The Back Nine is back after having a week off for the holiday and a great one it was. The relaxing is over because we have the final major this week and SEC Media Days next week. It’s on.
10. Well, you could not turn on any sports radio shows this weekend without more speculation about realignment. I think a lot of people are going to get really ticked off if nothing else happens for a while and that’s the thing – there may be schools in a hurry to find a new home but that doesn’t mean it will happen quickly. And yet, who knows? The first two major steps happened in the past year and were bombshells. If you are waiting for a bombshell, is it still a bombshell?
11. Everyone is waiting in Notre Dame to be the next shoe that drops, but the Irish could well do nothing and like it. The truth is that the only moves that would make any sense for the Domers would be to go to the Big 10 or SEC. There are people talking about Notre Dame saving the ACC. Why? How does that help Notre Dame? And all of these people talking about how the SEC might work behind the scenes to move some ACC teams to the SEC don’t understand economics. ESPN is about to start a new deal with the SEC and already has the ACC locked up until infinity. Does anybody believe ESPN wants to pay more for teams it already has under contract?
12. Remember that it was during SEC Media Days a year ago that the big Texas-Oklahoma story broke and it’s just about that time. Big 12 Media Days starts Thursday and SEC Monday. I wonder how Texas and Oklahoma are received these days since they not only left the Big 12 on an island but also took the life rafts.
13. I know this – I am ready for some football. Maybe it’s my old age, but I just want to watch some games that matter. I love my Braves, but individual baseball games are one of 162. I need those weekends where you have multiple games all weekend and then Sunday NFL games. You can only play so much golf. We were reduced to binge watching an old show this weekend (“The West Wing”). This is usually the time of the year I go back and watch games from the previous seasons in football and basketball. That’s not happening. They were hard enough to watch live.
14. Speaking of Florida football, Billy Napier continues to make his presence felt in the state of Florida. All but two of Florida’s commitments are from the state and he made it a priority. Yeah, I get it that Miami and Tennessee are kicking butt, too. The key for Napier is to be a top 10 class this year and then have a big 2024 in recruiting. Three years in, NIL settling down, new building in place. There will be no excuses.
15. I did enjoy watching the Scottish Open Sunday and can’t wait to watch the British Open this week. There could be some Sunday morning mimosas involved. I nailed my pick for the last major so let’s see if I can go 2-for-2 to finish out the major season. I think Rory is too distracted, Tiger is too old, my man Billy struggles in majors (one top 10 ever) and Jordan is too erratic. So, I am going with Cameron Smith to break through. If you bet on this call, you can thank me later.
16. Hey, Mets. The Braves are still in the room. In fact, they are 1.5 games out of first. I know you have some pitchers coming back. Bring it.
17. I did want to talk about Florida picking Sean Kelley to be the new voice of the Gators. You know how I feel about my partner Jeff Cardozo, and I was rooting for him. But UF went with practical experience and that’s their prerogative. Looking forward to meeting him soon and offering any help, especially when it comes to former games and players. I plan to give him a copy of Game of My Life as soon as the new edition with updated chapters comes out. You can be on the lookout for it, too, in the next month or so.
18. Listened to a lot of music over the last two weeks and it helped me come up with this playlist (although I am starting to wonder if I am distracting myself on the golf course):
* “Crash” by The Primitives.
* “Mine Forever” by Lord Huron.
* And for an oldie in honor of his birthday weekend, “Photograph” by Ringo Starr (co-written by George Harrison).