Pickens' Perspective: Help Pat pick a college football team
I love USC football.
I always have. When I was 10 I went to Giants Stadium to see them play in the Kickoff Classic against Penn State and was one of about 7,500 USC fans at the sold out contest. I stuck with them through thick and thin. From the highs of the Keyshawn era, to the extreme lows of the Paul Hackett era, to Carson Palmer's four years of disappointment followed by his one year of brilliance and the Heisman Trophy.
Rooting for the men of Troy was made especially fruitful through this most recent period of success. Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush's Heismans, LenDale White's power, Troy Polamalu's hair, my dad and I went insane the night they beat Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl and won the BCS Title in 2005.
So you can imagine how disappointing it was to hear that that was all a sham. Bush got paid, the whole championship thing was vacated, and the Trojans were banned from postseason play for two years.
Which leaves me feeling...well, in limbo. I still will root for USC, but two years without postseason play is tough. The team could win its next 25 games and it won't mean a damn, and as a fan, it is fun to root for a team that actually has a chance to win something.
So I'm petitioning you all for help.
I need a college football team to root for for two years.
Now before you all go spouting out teams for me to root for, there are some criteria that I will follow for this project. The rules are as follows:
1.) Team must be an FBS team. If I wanted to root for an FCS, Division II or Division III team, I could root for my alma mater, Sacred Heart (which I'll do anyway).
2.) It can't be UCLA or Notre Dame. They're two of USC's chief rivals.
3.) I'm throwing out Florida, Texas, Michigan, Nebraska, LSU, Penn St. and Ohio St. They have too many bandwagon fans as it is and don't need one more. Plus, I've grown to dislike each of them in football.
4.) Ideally it would be a team that has the potential for postseason play, since this is where the project lies anyway. Hopping on Louisiana-Monroe's bandwagon for two years would likely be as fruitful as USC, and I'll be doing that anyway.
I invite all of you to send your suggestions to email@example.com. When you send your suggestions, send me a reason for me to root for that team too. I can't start rooting for UConn or Maryland simply because you say so. Convince me.
The best response will inspire me to root for that team in the fall, and will run alongside a picture of me in the winning team's hat in the paper in August or September. Other good or entertaining responses will get put in print as well. Look for interesting responses on my Twitter too.
Send me stuff; I'm counting on you!