Depending on when their fandom started, this year's college freshmen might not remember anyone wearing this uniform running the option out of the I-formation.
Yesterday Beloit College put out its annual Mindset List, which describes what this year's college freshmen's world experience has been. It mostly serves to make adults feel old, as it talks about how they don't remember the Bill Clinton administration, that Kurt Cobain has always been dead to them, and how they don't know of a time before blue M&Ms. You know, that kind of stuff.
I decided to try to make a similar list for young college football fans who are entering college this year. They were mostly born in 1994, if that gives you a sense of reference. This list is not about what they might have picked up by reading about the game or hearing commentators talk about it. This is about what they know solely from experience.
Feel free to add your own in the comments.
- There have never been ties in college football.
- The 12-game regular season schedule, first tried when they were eight, is just about the way it's always been.
- The lack of instant replay is a distant annoyance, as it was instituted when they were 12.
- Arkansas and South Carolina have always been in the SEC, which therefore has always had a championship game.
- Conference championship games themselves are completely normal and have always existed.
- There has always been a Big 12 and Mountain West.
- The Big Ten has never been mathematically correct.
- Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College as Big East teams is a hazy memory from when they were in single digits age-wise.
- No wide receiver has won a Heisman Trophy in their lifetime. Even running backs rarely win it.
- Conferences have always negotiated their own TV contracts.
- The SEC Game of the Week has always been on CBS.
- Alabama being a consistently dominant program is a recent development.
- Auburn hasn't lost more than two Iron Bowls in a row in their lifetime.
- Oklahoma and LSU have never had extended down periods; Miami and Florida State have always been chasing past glory.
- Notre Dame has never been a real national championship contender.
- Florida, Oregon, and Wisconsin have always been nationally relevant teams.
- Northwestern has always been a pretty decent program.
- The BCS has always existed.
- Steve Spurrier in garnet and black is a far more familiar sight than him in orange and blue.
- Nick Saban has always been a preeminent figure in coaching.
- USC's legendary head coach is not John McKay; it's Pete Carroll. The legendary Ohio State coach who ended his career on a bad decision is Jim Tressel, not Woody Hayes.
- Mack Brown has always been the coach at Texas, which was Oklahoma's sidekick until Vince Young came along.
- Georgia wasn't much of anything before Mark Richt.
- This is the first season in which Houston Nutt hasn't coached an SEC team.
- The spread option had its coming out party when they were roughly six-years-old. Consequently, there have always been spread offenses.
- Depending on when their fandom started, Nebraska might never have been an I-formation option team. Either way, Tom Osborne has always been retired from coaching.
- The traditional option attack has always been a strategy employed by only service academies (and Paul Johnson's Georgia Tech).
- The Air Raid has always been run by at least one BCS conference school.
- Keith Jackson has always been an old guy who never worked a full season's schedule of games.
- College GameDay has always existed and always traveled from one campus to another through the season.
- Astroturf has always been a relic; FieldTurf has always been available as a superior alternative.
- There have always been message boards to discuss teams on, and recruiting has always been a big Internet business.
- EDSBS has been around since they were 11.
- Phil Steele's magazine has always existed.
- They watched far more college action from the Clausen brothers than the Manning brothers, as Peyton has always been an NFL quarterback.