College Football Rules!

Gator fans, enjoy the video above, FSU, UCF and Miami fans, I’ve either already posted your hype video or it’s coming…please don’t blow up my Twitter feed!

Okay, so yesterday I officially allowed you all to begin talking to me about football, and then went on to give you my biggest question for the Bucs, Jags and Dolphins. Today I transition to the world of college football.

I’m excited for this.

Why?  Because college football is the greatest.  I am obsessed with college football to a level that is almost comparable to my obsession with baseball… almost.

Unlike baseball, it hasn’t been a lifelong obsession for me.  I was a casual college football fan as a kid, and definitely preferred the NFL back in the 90s.  This changed when I moved to South Carolina in 2000.  Immediately I was given the “choice” of Clemson or Carolina.

I obviously made the right choice, but more importantly, I was dragged into the Southern obsession over college football.  Within weeks I had attended games at both Death Valley (JR) and Willy B and I was in love.

The feeling I got at Williams-Brice Stadium was the only thing at the time I had ever experienced that compared to the feeling I got every time I traveled from Hooksett, New Hampshire to Fenway Park.  That is what swayed me Carolina’s way, but I do have to give credit to Clemson for pulling me into this college football obsession, the C-L-E-M-S-O-N by 80,000+ leading to the run down the hill was electrifying, especially to somebody who had never been to a big time college football game…and my first one was Clemson vs UGA.

Now that you understand my college football obsession, let’s move back home to the state of Florida.  Yesterday I asked my one major question of the three Florida NFL teams, today I do it for the four most important college programs in the state…or at least in my opinion (sorry FAU and USF).

1. Can Justin Holman continue to develop without his major weapons at WR?

I think this is the toughest task for George O’Leary this season.

Yes, the offensive line that was a bit lax in 2014 needs to improve this season as well, but losing Hall, Perriman and Worton is a much bigger hurdle to get over for this offense.

I believed Marc Daniels when he told me that the offensive line will be much improved…if healthy…and that in turn will help get the running game going and of course give Holman more time to get through his progression and make his decision to pass or run.

As far as the WR corps is concerned, I think it’s a wait and see.  You’d like to believe that first and foremost, George O’Leary knows what he’s doing and also that Smith, Oldham, Akins and the rest will be working even harder this summer to prove that they won’t be a let down from the old crew.

I saw something in Holman last year in his first appearance that told me he has the ability to be as good, or better, than Blake Bortles was for UCF.  Yes, he had games like the one in Connecticut, but ups and downs come with a first year starter and once again, the offensive line didn’t do him many favors.

I think UCF has another 10 win or better season on the horizon, both because of a favorable schedule, and because I see a big improvement from this offense.  The only question I have outside of this one major question…is the UCF defense going to be able to fill the shoes of those who have left.

That is something you’ll have to wait for my new UCF blog to see!

2. Can Jim McElwain’s offense do enough to forgive another mediocre season in Gainesville?

I’m not so sure it can.

Look, I’m not trying to be negative towards the Gators here, but it’s been bad…and Gator fans do not like being bad.  Yes, seeing yards and points is going to make the fans a lot happier than it has been for the last 3 years, but I don’t know if yards and points can appease a fan base that demands excellence if the team doesn’t win 8 or more games.

I don’t think talks of a FireMcElwain.com crop up in 2015 regardless of results…because you do get the “cupboard is bare” excuse, but as year two comes in 2016, it better provide results because I’m not sure McElwain will be given as much time as Muschamp was if the record isn’t improving.

I don’t see a very good 2015 for the Gators, but there will be more action, and that’s at least a small victory.  The good news, I don’t have much faith in any team in the SEC East except for Mizzou…so there’s still technically a chance to play in Atlanta for everybody.

3. Can Everett Golson learn the FSU offense in time to keep them in the National Title picture?

Yes…why not?

I don’t put much stock into the downfall of Notre Dame in 2014, nor the academic cheating scandal for Golson in 2013. That’s the past, and if I’m looking at 2014, I remember watching Golson get within one yellow hanky of being the first team to beat FSU in 2 years.

Golson has been a very good quarterback when he’s been on the field in his career.  He played for a National Title just a couple years ago.

Yes, he wasn’t the reason the Irish played for a National Title, but he was still in control of the offense that season and didn’t keep them from playing for it.  He turned around his academic struggles by graduating from Notre Dame and earning his free transfer to FSU.

Graduating from Notre Dame is something I feel like I wouldn’t be able to do…and yes, he’s a football player, but after getting kicked out for academics the magnifying glass is on you going forward.  He did what he needed to, he succeeded and he finished.  So let’s stop bringing up past nonsense and focus on now.

Today, I think Golson was heavily recruited as a transfer for a reason.  I feel that if FSU wanted a back-up, they would have stuck with what they already had on campus.  Golson is the man, and his name being on the Maxwell Watch list tells me that people with far greater football knowledge than me believe that he’ll be just fine in Jimbo Fisher’s system.

I do see a 2-3 loss year for FSU, not because it’s a bad team, just because I think a couple of ACC teams have caught up, I think Clemson will be very good and I think the FSU turnover of the past few years shows this year…but it shows in 2 losses, maybe 3.  I wish my school’s “rebuild” was 2 losses.

4. Does Miami finally live up to the “they’re back” hype in 2015?

Sorry Hurricanes fans, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

For the last 3 years…if not longer…I’ve been told that “The U is back.” Sorry, but it hasn’t been.  The undefeated Hurricanes that got rolled by FSU in 2013 were a smoke screen, and proved it in the second half of that season.  Last year’s return of swagger led to a meaningless bowl birth and loss to the pathetic team I cheer for…and boy were they pathetic in 2014.

So, I don’t mean to be negative or to trigger your defensive responses, I just will believe it when I see it.

On paper, it seems that Golden has finally gotten past the sanctions and put himself together a nice squad…on paper.  I have faith in Golden, I have liked what he’s done from day one when he inherited the mess that he did…but now it’s time for his to prove he deserves to coach The U in 2016.

If this team doesn’t win 8-9 games, Golden must go and it’s once again time to start over.  On paper, they should compete with FSU, GT and Clemson in the ACC…in my mind, they’ll struggle to play in a bowl game.

The Canes have 4 weeks to prove me wrong and show that they are “back.” Until then, I remain pessimistic.

– Ditti

Any and all feedback welcomed!  Get me on Twitter (@Ditti33) or via e-mail at ditti@740thegame.com

Read more: http://www.740thegame.com/onair/open-mike-40566/inside-the-mind-of-ditti-college-13822958/#ixzz3hrzPFHwi

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