College football's opening weekend took off just as I expected, and it was glorious. I got up for the start of College Gameday and was pleasantly surprised to hear Big & Rich leading off the show. I mentioned the fears of the Chesney song in the last post, and after having heard it on Thursday night I was even more afraid. Instead, it seems they're leaving Big & Rich for the opening and using "This Is Our Moment" as a commercial lead-in, which I can support.
My fiancee chose to excuse herself from the house and spend some time with a friend of hers while I gorged on college football. My future brother-in-law was in an out of the room, but largely, the big screen was all mine. This was also my first full football season with HD--I got it hooked up in early January, just in time for the BCS championship game last year.
A good deal of my early day was spent bouncing around, though I spent a significant amount of time watching our conferencemates Syracuse with their new
point guard quarterback Greg Paulus. They're actually looking pretty good, and suffered a tough loss in OT. I also watched a good deal of tOSU/Navy, and Wake Forest/Baylor (after looking for UGA/OK State and being reminded that "regional action" = ACC here). In the prime time spot, I was relegated to Gamecast for the Bulls game (no love, Time Warner Cable) and I started watching BYU and Oklahoma in the House that Jerry Built before switching to the game The Man told me to watch, Bama-VT. Clearly I should have stayed in Arlington.
Sunday I got to embrace the one thing I miss the most watching college football on TV: Halftime shows. I headed west to Winston-Salem's Bowman Gray Stadium, home of the Winston Salem State Rams. It's Aggie-Ram weekend, the weekend of the annual matchup between the Rams and the North Carolina A&T Aggies. Both HBCUs play in the MEAC and are both here in the Piedmont Triad, with A&T here in Greensboro. The related festivities include a battle of the bands that featured four high schools and three college bands: WSSU; Livingstone College from Salisbury, NC; and Shaw University from Raleigh. The three college bands are all HBCUs and march in a traditional, high-step show style, but the high schools were evenly split between traditional style and corps style.
This made for an interesting dynamic. It's been my experience that it's fairly rarely that these two worlds intersect, and for the most part they don't know quite what to make of one another. See also: corps style kids and the movie Drumline. In this case, it was a traditional style crowd who didn't know quite what to make of the two corps style bands that were there. For that matter, neither did the host, a local on-air personality at the hip-hop station. I should clarify that the "battle" is really for the court of public opinion, as there is no declared winner, but it was clear which way the crowd was leaning.
True enough, once upon a time, I had no particular love for corps style bands. After growing quite a bit and particularly since becoming a DCI fan, I've come to respect excellence regardless of what style it comes in. That said, I will note that corps style bands are more likely to have judge-pleasing as their focus, while traditional style bands are more likely to have a crowd-pleasing focus, and my bias remains for traditional style.
Another interesting point: One of the high school bands there, Harding University High School form Charlotte, marched in the Inaugural Parade, and their pre-show included a letter from President Obama. I smiled smugly knowing that there's a high school band up in DE with a similar letter.
Back to Monday and college football action. Cincy beat the piss out of Rutgers, which I, for one, was glad to see. USF doesn't have any true rivals. I hold mental good natured rivalries with WVU and Louisville, but I just plain don't like Rutgers. I'm sure this clip has something to do with it.
I just watched a helluva game between FSU and Miami and a heartbreaker for the Nole faithful out there. And watching the game, it looks like USF really needs to be ready for September 26 and November 28 to escape one or both of those with a win.
A brief look at fall news for my other alma mater: UMBC men's soccer seems to be doing well, and as a USF alum, it amuses me that our leading scorer is Andrew Bulls. Go Bulls!
Finally, I think I conjured up some bad mojo with that Rutgers clip. Let's hope this clip here clears the air.