Spring football is over. The transfer portal is closed. The calendar reads June. You know what that means? College football is almost here. It has now been five months since Michigan took down Washington in the national championship game in Houston, and we have made it through the hardest part of the offseason. We are well past the halfway point, and now, there's nothing but excitement to get us to the finish line. We are less than three months away from the start of the college football season, and Florida football is ready. Gators fans can't wait to see their team take the field for the first time.

The 2024 college football season is shaping up to be one of the most exciting seasons in a long time, and it's because of all the changes that are coming to the game in 2024. Let's start with the expanded College Football Playoff.

It's going to be interesting to see how the first year of the new 12-team College Football Playoff goes. The four-team playoff era is over, and having eight more teams make it is going to make a huge difference.

First of all, college football fans can breathe a little bit easier during the regular season. There's no worse feeling as a fan than seeing your team lose a huge game in the first weeks of the season before conference play even starts. In the four-team playoff era, that's as demoralizing as it gets. You know that one more loss is the nail in the coffin, and even with one loss (or in Florida State's case, zero), there is no guarantee that you will make it. Now, power five teams that go 10-2 should be pretty safe, and even some 9-3 teams will likely be able to make it.

The other big change is more football and a longer season. The College Football Playoff committee recently released the schedule for the 2024 playoff, and it is going to be an exciting month. Instead of three total playoff games played in the span of a week, we will get to see 11 games spread out over the span of a month. That is going to be a lot of fun.

Another huge change to the college football world this year will be with the new conferences. The Pac-12 is gone as everyone except for Oregon State and Washington State found a new home. USC, UCLA, Oregon and Washington are now in the Big Ten, Cal and Stanford moved to the ACC, and Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah are in the Big 12.

The Big 12 did lose two teams, however, as Oklahoma and Texas are making the move over to the SEC.

All in all, big changes are coming to college football, and it should make for an exciting season. Things are going to look different, and not everyone is a fan of the new changes, but there is going to more football and more good matchups. That's a plus.

Florida football has one of the hardest schedules in college football

The Florida football team is traditionally one of the better teams in the SEC, but it hasn't been like that lately, and it certainly wasn't like that last season. The Gators finished the 2023 season with a 5-7 record and they failed to qualify for a bowl game. That's not going to cut it. The team is starting to make some noise on the recruiting trail, but the only thing that matters is on-field results. You can get all the recruits in the world, but it doesn't matter at all if you don't win.

Billy Napier and his Florida football team have a crucial season ahead, and unfortunately for them, their schedule is giving them no favors. The Gators have an absolute gauntlet of a schedule next year that includes Miami, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Ole Miss, Florida State, Texas and LSU. Their other three games are against Samford, UCF and Mississippi State. Finding success next season is going to be incredibly difficult.

Things aren't going to much easier in the future, either. This is life is the new-look SEC. It is easier to get into the College Football Playoff now after its expansion to 12 teams, but just finishing in the top-10 of the SEC is going to be a challenge. The road ahead looks extremely difficult for the Gators, and they are in danger of falling behind.

With a gauntlet like that for a schedule, the Gators are going to have to bring their A-game every single week. They are also going to need some new players to step up this season. They weren't able to keep up in this conference last year, and now it is even more loaded, and Florida has to go up against some of the hardest teams. Something needs to change this season. Here is one player that could have a breakout year, and it could go a long way for the Gators.

Sharif Denson, CB

Florida Gators wide receiver Eugene Wilson III (3) stiff arms Florida Gators defensive back Sharif Denson (0) during the first half at the Orange and Blue spring football game at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
© Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Florida football team is going to face some incredibly talented offenses this season, and the defense needs to be ready for it. One player that seems poised for a breakout year is cornerback Sharif Denson. Denson has played just one season for the Gators, and it was a quiet one, but he is in position to play a lot more in 2024. He is expected to be one of the top CBs on the team, so he should see the field a lot.

Last year, Sharif Denson had seven total tackles on the year and zero interceptions. He played his role, and that role will be bigger this year.

Sharif Denson should be one of the younger players that has a big role for this Florida football team next year. They do have a good amount of upperclassmen that have seen the field a lot, and that should go a long way. However, with the difficult matchups that their schedule presents, they will need everyone to play like an experienced upperclassmen. Sharif Denson is hoping that he can make that happen, and the recipe will be there for him to be successful.