SIDELINE OBSERVATIONS: Feeling of fall and football in the air

Published: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 05:37 PM.

When I woke up Monday morning and went outside to let my dog out, I felt a welcome touch of fall in the air.

The calendar says we still have another four weeks of summer, as fall doesn't officially arrive until Sept. 22, but at least Monday was a reminder of cooler, milder days and nights to come.

Many of us associate the start of the football season with the beginning of the fall season, and for many years that was the case.

As late as the 1970s, most high school and college football teams didn't start their seasons until mid-September.

College football's expanding season was brought on in part by cable TV and the need to fill air time in the first few weeks of September.

High school season inched earlier in the year, as more schools started playing the game and the playoffs expanded from three to five games in the larger classifications. With the way things are set up now, the state championship games in Florida's four largest classifications won't be played until Dec. 13 and 14.

Florida high school football teams play their first official games of the season this week, but the season started last week in other states.

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