College Football Season is Here!

FOOTBALL SEASON IS almost among us; come Thursday night, the most competitive race for the ACC title in recent memory will be underway. The anticipation is killing me.

This like waiting for your monthly issue of Playboy to arrive in your mailbox times one hundred thousand, eight hundred and ninety-eight.  It seems like its taken forever, but it's finally here.  Speaking of Playboy, this month's issue featured "The Girls of the Big Ten" and was one of the best issues I've ever seen (but not why you might think).

Let me preface all of this by saying that I only get Playboy for the articles.  I was greatly disappointed when Asa Baber retired but I still look forward to the joke page and the insightful interviews.  And in my diligence of reading the magazine from front to back, I do occasionally happen to glance at a few of the pictures along the way; this recent issue may hold a key N.C. State's recruiting strategy.

Follow me on this:  N.C. State plays against (and recruits against) Ohio State.  Ohio State is in the Big Ten.  "The Girls of the Big Ten" are just that, girls who go to college at Big Ten schools (like Ohio State, etc).  But these aren't just any girls, these are the hottest girls (sans those pesky and restrictive clothing) that each university has to offer.  After all, this is Playboy!  And that's when I saw the pictorial.  If Coach Amato ever had a recruiting tool at his fingertips (literally), this is it.  For anyone who has ever argued with me that Big Ten girls are hot (which I've disputed time and time again), I have two words for you…check mate.  These girls are to hot what dirty dancing is to hip.  It's like ten pages of co-ed Dixie Chicks. 

Say a recruit is deciding between N.C. State and Ohio State (or any other Big Ten school), all we need to do is pull out the "Big Ten" pictorial and compare it to the infamous "Tiki Girls" picture and it's a no-brainer (for those of you who don't know about the "Tikis", just think hot girls/tight shirts).  Why drive a Camry if you're being offered a Jag?  Thank goodness for Playboy; one man's smut is another man's recruiting ace-in-the-hole.

BUT BACK TO THE football about to be played this weekend.  It's finally here!  I'm not going to write about how we can't overlook Western Carolina and blah, blah, blah.  We're going to win on Saturday and win big.  What I'm interested are the little things about the game: Who will score first?  Will Tramain score a touchdown?  Will Rivers throw for five hundred yards?  Who will replace him for mop-up duty?  Will our defense pitch a shut-out?  That's what I can't wait to see unfold.  I really wish I could be there, but I'll be there in spirit (after paying some nominal fee now that apparently it costs money to listen to Pack games over the internet).

But as psyched as I am to listen to the Pack game, I'm almost as excited to see UNC get crushed by Florida State on Saturday.  I will get to see that game and I am going to enjoy every single, solitary moment of UNC's destruction.  As confident as I am about the Pack winning, I'm just as confident about Carolina getting blown out.  I only hope that this loss weighs heavily enough on the Heels that they lose the following week to Syracuse.  If that happens, they will go 0-3 because Wisconsin will beat them by thirty points.  Then they get us and I will be there for that game (you think I'm going to miss the chance to see us hand UNC an 0-4 start?).

My hatred for Carolina is like my beard, it grows daily (thanks in large part- and I do mean large- to such charismatic orators as John Bunting and Jeb "the cake is gone" Terry).  The aforementioned Bunting was recently quoted as saying, "I didn't come here to be in second place. And we're not going to get excited with third or fourth place. We'll have our parade when we're No. 1."  This was a blatant swipe at the celebration the city of Raleigh held to honor N.C. State's football team last year after they finished with the best record in Wolfpack history (even though the Pack still ended up fourth in the ACC with an 11-3 record). 

This is why I'm excited to see the obliteration of the Tar Heels this year, because if Bunting and co. are only going to be excited when they're number one, imagine how bleak things are going to be in Chapel Hill next season when Miami and Virginia Tech join the conference.  It also speaks volumes about a guy who wouldn't be excited about finishing third after two abysmal seasons in the ACC cellar; to finish fifth in the ACC should warrant free lemonade around Kenan Stadium.  So Bunting can keep running his fat yapper and Carolina fans can continue to keep their excitement in check until they're number one in the ACC and the all will be right in the world. 

As for the game, Florida State is looking for national respect and UNC is looking for "the cake."  And, in the words of Carolina's own Jeb Terry, the cake is gone.  The cake is most definitely gone.  Florida State will beat UNC 63-7 and I will watch it over and over and over again (Tivo rules).

For those of you going to the game this weekend, have a great time and drink one for me (whatever your drink of choice may be).  Stay safe and stay tuned…

Oh yeah, my prediction… N.C. State 59, Western Carolina 0 (I don't know how one manages to score 59 points, but that's the number that hit me so there it is).

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