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50 For 50, No. 14: Florida Atlantic Is The Perfect Season Opener For The Gators

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Tonight is Florida's football opener against Florida Atlantic. There are ... a lot of entries remaining in our 50 For 50 series, and we'll be rolling them out leading up to Florida's SEC opener against Tennessee. Check out Alligator Army's 50 For 50 series for more of our 50 reasons to be excited for Florida football in 2011.

I know some Florida fans aren't happy with the Gators' steady diet of cupcakes to begin every football season. But Florida Atlantic is the perfect season opener for the Gators, at least in 2011.

Florida needed a team that wasn't going to make things difficult for John Brantley as he transitions to Charlie Weis' offense; Florida Atlantic was 85th nationally in total defense in 2010. Florida fans could use an in-state beatdown to make up for the (often brainless) Florida State taunting that's been happening since last November; FAU is probably the state's weakest FBS team this season. Florida will always choose the easy guarantee game over the chance of an early loss; there's pretty much no way Florida Atlantic leaves The Swamp without a loss and some bruises tonight.

Like it or not, this is the sort of season opener Florida will always play. And if you would rather see the Gators deal with a more rigorous challenge, I suggest you use the winning feeling that will likely settle in around 10 p.m. Eastern on this Saturday night as solace.