Yesterday was the last day of fall camp practice for BYU, meaning today they start game day preparations for the season opener at Virgina next Saturday. To be honest, I don't really know the difference between fall camp practice and game day preparations practice, but I do know that fall camp is over and the start of the season is upon us.
The college football season officially kicks-off next Thursday night, and every man, woman, and child in the state of Utah has reason to be watching (oh wait, Fox Sports 1 -what?) as Utah and Utah State get the battle for the Beehive Boot going early. Then BYU plays Saturday afternoon at Virginia. So now you have about 6 hours of your time for this week filled up watching football (FYI- there are 168 hours in a week). Well what if you want to watch more?
If you're like me, Friday night to Saturday night you have to be very careful with what plans you make because Boise St. might be playing, or Oklahoma, or Louisiana Tech, or... one of the other 10+ college football teams you follow closely.
If you're not like me, then you're missing out. Nothing makes the season more meaningful than knowing all the interlinking intricacies that make college football a wonderful sport. (Like did you know that if BYU beats Utah State, and Utah State beat Colorado State, and Colorado State miraculously and impossibly beats Alabama... then BYU will be theoretically better than Alabama. Yes, that linkage exists this season.) Craziness aside, following more teams means you have more reason to watch more football, and watching more football brings more happiness, so I encourage you all to pick a few teams and do your best to follow them this season. You don't need to watch every minute of every game, (since some will inevitably be on at the same time as a BYU game) or know all the player's names, but just do what you can, and enjoy it.
To give you an idea, here is my short list of teams I follow and why:
Boise State: If BYU-Idaho wasn't already established, the church might consider buying out BSU. In an also heavily Mormon-populated area just 5 hours away, Boise State and BYU probably have the most cross-over fans of any two teams in the country (which also makes the series between the two all the more heated). I would be surprised if any of you reading this didn't have a friend or family member that was a Boise State fan. Aside from the obvious geographic-religious ties, Boise State is the flag bearer for all of the "little sisters of the poor" not in BCS conferences. Although some other school up north was the first BCS-buster, Boise State has become the favorite 'little guy' for everyone to support.
Any team with the word 'Utah' in it's name: I live in Utah, I want to know how every team is doing, whether I be hoping they lose, or hoping they don't get beat up too badly, U of U, USU, even SUU are on my watch list. It's also great to watch BYU's future opponents so you can see how they operate and know how BYU will beat them. Or watch teams BYU has played, because every win from a team BYU beats is a bolster to our strength of schedule.
Georgia: I share my last name with Georgia's current record setting QB, Aaron Murray (also my sister is named, Erin... so that's kind of funny). It's nice to follow a team in the SEC so you know whats going on in the NFL-lite, and I wouldn't want to just follow the best team. I'm much more of an underdog kind of guy, but underdogs that still do really good, and Georgia is the perfect fit for me. Also their uniforms are very nice, and Ugga is a cool dog.
Washington: Also known as UW (pronounced "you-dubb"), the University of Washington is somewhat of my 'hometown' team since I graduated from high school in Washington, and most of my graduating class went there. Over the past few years I've really enjoyed watching the Keith Price led Huskies make a statement in the Pac-12. Washington is also coached by former BYU QB Steve Sarkisian, so there's another random BYU connection for you.
One thing that I love to do in keeping up with various teams and players is play some online fantasy games. I've never gotten into NFL fantasy football, but the college variant is awesome. I've created a VTF group within the college football fantasy games on ESPN.com, for those of you who play feel free to join and test your skills against the other VTF readers/writers.
In the College Football Challenge you pick a fantasy team of players each week and get points for their game stats. In College Pick'em you pick the winner of 10 games each week. Finally, in College Rank'em you rank the value of three stats from a given game, and if you get the right order you get points (a very interesting and strange game).
Come Join Our Staff's Group
Join one, join all, don't worry about being the worst or missing weeks, pobody's nerfect! We want you in our Fantasy Football group, winner gets bragging rights and an honorable mention on our site.
- Click one of the links above to take you to the game page
- (Alternatively you can go to ESPN.com/fantasy and find the game in the list "Free Games to Join": College Football Challenge, College Pick'em and/or College Rank'em. We're doing all three. Pick and Choose accordingly.)
- Sign-in to ESPN (if you don't have an account you can sign in with facebook)
- Create your entry: Choose Division 1, not a particular conference (make your picks, fill in your roster, etc.)
- Join a group, this is where you'll search for our group with the information provided below
- Remember to update your entry weekly for maximum points. (if you want to win)
The name for the VTF group for each of these games is "Vanquish the Foe" and the password is "alma" (when I was a kid, I always thought it was weird that Alma's name was in the BYU fight song, and even stranger that everybody pronounced it "all-ma"). If you have any questions about joining feel free to tweet at us or leave a comment, we'll try to respond asap.
I hope everyone can have fun watching BYU this season, and maybe fill your Saturdays with enjoying another team or two, or three...