I’m here in Little Rock, Arkansas, covering the Under Armour College Bass Championships. We’re down to five finalists: Auburn, which stole the lead today from Alabama (how rich is that for an angle?)… then there’s Faulkner University (also in Alabama, maybe the giant-killer)… Texas A&M;, and the hometown heroes from the U. of Arkansas Little Rock, who squeaked into the dance by a few ounces.

All this has me thinking, if there were a trout fishing collegiate championship, where would we find the contenders? I’d say Montana and Montana State are givens. CU in Boulder probably has a deep talent pool. Heck, those burnt-orange wearing Texas Longhorns might qualify, if only because half of them spend their summers in Colorado anyway. Oregon and Oregon State could start their own fly-borne “civil war.” Penn State, for sure. Probably six or seven other Pennsylvania schools. Boise State, and University of Idaho are both worthy tournament seeds. University of Wyoming… gotta be there. Ferris State in Michigan. Syracuse? How ’bout BYU, or the Utes? Who’s missing?

I guess we couldn’t really pull off a fly tourney on the college level… or could we? I must say, it’s pretty neat watching young men (and one young woman) compete for almost nothing other than school pride and some scholarship incentive. But you know what matters most? The love of the game. These kids share a passion for the outdoors. And that transcends any colors they wear.