Re: Getting into College ball
Being from Canada, I've had the same issue trying to pick a college team. Years ago, when I first started following college ball, I decided to follow USC because my own high school mascot was the Trojan. That lasted all of one season as they won the National Championship with Bush/Leinart and I couldn't help but feel turned off by the fact I was jumping on a teams bandwagon during such a successful period in their history. It just didn't feel right. Following that, I went back to becoming a college football nomad and a casual fan until three seasons ago when my good friend moved in with me. He's a diehard Florida St fan and got me into the NCAA game more than ever before. It was here that I decided to make a list of desirable qualities I wanted in a team. This is what I wanted...
-Close enough to comfortably travel on a yearly/bi-yearly basis to catch a home game
-Relevant conference = nationally televised games occasionally
-Track record of sending guys to the pros (at least occasionally)
-Not a national powerhouse, but...
-Could someday put together a program that could contend for a major bowl.
I was initially drawn to Tennessee. Calgary-Knoxville can be done in 6 hours with a layover in Denver, they're always on TV, I love the orange. They seemed like an ideal program to grow with as they tried to rebuild. Unfortunately, Lane Kiffin started spouting off around the same time and I was so disgusted his arrogance and what was coming out of his mouth that I was totally turned off to the program.
After further consideration, I found Cal. Calgary- San Fran is a direct flight for me which is convenient. Living out west we got a ton of Pac-10 (12) games on tv. I think their jerseys look really sharp. They send lots of guys to play on Sunday which has made NFL games even more interesting for me. Mostly tho, I love that they have so much untapped potential as a program given their close proximity to star recruits and the quality of their recently renovated stadium/athletic facilities. They're in the dumps right now thanks to the Tedford/Maynard/Allen debacle this season but with a good coach their is no reason they couldn't rise up and play with the big dogs again.
Anyways, this has become long-winded but I definitely recommend getting into college ball. Following recruiting for your team in late December/January is an absolute rollercoaster with guys committing/decommitting on an almost daily basis. It is unlike anything the NFL has to offer and the drama of it all is immense. Extremely entertaining.
Good luck! Let us know who you decide on. More importantly, don't feel bad if you don't "click" with the first team you decide. Over time you will find a program that just feels right.