Folks, we did it.
At least part of our long national nightmare is over, as college athletics returned in its (near) full glory Saturday, with FCS schools Austin Peay and Central Arkansas kicking off the season in Alabama in The Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff season-opener.
The first play of what is sure to be history’s strangest season was a touchdown, a fitting start to an entertaining affair that had any CFB fan clamoring for more by its end. There were complaints about g*d d**m masks over hot mics, a turnover top hat, tailgates, and fans.
It was football.
No one seemed to care that these were two teams playing in the college football wilderness; neither the Ohio Valley or Southland Conferences will be operating in an official capacity this fall. But these two teams, who will spend the fall haphazardly looking for opponents, brought back college football, and brought us a little joy after six months of college sports-less pain.
The opening kickoff was a touchback, and the first touch after that was a touchdown. The teams looked rusty, but the game was the game, and it wasn’t *that* weird that there were only 2,000 people allowed in the stadium (Austin Peay averaged about 6,300 fans in 2019, UCA 7,800). And when the Bears scored the game-winner on a ten yard touchdown pass with 34 seconds remaining, fans across the country exhaled — we made it through week 0, and there’s hope for week one.
Amidst the buildup to the return of football was the backtracking of the Big Ten; while parents and interested parties continued to sign petitions and protest the conference’s decision to cancel the season weeks ago, movement was happening in league offices to backtrack on their backtracking and look at starting their season later this year.
It continues to be a chaotic affair here in 2020.
At TCU, chaos reigns as well, as the university of 9,500 undergrads has been one of the biggest COVID-19 hotspots in the country among reopened universities, watching positive tests spike from just 70 to nearly 500 over the course of last week. The school has implored its students to stop partying (LOL) and threatened to go back to online-only learning, doing everything in their power to stay open, stay functioning, and to give us football on September 12th.
In less than two weeks, the Frogs will theoretically take the field for the first time in 2020. It will have been more than ten months since they last played at Amon G Carter Stadium, and things will certainly look and feel different. It’s kind of fun to start off a season that feels so new with a rivalry so old, and with the chance to give SMU a taste of revenge after they beat the Frogs in Fort Worth a season ago. But whether it’s the Mustangs or Toby’s Business College, I think most fans will be thankful for Frog Football, in any interation.
Well... if they win, of course.
Next week, say it with me, is GAME WEEK. Here at Frogs O’ War, that means we get to actually write about things that are happening, and we couldn’t be more excited. You’ll see a return of some of your old favorite regulars and the introductions of plenty of new ones. We will welcome back Mason to cover MMQB, and you’ll see a lot more from our new writers (and the old ones!). We are also excited to bring you more from sports like volleyball, soccer, and even club sports.
It’s almost football time, friends. Can’t wait.