For a lot of people in south Louisiana, football is life.

If you opened the newspaper to this page or clicked on this story from one of our websites, there is a pretty good chance you are one of them.

As you know, Friday night is for high school games.

Saturday is for college games, and Sundays are reserved for the Saints (although I know a few people from here who for some reason root for other NFL teams).

But for as football crazed as our area is, I still run into a lot of people who have never been to a Nicholls State University football game.

And that is a little crazy to me.

That’s because the school has a pretty rich football tradition and under coach Tim Rebowe the last four years, the Colonels have emerged as one of the top Football Championship Subdivision teams in the country.

Nicholls is currently 6-3 overall and 5-2 in the Southland Conference and is ranked No. 16/No. 17 out of the 125 FCS teams in the country.

And the Colonels have two huge games in the next seven days coming up. With two wins Nicholls can take at least a share of the conference title and maybe lock up their second consecutive FCS playoff berth as well.

Nicholls hosts Stephen F. Austin at 3 p.m. Saturday and then hosts Southeastern Louisiana at 6 p.m. Thursday in the River Bell Classic.

Now these two games are really key for the Colonels and they deserve the support of all football fans in the region.

For nearly everyone in our newspapers coverage areas, the drive to Nicholls is an hour at the most and in many cases, much, much less.

There really is no excuse to not check this team out.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are lots of die-hard Colonels fans out there who have been supporting the program for years.

I have seen them at the games for the last 20 seasons and under Rebowe that number continues to grow, and that is a good thing.

But if you have never been to a Nicholls game, or if it’s been a while, these next seven days will give you two great chances to do so.

Our area as a whole did step up in supporting the Colonels in their playoff game last season when 10,000 people showed up to Manning Field at John L. Guidry Stadium. It was the largest first-round FCS playoff game crowd last year.

But I think it could be so much more going forward.

I am telling you. The Colonels are as fun to watch as any college team you will find on any level and they have a lot of great guys on the team. They play for one another, their school and for our area and nearly the whole roster consists of players from a 100-mile radius of Thibodaux.

On offense they are led by quarterback Chase Fourcade, who can beat people with his arm and legs and they have a solid offensive line and explosive players throughout the running back and wide receiver groups.

On defense, the Colonels, who are led in tackling by defensive back Khristian Mims, wreak havoc on opposing offenses. They fly to the ball and are second in the country with 81 tackles for losses this season (that's a whopping nine TFLs per game).

Heck, if special teams and the kicking game is your thing Colonels placekicker Lorran Fonseca made a school-record 58-yarder last week and punter Winston Jones is a former E.D. White Catholic standout who has hit some boomers this season.

You have to remember, unlike at LSU, these Nicholls players live, go to school and work right in our community.

If you take the time to make one or both of the team’s final two regular-season games in Thibodaux, I think you will be very impressed by the athletes you will see on the field and the level and style of football being played by the Colonels.

Nicholls is our hometown college and deserves a packed house in its final two games of the regular season.

Let’s come together as the die-hard football community that we are and let’s give it to them.

Hope to see you at Guidry.

Sports Editor Kelly McElroy can be reached at 857-2211 or at kelly.mcelroy@houmatoday.com. Follow him on Twitter @KMacCourier.