This fall could prove to be one of the most exciting in Florida Gators football history.
Quarterback Tim Tebow has one Heisman Trophy and has a chance to join Archie Griffin as the only other two-time winner. Florida almost certainly will open the season ranked No. 1 with a shot at repeating as national champion, particularly based on the preseason magazines.
The Gators could clinch their third title under Urban Meyer by winning the Bowl Championship Series title game, this season played in the Rose Bowl. So Pasadena, Calif., is on the minds of many Gators fans, but they might want to hold off on making reservations. Not everybody is ready to hand Florida a boarding pass for the Jan. 7 game.
"I don't think anyone in this league is giving in," said LSU coach Les Miles, whose Tigers host the Gators on Oct. 10 in a Southeastern Conference battle.
"I guarantee we look forward to playing them. But it's recognition. They all return except for Percy (Harvin). And anytime you have a quarterback that has the experience (Tebow) has, you're in every game. I don't think there's any question they're talented and capable, but I can't imagine that won't be an exciting day in Baton Rouge."
The Tigers figure to be one of the Gators' toughest tests. The only road game before that clash is at Kentucky on Sept. 26. After LSU, there are trips to Mississippi State and South Carolina. Florida never seems to play well in the Magnolia State, and South Carolina is coached by former Gator Steve Spurrier, which can always be tricky.
The team that many are the most curious about - the one that beat Florida last year - is Mississippi. The Rebels are a dark horse to win the SEC West, so they could meet the Gators in the SEC championship game.
"There is a lot of hype right now," Mississippi coach Houston Nutt said.
"Big anticipation. A lot of expectations. All of that is good, but, bottom line, it comes back to coaches and players."
Ole Miss returns quarterback Jevan Snead.
"If you take the last five as compared to the first five games (last season), Jevan is a different quarterback," Nutt said.
"Those decisions he was making so much better. In the Texas Tech (bowl) game, he throws an interception that is returned for a touchdown and he doesn't flinch."
Actually, Ole Miss has something other schools don't have: a win against Florida in the last 12 months.
"Florida gave us the confidence that we can beat anybody," said Nutt, perhaps sounding another warning for Gators fans.
Still, being preseason No. 1 is not necessarily a good thing. Georgia was the trendy team a year ago, starting the season atop most rankings and on the cover of a lot of publications. The Bulldogs finished 10th.
"If you are (a preseason No. 1) every year, I think you probably get used to it," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. When he was an assistant coach at Florida State, the Seminoles had numerous teams atop polls in August.
"I'd just as soon not be preseason No. 1 (ever again)."
Florida coach Urban Meyer, however, seems indifferent to the heavy burden that probably will be thrust on his team once the voting starts.
"I don't think that much about it," he said, noting a No. l ranking will motivate his players.
"I guess I'd rather be No. 1, because that means you've got good players."
But there is no question big things are expected in Gainesville this season.
Tebow and linebacker Brandon Spikes talked in the spring about going 13-0, the first perfect season in Florida history. But everyone around the SEC is realistic. The Gators could win a national title or lose several games. It's that kind of a league.
"You line up against great teams every week," Miles said.
"There's no portion of the conference that's so far away from being good enough that they couldn't beat you if you don't play well enough."