The Back Nine comes at you with something to really talk about, some actual games and some actual upsets and some fan bases wondering when basketball season starts.
- It was a special night in the Swamp Saturday with the fans back (I never dreamed what a big crowd it would be) and football in full force first gear. Here we go on a magical ride and already we have fans disagreeing. Anthony Richardson ran like Grant Holloway and Emory Jones made some key mistakes and everyone is ready to make a change. Florida fans should be happy that they have two quarterbacks who can play and I’d like to give Jones more than one start before we judge him as a starting quarterback. I would just let this thing play out. We don’t know what limitations Richardson may have with the playbook and I’d like to see Emory without the first-game jitters. It’s a long season. Don’t waste your energy dry in the first week, Gators.
- Although the two long runs were an example of what Richardson can do and that’s why everyone wants to see him get on the field more. It was like a combination or Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin and Ben Troupe when he ran the ball on the one highlight play.
- Let us also point out that Florida rushed for 400 yards and allowed no sacks and no quarterback pressures. So, how about a hand for the offensive line? We said going into the game that if Florida’s line struggled against FAU, it might be a long season. But give John Hevesy and his crew a laurel and hearty handshake. Florida did well on both lines of scrimmages as FAU didn’t make it to the red zone until midway through the fourth quarter.
- Meanwhile, all Gator fans turned an eye to what happened in Atlanta and Charlotte. Alabama looks like Alabama and Georgia defense played like a locked turnstile. We all knew it wasn’t going to be easy with the schedule that Florida faced, but nothing worth getting is supposed to be easy. And Florida State looked like a different team on Sunday night than the team we’ve grown used to. That was the game of the weekend. By the way, is Miami back now? Sheesh, at least be competitive. A lot of sprained ankles jumping off that bandwagon. And, man, I wish I had bet the under on Clemson’s win total of 11.5. I could have already collected.
- It was not a good Saturday for the ACC or the Pac-12. Clemson, North Carolina, Miami. They were supposed to be the standard bearers. Washington was supposed to help the Pac-12 image and took a body blow with a loss to Montana and the league went 6-6 with losses also to Nevada and Utah State. Boy, does the conference need what is happening with UCLA. It also could use an Oregon win this weekend.
- It was a solid week that could have been better for Dr. Football. I saw the Georgia win over Clemson coming, but missed some others badly to go 5-3-1 vs. the spread and, yeah, I forgot to pick one of the games. Anyway, that’s 7-4-1 so far this season on The Picks and maybe I should quit while I’m ahead. Hey, it’s pretend money anyway. So, here we go with the seven games Dr. Football deems worthy of his time.
* I’ll take Oregon and 14 points at Ohio State. Although I don’t feel good about it. It’s just too many points.
* I’ll take Iowa getting 3.5 at Iowa State. Iowa may have the most difficult first two weeks in college football, but the Hawkeyes are built for it.
* I’ll take Kentucky giving five to Missouri in what is a game I’ve been looking forward to all summer which shows you what kind of football nerd I am.
* I’ll take Texas giving six against Arkansas
* And Tennessee giving 1.5 to Pitt, although I may have been fooled by how bad Bowling Green was last week.
* Finally, I will take the mighty Gators giving 29 to South Florida. I think you see this team make a jump knowing what’s on the other side of this game. And USF looked awful in its opener.
- I thought about picking division winners and wild cards and all, but let’s face it – all we care about is who makes it to the Super Bowl. I mean, it seems like the NFL has taken a slight turn in the direction of college football in that we kind of know most of the division winners now. Here is my pick for the Super Bowl (subject to change; illegal in Alaska and parts of Alabama) – Kansas City defeats San Francisco. There it is. Now I have to live with it for four months.
- I was pretty good in predicting the Gators of the Game for the opener because I had Zach Carter, who had three sacks and therefore I am calling him the defensive player of the game. I didn’t see Richardson coming as the offensive player. So, this week, I am going with Jacob Copeland and Brenton Cox as the players of the week.
- Yes, that was me walking around the campus hitting a few tailgates on Saturday. I did take it home in time to watch the night games, but that tailgating scene was crazy. Football was definitely back Saturday. And I heard all three of these songs while moving about.
*”Where Is My Mind?” by Pixies.
*”Razor Face” by Elton John.
*”Irish Girl” by the Dirty Knobs.