The Holy Trinity of College Football - Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, and Colt McCoy - have all announced they’ll be returning for the 2009 season. For the first time ever (or at least since 1946, but who remembers that far back), the top three Heisman candidates will return to college football.
The trio are not only great athletes, but they’re all-around good guys. They’re destined to be superstars for yet another season (at this point you should be thanking the NCAA for not allowing student athletes to do commercials). The word Heisman won't be mentioned without their names (along with any other awards available to college quarterbacks).
This leaves a huge problem for the pundits - are there any story lines left about these guys that we haven't heard yet? Probably not. This means the they're each going to have to get busy during the off season visiting hospitals, making mission trips to places we've never heard of, saving people's lives, meeting fabulous babes, saving American from economic disaster and solving the middle east peace problem all while doing weight training and film study.
If they don't, a slobbering media is going to trot out McCoy's aunt Thelma Lou talking about what he did at his fourth birthday party that convinced her he'd be a football star. Towns all over Oklahoma will proclaim "Sam Bradford Day" and if you thought the announcers slobbered over Tim Tebow in this year's national title game, you have seen nothing yet (which one of them will do the Bachelor? None or all three? Wait for the promo!).
Normally what we'd get is a crop of new stars to talk about, but that won't happen next year. Not unless something bad happens to the Holy Trinity of college football (and I don't want it to... well... ask me again in August), because they won't have a prayer of getting any press.
Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida are destined to be ranked #1, #2, and #3 at the start of the season (or 3,2,1 or 1,3,2 with too much arguing about who belongs where before a game is played), while poor USC goes unnoticed with Mark Sanchez going to the NFL (being portrayed as if he's some kind of traitorous demonic bastard).
Imagine that 2008 happens all over again. Texas beats Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout (Shootout works better than Rivalry, especially this year), but Oklahoma makes it to the Big 12 championship, (beating Nebraska), where they get back to the national title game to face Florida. This won't be a nightmare for Texas fans, it'll be a nightmare for all of us (although it'd be horrific for Texas fans, so maybe it'll be okay).
Let me bring it home for you - if you're a college football fan of any team other than Florida, Texas or Oklahoma - you won't care that the Holy Trinity has returned. You'll be watching the games anyway. It will be the equivalent of college football hell on earth because the mass media and the networks can't help themselves but hype star power until every last inch of it's life has been sucked dry. The networks will be marketing to people who don't give a damn about the game but just want to be around because that's where the cool people are.
Imagine Kirk Herbstreit and Brent Musberger calling a game featuring one of the Trinity - get the idea? (If there isn't a Vegas line on the word "man crush" and one of the Trinity's names in a paragraph there should be by now). Imagine that crap-mouthed guy who sits next to Mark May - he was unbearable in 2008, how do you think he's going to be in 2009? Imagine Bob Costas descending from his tower to expound on the magnificience of college football as if we already didn't know.
I hope I'm wrong about all this (and Nebraska beats Oklahoma State in the Big 12 title game). I hope the pundits find better things to talk about for the next year. I wish each member of the Holy Trinity the best because it won't be their fault they'll be hyped beyond imagination (although they get their choice of the best chicks so they deserve little sympathy).
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe some good will come of this (like someone discovering a way to turn hyperbole into an alternate energy source), but I'm not counting on it. New heroes don't need to be made this year, they're already available to sell those sitcoms.