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Giving thanks for college football

As the college football season begins to wrap up with the final regular season games being played this week and next, an assortment of conference championship games coming up and bowl match-ups becoming official, we at Crystal Ball Run wanted to extend our thanks to our readers and supporters this season. We have had our ups and downs in a year of some transitions on our site, but we have tried to introduce some new things and appreciate the support we have received from you along the way.

We're also thankful for college football. Here are some things some members of our staff are thankful for. Please feel free to share your own thanks in the comment section below…

Tom Perry: The simple answer would be to say I'm thankful for college football in general. For eight months a year we have to live without the games, and get our fix from recruiting and spring practice. But it's not that simple. College football fans have to be thankful for what has happened at USC. When Pat Haden dismissed Lane Kiffin it looked like the Trojans were a train wreck.That's also when the nation got a close-up look at Ed Orgeron. Coach O was supposed to be a stopgap until Haden could convince someone like Jon Gruden, Kevin Sumlin or Steve Sarkisian to take the gig in December. But Orgeron just keeps winning games and winning more supporters. So I'd love to see USC beat UCLA and then see if Haden stick with Coach O.

Kevin Causey: I did a post similar to this a couple of years ago and I find my tastes really haven't changed. I am thankful for the great rivalries (Georgia/Florida, Alabama/Auburn, Oklahoma/Texas, etc) and the larger than life coaches (Les Miles, Lane Kiffin, Bret Bielema, etc) that are always good for a sound bite. I'm thankful for parity and how just about anybody can beat anybody on any given Saturday. I'm thankful for walk-ons who pay their dues and then finally get a chance to shine. I'm thankful for players like Georgia's Hutson Mason, who stick it out and wait for their shot instead of taking the easy way out and transferring at the drop of a hat. As a Georgia alum, I'm thankful for Mark Richt. The Bulldogs could not have a better man representing our program. As a blogger, I'm thankful for the opportunity to write for this site and also all of the other great blogs out there that pump out good content for fans like myself that can't get enough of this sport.

Kevin McGuire:  One of the best things about college football that separates itself from other sporting options, for me, is the pageantry and tradition of a rivalry. It is something you just cannot duplicate in the professional level in any sport and it stands out more in football than in other sports such as basketball. In football you get one chance at your top rival, and with victory comes a year of bragging rights. Sadly in the great conference realignment shift over the past few years we have seen some fine rivalries sacrificed in favor of bigger conference and media revenue shares. Sure, new rivalries will develop over time but there is just something wrong with not seeing Texas and Texas A&M every year. The same holds true for Pittsburgh and West Virginia, Nebraska and Oklahoma, and Utah and BYU. My dad still cannot get past the idea that Penn State is not playing Pittsburgh every year and that rivalry snapped their annual meetings once Pittsburgh joined the Big East and Penn State joined the Big Ten.

Thankfully, we still have a number of great rivalries that we will get to watch this weekend, next weekend and the weekend after that. Clemson vs. South Carolina. Alabama vs. Auburn. Ohio State vs. Michigan. Army vs. Navy. There is still a rightful seat at the table for rivalry and tradition in college football, and for that I am thankful.

Aaron Torres: What I am thankful for in college football? Wow, that’s like asking who my favorite Victoria’s Secret model is. Or my favorite flavor of ice cream? Where do you even begin?

I’m thankful for it all. Thankful for Alabama rolling over their opponents, but also thankful that just about anyone can get upset on any given Saturday. Thankful that in a world of $4 million head coaches and where teams have 25 quality control assistants, Ed Orgeron turned USC’s season around with Roscoe’s and a trip to the movies. I’m thankful for Rich Rod’s spread and David Shaw’s refusal to do anything but run right at you. I’m thankful that Urban Meyer is now at Ohio State after a year away, and hopeful Chip Kelly will be too in no time. Thankful for the crowds from Autzen to Atlanta, and Death Valley at night, both at Clemson and LSU.

As Tom said though, I’m mostly just thankful that for every Saturday from the beginning of September until the middle of December I wake up thinking I know everything that’s about to happen, only to have five things pop up that we could’ve never imagined.

Basically, I’m just thankful for college football; the best sport there is.   

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Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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