Russell Report: After last year’s disappointing football season, fans anticipate the new look Gators

Most people don't have Florida doing much this season and on paper and with a tough schedule.
Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 12:58 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Fall camp for Gator football has officially begun with the start of the season now less than one month away. Most people don’t have Florida doing much this season and on paper and with a tough schedule I can see why. But wait. Let’s wipe away the disappointment that last year was and think about this year. If you can beat teams like Kentucky, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Missouri and pull off an upset or two, the season wouldn’t be so bad, and it would give fans and the program some momentum heading into 2024.

One of the big shadows looming over college football again as possible expansion after Colorado suddenly and quickly bolted the PAC 12 for the Big 12. I have believed, and still believe, that one day we will have super conferences, but it might not happen as quickly as I had once thought. But for now, the Pac 12 is in a dangerous and precarious situation with no new media rights deal on the table and members who are wondering what the next move is going to be. If something doesn’t happen soon for that league, teams like Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, and Washington could be gone. And if so, do they go to the Big 12? Would the big 10 or the SEC take more teams?

And what about the ACC? Reports have circulated that Florida State is looking to get out of the league because that school thinks the league’s revenue sharing plan isn’t good enough to make the Seminoles a true national contender. And it is interesting that the Florida State board of trustees has scheduled an out of the blue meeting for later this week. There is an August 15th deadline for a school to notify the league in writing that they have plans to leave within the next year. This meeting may be nothing, or it could start a domino effect with six other acc schools that rattled their swords a while back complaining they could not keep up with the sec or the Big 10 in revenue generation. Even if nothing comes of this meeting, the acc still has work to do to appease some of its members, although a plan was devised to divide revenue based on success on the playing field. The new season is nearly here and we’re still talking about what might happen later. It’s the new normal.

Finally, I want to talk about expectations and why they can be so dangerous for fans and teams alike. The poster child for this is the New York Mets. With the MLB trade deadline approaching tomorrow, the Mets have already unloaded stars like pitchers Max Scherzer and David Robertson amid a season of huge disappointment. Ok full disclosure, I’m a Mets fan and I’m used to being disappointed by this organization but if this year doesn’t prove that money doesn’t necessarily buy you a championship then nothing will. I’m happy for teams like Baltimore and Tampa Bay that don’t overspend but rely on great scouting and talent development to get better. The Mets haven’t won a championship since 1986 and have won just two since 1962. Count them, two. And even with free agency and big spending, the Mets seem no closer now to winning one than they have ever been. Go Rays and Orioles! I’m Steve Russell, that’s the Russell Report!

RELATED: Russell Report: Florida takes on LSU in College World Series

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