It's the most wonderful time of the year. No, I'm not talking about Christmas. Christmas, as amazing as it is, only has one day to give you. This season is the season where it's Christmas every Saturday.
I'm, of course, talking about the season of college football.
Future NFL stars, overbearing head coaches, crazy fans, recruiting wars, scandals, chants, traditions, food, live mascots, game-winning drives, bone-headed plays, inconceivable moments. It's where the impossible -- both good and bad -- becomes possible. They happen here, and they can all happen every single week. It's what makes following college football unlike any other sport in the world.
With every result a potential change in the winds of dynasties and the unequivocal unpredictability that can happen any week, I decided to start a series here at TDN called "CFB Crystal Ball" where each week I will look into the future and tell you exactly how the upcoming week of college football games are going to go -- and all the pandemonium that comes with it.
As I look into my crystal ball. I see... I see...
Ah, yes, Week 0. Named, of course, after the total amount of offensive coaches who were retained when Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz took over -- he fired all of them. No, seriously. All of them. Or, wait, maybe it's named after the amount of starts Miami's new quarterback Jarren Williams has going into their matchup against Florida. Or maybe it's the amount of good quarterbacks Florida has had since Tim Tebow.
(I guess they did have Jacoby Brissett and Will Grier, but they both left -- go figure.)
In a game that should have been played inside the Epcot ball at Disney World, in my humble opinion, Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks executes a very simple Dan Mullen game plan that barely asks him to do anything stressful at all, which works well enough for your co-workers to say, "Franks looks really good this year." To which your only response is to move your cubicle far, far away and never speak to them again.
In a tough situation down big, Miami is forced to pass the ball. This doesn't end well for them. Florida pass rusher Jabari Zuniga tees off on Williams and he is so terrified to get hit by Zuniga again that he tells his coach he's sick and can't go to school today. Diaz doesn't believe him, but when the trainers go to take his temperature, Williams just takes the thermometer out of his mouth and into a Colin Cowherd Baker Mayfield take. The temperature rises and Williams is rushed to the hospital immediately.
Rather than go to Tate Martell, Diaz calls N'Kosi Perry over. He looks Perry in the eyes. He tells Perry he believes in him. He says to him that he knew he could be the starter one day, and this is the day. Diaz' lie works and Perry gets in the zone. The offensive coordinator gives him the play.
"Fake 23 Blast, with a backside George reverse."
Perry nods. He runs into the huddle.
"What's the matter, haven't you guys seen a football injury before?" Perry says. "We got this... Louie, let him through this time."
"Ok is he just quoting Remember The Titans?"
"I think so, but he's mixing up the quotes so I'm not sure."
The Hurricanes walk up the the line. Perry looks at the scoreboard. The center grabs the ball; sweat, dirt and blood between each finger. Perry yells the cadence. His voice is confident; the players believe in him. The ball is hiked. Perry drops back; the ball is out of his hands quick. Zuniga, who was left unblocked, is totally burned by the quick throw. Into the running back's hands it goes. He makes one man miss, then another. Close to the line he dives, driven to the ground by two Gators defenders. He looks down, and there it is. The ball beyond the line.
They did it.
Perry did it.
The Miami Hurricanes crossed the 50 yard line.
A few Miami punts later Florida would run out the clock and begin their season 1-0.
After losing the slot wide receiver job, Tate Martell puts in his transfer request to Rutgers and Ubers to New Jersey without even cleaning out his locker, as first reported by the Miami players' snapchat stories.
Later that night, out in Aloha Stadium, Hawai'i quarterback Cole McDonald and his beautiful blonde dreadlocks take on Khalil Tate and the Arizona Wildcats. In front of a sold-out crowd where the average ticket price is, like, $30 -- seriously, you can get into this game for almost $10 right now -- McDonald throws six touchdown and just one interception on his way to owning ESPN's highlight reel for exactly one day before everyone unjust-fully fails to care about the glorious Run & Shoot Hawai'i offense for the rest of the season.
Shame on all of you.
Tate and running back J.J. Taylor try to keep up, but Tate remembers that it's not 2017 anymore and defenses have been told by the NCAA that they are, in fact, allowed to tackle him when he takes off to run. Such a rule dampers the Wildcats offense -- no more than head coach Kevin Sumlin has on his own by trying to run Pro Style with Tate -- to the point where they cannot keep up with Rainbow Warriors. Devastated, the Wildcats are nearly forced to do what no human has ever done before: be sad in Hawai'i.
But before they head back to Arizona, Sumlin takes them all out for sushi and shaved ice, so the streak lives on for another week.