JOHN L. PITTS: Football clock is ticking

John L PittsVacations are out of the way, the baby boy the office had been waiting all summer for has finally arrived – hi, Jean-Luc! – and now it’s time for the Daily Journal’s sports staff to get back down to business.

The football business.

This is usually the week when I get the first calls wondering if we’ll have football sections this year. Of course we will.

The high school Football Journal will be included in our Sunday, Aug. 18, paper, just ahead of the start of the regular season. The college version will be published on Aug. 25.

Once again, we have four staff writers on the case. Parrish Alford (Ole Miss) and Brad Locke (Mississippi State) handle the colleges, while Gene Phelps and Brandon Speck – aided by our sister weekly papers – will keep track of the high schools.

Between those two preview sections, we’ll put 72 pages of football in your hands later this month, with dozens of stories. It’s a lot of work, but it’s the homework we’d have to do anyway just to get ready for the season to start.

Thursday is Aug. 1 and the football clock starts ticking for real.

Here we go.

Random thoughts
• The 14 SEC football coaches went through the ESPN “Car Wash” last week, moving from show to show to be asked the same questions again and again. At least one of them could be running a car wash this time next year.

• Deacon White was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday in Cooperstown, N.Y. What about Deacon Blues?

• The recent breakdown of NCAA-EA Sports deal means Alabama fans can no longer claim all those “national titles” won on College Football 2014.

• The Big Ten Conference should just go ahead and change its name to “The Notorious B1G.”

• As noted previously, the family of our Jeff Roper expanded this summer with the arrival of a 9-pound, 8-ounce boy. He already has an offer from Ole Miss, as the class of 2031 is shaping up nicely.

• Only one SEC opener, Murray at Missouri, doesn’t have a kickoff time yet. It’s a “What time can you be there?” game.

John L. Pitts ( is sports editor of the Journal.