By Kevin Carroll, @Kevin_Carroll75
Purple Reign Nation,
I’m excited to be joining the blog as the college football writer this fall, and hope to provide some insight and entertainment this season. Being from the south, college football reigns supreme, and I’ve been an Auburn University homer since birth. My dad played WR for the tigers in the early 80s under Pat Dye and my mom was a Tiger Paw (dance team); needless to say Auburn is in my blood. I grew up hearing stories about Bo Jackson’s super-human ability, Kevin Greene’s unstoppable pass rush, and Al Del Greco’s automatic leg.
My childhood heroes didn’t wear capes and exist in comic books; They wore an AU on their helmet and played between the hedges on the plains of Alabama. Most people in the south worship twice every fall weekend. On Saturdays we congregate in historic sanctuaries with the capacity of a small city praying for a victory; then on Sundays gather to atone for the copious amount of Makers Mark consumed, and ask for forgiveness for the vile language uttered after the egregious play call on fourth and two that lost the game. The fans are die-hard and the atmospheres are second to none in all of sports. Check out “The Grandaddy of Them All” in the Rose Bowl as the sun sets behind the San Gabriel Mountains; or watch the Bayou Bengals play in Death Valley where the chance of rain is never and the wind smells of whiskey. Take a trip to Jordan Hare Stadium in the loveliest village on the plains for the Iron Bowl, the fiercest rivalry in sports, to witness the eagle fly over the crowd before landing at midfield to a deafening roar. If you don’t get chills you need to check your pulse.
The pageantry and tradition that surrounds college football unequivocally makes it the best sport in the world. My dream was to play ball at my parent’s alma mater, and that journey commenced at the age of eight when I started playing the game. After suffering a broken femur and a torn ligament in high school the dream was all but a distant memory, even with an all-county nomination senior year. After being recruited by smaller colleges (shout out to Rhodes College) I decided to attend Auburn and train in hopes of walking on. I got that opportunity from 2008-2009 when I walked on the team as an offensive lineman before tearing my shoulder up (thanks, Nick Fairley) and had to hang up the cleats for good. The experience of running through the smoke onto Pat Dye Field made the summer workouts and grueling fall camp practices worth it.
Although I see the SEC and CFB through orange and blue tinted glasses it doesn’t mean I can’t be objective about the game, so expect to see coverage of a lot of squads; even the one in Tuscaloosa. This summer my goal is to do a preview and prediction for each conference; highlighting players to watch, and bowl projections. During the season we will highlight and breakdown the marquee matchups each week, and I’ll post the games I’m picking against the spread for all you fellow degenerates.
Lastly, I hope to add some interviews with former teammates that are in the NFL as well as other industry contacts that would be of interest. Going forward I promise to keep the “y’alls” to a minimum and typos/grammar mistakes to a maximum.
One last thing, Is Joe Flacco elite?