EVERY SEASON is different. Even at Alabama. North Broad is not Alabama. Everyone kind of figured the Owls might not be 7-0 again by the time they hosted South Florida, the preseason favorite in the American Athletic Conference East, on Oct. 21. But that didn't mean most folks expected them to lose the opener at home to Army either. It happens. Houston went 13-1 in 2011 and 5-7 in 2012. And 13-1 a year ago.
SOMETIMES it's a matter of waiting for your turn. Even when it feels like it's taking forever. All Taurus Phillips wanted to do was contribute. But the 5-9 wideout didn't play much two years ago as a Villanova freshman. Last season he caught 15 passes, fifth-most on a team that finished 6-5 after losing its award-winning starting quarterback early on with an injury.
HAS A HALF-CENTURY really gone by? Plymouth Whitemarsh High's John Pergine was a junior linebacker at Notre Dame in 1966, when the top-ranked Fighting Irish played to a controversial 10-10 tie at No. 2 Michigan State on Nov. 19.
PENN, the defending Ivy League co-champion, will finally begin its season Saturday afternoon at home against Lehigh. A year ago, the Quakers started 1-3 for first-year coach Ray Priore, their longtime assistant. They wouldn't lose again, which means what will mostly be remembered is beating Harvard and the title. But they did drop their first game, 41-20, at Lehigh. And that's hard for them to forget.
SOME FOLKS simply aren't ready for college when they come out of high school. Delaware Valley's Shawn Miller was one of them, even if it took him a while to realize that. So eventually, his life and football career had to take a two-year detour. And even though there's no way he knew it at the time, that move turned out to be probably the best thing that ever happened to him. In every way.