I know the calendar only says 'June,' but the early preview magazines for the upcoming college football season have already hit the racks.
College football is my favorite sport. Its passion and tradition surpasses all others. In a way, it is truly beautiful.
I know many feel that big-time college sports corrupt what the mission of universities should be. While I do share some concerns regarding how big college sports have become, the good greatly outweighs the harm. A successful team is an extremely effective weapon in marketing what a school offers.
As a University of Tennessee graduate, I am excited about the upcoming season. The Volunteers have a lot of unanswered questions, especially at the wide receiver position. Quarterback Eric Ainge is probably the best at his position in the Southeastern Conference, but if quality receivers don't develop, his talent won't be fully realized.
'Lindy's' magazine has definitely jumped on the Tennessee bandwagon. They have picked the Vols to win the SEC Eastern Division and ranked them number seven in their national poll. Of course, pre-season rankings really don't matter much, but I would rather have folks talking about my team as a contender than a pretender.
As a whole, the SEC East will be a powerhouse again this season. Florida is the defending conference and national champion. Georgia is rock solid. South Carolina is definitely ascending under coach Steve Spurrier's guidance. Vanderbilt and Kentucky have both recruited a lot better talent than they have had in other years.
Could all six of these teams go to a bowl? I think it is a legitimate question. And, fortunately, the answer to that question and others will be answered soon. The countdown to the season is under way. September doesn't seem that far away.
Let's climb on board and see what happens.