Sports w/The Jock Sept 1

by Tom Weppel
September is here, meaning its time for college football to crank back up. Seems like the season cranks up earlier and earlier each year…or maybe it just seems that way as I get older and older!
Whatever the case may be, this weekend marks opening weekend for a number of games an teams getting into action.
For the three closest major schools here in NE Florida, their first games should be a complete walk in the park. At two of the schools, there will be a major item to discuss.
We’ll start with the Florida Gators, who will begin their era post-Tim Tebow. There are plenty of fans wondering how the Gators will play without Tebow. All eyes will certainly be following new QB John Brantley. For al intents, it seems Brantley has the tools necessary to take care of business for Head Coach Urban Meyer and the Gator Nation. For this weekend, the Gators are favored by five TD’s in hosting Miami/Ohio. They should do just fine to start.
Then we venture over to Tallahassee, to start the view of Seminole football without Head Coach Bobby Bowden. Without question, the Noles will miss Bowden strongly. He essentially WAS Seminole football, having built the program throughout all these years. Now that he is retired, Florida State will start with new Head Coach Jimbo Fisher to guide them. Hopefully they will fare well within the ACC, especially with Christian Ponder at QB. FSU plays host to Bobby Bowden’s alma mater, Samford, and should have no problem.
Then you have the Georgia Bulldogs, who will host Louisiana/Lafayette in what essentially amounts to an exhibition game. Georgia will be trying to put together a solid season for Mark Richt in the SEC. Hopefully, Joe Cox will play well this year at QB.
There are other games of note this holiday weekend. Top-ranked Alabama is a 37-point favorite over San Jose St., although they will be playing without their top RB, Mark Ingram. Then we’ll see other contests of note, including the Michigan Wolverines favored by only 3 over UConn. We’ll also see an SEC/ACC showdown, with LSU and UNC getting it on, while another ACC school (Virginia Tech) takes care on Boise State, in Washington D.C.
We’ll also see Notre Dame play Purdue, and USC go out to Hawaii.
Overall, it should be an entertaining weekend of contests. We’ll get a chance to see various schools work through their rough edges and show us some of their talent levels…
The Tournament has started in Flushing Meadow, as both the Mens and Womens matches have gotten thru their first week. Overall, the weather has been quite tepid up there in NYC, meaning some players have been cramping and trying their best to deal with the heat during the contests.
It seems odd without Serena Williams in the draw, due to her injury. It has left the field more wide open, especially for her sister, Venus, to pick up a championship. We’ll see how things continue to evolve.
Same goes on the Mens side, as we watch to see if Rafael Nadal will indeed win his first US Open title. Nadal has been more well known for his clay court prowess. If he wins this US Open, it would be his first, and mark a career Grand Slam, making him only the seventh player to accomplish the feat.
My guess is we’re bound to see some entertaining play, and perhaps an upset or two. Overall, though, the field is wide open, with no real strong, solid favorites, on either Mens or Women sides. We’ll see how things play out…