Give me one, two and three cheers for football finally being back that isn’t some sort of meaningless preseason game with a bunch of fringe guys. Of course on Friday night we had our first week of high school football and our five area schools played as well as they could on that night.
It just felt good having football again. There always feels like there is a void in life from the start of February until this time of the year. We talk about preseason camps, talk about possible ways for the seasons to go and all hope for the best possible year for our teams.
With one of the hardest hitting sports back, it’s a good time to reflect on a few thing about the game and what can be done to improve upon it through certain levels, looking at you NFL.
The high school game is as fun as ever to watch. The pure passion put into the sport at the high school level is fantastic. When I was younger I never really understood the appeal of high school football, but as I’ve gotten older and watched more and more of it, I love seeing these young men, and some women, put on the helmet.
The week one for our five high school teams in the Pilot Tribune area did well for the most part. All four of the winners were able to win by double digits with nothing really close in the last five minutes. The defense stood out the most to me. All five teams put together a solid defensive effort against the run.
Coaches always preach the game is won in the trenches and stopping the run is paramount to success. Being better up front and not allowing turnovers. Those might be the two biggest keys in football no matter what level someone’s talking.
This week should be another exciting one as we get to witness the first game between Alta-Aurelia and Storm Lake in 23 years. I will admit I was a little confused when I saw this game on the schedule due to the difference in class size. An A against a 3A school struck me as a little strange, but we’ll see what happens.
College football also got going over the weekend with the junior colleges and some other schools. I caught a little bit of the Wyoming and New Mexico State game on Saturday night. Not completely sure if Wyoming is is that good or if New Mexico State was that bad. The Cowboys’ defense was shutting down that offense when I was watching it.
This weekend is the start of most of the major schools including Iowa and Iowa State. Iowa probably has the easier game of the two despite facing another FBS school. Northern Illinois is usually around the upper half of the MAC and has given Iowa some fits in the past. Iowa should be able to win the game with not quite ease but it I don’t expect it to be a close game either. I’d say Iowa wins 27-10 or so.
Iowa State’s contest against South Dakota State may be one of those trap contests. The Jackrabbits have been rated as high as #3 in some FCS polls and have some talented players. Iowa State is trending up currently, but this might one of those out of no where trouble games for a bigger school. This is going to be closer than it should be, but Iowa State sneaks out with a 42-34 win.
My upset special this week? I think South Dakota can beat Kansas State. There’s always that one big one every year with a FCS school beating a FBS one. I think this is it.
We are also getting closer to the real NFL season in a couple of weeks. I think it’s going to be a bad season for the league. Not so much with the player protesting issues, but rather that new helmet rule. It’s going to affect a lot of teams and how their defensive players hit someone. It could be accidental and it won’t matter.
I know they’re trying to make the same safer but as you stop with the head hits, players may go lower and the knees will be next on the list. Player safety is a huge priority, yes, but it’s also a sport of people running into each other in pads. Injuries are going to happen no matter.
But, yes, football is back. We can take joy in insulting out disliked teams, praising our favorite players and everything else that accompanies this game.