The Back Nine comes at you after a fun weekend of watching football and missing my wife. She did come back — for those of you wondering — after a weekend with her friends. I was not invited.
10. Nobody knows exactly why Anthony Richardson is lighting it up in true road games, but we all suspect he likes to get away from everything. All I know is he has accounted for 794 yards and eight touchdowns in two true road games. He has also accounted for 863 yards with seven touchdowns and no turnovers in the last three games. It appears the light has gone on for him. Clap on. Don’t forget that he has also had to deal with the fact that Florida has trailed in all but one game this season.
11. But the story of this game was the second-half defense that came from nowhere. The historically-bad moniker can’t go away because of one half, but it almost felt surreal to see Florida get stop after stop. We didn’t know that was possible. Florida has already surpassed last year’s total number of turnovers gained and is plus-8 in turnover margin. That’s good for 12th in the country. Well done.
12. There were a lot of things that I didn’t see coming Saturday which is another reason I do not bet real money on college football. I didn’t see FSU blowing out Miami in the rented stadium, ending the game at halftime. I did not see Notre Dame destroying Clemson. I did not see Alabama getting eliminated from the national title picture before my birthday (next Monday, but who’s counting?) College football is the best sport on earth, but you already knew that.
13. You know, this may seem like the lamest statement ever, but this is Georgia’s conference right now. I’m not saying that can’t change, but the conference is ruled by the Bulldogs. They handled Tennessee the way we didn’t think anybody could and who is going to challenge them immediately? Alabama has become a penalty machine. All LSU has to do is beat Arkansas, which has four losses this season, and Texas A&M, which has six, to face Georgia in Atlanta. Since getting clobbered at home by Tennessee, LSU has scored 122 points against Florida, Ole Miss and Alabama. Stranger things, man.
14. The question is no longer whether or not the SEC can get three teams in the College Football Playoff, but whether or not the league can get two in again. Tennessee is going to need some help, but Clemson losing and Alabama being eliminated did not hurt. I will say this – those two Saturday late-night SEC games were high drama and impossible not to watch (two TVS, no waiting) and helped me get over the sad news I heard at dinner that Major Parker passed away at the young age of 44. Really, he was the start of everything with Billy Donovan. Very sad.
15. That said, good luck to the men’s and women’s basketball teams who start their seasons this evening. I think in both cases they should be pretty good, but play in brutally-difficult conferences. Should be fun.
16. I guess in theory I should congratulate the Astros. How about no?
17. It was another mediocre week for Dr. Football on The Picks. I may need therapy after 2-3 put the overall record at 24-24-1. That’s not good. I must coach myself better. On to this week:
* Florida is giving 9 points to South Carolina, and I don’t think the Gamecocks are anything to worry about. The question? Is Florida something I worry about? The answer is still yes. Take the Gamecocks with that many points.
* FSU is coming off an annihilation of an FCS opponent – oh, wait, that was Miami? – and is a 6-point favorite at Syracuse. Tough place to play, but I like the ‘Noles. (OMG, I just threw up in my mouth a little.)
* Tennessee is giving 21 points at home to Missouri. I’m curious to see how the Vols respond to the loss to Georgia, but I’m guessing newly-extensioned (is that a word?) Eli Drinkwitz will keep it close.
* Unbeaten TCU is getting 6.5 points at Texas and zero respect. What the … I’ll take the Spitting Frogs and the points.
* Alabama is an 11-point favorite at Ole Miss. This is not your older brother’s Alabama team. Take Ole Miss and the points.
18. I have this issue with people (most people) who insist on talking about these three things – your fantasy team, your hole-by-hole golf score and your workout. I may add a new one – songs you think you have learned to play on the guitar. That said, let’s look at today’s playlist:
* “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy” by Bad Company.
* ”Hand In Glove” by The Smiths.
* ”Horse With No Name” by America. Which I learned how to play this week. See what I did there?