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The Alligator Army Weekly Open Thread, Vol. XLVI

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Basketball and spring football are about to give way to speculation season.

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Tournaments — the men’s one, in which Florida authored a transcendent moment, and the (superior) women’s one, in which the guy Florida’s athletic director plucked from semi-obscurity led Mississippi State to a transcendent moment and a seismic win — are over.

Spring football is almost over, with Florida’s spring game — about which more later this week, I promise — coming on Friday and a slew of others following in the weeks after.

Between now and the fall, we have a smattering of winter sports to finish watching, and a slew of spring sports to follow into the summer. Florida’s got a top-15 team in literally every single sport in which it is still competing, so we’ll surely have some coverage of those teams in the coming weeks.

But mostly, between now and the fall, we have speculation season to deal with.

Speculation season is how nature deals with the vacuum it abhors. Speculation season turns the same old news about Malik Zaire and Florida having mutual interest but being obstructed by SEC rules into a fresh report. Speculation season will have either or both of Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask falling behind in their quarterback derby and looking to transfer. Speculation season will suggest any number of recruits might be interested in or committing to Florida. Speculation season will let imaginations about new coaches or slacking upperclassmen run wild, and fan wisps of smoke from “insiders” into both rumors that don’t merit batting down and reports that do.

I kind of hate speculation season.

I don’t like extrapolating from virtually nothing — or from, even more ludicrously, high school statistics — to make prognostications about football players. Football is too complex, and college-aged humans are too capricious, to be sure of anything.

I don’t like chasing down rumors and wading through the sea of speculative horseshit to tell whole truths. Telling whole truths is more or less the goal of what I do, sure, but it’s also a harder task than ever before, because the incredible is met with credulousness, and the distaste for fake news and “fake news” may not actually trump the interest of the reader in coverage reinforcing his own views.

Most of all, I don’t like just writing things to write things, creating content just to create it. It’s long been my unstated goal to never write something that does not inform — even a short, sweet post — and that is hard, generally, and harder still when it’s mid-June and there’s nothing new to edify about.

I have ideas and I’m going to roll some of them out in the coming days and weeks, and — maybe more importantly — we’re actually going to have some of those new writers we’ve been looking for on board, and soonish. (And if you want to write for Alligator Army, and/or haven’t heard back? Applications are still being accepted, and all applicants to date will hear back by no later than next Friday.)

But I think we should be clear with each other about one thing: The end of competition for football and men’s basketball teams in any given year is the beginning of a period of college sports coverage that is rife with the worst of college sports coverage. And we don’t have to like it.