Are you ready for some football?

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It’s time for the 2012 college football season to begin. I am tired of the offseason, tired of the same old news, and tired of the replays.

The Clemson media will assemble at head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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’s house Monday evening, the annual supper becoming the traditional kick off for the season. Swinney’s media golf outing is Tuesday, the Ladies Clinic is Saturday and the ACC Football Kickoff begins next Sunday in Greensboro, N.C.

I, for one, am ready.

There are several reasons why I am ready to get this season started, just like I am sure you have reasons of your own. However, here are the reasons why I am almost desperate to get this season underway.

*I am tired of the Penn St. scandal – I understand that what happened with Jerry Sandusky up at Penn St. is a big deal. I get how the reputation of Joe Paterno has suffered. I hurt for the victims and all of their families, a heinous crime that should have never gone unchecked and unpunished by those in charge. But I am tired of it. This time of year, I want to read team updates and previews, I want to see the news from around the country. I want to know who is going to replace Kellen Moore at Boise St.; I want to know if Oregon is still going to be explosive on offense; I want to hear how Kevin Sumlin is fitting in at Texas A&M, and is he ready for the SEC; I want to know what Urban Meyer thinks about his first Buckeye squad; I want to know if Oklahoma St. can replace their quarterback and wide receiver. I clicked on ESPN’s mobile site yesterday on my phone, and went to the college football front page – the first five stories were about Penn St., as were eight of the first ten. This issue has been beaten to death by the four letter network – it’s time to move on and get ready for the season.

*I love baseball, but it’s not college football – I am actually a huge baseball fan, and I love to sit down most evenings and watch the Atlanta Braves. However, the Braves played close to 30 exhibition games in spring training, and are just now past the halfway point of a 162-game schedule. Part of our love of college football is the fact that our favorite teams will only play 12-14 times in any given season, making each moment something to be savored. And while a sold-out Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium or even Turner Field can be exciting, does it really compare to what happens in Death Valley on fall Saturday afternoons? It’s not even close. I will continue to keep a watchful eye on the Braves and the rest of baseball, but baseball becomes a second-class citizen once fall practice begins.

*Recruiting is the lifeblood of any program, but it’s time to talk about the players already on campus – The end of spring practice usually means the beginning of a flurry of recruiting activity. Many players begin setting up their spring visits, something that carries over into the first of June when many colleges have their camps. The beginning of the camps usually sees a spike in the number of commitments, and the news can be exciting. The Tigers picked up several high-profile commitments in June, including the nation’s number one recruit in Grayson’s Robert Nkemdiche. But recruiting can only carry you so far – we now know the thoughts of just about every teenager on Clemson’s target list. At some point, it’s time to start talking about Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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, Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 200
Fort Myers, FL

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, Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
So. Defensive End
#93 6-5, 280
Columbus, GA

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and Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
So. Linebacker
#12 6-3, 235
Polkton, NC

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. It’s time to start talking about the movers and shakers, the ones who will make an impact THIS season, not one two or three years from now.

*Smack talk is great, but it’s time to take it from the message boards to the field – Yeah. We know. Everybody’s team is going to be good this year, and rivals are already talking smack about games that will be months away. The truth is, until they hit the practice field and start playing in games, we really don’t know the true nature of what our teams will be like.

*Be honest, you miss tailgating – I had a University of North Carolina graduate tell me this past weekend that no other schools can tailgate like Clemson. The first two home games are usually a little – let’s call it warm – but the weather usually settles down and makes for nice tailgating. Even when it rained at every home game a few years ago, the tailgating was still great. I got to talk with a lot of people last year at their tailgating spots, and it made me realize just how much of a social event it can be for a lot of people. There are groups of people who have been tailgating together for 30 years or more, and at the tailgate is really the only time they can connect in person. And yes, I am available to come to your tailgate and stand around and look hungry……

*And finally, it’s time to play a game because of the Orange Bowl – Until these guys take the field against an actual opponent, the last game played was the Orange Bowl and that seems to be the only thing that a lot of the national media can fixate on. I know that Clemson’s two representatives at this week’s ACC Kickoff – center Dalton FreemanDalton Freeman
RS Sr. Offensive Line
#55 6-5, 285
Pelion, SC

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and defensive end Malliciah GoodmanMalliciah Goodman
Sr. Defensive End
#97 6-4, 280
Florence, SC

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– will have to answer several hours of questions about the Orange Bowl. I hope they are prepared, because each round of reporters will bring a new batch of questions. It’s time to play another game and get that one out of the collective system.

I am sure everybody has their own reasons for wanting the season to start, and of course the biggest reason of all is that it’s college football, and you just can’t beat a college football Thursday night or Saturday for entertainment. I am looking forward to seeing everybody else’s reasons for getting started.

Can we spot the ball yet?

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