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Kyler Murray of the Oklahoma Sooners runs for a touchdown against UT
Kyler Murray #1 of the Oklahoma Sooners runs for a touchdown against the Texas Longhorns in the fourth quarter of the 2018 AT&T Red River Showdown at Cotton Bowl on October 6, 2018 in Dallas, Texas.
Ronald Martinez via Getty Images

Lang's World: Giving Thanks for College Football

by Lang Whitaker | Grizz Gaming GM

My family didn’t have many traditions for the Thanksgiving holiday, other than snoring loudly post-meal in various reclining chairs. But the one moment we always managed to make time for as we sat down around the table, just before we dug in, was when we would go around the table and each say something for which we were thankful. As a child this was mostly just embarrassing, but now as an adult I find myself understanding why we do it and even a bit appreciative of that moment. I spend all day running around doing so much stuff that I’m guessing it’s healthy to take some time from time to time to be thankful. So with that sentiment in mind, here is a list of college football related people and things for which I am thankful this holiday season...

I am thankful for Kyler Murray, because I believe the college football world is a better place when Oklahoma has a dual-threat quarterback.

I am thankful that OU’s in-state rival Oklahoma State isn’t afraid to scare their own fans while attempting to intimidate opposing offenses.

I am thankful for hot September days in the South, where I’m sitting on a bleacher in direct sunshine and for Coca-Cola served in plastic cups with a thin layer of water atop the drink thanks to ice that has melted in the heat.

I am thankful for Washington State coach Mike Leach, who is wacky and weird and is, in my estimation, exactly the kind of coach that makes college football more interesting than the NFL. That being said, I’m also glad he’s not the coach of my team, because it’s more fun to watch wacky from afar than it is to live with it.

I am thankful for UGA athletic director Greg McGarrity, who fired coach Mark Richt and brought in Kirby Smart, and taught me that not only was our ceiling higher than I believed it to be, but also that it’s OK to take a chance on being better than you were before.

Bevo the Longhorn

Texas Longhorns mascot Bevo XV enters the stadium before the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Sept 22, 2018 in Austin, Texas. Photo by Tim Warner via Getty Images.

I am thankful for the pettiness that continues to run amok amongst feuding colleges. The latest twist is that Kansas won’t allow the Texas mascot on their field this weekend. I’d go a step further and allow him on the field, but station him directly next to a grill where I would cook steaks the entire game. So you can be on my field, but I will play mind games with you. (Can you play mind games with a cow? Let’s find out!)

I am thankful for whoever it is out there that continues updating the rosters on the NCAA College Football 14 video game, allowing me to fire up my PS3 and play with nearly authentic fake current rosters.

I am thankful that Nick Saban flopped in the NFL and came back to Alabama to establish his evil empire. Saban may be seemingly soulless and probably bitter, but college football is a better place with him involved.

I am thankful for Todd Blackledge, who is my favorite college football analyst, and for his ability to speak in long, smooth sentences while employing near-perfect grammar. (But I still miss you, Uncle Verne.)

I am thankful that Kansas has hired Les Miles as the latest person to try and flip their script. Kansas hasn’t always been terrible -- in the ‘90s, Glen Mason went 10-2 and almost got hired away by UGA, and Mark Mangino won a lot of games in the ‘00s. But Kansas has won six bowl games since 1992. Now we get to see if Les is more, and I’ll be rooting for him.

I am thankful for The Jeremy Pruitt Show, which I previously wrote about at length here. Tennessee has improved a bit, but the show still holds up.

Finally, I am thankful for the college football playoff. Am I thankful that there are only four teams invited to participate? No, I am not. But I am thankful that at least four teams are in, which is light years better than the system we had a few years ago.

The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Memphis Grizzlies. All opinions expressed by Lang Whitaker are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Memphis Grizzlies or its Basketball Operations staff, owners, parent companies, partners or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Memphis Grizzlies and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.

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