Tennessee's move to Thursday means your countdowns now start with an eight. May, one of the emptiest sports months of the year for a college football fan base, has given way to June. There's not much more in the way of sports excitement in June (especially if your 16-38 baseball team is bad in a way they haven't been since you were in elementary school), but the football countdown slips into double digits. Magazines are on shelves. At the close of spring practice it's still too far away to be felt. But come June, our eyes start turning from April to August. From spring camp to fall camp. From the season that was to the season we all hope will be.
The 2016 season is now the length of the 2016 season away. Thirteen weeks.
In September it will come like a blur. A quarter of it will be gone before we play our first SEC game. And if Tennessee can finally find their way past Florida, nine weeks of additional possibility will present themselves in a way we haven't seen in a dozen years.
It will happen fast, good or bad. And here, still these 13 weeks away, I keep telling myself to enjoy it.
Not so much the 13 Saturdays themselves in the fall; we're always pretty good at that no matter what the record is. But the build-up? This championship-level build-up? We've got 13 more weeks of this.
Thirteen more weeks of can Tennessee beat Florida. Thirteen more weeks of what about the downfield passing game. Thirteen more weeks of Jalen Hurd on a treadmill. Thirteen more weeks of y'all, I'm telling you, we can beat Bama. Thirteen more weeks to see if we can make it fourteen. And then it's here and then it's gone.
The Vols will be what they'll be. Until then, the conversation itself remains ours to enjoy. We'll sprint this distance in September. As it can feel at times like a crawl in June? Don't forget the conversations we've been having for the last seven Junes. Don't miss the chance to appreciate how different this one is.
Thirteen more weeks. Thirteen more until we find out if these are the thirteen we've been waiting for.