16 schools that should be on a college football ‘Hard Knocks’

HBO’s Hard Knocks premieres this week, featuring the Cleveland Browns. While the show has been an NFL staple for the last 17 years, there hasn’t really been a true version of a college football one. The closest is probably A Season With, Showtime’s version of the popular NFL show — it’s featured Notre Dame and Navy since 2015, but it hasn’t caught on quite like HBO’s show has. Naturally, I decided to take it upon myself and chose some schools that’d be perfect for a show like Hard Knocks.

Florida Atlantic: In his first head coaching job since he was fired from USC in 2013, the Lane Train Kiffin led the Owls to an 11-3 season and a C-USA title in his first season in Boca. Plus, getting an inside look at how exactly he runs his Twitter account would be clutch.

Alabama: This would obviously never happen under Nick Saban’s control of the West Wing that is Tide football, but who wouldn’t want an inside look at how the sausage gets made? Also, the quarterback drama between Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts would be great to see first-hand.

Michigan: Two words — Jim Harbaugh. We all know how wonky and animated he is on the sidelines, but I for me would love to see what he’s really like behind the scenes. Getting to see how Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson is looking in Ann Arbor would be fun, too.

Texas: Sure, the Longhorns haven’t been as dominant as they were in the past, but getting to see Tom Herman in Year 2 would certainly be a treat. Especially if we get to see more of his sledgehammering skills:

Clemson: The Tigers fell short of playing for a national title last season, but don’t sleep on Dabo Swinney’s team in 2018. Having five-star true freshman Trevor Lawrence on the roster has already forced another five-star, Hunter Johnson, to transfer elsewhere. Not to mention the Tigers brought back three key starters along the defensive line in Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, and Austin Bryant. The guys have a ton of personality, too — did we mention Wilkins can dance?


North Dakota State: The Bison won their sixth FCS national title in seven years in January so, yeah, this would be pretty sweet.

Texas A&M: After Jimbo Fisher left Florida State for his whopping 10-year, $75 million salary in College Station, it’d be nice to see how he’s adjusting to his new digs. An update on his hair plug journey would be clutch, too.


NCAA Football: Texas A&M-Jimbo Fisher Press Conference

C. Morgan Engel-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA: Chip Kelly is in his first coaching gig since he was fired by the San Fransisco 49ers, and it’d be pretty cool to see him back in his college element again.

Nebraska: Scott Frost has since moved on from UCF, and spirits are high in Lincoln — the guy who hired Frost, Huskers athletics director Bill Moos, said Nebraska has Ohio State and Michigan “running scared” recently. Imagine how much bigger the hype for the Frost Era would be if a show like this was filmed during the preseason.

Miami: Yes, Mark Richt made it feel like The U was finally back in 2017, and it’d make sense to profile the Canes. But I’m more interested in watching him backflip off high dives, tbh.


Arizona State: Easily one of the more obvious choices, thanks to Herm Edwards running the show. His introductory presser featured him thinking a game jersey was a women’s one, and uh, apparently not knowing what ASU’s mascot was:

Washington State: Basically everything Mike Leach does is entertaining, from his interactions with goths, his longwinded opinions on marriage, to his vacation tweets.

OK, wait, now I want this to be just following Leach around Taiwan, thank you very much.

UConn: Only if the series is an entire oral history of former Huskies head coach Bob Diaco’s Civil ConFLiCT trophy, which he created and has since disavowed, for the UConn-UCF series.

Kennesaw State: A multi-episode series on the team’s mascot, Turnover Plank, please.


Jason Kirk

Youngstown State: Former Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini is here, and we really just need an update on how his cat is doing. You know, the cat that he gloriously raised over his head like Simba from the Lion King before the Huskers’ spring game a few years ago:

Oklahoma State: There’s really only one reason to watch this, and it’d be our favorite mullet-wearing head coach Mike Gundy. Seriously, I’d watch Gundy do just about anything, even if it’s completely unrelated to football. Perhaps they could just make a documentary of him sensually playing the saxophone!


Or huntin’ rattlesnakes!

Look, I don’t wanna take all the credit, but I’m pretty sure I just did a bunch of rich HBO execs’ jobs. You’re welcome, America.

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