Are you ready for some football?

New England Patriots cheerleaders perform during a NFL football game against the New York Giants in Foxborough, Massachusetts September 1, 2011. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

After a brutal off-season, the NFL kicks off tonight with a great match-up between the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints in a battle of the past two Super Bowl winners. Check out Anthony Stalter’s 2011 NFL Preview for all of his predictions, and then check out the latest NFL lines to get ready for your office pool.

We’ve included some cheerleader pics for your viewing pleasure so check out more after the jump.

The Redskins cheerleaders are in mid-season form:

Washington Redskins cheerleaders perform in between the first and second quarter their pre-season game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on August 12, 2011. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg
Washington Redskins cheerleaders perform in between the first and second quarter their pre-season game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on August 12, 2011. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg

These Denver Broncos cheerleaders are loaded with energy:

The Denver Broncos cheerleaders perform at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver on August 20, 2011. UPI/Gary C. Caskey
The Denver Broncos cheerleaders perform at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver on August 20, 2011. UPI/Gary C. Caskey
The Denver Broncos cheerleaders perform at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver on August 20, 2011. UPI/Gary C. Caskey
  

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College football is back

Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly (C) leaves field after his team’s 22-19 loss to the Auburn Tigers in the NCAA BCS National Championship college football game in Glendale, Arizona, January 10, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Will Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly have the same sour look on his face tonight after his Ducks face LSU, or will Oregon get off to another fast start. After that, will Kelly even survive the Willie Lyles scandal?

It’s been a brutal off-season for college football, as the very structure of the sport is coming under attack. Perhaps nobody is to blame, as this system has evolved over the years into a multibillion dollar business while trying to keep the myth of amateur athletics. So you end up with ridiculous rules, and big programs in trouble with tattoo scandals and potential suit scandals as college kids deal with instant fame and boosters who want to spend time with them and give them money. Then you end up with absurd results where champions like USC have to pretend they didn’t win a BCS title because one player broke the rules.

At the same time we have an absurd BCS system that is anything but fair, making a mockery of the whole season, while universities jump around from conference to conference looking for the biggest payday.

With all that, most of us are excited to have the season begin because it’s such a great sport. We love football, and we love the tradition and pageantry associated with the sport. College fans are intense and loyal. We also love our weekly office football pools and friendly wagers with friends.

Tonight we have two great games, with Oregon as a 3.5-point favorite against LSU and Boise State as a 3-point favorite against Georgia. Check out all of the college football lines for today’s games.

  

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