Football season can’t get here soon enough

sports@macon.comMay 25, 2013 

It’s that time of year again. We’re all ready to hop in the car and head south or east, to find the best beach where we can forget about our lives for a while and just chill out.

And at some point along the trip, someone in the car will undoubtedly say, “Aren’t we there yet?”

It’s also the time of year that we sports fans start to get a little antsy. It’s late-May now, so baseball is in full force. The NBA is winding down. And that’s about it.

We’re three months away from the start of football season, and that’s really what keeps our blood pumping around these parts. It’s not even the dog days of summer yet, but if you’re like me, you probably have searched online somewhere for one of those countdowns to let you know how long it is until the season starts.

Last week I got my first college football preview magazine of the year. It’s amazing in this day and age of everything being on the Internet, there’s still something about having that preview magazine in hand. It’s almost like the first sign that we’re getting closer to the season.

The Lindy’s magazine didn’t necessary have anything new, but it was simple analysis from a group of respected writers who worked long and hard to try and prep all of us for the season. It had the normal lists of top players, top prospects and depth charts.

Seeing the depth charts on paper, in front of you, can either get you excited or make you wish it was basketball season already. For Georgia fans and definitely Alabama fans, the depth charts will make you think your team can win a national championship. If you root for Tennessee, well, you probably are not even going to buy the magazine after flipping through it and taking a look at the roster.

There’s no doubt that a couple of games stand out in the upcoming SEC season, and a few take place in September. Week two will give us Georgia and South Carolina, and even though the winner of this game the past two years has not won the SEC East Division title, it might be a little more important this time around.

The Gamecocks aren’t playing LSU this season. They face Mississippi State from the West, while the Bulldogs will host Les Miles’ Tigers. Steve Spurrier might have his best team yet, and he can’t complain about an uneven schedule this season. If he beats Georgia for a fourth year in a row, the SEC East might fall right in his lap.

The Bulldogs’ season really comes down to two words: surviving September. They open up against Clemson, and while it’s not essential for the conference, it’s a huge game for bragging rights and conference pride. Then South Carolina and LSU visit Athens, with North Texas and an off week in between. We’ll know most of what we need to know about Georgia when the calendar flips to October.

Then there’s the Alabama game in College Station against Texas A&M in week three. The Alabama-LSU game is usually the SEC West matchup of the year, but the Crimson Tide must first avoid another loss to Johnny “Football” Manziel.

It’ll be a fun couple of months, as we make our predictions, analyze what these magazines have written and count down until the start of the season. But right now, it’s like we’re the kid in the backseat wondering if we’ve reached our destination to start summer vacation.

“When are we going to get there (to football season)?”

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at www.foxsports1670.com. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and e-mail him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.

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