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As the heat of summer begins to abate, and great fall weather draws nearer, excitement around the state starts to build for the kickoff of this year’s college football season. This annual ritual of marching bands and fight songs, team colors and stuffed mascots, and tailgates and ticket windows binds students and local communities in a unique way, turning the school pride up to 11.

Florida is home to many of the
top college football programs in the nation. In the past decade alone, Florida universities have claimed 3 national championships (two by the University of Florida, and the 2013 title by Florida State University) as well as a handful of bowl victories. This year is no different, with Florida State University starting the season ranked number 8 in the nation in the preseason USA Today Coaches’ poll, and 10th in the Associated Press Top 25.

More than just boasting and claiming bragging rights, success on the field can actually affect a school’s academic standing off the field. Studies have shown that a school’s successful athletic program can have a positive impact on a university’s exposure, attracting students to the university, as well as increasing application, retention, and graduation rates. Given these positive impacts, rooting for Florida universities’ athletic programs may just be rooting for Florida’s academic system.

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