Chronic college football withdrawal (commonly known as Groh's Palsy or Purduefoot) is a progressive degenerative disease which primarily affects the central nervous system, with secondary symptoms presenting in the digestive and muscular systems. The typical course of the illness proceeds in four stages, beginning in February-March and concluding in August:
Stage 1 - February/March
In its initial stage, CCFW can often resemble mild depression and/or seasonal affective disorder. Patients will seem lethargic, report feelings of general malaise and unspecified sadness, and comment that they "just want to be a bear so they can sleep until the preseason polls come out mmm tasty anger at preseason polls." In a minority of cases, the patient will cling to paranoid delusions that, had it not been for several bullshit calls, Ohio State would have won the national championship.
Recommended treatment: A regular diet of recruiting news and doses of NCAA institutional folly as needed. Message board participation is no longer an approved regimen and should be discouraged.
Stage 2 - April/May
Once the body has fully metabolized its supply of recruiting endorphins, CCFW begins to alter the patient's neurology at an increased rate. Typically, the patient will exhibit erratic and unpredictable mood swings - one minute he or she may be excitedly remarking on all the free time they have to get things done around the house, and the next they may be quietly weeping in the tile department at Home Depot, whispering that they'd just like to see one more Baylor game.
Recommended treatment: Though the conventional wisdom was to apply a spring game poultice in Stage 2 and let the disease run its course, recent studies suggest this may actually exacerbate the symptoms of CCFW. College football substitutes may provide some palliative relief; these may include the NBA, college basketball, and the NFL Draft. Baseball has been found to be effective for some patients but can often lead to honor dyspepsia, in which common activities such as listening to rock music or smiling in public appear to the patient as "disrespecting the game."
Stage 3 - June/July
At this point, the progression of CCFW can take one of three distinct paths. In the first, the patient, now completely starved of essential college football nutrients, lapses into a fugue state where they lose all sense of reality and rationality. Last year's inaccurate and turnover-prone quarterback will somehow "step up" and "benefit from more time in the system." The terrible offensive line that never found a solid starting group has "depth" and "versatility." The new strength and conditioning program will somehow fix a secondary that was constantly lost in space. Sad as it is, the best approach is to nod, smile, and not mention how shitty the team looked in the bowl game.
Path two is punctuated not by mania or depression. Instead, patients will compulsively purchase team-logo items they may not need or even want - oversized jerseys, duvet covers of poor quality, cheese knives with a pewter handle that has Cade McNown's face etched into it. In one extreme instance, a patient in Meridian reportedly purchased 2,000 Mississippi State car flags...despite not owning an automobile.
The third path, though exceedingly rare, has the highest mortality rate. In these cases, the patient will binge watch the Skip Holtz Video Guide To Tantric Football.
Recommended treatment: Sustained drinking, regular baths in mixture of buttermilk and shredded old copies of Phil Steele magazines.
Stage Four - August
All patients who survive this long develop a feral rage indicative of an abnormality in the amygdalae. This anger is expressed towards any and all possible college football subjects - preliminary lists of award candidates, gambling odds for certain teams, sports columnists. What the latest research suggests, however, is that this rage is actually shielding the patient from something deeper: fear. Fear that they will have waited all these months only to watch their team stumble to five wins and a coaching search.
Recommended treatment: Hug the patient. Tell the patient it's going to be okay. Remind the patient that everyone who beats us is a cheater, and point out that you've heard great things about how the 2015 recruiting class is shaking up.