Pat Dooley’s Front Nine: January 22

The Front Nine comes at you to talk about The Season Of The Weird not going away just because the calendar changed.

10. I tried to tell people that just because the year was new didn’t mean we were all going to get back to normal. As Exhibit A, I give you the Florida basketball team heading into Saturday’s game at Georgia. If you expect the Gators to play as they did Tuesday night, as they said in Taken “Good luck.” That game was this team (or what was left of it) at its peak. There are only so many times teams do that. Even the back-to-backers had times when they played bad basketball (I was there in Baton Rouge in 2007 when the Oh-Fours had a game that was more Oh No.) Basketball is a game of inconsistency. If it was not, why does anybody ever miss a free throw? The key to any season is to play at a high level most of the time and then hit the elite level once the postseason starts. (Hmm, maybe I should have been a basketball coach). Anyway, you know the 7th Dooley Sports Rule – Win by 1.

11. An example of how there have been so many strange days in a strange year was not that Georgia beat Kentucky on Wednesday, it was that announcers on TV and radio were talking about how it was a “must-win” for the Wildcats. In January. JANUARY!!! And it was. And they lost at the buzzer. And Kentucky is 4-9 and these are the next five games – LSU, Alabama, Texas, Missouri, Tennessee. Yikes. And this is what I’m talking about with inconsistency that is not caused but is COVID-10 but is part of the fuel. Gator fans keep asking how that happened (the blowout loss to Kentucky) and then this happened (the record blowout win over Tennessee). Kentucky fans want to know the same thing.

12. So the Georgia Bulldogs are 97th in the NET rankings and in those rankings that guide the selection committee, the best thing about it for Florida is that it’s a road game. Statistically, speaking, of course. The key will be to keep the lightning fast and fearless points guard Sahvir Wheeler. The guy as 7.4 assists a game and leas the SEC and second place isn’t close. He can scoot.

13. By the way, I have a plan for the college basketball post-season and I have heard others talk about it but I thought of it first. Na-na-na-na. I would go ahead and fill the half top of the field so they could skip the conference tournaments and reduce the number of players on site at those venues. Hey, it’s just an idea. And does anyone think there will be an NIT this year? I’m just curious.

14. Just as I was curious about who Tennessee would hire as an athletic director and have to admit that hiring Danny White might be the first step in ending the dysfunctionality of that program. I know he and Scott Stricklin exchanged glancing verbal blows about the home-and-home thing a while back, but he is a sharp guy and just what Tennessee so badly needed. Now, let’s see who he hires to be the football coach.

15. I have heard so many commentators ask and answer the question about how good the Tennessee job is. But too many people equate how good the job is with the success that the current coaches are having. The Alabama job is the best in the SEC for a lot of reasons but a lot of that is because of Nick Saban. Remember when Alabama couldn’t hire a successful coach from 2000-2006? Anyway, I digress. The Tennessee job would probably rank below Florida but a lot of that is because of the recruiting base. The Vols were able to recruit when Clemson and Alabama, and Florida and Georgia were struggling. And when they used McDonald’s bags.

16. My dad was on a rant today talking about the announcers who talk about everything but the game and what player just scored. I must be getting old (duh) because I agreed with him. I’ve started watching everything with the sound down on both TVs.

17. Time for trivia. Name the four Florida quarterbacks who led the team in passing for four straight years? Here is a hint – only one Heisman winner was used to come up with this question.

18. This is the new feature where I recommend a movie or documentary because so many of you did not like my music. Today, it is an older movie called “Local Hero”. There are no car chases or explosions, but it is one of my favorites. Here are your answers – Chris Leak, Danny Wuerffel, Kerwin Bell and Wayne Peace. Be safe.

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