24 weeks ago (sure), when we began these Weekly Open Threads, college football probably seemed like it was forever and a day away.
Now, for Florida fans, it’s only five.
The Gators will take the field for a real game that counts in those standings in agate that very few newspapers still publish on Saturday night against Massachusetts, a team that is not a plausible threat to end Florida’s decades-long streak of wins in season openers. The Minutemen are 8-40 since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2012, and haven’t beaten a team that finished even .500 in that span.
So we, as fans, get to be excited about things other than a potentially close game. We get to hope Florida’s Steve Spurrier tribute will be suitably cool. We get to track statements from Jim McElwain’s press conference into Saturday night. We get to stress over what will and won’t be considered a good game for Luke Del Rio. We get to enjoy a game for its pageantry and tradition rather than its importance.
I won’t be in Gainesville for this season opener for the first time since 2006, and though I haven’t gone to all of the season openers since then, this Saturday — one I won’t spend thinking about traffic or parking or fluids -- will be a strange experience for me. I think I’m looking forward to having the stress of the first game and weekend of the year done and dusted most of all.
But you are not me. And I’m curious: What are you looking forward to from this glorious first Gators weekend of the year?