Welcome to In The Trenches, SI.com’s new college football blog. I’m your host, Wink Staplesdale, and I’ll be your guide through the wonderful world of college football from now until eternity.
Don’t think that just because we’re launching this sucker two days before the first game that it’s only going to be an in-season thing. College football is a year-round enterprise, and like the dedicated student athletes at Michigan and every school in the top 50, we’ll be exceeding the NCAA hourly limits to bring you the finest and most entertaining college football and recruiting news and analysis.
Yes, I used the R-word. This blog will feature recruiting coverage, and I know that makes some of you feel a little dirty, but it’s time to face facts. To properly cover college football, you need to cover recruiting. You wouldn’t want an NFL writer who didn’t cover the draft and free agency, would you?
We’ll tackle the serious subjects here, but we’ll never let this blog get Terrence Cody-heavy. Chances are, you’re logging on in an attempt to escape the drudgery of your workday. I won’t let this blog bring you down.
I’m planning on a few standing features. Since this is the Internet, these features are subject to change at any time.
Drop and Give Me Winners
Every Friday, I’ll pick a group of games. If I’m correct, I’m the smartest sportswriter alive. If I’m wrong, I owe fans of the winning team a push-up for every point their team scored. By the end of the season, I’ll either look like a genius or like the Incredible Hulk. How will you know I paid my penance? Easy. If you see me at game — I cover them all over the country — feel free to remind me of the picks I missed and command me to drop and give you winners.
Recruit of the Day
The biggest problem with recruiting coverage in the past was that fans never got to see the players their schools were recruiting. Thanks to YouTube and HD camcorders, that’s no longer an issue. We’ll highlight one player a day. He may be highly ranked, or he may be a diamond in the rough. And if you’ve seen a player you think deserves highlighting, feel free to make a suggestion in the comments section.
As the worst walk-on offensive lineman ever to appear on a major college roster, I can tell you that walk-ons are the lifeblood of any program. Unfortunately, most never get any credit. That won’t be the case here. Every Wednesday, we’ll feature a walk-on who excels on or off the field.
Big Ugly of the Week
Offensive linemen are the most important, best-looking and smartest players on the field. Unfortunately, they get overshadowed by the guys who get to touch the ball. That’s not right. After each week of games, I’ll highlight the offensive lineman who made the biggest difference.
I tell my boss all the time that I only work here so I can sample the finest barbecue in the country under the guise of covering college football. Since I travel to a different place almost every week, I can test out the best joints and give you a heads-up if your team happens to be headed that way. This week, I’ll be in Stillwater for the Georgia-Oklahoma State game, so I’m looking for suggestions in Stillwater, Tulsa or some point in between. If you think discussion of barbecue has no place in a college football blog, then you aren’t a true college football fan. Go read Peter King’s column and enjoy your latte.