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7 reasons Cal-Hawaii in Australia is the perfect kickoff for 2016 college football

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California Golden Bears

The college football season starts Friday night in Australia when Cal plays Hawaii at 10 p.m. ET. That is:

  1. Bizarre. Well, this whole sport is bizarre, so great!
  2. A West Coast team and an extremely West Coast team playing late-night football, and we know how wild that particular arrangement tends to get.
  3. A highly unusual location where nobody really cares about college football (a native Australian explains what we’re getting into), which worked out fine for Rutgers.
  4. A matchup of two teams that will likely be pretty bad (combined total win projection, per Bill Connelly’s S&P+: 9.1), ensuring low-stakes entry into a sport in which only like 10 of 128 teams have actual championship shots.
  5. A whole lot of expenses dumped into a game few people other than you, me and ESPN will care about, in a sport with player compensation that was hard-capped decades ago.
  6. Probably a lot of points! Hawaii’s offense might not be great, but that’s what Cal’s defense is for! You like points!
  7. A better bowl trip than will be enjoyed by all but two actual good teams this year (exception: someone gets to eat Popeyes in the Bahamas; there does not appear to be a Popeyes in Sydney), because nothing in this sport is meant to be fair.

Also, Marshawn Lynch showed up to take scout team reps at halfback and play rugby, so that's eight.

Some sports kick off their seasons with elite showcases at historic venues or championship rematches. Ours starts with a carnival between 6-6 hopefuls on the other side of the planet. That is a satisfactory representation of the next five months we’re willingly entering and a fair warning to those who do not have the fortitude to proceed.


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