Kickoff: Saturday, 3:35 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Spread: Florida by 29
Watchability: The Gators are taking their QB competition into the opener. It'll be worth watching to see QBs Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett each get a look early to help determine the permanent starter. Beyond that, it should be a fairly standard tune-up game for the Gators.
Shining stars: Florida: S Matt Elam is one of the top defenders in the SEC. He's physical enough to come up and play the run, and rangy enough to prevent the deep ball. He led the Gators with 11 tackles for loss, seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles in 2011. The Bowling Green offense will have to account for him on every play. Bowling Green: QB Matt Schilz is coming into to his own as one of the top QBs in the MAC. As a sophomore in 2011, he completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,024 yards and 28 touchdowns. He was inconsistent at times, throwing 13 interceptions, but he's poised for a big 2012 after learning from those 2011 mistakes.
Who could steal the show: Florida: WR Andre Debose isn't as consistent as the Gators would like, but he can go the distance any time he touches the ball. He only had 16 receptions in 2011, but he was third nationally with a 27 yards-per-catch average, totaling 432 yards. He also averaged over 26 yards per kick return last season. That included a 99-yard return for a touchdown against Ohio State in the Gator Bowl. Bowling Green: RB Anthon Samuels was the MAC Freshman of the Year in 2011 after rushing for 844 yards and five touchdowns in nine games. He's not the biggest guy at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, but if he gets past Florida's defensive line, he might not be caught.
You going? Ranking the road trip: A journey to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, better know as The Swamp, is always a great road trip. This game won't have the intensity of some of the later SEC games, but expect over 80,000 to be there and the chomp to be in full effect.
Magic number for Florida: 22. That's how many consecutive season-opening games the Gators have won. They are also 63-6 all time in openers at home.
Magic number for Bowling Green: 1. The Falcons need at least one score on special teams or defense to have a shot in this game. The Florida defense is too athletic to allow them to sustain long drives down the field.
The game comes down to: Florida needs to take care of the ball. It will be using two inexperienced QBs, and breaking in a new starting RB in Mike Gillislee. The offense won't be a finished product yet, so the Gators might not hang 40 or more points like they normally do against inferior opponents. If they limit mistakes, execute what they can and rely on their improved defense, they will win relatively easily. If they turn the ball over and give away points, the Falcons could make it interesting.
Prediction: Florida 31, Bowling Green 13
For more up-to-the minute news and analysis from SEC bloggers Larry Hartstein and Daniel Lewis, follow @CBSSportsSEC.