ATLANTA — What a tremendous break it was that the hotel I checked into did not have cable access to Thursday night's USC game at Hawaii.
It meant not having to watch a game most Trojans fans probably turned off.
It freed my remote to explore the exciting sights and sounds of Mississippi at Vanderbilt and then, more incredibly, Rutgers at Fresno State.
If the first 24 hours of college football is going to be like this, we'll all be on medication by the end of September.
You felt sorry for the NFL trying to counterattack with meaningless exhibition games, knowing no one feels sorry for the NFL once the real games start.
There was no way Ole Miss at Vanderbilt was going to be topped. A back-and-forth game reached crescendo when valiant Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews started vomiting (in living ESPN color) on the field after taking a blow to the abdomen.
Instead of going straight to the hospital on a stretcher, Matthews was suddenly back in the game making the fourth-down catch that set up the go-ahead touchdown.
Ole Miss, though, answered with Jeff Scott's 75-yard touchdown run with 1:07 on the clock to take a 39-35 lead.
As television tragedy/drama fate would have it, our minutes-before hero Matthews had a late pass tip off his fingers for the interception that sealed Mississippi's win.
That was enough heart pounding for any one night, but college football didn't mind one infomercial bit playing deep into Friday morning.
My bedside hotel clock ticked past 3 a.m. as Rutgers and Fresno State traded punches up in Central California's midsection. The game was extended to overtime when Rutgers kicker Kyle Federico missed a 43-yard attempt that could have broken a 45-45 tie.
Fresno State scored in the first overtime and Rutgers then matched it, with Coach Kyle Flood then deciding to go for a two-point conversion and the win.
Could you blame him? College presidents don't let students take chemistry classes at 3 a.m., but they let them take football.
Quarterback Gary Nova's pass tipped off Brandon Coleman's fingers to preserve Fresno State's 52-51 win.
Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr had the most attempts (73) and completions (52) ever totaled against Rutgers, which started playing in 1869. The schools combined for 1,094 yards and 78 completed passes.
Coach Nick Saban's defense gave up an average of 10.9 points a game last season and someone will have to answer for it if Virginia Tech gets to 11. Saban would have a coronary before allowing his team to be involved in a 52-51 game.
Alabama has a chance to become the first team since the 1930s to win three straight national titles. Minnesota won three straight in 1934, '35 and '36, but the first two were before the Associated Press started crowning kings.
The Crimson Tide has a clean shot to a third straight title, and it starts with a surprisingly weakened Virginia Tech program that stumbles into Atlanta as a three-touchdown underdog.
Not even venerable Hokies Coach Frank Beamer would argue the disparity gap. "Facts are facts," he said this week.