How to Watch Football 2017 – Montgomery, AL Edition

By on 21 August, 2017 in Fun, Kate and Stephen with 0 Comments

Let’s make a couple of assumptions together:

1. There is a better way to consume football than to just slavishly follow every single game of your favorite team. We already accept that we are essentially cheering for a collection of colors, songs, phrases and gestures. So while you might know the names of the unpaid student-athletes on the field, and even have opinions about what plays should be run at any particular point in the game, you’re really just institutionally loyal. And if you love football for its own sake, you can take a season to experience the thing itself, not just root for your squad.

2. SEC football is the best football, only so long as you define best as “most difficult physically” or “highest possible level” or “most likely to generate paid professionals.” But there are other ways to define “best,” including “most fun to watch,” or “most intimate,” or “most interesting.” As with most things, mileage will vary, but the point is that we don’t have SEC football being played here in our city. So if you want that in person on a Saturday in the fall, you’re going to have to leave town.

3. The less said about pro football, the better.

Still with us? The point of today’s post is to offer a 2017 college football season preview, similar to what we did here in 2012. But instead of that approach, let’s map out your whole fall and tell you the best way to busy yourself until the madness of bowl season at the end of the year. And if you like our writing about football, you can read more here and here with a before and after of the 2013 Raycom College Football All-Star game. And also here for our lovely trip to a Huntingdon football game in 2015.

Let’s get to the life-planning advice!

Saturday, August 26

This is soon! College football kicks off, and you can watch a bunch of teams you don’t care about on your teevee. If you spent the off-season waiting for Hawaii vs. UMass, the big payoff starts now. You could, if so inclined, drive to Grayson, KY, (population 4,200) to see our first local team play football when Faulkner goes to Kentucky Christian.

But wait! The national college football powers that be have declared that the college football season will actually commence in Montgomery at Cramton Bowl during the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff. UT Chattanooga versus Jax State! Mocs v. Cocks! Jacksonville State lost last year in the quarters of the FCS tournament. UT Chattanooga is where T.O. went to college, and they have switched their mascot from “moccasins” to “mockingbirds.” It’ll kick off at 5:30 and will be on ESPN.

Saturday, September 2

This is when most normal teams start playing, and you’ll want to begin your live football experience by seeing Alabama State host Tuskegee. These teams first clashed in 1924, in what was generally accepted to be one of the first-ever “classics” that dominate the HBCU landscape. It’s no longer played on Turkey Day, which is a shame, but it’s a heck of a way to start the season. If you’ve never seen this in person, 2017 could be your year. This will be one million times better than seeing Auburn destroy Georgia Southern, even if you bleed orange and blue. Also Bama starts the year in Atlanta versus Florida State.

Saturday, September 9

Troy, which will have been to Boise to face the Broncos on the Smurf Turf the prior week, will host ASU down in Troy. This ought to be a good one for regional bragging rights. If Troy doesn’t get roughed up too much in Idaho, they ought to be favored to handle the Hornets, but that’s why they play the games. If that matchup isn’t your jam, you could also drive to Birmingham and see the rivalry between Huntingdon and Birmingham Southern. Rivalries! Wherever you are, you’ll want to watch Auburn at Clemson that night, which will be a key early season matchup.

Saturday, September 16

Not a great week after the excitement of the first two. You could go see ASU locally hosting Kennesaw State, or waste time driving over to see Auburn massacre Mercer or Bama host the Rams of Colorado State. For live action, you might be best served to see Huntingdon host North Carolina Wesleyan. Division III football actually is fun.

Saturday, September 23

The first SWAC game for the Hornets as Prairie View A&M comes to Montgomery. It’s probably the best local matchup, as Bama is in Nashville and Auburn in Missouri. Maybe stay home and do some yard work this weekend.

Saturday, September 30

Troy goes to LSU to take a whipping in Tiger Stadium, so that ought to be fun. Faulkner hosts Webber, but most eyes in the state will be asking who will be escorting Ole Miss to Tuscaloosa that weekend.

Thursday, October 5

Alcorn State comes to ASU in a battle that will be televised on ESPNU. Alcorn is coached by Steve McNair’s brother, and will probably be led by senior QB Lenorris Footman, who rushed for 274 yards against Southern in 2015, probably leading many headline writers to make stupid jokes about the running of Footman.

Saturday, October 7

The weather might start to be cooling off by this point. Huntingdon hosts Averett, while Ole Miss calls on Auburn. Faulkner and Troy are both off this week. Averett is in Danville, Virginia, which was the last headquarters of the Confederate States of America for a few days. Jefferson Davis stayed at the mansion of William T. Sutherlin from April 3-10 in 1865. Here he wrote and issued his last Presidential Proclamation. Averett University’s football was voted fifth in the 2017 USA South Conference preseason coaches poll, and they’ve got a freshman linebacker from Vantaa, Finland.

Wenesday, October 11

Wednesday football is an atrocity, but Troy will play “rival” South Alabama in Troy.

Saturday, October 14

Huntingdon hosts the “Scots” of Maryville. Auburn goes to LSU to see if there are any body parts of Troy players left on the field there. Bama hosts the Razorbacks. ASU will be in Houston against Texas Southern.

Saturday, October 21

Troy goes to Atlanta, while Huntingdon rests. Most sensible football fans will be watching Bama-Tennessee.

Saturday, October 28

The 76th Magic City Classic is in Birmingham, duh, pitting ASU against Alabama A&M. Troy has homecoming against Georgia Southern, which may have recovered by then from the season-opening thrashing administered by Auburn. Bama rests up for LSU.

Thursday, November 2

Troy hosts the their Sun Belt foes, the Idaho Vandals, who may or may not be led by senior QB Matt Linehan, who is the son of the offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys.

Saturday, November 4

LSU comes to Bryant-Denny. Last regular season home game for Huntingdon, hosting the Monarchs of Methodist University, which is in Fayetteville, NC.

Saturday, November 11

Veterans Day. ASU hosts Grambling. Faulkner closes their season, hosting Edward Waters, the oldest historically black college in Florida. Bama’s in Starkville, while Auburn plays the other bulldogs, hosting Georgia. There’s a joke to be had about gridiron militarism being conducted on Armistice Day, but we’re too classy to make it.

Saturday, November 18

Two cupcakes before the Iron Bowl: Auburn vs. LA-Monroe, Bama takes a whack at Mercer. Poor Mercer.

Thursday, November 23

The “new” Turkey Day Classic features Cheyney, alma mater of Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes fame.

Saturday, November 25

Iron Bowl.

Saturday, December 2

Troy closes the season at Arkansas State. Also, we’ll witness the first SEC Championship Game to be played in the new Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Also the SWAC Championship in Houston.

Enjoy football 2017!



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