By David Coulson
Executive Editor/Managing Partner
College Sporting News
PHILADELPHIA — So how does one get their head straight before starting another Football Championship Subdivision season?
If you were me, you pack up the family and take a leisurely tour of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
I relaxed from a rather hectic week by touring the Rembrant exhibition "The Faces of Jesus" and then took my frequent trip to commiserate with the museum's startling collection of Monet's.
That's how I spent several hours in the afternoon before making my way over to Lincoln Financial Field for the annual Mayor's Cup game between Villanova and Temple this evening.
It will be the first of three games I'll cover live this weekend. I'll also do a doubleheader on Saturday, hitting Appalachian State's journey to Virginia Tech and Montana's excursion to Tennessee.
And that doesn't count the television and Internet games, I'll try to catch some glimpses of.
Anyone out there tuning their computers into the Sam Houston State-Western Illinois clash, Tennessee-Martin against Jacksonville State, or Eastern Illinois' historic 100th game against Illinois State (and no, this isn't EIU coach Bob Spoo's 100th game against ISU)?
It is amazing how technology has made it so easy to catch FCS game these days.
I love the opening weekend because of the fact you can find a way to see three or four games in four or five days.
My only regret is that there isn't a live game for me to get to on Friday (I'll have to settle for Youngstown State's game at Michigan State on the Big 10 Network) and the MEAC-SWAC challenge between Bethune-Cookman and Prairie View in Orlando, FL. is a little to hard to reach by car.
As I write this, a little past 6 p.m. on the east coast, Murray State is preparing to kick off the college season at FBS Louisville, an hour ahead of the Villanova-Temple showdown.
With the change of schedule that pushed last season's NCAA Division I Football Championship back into January, this was the shortest off-season ever for FCS.
It seems like just a few weeks ago, I was watching Eastern Washington score 20 unanswered points in the second half to stun Delaware 20-19 for the national title and here we are ready to begin the 2011 season.
As I start another college football season (my 35th year of covering the college game and my 19th specializing in FCS), I always think of an excellent baseball book written by Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post.
Boswell's classic was titled "Life Begins On Opening Day," and while it is a baseball book, I have the same feelings about the start of a new FCS season.
With the chase for another national championship begins tonight, the 2011 season should be even more wide open than last year's exciting race was and those of us who understand just how special play in the FCS is, we know we are beginning over four months of excitement.
As with all of the games covered by the College Sporting News, both live and on TV this season, I would encourage you to follow along with myself and our other writers as we blog about the action as it happens.
And feel free to add your voice to the mix with our comment section.
Let the journey towards Frisco, TX. begin.