It’s time to start watching college and professional football

I can’t wait for the football season to start.

The college football season kicks off September 3 when Oklahoma travels to Houston to take on the Cougars. This game is intriguing on many levels.

Houston went 13-1 last year and was one of the hottest teams in the country. Add to that Houston’s wish to join the Big 12 Conference and this OU matchup is very important. A win over highly ranked Oklahoma might just be the ticket to a Power Five Conference.

Two weeks later, Oklahoma hosts Ohio State in what will be a match between two Top 10 teams and maybe one of the top games of the year. The winner, if they win their respective conference titles, will have a clear path to the four-team College Football Playoff.

There is a lot at stake for the Sooners. But Coach Bob Stoops is in his 18th season and OU returns quarterback Baker Mayfield plus running backs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon. Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley did a great job last year and the offense might be the best in the country.

On September 10, Tulsa fans will get to see how much the Golden Hurricane football team has progressed under Coach Phillip Montgomery. Beating the Buckeyes in Ohio is a tall task but maybe TU can catch them looking ahead to their game in Norman.

Tulsa has a great, seasoned quarterback in Dane Evans. Evans benefitted from Montgomery’s coaching last year and the sky is the limit.

I think Tulsa will be 4-1 going into a tough conference game with Houston on October 15.

Oklahoma State has one of the best quarterbacks in the nation in Mason Rudolph and the addition of Barry Sanders, Jr., son of the Heisman Trophy winner, could be a potent one-two punch.

The elder Sanders was arguably the best running back ever in college football and maybe one of the best in the NFL.

The big test for Oklahoma State will come on September 24 when they travel to Baylor. The Bears have some problems and a new coach, but they still will be very good this year.

Oklahoma State gets five of its first six games at home and seven home games this season. Once again, the last game of the regular season is against Oklahoma in Norman. Both OU and OSU could be undefeated at that point and playing for a Big 12 title and a shot at the national championship.

OU fans will get a look at the new stadium expansion in the home opener against Louisiana-Monroe on September 10. Last time, one of the Duck Dynasty guys showed up for that game in Norman.

I am excited about the NFL this year, mostly because of some of the college players that have made NFL teams.

Former Sooner Sam Bradford, who won the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma, will be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. Philly signed two quarterbacks – including Carson Wentz, the second pick in the draft – and it looks like Bradford will only be in Philadelphia for one or two more years.

That’s a shame. He’s never been able to get any continuity in his career because of injuries and ever-changing head coaches and offensive coordinators.

I have always been a Dallas Cowboy fan but I will watch the Eagles this year when Sam plays. He is a great quarterback and a wonderful person.

I have watched the career of former Sooner quarterback Landry Jones with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2013, Jones was drafted in the fourth round and that was good and bad. It was good because he was with a solid organization but it was bad because he was behind a sure-bet Hall of Fame quarterback, Ben Roethelisberger.

For his first two years, Jones didn’t even suit up for a game as he was the third team quarterback and Roethelisberger played every down for the Steelers.

But last season, Landry Jones came in relief against Arizona and won that game with a stellar performance. He played well in several other games and entered training camp as the solid No. 2.

All NFL rookies (except first-round picks) sign four-year contract and Jones’ will be a free agent after this year unless he signs a new contract with Pittsburgh. So far, there have been no reports as to whether the Steelers want him to stay or if he even wants to stay. A lot depends on what happens this year.

I have a feeling that Landry Jones wants to play for a team where he can be the No. 1 quarterback. The NFL is a tough business and quarterback is the most difficult position to master. The Steeler coaches love his intellect but if he stays in Pittsburgh, he might have to wait another four or five years to start.

In any case, I will try to watch Pittsburgh games to see if Landry Jones gets to play some this year.