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College football open thread, Week 5: A Saturday without the Gators

Florida isn’t in action on this Saturday. Will that compel Gator Nation to tune in for other teams?

Syndication: The Topeka Capital-Journal Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

On Sunday, the Florida Gators will host Eastern Washington, in a game that was originally scheduled to kick off this Saturday at noon.

And that means Florida fans have a rare Saturday off from watching the Gators and/or engaging in performative haughtiness or misery regarding their play.

Many of those same fans are assuredly spending this Saturday in recovery from Hurricane Ian, especially in the devastated coastal parts of southwest Florida around Fort Myers; many more are still likely trapped where they are by flood waters that have yet to recede. Those folks are in my thoughts — and if you’re one of them, please reach out to me (email’s in my or the AA Twitter bio) if there’s a way you think I might be able to help.

For my part: My family and I got lucky on the Space Coast by virtue of being a ways inland, and got mostly gusty wind and substantial but not flooding rain, losing power only in short blips. And the house that has multiple holes in its above-the-garage façade appears after a cursory inspection to have not sustained more damage.

The whew of that feels more than a little guilty, given just how much others are suffering — but, well, I’m pretty familiar with survivor’s guilt at this point, I know how unproductive it is, and I’m also not really in a position to do much more helping nor on the coast that needs most of the help. If you want to help, I encourage you to check out Collin Sherwin’s thread on ways to help your fellow Floridians (and the ramifications of our votes).

What I can do is suggest that you take in only as much college football as you need on what looks like a gorgeous Saturday that you now have free. Check out Kentucky-Ole Miss for what could be the day’s most important game, or watch to see if Kansas’s storybook season can get better against Iowa State, or root hard against Florida State in its showdown with Wake Forest, but also take advantage of a free Saturday to do the things you would otherwise plan around the Gators at your leisure. Have a meal with a friend, or with family. Put an hour or two of volunteering in, whether it’s Ian-related or not. Pet a dog.

You get the point.

Every day that should be a Saturday with the Gators is also, I fear, more consuming these days than in many years past, with the task of being a fan extended well beyond a few hours of watching a game. You and I don’t have to do that today — or ever, really, but that’s another discussion — and so I think you and I should maybe revel in the rarity.

And then, tomorrow, we can rant and rave and be enraptured again. Deal? Deal.