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25 reasons to be pumped for college football

By Rob Cressy

For RedEye

1:53 PM CDT, August 29, 2013

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Let the angels rejoice from the heavens. College football is back! To help get your football juices flowing, here are 25 reasons to be pumped for this season.

1. Pro wrestling legend Ric Flair taught us, "To be the man, you've gotta beat the man." Good luck beating Alabama. Roll Tide.

2. Mark it down. Ohio State QB Braxton Miller will win the Heisman Trophy. And another undefeated season for the Buckeyes is very much in play. The bigger question is whether they can beat an SEC team for the title.

3. No Chip Kelly? No problem for Oregon. Marcus Mariota and De'Anthony Thomas will continue to wreak havoc on opposing defenses. Their season pretty much comes down to if they can beat Stanford. If so, they could find their way into the national title game.

4. No, quarterback Andrew Luck isn't back at Stanford. The Cardinal are actually a Top 5 team. They play like a bigger, better version of what Wisconsin is usually like.

5. Georgia plays a tough Clemson team out of the gate. Then they play South Carolina. Then LSU two weeks later. Get through that murderer's row and they've still got to play Florida and then likely Alabama in the SEC title game. Have fun with that.

6. South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is such a beast that he can out-Chuck Norris Chuck Norris. He is the rare defender who will likely be a Heisman finalist. He won't win because South Carolina is South Carolina, and they never exceed expectations.

7. How can Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, aka "Johnny Football," be at No. 7 if he is No. 1 in our hearts? All he needs to do is beat Alabama and then LSU. If that happens, expect the Internet to break. And yes, I said "he." Manziel is bigger than Texas A&M at this point.

8. Don't buy into the Clemson hype, even if the Tigers beat Georgia. They'll find a way to lose to some lesser team like Virginia. That's just what Clemson does.

9. Louisville coach Teddy Bridgewater is trendier than a Billy Dec restaurant. Watch for the Cardinals to run the table as they aren't scheduled to play a single ranked team. That could put them in the BCS title game, where they'll bet destroyed by an SEC team. The playoff system can't get here soon enough.

10. Remember the name Jameis Winston from Florida State. He's a redshirt freshman QB who could be the next Johnny Football. Don't say I didn't warn you.

11. No one is talking about LSU this year. Bet coach Les Miles loves it that way.

12. Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Chris Fowler and "College Gameday." Is there a better way to start your Saturday? I think not.

13. Notre Dame's Brian Kelly is an elite coach and will not allow the Fighting Irish to rest on last year's laurels. They lose Manti Te'o and projected starting quarterback Everett Golson is suspended. That means Tommy Rees will need to step up big time.

14. Remember when Texas was actually a national power? This is the year for coach Mack Brown to get the Longhorns back to relevance.

15. Remember when Oklahoma was actually a national power? That's not gonna happen this year.

16. At Michigan, it's goodbye Denard Robinson, hello Devin Gardner. If someone is to beat Ohio State, then why not the Wolverines? They might get two shots in consecutive weeks if they can make the Big Ten championship game.

17. Tailgating, buffalo chicken dip and beer. Three of the greatest things in life that help contribute to Saturdays being phenomenal. I'm already looking forward to the food coma.

18. UCLA messed around and got a triple double and is now the king of L.A. Bruins coach Jim Mora needs to go all Mortal Kombat and finish USC boss Lane Kiffin.

19. No one's seat is hotter than Kiffin's at USC. Their QB situation is in flux and that is rarely a recipe for success. The Trojans do have a lot of talent, led by Heisman hopeful Marqise Lee at receiver.

20. Wisconsin loses its coach to Arkansas but didn't lose the Badger Way. They'll be fine. If they beat Ohio State, cheese curds for everyone as that'll send them to their third consecutive Big Ten title game.

21. Coach Pat Fitzgerald has one of his most talented teams ever at Northwestern. Venric Mark is coming off a monster season (1,400 yards rushing, 12 TDs). Unfortunately they have to play Ohio State and Wisconsin in consecutive weeks. That's going to be tough.

22. Northern Illinois is the cream of the crop in the MAC again. Look for Heisman hopeful quarterback Jordan Lynch to rack up crazy numbers behind an experienced offensive line. They are going to be a fun team to watch.

23. At Illinois, times will be tough again. The Illini's schedule is brutal and they return only four starters on defense. Their offense should be improved, so at least there should be some points scored in their games.

24. ESPN's Jay Bilas exposed the NCAA for "unknowingly" capitalizing off collegiate athletes by selling their jerseys online. Will paying the athletes be the next hot-button issue that picks up steam?

25. Sporgys. When there are multiple good games on TV all at the same time. It's just like a sports orgy. Thank God football is back!

Rob Cressy is a RedEye special contributor. Follow him on Twitter @BaconSports.

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