This comes as a needed shake-up to a series no longer tinged with the luster it enjoyed when Bruce Gradkowski and Omar Jacobs were producing see-saw affairs and elevating their respective programs to rarefied heights. Not since the quarterbacks' final season, in 2005, has this game managed to stimulate the casual observer -- and sometimes even the ardent fan. UT is 27-35 before playing BG in the seven years since. BG is 28-34.
Short of both schools again fielding top-25 caliber teams, moving the game to the early season is the healthiest thing that can happen to this forlorn rivalry. Not since 1949 has the game been played this soon. Fans won't be scared off by the thought of hand warmers and blankets. Or by a match up of 4-7 teams.
Maybe those opposed to the change will get their wish, sort of, and UT and BG will meet at the end of the season, but in the MAC title game. I'm just glad that possibility still exists at the time of their first meeting.