Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Is it really football season?

I guess it is. Though I find it really hard to believe that the first games of the season kick off in only 72 hours.

Is it really football season?

I guess it is. Though I find it really hard to believe that the first games of the season kick off in only 72 hours.

After two exhilarating weeks spent watching the Olympics, we dive headfirst right into that most American of all sports. That means it's time to change the blog banner to reflect the new season, as well as to consider what's to come on the blog this fall.

It's also time for college football previews in the Inquirer and Daily News. Jeff McLane profiles Penn State's Anthony Scirotto and looks ahead to the coming season for the Nittany Lions. Ted Silary tells us about Syracuse running back and former West Catholic star Curtis Brinkley, and takes a look at 15 more Philadelphia natives making an impact across the country.

If everything works out right, I'll be attending the weekly local college football coaches' luncheon and posting audio recordings of what's said there on the blog. In addition to Penn and Villanova, which alternate hosting the event, a number of Division II and Division III schools are represented as well.

I know I'll be covering the Penn-Villanova game on Sept. 20 for the blog, and I hope to be at many other games across the region as well. I haven't set a schedule yet, but I hope to get to at least one Temple game and we'll see where else I end up.

I also want to bring back the Spectacle of the Week poll, in which we can discuss the biggest games across the country and what games you'll be watching each Saturday (and Thursday and Friday, too).

Unfortunately, I have a hunch that not too many people will vote in the poll given the numbers of readers I've been getting lately. But I hope you prove me wrong.

Crunchy Numbers will make its return tomorrow, though I wouldn't put much stock in it for a few weeks. I'll be using the Sagarin ratings once again, but a lot of the teams don't play this week so the numbers will be really skewed.

Delaware State, Lehigh, and Lafayette won't kick off until the weekend after Labor Day. Penn doesn't kick off until Sept. 20, and La Salle... doesn't have a football team anymore. Alas.

Still, the preseason Sagarin includes all 245 teams playing either Division I-A or I-AA football this season, so we'll have a full slate tomorrow. Here's where the teams finished last year:

31. Penn State
42. Rutgers
70. Delaware
94. Villanova
129. Temple
148. Delaware State
165. Lafayette
173. Lehigh
185. Penn
242. La Salle

The Top 10 comparison for the big I-A polls will return as well. It will include the AP, Coaches, Sagarin and Harris rankings, and as with last year the Harris rankings will be replaced by the BCS rankings when they begin later in the fall.

With Penn State and Villanova both ranked in their respective divsions' Top 25 polls to start the season, this will hopefully be a good season for generating local interest in college football. We'll see where it goes, and of course, I hope you'll add your comments and suggestions along the way.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
About this blog
Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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