Well, it appears the College World Series is over — congrats, Vanderbilt — and July will be here before you know it, possibly as soon as tomorrow.
So there appears to be no stopping it now — ready or not, the college football season is officially here.
No games for two months, of course, but that won’t stop us from venturing into that eerie netherworld in a parallel universe where it seems like football must be closer than it is because soccer (fütbol) is dominating the TV lineup.
It doesn’t change the fact that nothing is happening.
The NFL will be along shortly with training camps and, not long after that, preseason (exhibition) games of a sort. All that does is open up the continuing debate as to whether exhibition (preseason) games are worse than no football at all.
I vote yes, but it’s still up for debate.
College football in July is almost as insufferable as the weather.
Little things become big news. The latest “rankings” — be they teams, offensive lines, quarterbacks, secondaries, fan bases, trumpet sections — become fighting words on talk radio and the Twittersphere.
All of it signifying nothing.
The media is to blame for most of it since you still have to sing for your supper whether there’s anything going on or not.
“Hot-seat” rankings among the coaching world seem to be a perennial favorite.
It’s basically harmless unless you take a prediction in July about how January will play out too seriously.
There will be one brief respite mid-month when conferences conduct their summer media days.
Most notable there is the Southeastern Conference, which puts on a three-ring circus in Hoover, Alabama, with everything but dancing bears and accurate media predictions.
Not much in the way of real news leaks out, and rightfully so, but often SEC Media Days can be accidentally entertaining, if only for the fan-loonies standing guard in the hotel lobby.
It was more so when names like Steve Spurrier, Les Miles and Bret Bielema were song-and-dancing on stage, but the conference makes do with a semi-football fix.
Only when it’s over do you realize that there’s still more than a month to go before any games are played.
The best example of July college football, even if a tad early, came from LSU last week.
The big news for the Tigers is that quarterback Joe Burrow got a haircut.
This really is a huge development worthy of headlines. In fact, if you read between the lines, it’s very good news.
Gone is the shaggy surfer-dude look atop Burrow’s blond head, long, sweaty strands of which he always seemed to be wiping out of his eyes last year.
There’s still two months to analyze how the new ’do will affect his passing accuracy (probably negligible — OK, definitely not at all), but that’s beside the point.
Burrows, an Ohio State transplant of a year ago, told The Advocate of Baton Rouge that he had cut his hair razor-short because he just now realized how torch-blazing hot it gets in Louisiana this time of year. Not to mention the humidity.
That, perhaps, casts some doubt on the reports that he’s been a quick, agile learner in picking up the latest new offense the Tigers plan to unveil this fall (another annual July-August story).
But it’s still encouraging that discussions of LSU’s quarterback situation are forced to check with his barber (stylist) to get the conversation started.
Normally, you’ll recall, the big LSU quarterback question seems to be: Who? Or what? Or how improved? Or will he be given the keys to the family car? Mainly, will he be the long-sought answer?
It’s much better when the big LSU quarterback news concerns his hair.
The mere fact that LSU knows who its quarterback is — and rightfully feels very good about him — takes a lot of the suspense out of July and August in Tigertown.
And that could kind of be your guide to deciphering football news in July.
Burrow’s haircut is the rare feel-good story for the month.
If it seems trivial, that’s all the better.
There is no real news on the field.
If there’s news in July, chances are it was off the field and it’s bad. Chances are it might even involve the police blotter.
It the classic case. In July, no news is good news.
Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org