-play guy mused about how awesome it would’ve been if fans were around for some big play, it’s going to start to ruin every moment when it gets pointed out over and over again that most things are back.
19. The top three American Athletic Conference head coaches vs. the three top new guys the SEC hired.
“Dan Hawkins is the PERFECT fit for Colorado.” – 2006 me.
I’ve given up making any assumptions on whether or not a coaching hire is or isn’t going to work, so I’m 1000% certain that five years from now this might seem like a moronic take …
You take Bryan Harsin (Auburn), Josh Heupel (Tennessee) and Shane Beamer (South Carolina) and I’ll take Luke Fickell (Cincinnati), Gus Malzahn (UCF) and your pick of Ryan Silverfield (Memphis), Ken Niumatalolo (Navy) or Sonny Dykes (SMU) and my American Athletic Conference coaches are probably stronger than three of your new SEC head men.
Speaking of Mr. Malzahn …
18. The free pass time for coaches is over.
The conventional wisdom in the 2020 offseason was that coaches would get a bit of a break as they tried to keep everything rolling through a global pandemic.
From Tom Herman to Lovie Smith, and from Kevin Sumlin to Jeremy Pruitt to Will Muschamp to Doc Holliday, some schools didn’t mind the whole buyout thing and just wanted to move on. That’s not to say that coaches who had miserable years – Jim Harbaugh, James Franklin, Dino Babers, Jeff Brohm, Les Miles – were given a break only because of the 2020 issues, but it was totally fair to give coaches a mulligan.
Not in 2021.
Because of the fun rule that seniors can return for another year – more on that in a moment – and because everything might be 78% back to normal, it’s win-or-bust time for any and all hot seat coaches.
17. A desperate prayer I know will go unanswered.
As social media gets worse and worse, and the stupid and jerky become more and more emboldened, here’s asking for any and all to realize that 1) college football is just a silly game 2) played by college kids who 3) are going to make college kid mistakes.
The missed the 37-yard game winning attempt, or the personal foul penalty on a linebacker doing a goofy dance or something, will be memory dumped almost instantly.
That suggestively-violent dillhole tweet pounding those guys will live forever.
16. The ACC world will be much better if Florida State and Miami are awesome.
I know, I know, North Carolina, but we know how this works. The Tar Heels are great, and then they lose to Duke or Wake Forest or some team it’s favored to beat by 39.
It wasn’t all that long ago when Florida State was a national championship-level superpower. It was that long ago when Miami ruled the world, but the ACC could and should be phenomenal if the Seminoles and Hurricanes – and Tar Heels – can really and truly be good enough to challenge Clemson.
That’s not going to happen in 2021, but it would be nice.