July 30, 2007

Countdown to Kickoff begins

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As far back as last March, a number of collegiate athletic Internet sites added to their football page a digital clock ticking down each slothful second leading to the 2007 football season.

The clocks provided nice daydream material, but couldn't be taken seriously because reality was just so far away kind of like wishing for a date with Jessica Alba.

Now, it's finally within reach football season, that is. Sadly, Jessica remains unattainable.

But it doesn't matter.

Forget dreaming of Jessica Alba ...

Brian Brohm and Louisville dream of a national title.

With football season just a month away, 'Fantastic Four' now inspires thoughts of Southern California's secondary. 'Sin City' now conjures images of Baton Rouge on game day.

So, it is time to earnestly start the countdown. Rivals.com vows to help set the table for the impending football feast with a steady diet of college football fodder to help pass the days until Louisville's Brian Brohm starts passing to Harry Douglas.

However, the 'Countdown to Kickoff' will do much, much more than help kill time. It will educate, irritate and spark debate with lists, reports and rankings.

Is Arkansas running back Darren McFadden anticipated to win the Heisman Trophy, or should John David Booty be expected to become the third consecutive USC quarterback named the recipient?

What junior college transfers are likely to have the greatest impact? What former backups can flourish as starters? What redshirt freshmen are ready to make significant contributions?

Depth is often a pivotal factor in winning championships, so the countdown will reveal the best backups at several positions. We'll identify the best obscure players, the 'sleeper' teams that could be this year's Wake Forest and reveal whether the Florida State's quarterback competition between Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee is the nation's most significant position battle.

There will be polls to rate the best home field advantage, mascots, etc.

There will be conference breakdowns, preseason all-conference teams, a preseason All-America team and many other features to take the serious college football fan all the way up to Aug. 30.

It will be informative. It will be controversial and it will be more fun than watching seconds tick off a digital clock.

And it will be much more constructive than just pining away for Jessica.

Olin Buchanan is the senior college football writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at olin@rivals.com.


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