College Football: Rewatching 2009 season as social distancing tactic

Without sports, it has become more difficult to practice social distancing. To fill the void, I’m re-watching the 2009 college football season.

Like many people who spend their entire lives following sports, I’m at a loss for how I should be spending my time during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Having college sports, MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL took away from us when their season’s end is hard enough. At least there is another sport there to fill the void and give us something else to watch. Now, everything has been taken away at once, and it is unlike anything anyone has ever experienced.

Right now, the NCAA Tournament should be featuring upsets and ruining brackets, basketball and hockey playoff races should be heating up and baseball should be around the corner. The month of March is such a beautiful time in the world of sports, making this whole pandemic even more miserable for fans across the globe.

To fill the time, I decided it would be fun to pick a sport, pick a season and rewatch it all. Not every single game, but key ones throughout the season that shapes the storyline as a whole.

When picking which sport, one thing I was looking for was entertainment value. I was in search of a sport not only that I found entertaining, but one that would be able to keep my attention throughout all of the games.

Was I going to want a sport like baseball that has a drawn-out 162-game regular season? No, the process of choosing key games and critical moments throughout the season would be too difficult. Not having a big enough understanding of hockey to be fully entertained by a full season, the two remaining choices were basketball and football.

Instantly eliminating professional sports as my preference was collegiate athletics, the decision was between college football and college basketball. Being from the south, college football has always been the top priority, making it an easy pick for which sport I wanted to watch.

Now, I needed a season to rewatch. Choosing which season was difficult as there were a few options to weigh. First, do I want to watch a chaotic season where upset after upset happens? If so, the correct answer was the 2007 season when LSU won the national championship as a two-loss team. No team had done that before in the history of the BCS or has even made it in the College Football Playoff after six years with two losses.

Unfortunately, the answer was no; I did not want a wacky, chaotic season. I wanted a season with a more dominant champion and with two teams clearly deserving of a national title appearance. Because of that, I was on to my second question. Do I want to have an emotional attachment to this season as far as my college football fandom goes?

Quickly realizing the answer was yes, I thought about my childhood growing up as a University of Texas fan and where I currently attend school, the University of Alabama. Is there a season in which both teams were successful, and if so, would it be an entertaining one to rewatch?

Thankfully, both questions were answered yes. Texas and Alabama both went undefeated in the 2009 season, winning the Big 12 and SEC, respectively. The two met up in the BCS National Championship, a thought my present-day self lies awake at night horrified of the possibility of it happening again in the future.

Even though we know the season ends with the Crimson Tide beating the Longhorns, (without Colt McCoy, who would have won the game for Texas if he did not get hurt) the point of rewatching the entire season is not for the unknown of what happens. It’s to watch how it all unfolded and why those were the two teams that made it to the National Championship.

Following more than just Texas and Alabama will be on the agenda, checking in on ranked matchups throughout the year. Finding big Power Five matchups and mixing in some old school BCS busting teams into the schedule, there should be a broad mix of games from each part of the country.

As of now, here is the schedule of which games will be watching, barring their availability on YouTube:

Week 1: Texas vs. ULM, Alabama vs. Virginia Tech, Boise State vs. Oregon, BYU vs. Oklahoma, LSU vs. UW, Oklahoma State vs. Georgia

Week 2: Texas vs. Wyoming, Alabama vs. FIU, Georgia Tech vs. Clemson, Georgia vs. South Carolina, USC vs. Ohio State, Houston vs. Oklahoma State

Week 3: Texas vs. Texas Tech, Alabama vs. North Texas, Miami vs. Georgia,  Florida vs. Tennessee, Florida State vs. BYU, Notre Dame vs. Michigan, Virginia Tech vs. Nebraska, Washington vs. USC

Week 4: Texas vs. UTEP, Alabama vs. Arkansas, South Carolina vs. Ole Miss,  Iowa vs. Penn State, LSU vs. Mississippi State, Oregon vs. Cal, VT vs. Miami

Week 5: Alabama vs. Kentucky, LSU vs. UGA, Miami vs. Oklahoma, Michigan State vs. Michigan, USC vs. Cal

Week 6: Texas vs. Colorado, Nebraska vs. Missouri, Alabama vs. Ole Miss, Arkansas vs. Auburn, Florida vs. LSU, Iowa vs. Michigan, Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M,

Week 7: Texas vs. Oklahoma, Alabama vs. South Carolina, Cincinnati vs. USF, Florida vs. Arkansas, Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech, Purdue vs. Ohio State, USC vs. Notre Dame,

Week 8: Texas vs. Mizzou, Alabama vs. Tennessee, Clemson vs. Miami, Iowa vs. Michigan State, TCU vs. BYU

Week 9: Texas vs. Oklahoma State, North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech, Florida vs. UGA, Oregon vs. USC

Week 10: Texas vs. UCF, Alabama vs. LSU, Cincinnati vs. UConn, Nebraska vs. Oklahoma, Navy vs. Notre Dame, Ohio State vs. Penn State

Week 11: Texas vs. Baylor, Alabama vs. Mississippi State, Cincinnati vs. West Virginia, UCF vs. Houston, Georgia vs. Auburn, North Carolina vs. Miami, Ohio State vs. Iowa, Pitt vs. Notre Dame, Stanford vs. USC, TCU vs. Utah

Week 12: Texas vs. Kansas, Alabama vs. Chattanooga, Oklahoma State vs. Colorado, Cal vs. Stanford, Ole Miss vs. LSU, Northwestern vs. Wisconsin, Ohio State vs. Michigan, Oregon vs. Arizona,

Week 13: Texas vs. Texas A&M, Alabama vs. Auburn, Boise State vs. Nevada, West Virginia vs. Pitt, Utah vs. BYU, Georgia vs. Georgia Tech, Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State, North Carolina State vs. UNC

Championship Week: Oregon vs. Oregon State, SEC Championship, ACC Championship, Big 12 Championship

Bowl Games: Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, National Championship

With 13 weeks of the regular season, championship week, and bowl games to watch, there is a lot of games worthy of watching from the 2009 season. From upsets, to close matchups, to intense rivalries hitting their peak, the 2009 season was the beginning of a new era in college football.

Next: Ranking college football's top 50 fanbases

I will be mixing writing about each week as if they are happening in real-time or as if it is currently 2019, giving mini recaps, thoughts, key stats and even looking ahead to future weeks. It should be an interesting viewing experience, especially since all the outcomes have already been decided.