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How to deal with the return of college football, South Carolina-style

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It's okay, we don't know what to do with ourselves either.

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This is football. It will happen today.
This is football. It will happen today.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The 2015 college football season is finally here!

We've endured recruiting non-drama, we tried art, we listened to bad predictions, and we even drank too much at an open-bar event, but we have paid our dues and the summer is finally over!

Tonight, the South Carolina Gamecocks face off against the North Carolina Shitheels Tar Heels in the first major college football contest of the season. Eight months of anticipation have led us to the brink of our wits ends as we tick down the final moments before play begins tonight at 6 p.m. in Bank of America Stadium. As the Gamecocks get set to OBLITERATE AND DESTROY take on our sky blue neighbors to the north, we as fans and alumnae get set to unleash our pent-up passion as we root for our respective schools.

So...

Now what?

If you're like me, the buildup to every football season carries with it a certain level of familiarity sprinkled with a unique blend of shiny new anxiety-laden optimism. Or fear. Probably fear. Okay, definitely fear.

A Gamecock fan since birth, I've grappled with this situation year-after-year for decades (3 to be exact). How exactly do we celebrate the return of football without driving the proverbial four-wheeler off of the proverbial cliff...

Really, the question is this: how do we handle ourselves now that football is back?

Well, fear not fellow confused football fan, for we have devised a plan to keep you (relatively) sane throughout the next thirteen or so weeks.

#1 Be honest and up-front.

The sooner that your loved ones understand that you will be acting like any other fan irrationally for the next 130 days, the better. If they take offense to this, you should probably find an Extended Stay near you and lay low for the next couple of months. Also, your employer should understand that you're gonna be pretty bad at your job for the foreseeable future. Update your resume accordingly.

#2 Pace yourself.

Now, I'm not telling you to quit your job, move to a long-term hotel and eat Bojangles in front of the television until February, WAIT THAT SOUNDS FUN because we are all adults rational human beings people here and we need to show some maturity. Take it easy. We're not going to go 12-0 because we scored first, and we're not going to regress to the mean of the Sparky Woods era just because we gave up 30 points to UNC. Well, none of those things are impossible, but, let's just try to remain calm and...

#3 DO. NOT. READ. THE. COMMENTS.

Never. Do not do this. You can comment, but, don't read anything. Not yet. No. Stop that. Go look at Twitter. Wait, no. Don't do that either. Sit on your hands. Go get a beer. Take a walk. Try hot yoga. Anything

#4 Have an Exit Strategy

Did things go exceedingly poorly? Are you 30 points down at halftime? Seriously?

Do you have your bug-out bag packed? Have you notified your next of kin? Have you formulated a new identity and a credible back-story?

THIS IS NOT A DRILL. WE HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE.

#5 Seriously. Run.

Find something healthier to do than watch football.

Oh, and delete my browser history.