There is something about the month of August for football fans. It’s just like March for baseball fans. Every team is undefeated, and every fan is full of hope and enthusiasm.
On Tuesday, I walked by a friend who is a Tennessee fan. I jokingly reminded him what I thought of his team, only to have a response I expected. “OK, we’ll see on Oct. 10,” he said. I wouldn’t have wanted him to say anything else at this point.
Yes, even fans of teams that have struggled the past few years should feel good. It’s August. He should feel Tennessee will beat Georgia in Knoxville. That’s his team. He should feel good about a team that has as good a chance as any in the weak SEC East to be at the top once the dust clears in December.
But he knows, deep down inside, that might only happen if his Volunteers beat the Bulldogs.
That’s what college football is all about in the South. It’s my team versus your team. It’s us versus them. It’s smack talk at its very best. In August, we all feel good. We all feel our team has a great chance at a successful season.
Every team has a concern at this point. Heck, half the SEC is worried about the quarterback position. How can you get too excited about your team when you’re not sure if the quarterback is going to be good or not?
Georgia fans are always drinking the Kool-Aid. Admit it, Georgia fans. You choke on it from time-to-time. For example, aren’t most Georgia fans looking right past the South Carolina game Sept. 19 and ahead to the game with Alabama on Oct. 3? Now, on paper, should Georgia beat South Carolina in Athens? Yes. But with Steve Spurrier’s hatred for Georgia and the fact his Gamecocks have beaten the Bulldogs in four of the past five years, that game should not be considered a given win.
Georgia Tech fans are excited, and they should be. The Yellow Jackets had a great year in 2014, and let’s be honest, their fans poke their chests out a little more after a year when Georgia Tech beats Georgia. Like it or not Georgia fans, they have that right after what happened in Athens in November.
But this year’s team has a tough schedule. As good as the Yellow Jackets might be, can they win in South Bend, Indiana, against Notre Dame? Can they beat Clemson on the road? Can they beat Florida State in Atlanta? For a special season, they’ll have to win a couple of those games.
Both the Bulldogs’ fans and the Yellow Jackets’ fans feel good about the upcoming season. And even though they have work to do in their own conferences, considering what happened last year in Athens, you know both fan bases can’t wait for the head-to-head matchup Nov. 28.
The smack talk is already flying, and it’ll get even louder if both teams have good records going into the final part of the season.
If it’s bad here, can you imagine what it’s like over in Alabama right now? Alabama fans aren’t sure about who will play quarterback, and they’re trying to act like they don’t care. Auburn fans think they have their quarterback, and they’re trying to convince others Jeremy Johnson is a star.
NFL fans also have that fever this time of year. If you are an Atlanta Falcons fan, you might not know what to expect. Having a new head coach, as the Falcons do with Dan Quinn, makes it more a time of learning about everything new than knowing for sure how the team will do. Falcons fans seem more curious than anything else right now to just see how Quinn’s Falcons will look compared to Mike Smith’s Falcons.
This is almost as fun as the season itself. It is fun to be undefeated, but it’ll be more fun when the games actually kick off, and we can all back up our smack talk or pretend to ignore what was said in the first place.
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 email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.