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The Countdown

A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.

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Scheduling Note: It’s That Time Again

It’s that time of year again. The project-that-shall-not-be-named is about a month and change away — remember, there are 123 teams this year — which means it’s time for a break. It’ll last one week, like last year’s vacation. It’ll begin tomorrow and run through next Sunday. It’ll be at an undisclosed location on the West Coast. As a slight hint, I’ll be within 150 miles of three F.B.S. programs. It won’t be one of those extreme vacations: it’ll be calm, and sleepy, and calm, and relative tasteful. I like to think of it as a glimpse of retirement life, should that ever come to pass. Let’s discuss that and a few other housecleaning notes.

It’s one thing for conferences to expand; that does nothing for my bottom line. But what happens when teams take a step up the ladder? That means another three previews: Massachusetts, Texas-San Antonio and Texas State. That’s not in order of ranking, by the way. Alphabetical.

Let’s do the math. The season kicks off on Thursday, Aug. 30. If the project-that-shall-not-be-named runs with one preview in each of the 123 days leading up to that Thursday, it’ll kick off on April 30. But there are options. If I want to add a few days — maybe take a day off in June, or July, or August — I could pencil in the first day for, say, April 25.

Or April 26. Whatever. But what if No. 1 drops on Saturday, Sept. 1? Then the first team falls on May 1. And so on and on. Anyway, because it’s never too early to look ahead to the project-that-shall-not-be-named, let’s plan on No. 123 dropping on April 26. I can’t believe that there’ll be 123 teams. Daunting.

So what about next week? There won’t be much going on ‘round these parts. Peace. Quiet. No readers. But I have some things scheduled for the week: another retrospective, a few posts to get a conversation going and a brief post on the N.C.A.A. tournament.

That’s the plan. Anyway, enjoy yourselves. Barring some bouts with illness — there was that case of the Ebola virus last year, the bird flu in 2010 — this site only goes dark for one week every 12 months. That’s an attendance rate of 98.1 percent.

Cue Woody Allen: “80 percent of success is just showing up.” The other 20 percent? Don’t ask. See you on Monday the 26th, barring jet lag, a snorkeling accident or a surprise job offer to remain in California. I probably wouldn’t turn that down.

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  1. Monty says:

    The real question is: did you, for the second consecutive year, misplace the previous year’s list? :-)

  2. michael says:

    enjoy your time on the left coast!

    just want to note that up until two decades ago, there were twice as many F.B.S. programs within that distance from your vacation destination. Long live 49er and Titan football!

  3. Bill condon says:

    Please tell me you would still blog it from the Best Coast!

  4. Burnt Orange says:

    From the Muir Woods head not back to the City but to Muir Beach. When you get there, take a right like you are going to Stinson Beach, climb up a steep hill and when you get to the top, behind you to your left is Muir Beach Overlook. Most beautiful view you will ever see.

  5. Papa John says:

    He’s going to SoCal. USC, UCLA and SDSU are within 150 miles of each other. I’m thinking La Jolla.

  6. Burnt Orange says:

    Cal, Stanford, and San Jose State could be within 150 miles if he was in Northern California up the coast from SF a bit.

  7. Redwolf4life says:

    Have a great vacation.

  8. Bobak says:

    Why would anyone vacation in Bakersfield? (USC, UCLA, Fresno State)

  9. Papa John says:

    Burnt Orange, that photo looks more SoCal than NorCal to me.

  10. Burnt Orange says:

    Okay – I give in. Come to think of it, I believe he went to San Diego last year. Still, if you ever get a chance to see Muir Beach Overlook on a clear day- do so.

  11. Papa John says:

    Will do, Burnt Orange. I haven’t been there, but I’ve been to Point Reyes. Just awesome.

    Then again, the Monterey Peninsula might be within 150 miles of the SF Bay Area schools. Perhaps Paul is going to drop in on Clint Eastwood and let him know what he thinks of that “Halftime” commercial?

  12. ManicBlue says:

    I’m thinking Black’s Beach just north of La Jolla. ;-)

  13. Eksynyt says:

    So is South Alabama not joining 1-A until 2013?

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