Saturday, August 11, 2007

Let's Hear it For the Schedule-Makers

It wasn't long ago that there was always a big build-up of football excitement over the summer, waiting for the turn of the calendar to September, signaling the start of the football season, only to have our excitement fail to pay off by being presented with an opening weekend full of second-rate matchups and rent-a-wins. It was a very disappointing situation, and excitement about football seemed to fizzle just a little bit because all the anticipation led to weak games no ones wanted to see.

The last couple of years has seen that trend reverse, and I am glad of it. This year, the opening weekend of the football season features LSU in an intra-division conference game with Mississippi State. Tennessee is playing a game of national importance on the road against Cal. Auburn is playing a quality out-of-conference opponent in Kansas State. Georgia plays Oklahoma State, a game it should win but should still be fun and interesting.

Nationally, Wake Forest plays Boston College in a game that went a long way to determining the ACC championship last year. Georgia Tech plays Notre Dame. The following Monday, Clemson plays Florida State.

While a lot of teams still choose to schedule tune-up games in the first week or two, the television pickings will be better this year than at any time in my memory. There are enough interesting games that people want to see that no one will experience the profound disappointment of previous years, unless they really want to see SEC teams play each other more, which isn't going to happen.

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