In each of the Power 5 conferences of College Football, I have my team.
In the ACC, I have Carolina. I'm Carolina-born and bred, and anyone that is a Duke fan in this state is a descendant of one of the Yankees that ruined the state. They are why I'm dipping out to Tennessee, bringing me to my SEC team.
Tennessee. My love for the Tennessee Vols gradually grew over the years. My high school best friend was a fan, I actually went to a game, and the one time I went to South Carolina, they played the Vols. I don't have the best memories of South Carolina fans. But that's a story for another glass. So, naturally, I picked their SEC rival to be my SEC team.
It's roll Vols in the SEC until Oklahoma joins. I'm marrying into the fanbase, and some days Oklahoma is my favorite team above Carolina. So I tell my soon-to-be wife that our kids will be set up with their college team. OU for football. Carolina for basketball. I likely will introduce them to the Chicago Bears when they make it to a Super Bowl, so probably never. They don't need to know that kind of pain when they have a good thing going at the college level.
That brings me to the Big Ten. I blame my best friend from kindergarten for this one, but yes, I like Nebraska. Actually, I love Nebraska, which is why this one is painful. In the early days of College Football video games, I was always the running back for Nebraska. Four years as a Heisman, and four national championships, I put the Cornhuskers on the map back in the day. I've stuck with Nebraska ever since.
That brings me to the PAC-12. I've never had a team in this conference. Watching West Coast Football is relatively easy because I am fine watching football from eleven in the morning to one in the morning. This year, because I'm now an Oklahoma fan, I was a fan of anybody but USC, but never one specific team. Coach Prime has changed that.
In this new NIL era of college football with the transfer portal wide open, if you've seen any of Prime's introduction to the Colorado football team, you can get a good sense that he's going to be one of the first coaches to take full advantage of this free-agency like league. He was not afraid to tell the players of Colorado that they're replaceable, and he already has players to replace the talent, or lack thereof, in Colorado.
I was never a great football player in high school, but hindsight being 20/20, a coach telling me I wasn't good enough was a good thing. It whipped my ass into gear and motivated me to work my way into a starting spot on the best team the school has ever had.
In this day in age, coaches have to coddle and give tough love to their players. Prime does not care. His intentions are clear. He's coming. He's not afraid to give players that don't meet his standards the boot and isn't scared to let them know it, which is why of all the teams in the FBS, Colorado could be the next Bama.
Is that a bit of a stretch? Yeah. Maybe. But Colorado is about to get a bunch of dogs who don't care about NIL, don't care about the outside noise, and are going to come in so focused on winning football games that the rest will fall in line.
Colorado was one of four teams to finish with one win under their belt this season. It's a safe bet to say Prime will turn that program around and potentially make it a conference championship contender in just one year. Prime will win Coach of the Year, and there's no stopping it. I'm hopping on the bandwagon, and if you need someone to root for in the PAC-12, you should too.