There’s just something about college football.
Today, I got up at 11 a.m., which, given my schedule, is rather early for me, sipped coffee and watched my alma mater University of Iowa Hawkeyes — as they lost to the Northwestern Wildcats during homecoming in Iowa City.
Frustrated, I tuned to the Iowa State-No. 13 Baylor game to find that the Bears had clawed back from 14 down to tie it up.
Soon, Baylor would win on a last-second field goal and stun the Ames, Iowa, crowd.
I switched to the upstart No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers as they took on the No. 4 Michigan Wolverines in a top 10 battle from Ann Arbor, Mich.
In typical smashmouth, Big Ten style, Michigan hung on for the 14-7 win.
Then, it was time for the game of the day as No. 3 Louisville took on No. 5 Clemson game from South Carolina.
Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson traded blows in a battle of Heisman-contending quarterbacks that lived up to the hype, with Clemson ultimately coming out on top, 42-36.
My day was packed full of college football goodness. Packed.
But where’s my wife in all of this? She’s patient with my football obsession as she runs errands and has her eyes glued to yet another book as she prepares for her next blog entry at thatbookladyblog.wordpress.com.
But don’t let her fool you, she’s a budding sports fan at heart.
Last year, I took her to her first college football game Sept. 19 against Pittsburgh at Kinnick Stadium.
And she saw an instant classic as Iowa kicker Marshall Koehn hit an improbable game-winning 57-yard field goal on that chilly Saturday night.
She jumped and yelled and screamed and cheered like she’d been a fan of the Hawks for years. And her love of Iowa football was born.
This year, we went to the Iowa-Iowa State game, and it wasn’t nearly as close. It was kind of boring — the Hawks won, 42-3 — but I wanted her to experience the intense rivalry. In my defense, it normally is.
The most action, however, occurred in the stands when she eviscerated a drunken fan who showed up well into the first half.
To be fair, he was constantly leaning back into her knees and bothering perfect strangers.
After she got done with him, however, he was a shell of himself and left at halftime, tail between his legs.
I was so proud.
Sadly, however, her love is limited to the Hawkeyes as she doesn’t at all care about the rest of college football nation.
That’s alright. Baby steps.
Me? I was raised an Iowa fan.
Growing up, it was all Hawkeyes, all the time. Shirts, sweatshirts, jerseys, Halloween costumes.
When it came time to choose a four-year college, I flirted with the idea of going to Iowa State for meteorology, but I soon came to my senses and, with the help of an instructor at Southeastern Community College in West Burlington, Iowa, realized my aptitude for writing.
The University of Iowa has a touted journalism program, so it was a natural fit.
Of course, shortly after being admitted, I bought season tickets for my dad and I, and we enjoyed football together for the next three seasons, after spending my first two years at SCC.
One year, I even interned in the football department and bargained my way on to a trip to an Ohio State game. That entire season was a dream come true.
Two bachelor’s degrees later — journalism and religious studies — I moved on to the days of periodically attending games when time and finances allow.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to my share, including the miraculous Penn State game Nov. 8, 2008, when Iowa knocked off the No. 3 Nittany Lions on yet another late field goal.
Can I pick ’em or what?
But more often than not, I watch them from my couch or recliner and scream at them as if they can hear me miles and miles away.
I know they can’t, but you’ll always have that connection to your alma mater. And that will always matter, in good seasons and bad.
After all, there’s just something about college football.