Are you ready for some football?

Posted: Saturday, September 05, 2009 by Travis Cody in
12

OK, I know some of you aren't. But a lot of you are. And I sure am!

The NFL is wrapping up it's pre-season this weekend. But this is the first full weekend of college football, and there's a lot to keep an eye on.


First up, I'm watching a former Duke basketball player as he returns to football. Greg Paulus was the national player of the year as a high school senior quarterback at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse NY back in 2005. He led his team to an undefeated season and a state championship. But he was also an all around athlete. He was named the Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year in all sports, and he was NY State's Mr Basketball in his senior year. He turned down a football scholarship at Notre Dame and instead chose to pursue basketball at Duke.

He started at point guard for the Blue Devils, but clearly wasn't going to play NBA basketball, so he has gone back to football. Interest evidently was sparked by a work out with Green Bay, and Paulus landed at Syracuse to play quarterback for his only year of college football eligibility.

After a clunky start against Minnesota today, Paulus thew a beautiful 29 yard TD pass off a pump fake. The question is going to be timing and arm strength after 4 years away from football. Some of his deeper throws have been wobbly. But his instincts appear solid. He's comfortable and confident in the pocket. His ability is evident and he settled down throughout the first half, leading the Orange to 17 unanswered points and a 20-14 halftime lead over Minnesota. He'll develop as the season goes on.

And why not? For his own reasons he chose to forgo college football in favor of the experience of playing college basketball for Coach Mike Krzyzewski. Syracuse wanted a QB, and Paulus wanted to play. I say good luck!

Coach Charlie Weis and the Fighting Irish have a lot at stake. Of course, Notre Dame always has a lot at stake. The Irish haven't woken up the echos of champions past in so long. I'm starved for some ND success!

Junior QB Jimmy Clausen returns, as do Junior WR Golden Tate and Sophomore WR Michael Floyd. I think this team will be able to score points. The question will be whether the defense can keep opponents out of the end zone and create turnovers, and whether special teams can make big plays.

Notre Dame is nationally ranked at #23, which is a nice and modest way to begin the season. The schedule includes only one ranked team, #4 USC on 17 October in South Bend. Traditional opponents include Michican, Michigan State, Purdue, Boston College, Navy, and Stanford. The Irish open today against Nevada.

It's a relatively easier schedule on paper than Notre Dame has often set for itself. They'll also play Washington, Washington State, Pittsburgh, and Connecticut.

It's the start of a new season and all things are possible for Irish fans!

Is it the year of the quarterback in college football? It seems to have been for about 3 seasons now. Oklahoma has the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Junior Sam Bradford. Florida has a former Heisman Trophy winner, Senior Tim Tebow. Texas has a potential Heisman Trophy winner, Senior Colt McCoy.

Then there's guys like Clausen at Notre Dame, Sophomore Terrelle Pryor at Ohio State, Freshman Matt Barkley at USC, Sophomore Robert Griffin III at Baylor, Sophomore Kellen Moore at Boise State, Sophomore Russell Wilson at NC State, Sophomore Ryan Mallet at Arkansas, and Junior Jake Locker at Washington.

I'm sure there are others that that I'm not aware of yet. Football is a team game, so these guys I've mentioned have to have somebody to throw to and a solid offensive line to give them time to throw.

I have no idea what's about to unfold, but it should be fun to watch!

12 comments:

  1. Anndi says:

    *hums Notre Dame Fight song*

  1. I'd rather watch all the colledge games that the "pro" ones.

  1. Anndi says:

    Holy cats! 28?!

    **keeps humming Notre Dame fight song**

  1. barb says:

    My Dad sure is ready for some football! I just switched to DirecTV so he could have the NFL Sunday Ticket! Then come spring, he'll have the MLB Extra Innings.

  1. Anndi says:

    Oh my GOD! He dropped it!! WOOOOO!!

    **parades around the living room while humming the Notre Dame Fight song**

  1. I can not believe ND won.

  1. jennifer says:

    YES! I am ready for some football! Watching my Tide RIGHT NOW, yelling at the TV while I type this comment.

    We are playing a bloomin' orange team :)

  1. Linda says:

    Well, no, not really but if it makes you and a lot of other people happy then I can deal with it!

    Football always makes me think of Fall and Fall always makes me think of pumpkins and pumpkins make me think of Halloween and Halloween makes me think of Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving makes me think of turkey and thinking of turkey makes me hungry! Is that kind of like the circle of life??

  1. Bradford got hurt last night. Clausen looked awesome though.

  1. Travis says:

    Ann: Wooooo!

    Mike: I like both.

    Ann: I know!

    Barb: Sweet!

    Ann: They played well, didn't they?

    Starr: GO IRISH!

    Jennifer: It was a tough opener, but they got it done.

    Linda: Now I'm hungry for turkey.

    Charles: That was a scary hit. I hope it's just the sprained AC joint they said last night.