As it does more often this year than most, the "real" job has sent me traveling for most of this week. That means that while I am aware of the events at Miami (FL) and still keeping an eye on the developments (or lack thereof) in the Texas A&M story, I'm not as absorbed in every twist and turn as I normally would be.
And it's given me some time to think about things. (Trust me, a drive from Tallahassee to Miami, and then to Key West, and then back again, gives you plenty of time to think. Non-Floridians don't understand just how big this state is.) Not just about whether A&M is going to come to the SEC (eventually, it will) or whether Miami deserves the death penalty (if anyone ever does, it's them), but about things from the dreaded "meta-" perspective.
It's easy to get wrapped up in the noise when we're in the offseason. After all, there aren't any games going on at the moment, so the only new thing to analyze is the latest statement from the SEC or the latest legal analysis on Miami's position and its eligibility for the death penalty. (And, yes, for those of you who might be wondering, there is a way under which they could be eligible for repeat-violator status, though I'm not even sure that you have to be a repeat violator to get the yearlong ban.) And to lose sight of the fact that college football starts in less than two weeks. Actual college football.
We've been guilty of that a little bit, too -- or at least I have. That's not to apologize for covering the Texas A&M thing or to imply that we shouldn't have fully covered the SEC-related fallout of the Miami scandal, because both were absolutely the right decision. It's just to say that it's easy to forget that regardless of the outcome of either case, football is still going to be played in 13 days. And it's going to be the same game that we've always loved. And for the foreseeable future, it's still going to be.
We can all look at the looming introduction of the superconference and see the changes that will make. But Alabama fans will still hate Auburn fans, and Cocky will still dance to 2001, and Uga will still sleep on a block of ice. Mike the Tiger will still be far too close to human beings for my comfort and visiting fans will still have to be five hours outside of Starkville before their ears stop ringing.
Miami might not play football in 2012 (and/or 2013, 2014, 2015 ...), but the ACC will still be terrible. And we will still laugh at them -- and in "we," I'm including college football fans. And in "college football fans," I'm including ACC fans.
So enjoy the offseason feeding frenzy, because it's fun. But it's also fading from memory. We're hopefully going to be doing a lot more talking about football in the next few days here at the site, though I'm sure that someone at A&M has other ideas.
It's two weeks away. It's time to get ready.