It's true: I love college football.
And, make no mistakes about it, I love BigTen football.
The rest of you wish that your conference was duking it out, undefeated, One and Two.
A few years ago, when one of the local teams played in the National Championship, some of my relatives commented, "Oh, gotta cheer for the home team, 'eh?".
Cheer for one of the PacTen teams here in town?
Uh, no. Don't 'gotta'. I don't think so.
For all the years that I had to read through the Sunday sports pages, flipping flipping flipping to get the weekend results ("Let's see. Okay. USC. UCLA. Northridge. Local High Schools. Hm. Okay, any day now. Oh, here. Next to the last page. Next to ... uh, fishing conditions. One stinkin' paragraph for the whole BigTen? Great."), I'm going to admit that I've enjoyed knowing that all this coverage has spared me all the hype that normally goes along with sunny fall football Saturdays in Los Angeles.
I close my eyes and think of mid-November in the midwest, walking to football games, the crunch of leaves, the cold wind off Lake Michigan. It's cold and grey, and you know that the dirt on the field is cold and damp. Brrrr. But there's marshmallow free-for-alls. And you jingle your keys for kickoff. And when it's over, there's the smell of fireplaces being stoked along the walk home, and the promise of deep dish pizza and more beer.
Now that's college football.
So, Saturday, I'm going to put on some purple (hey, the 'Cats play, too), park myself in front of the TV, settle in, and get my fill of some big time BigTen football.
And Go Cats!