I arrived home sometime after midnight last night. It'd been almost three weeks since I've been home. In that time, I stayed in nine different places, rented five different cars and gobbled up 17 protein bars criss-crossing the East Coast. Shockingly, there was only one visit to Chick-fil-A, but am delighted to learn that a new Chick-fil-A finally opened in downtown LA. So with that intro, here are 18 things I learned from my little, 19-day summer college football tour (in order).
1. There isn't a college football program in the country with two better representatives than what the Boston College Eagles have in cancer survivor Mark Herzlich and Rhodes Scholar candidate/projected first-round OT Anthony Castonzo, who certainly wasn't shy about calling out his old school coach for not believing in him.
2. There isn't a more entertainingly awkward press room dynamic than watching Miami coach Randy Shannon "interact" with a certain nervous, fast-talking younger Va. Tech beat writer.
3. Jimbo Fisher isn't as good as Bobby Bowden at dealing with the media (who in college football is?), but he's still pretty darn good at holding court. Fisher said he's "shocked" by his former QB JaMarcus Russell's flopping in NFL: "He worked his butt off for me."
Fisher also told me that his dynamic young DBs, Greg Reid and LaMarcus Joyner, will play some on offense.
For all the observations -- including an interesting story about two ESPN writers hanging out in Chicago -- you must be an ESPN Insider.