Pat Dooley’s Back Nine (November 28th)

The Back Nine comes at you after a weekend that didn’t go so well for the Gators in two sports but really well in one. So, there’s that.

 

10.   Here’s my take from the first 12 games of the Billy Napier Era. Florida had a chance to win every game in the fourth quarter. That they split those games is a concern, but they were right there and the solution to this problem is obviously to get a better roster. This one should be the worst one he has at UF and there were just not enough people to make a difference of a handful of plays here or there. If he hadn’t lost to Vandy, Napier would have had what would be considered a solid first season. But he did, and that’s a grease stain you can’t wash out. The point is that he knows what he has, knows which coaches need to jump into their own transfer portals and knows what he needs to do with the roster. It should be an interesting December.

 

11.   Because as much as we talked about this year’s schedule and how difficult it was, it doesn’t get any easier in 2023. You have to go to Utah, to Kentucky, to South Carolina, to LSU and to Missouri. And Georgia isn’t leaving the conference. There are only six home games. But, it’s the SEC and it is not going to get any easier in the future with Texas and Oklahoma coming on board and the end of divisions and a nine-game conference schedule. This – as we all know – is a tough league.

 

12.   There doesn’t seem to be any doubt that Anthony Richardson will leave and while I think he could make more money in the long run if he played another year in college, I understand why he is ready to leave behind so many people who were so hard on him. He is a unique young man, one of the most physically-gifted athletes to ever perform here and a good dude when it comes to the young fans.

 

13.   There may not be anyone who cares, but I do keep track. And it was not a good year for the SEC West. It looks almost certain that that division will not make the Football Final Four and the West also lost the annual battle to the East with Missouri’s win over Arkansas. The East clinched 8-6 with one game to go. I know we are going away from divisions and I know I may be the only person who cares but I wanted it on the record.

 

14.   I keep hearing about the relevancy of teams wanting to get back to the glory years and that obviously includes Florida. But please don’t tell me Florida is not relevant. The last two teams to beat a 6-6 UF team saw their fans storm the field after the game. I have said this before – Florida athletes in all sports have to understand that everyone you play is trying to beat the legends of the past. They’re playing against Tebow and Horford and Singer and Haeger and Wambach and I could go on. Florida will always be relevant to the opponent. It’s still Florida, the outsiders in a league that doesn’t like the way they took it over.

 

15.   Not taking over the Phil Knight Tournament was the Florida basketball team, which finished up with a skunk and used diapers omelet in the final game. The Gators were 2-for-17 from three, did not handle adversity and looked like a team that was tired of being away from home. It’s seven games for Todd Golden and we are still trying to figure out his substitution patterns, but this season has a long way to go.

 

16.   Congratulations to Mary Wise and her wonderful volleyball team for sweeping Ole Miss on the road in an intense five-set final match and winning a share of the SEC titles. That’s 25 for Mary Wise at a place where SEC championships still matter. UF now has 256 SEC crowns and we won’t even bother to look up the school that is in second (see, we can be arrogant). And we get a chance to see these young ladies again at home with regionals starting Friday.

 

17.   I have said this before that there are a lot of reasons why Dr. Football – who watches an obscene amount of college football – doesn’t gamble with real money and it’s more of an exhibition (I’m kind of like LIV Golf). Here’s another – I went 2-3 this week to be 32-31-1 on The Picks. There will be some sort of Bowl Picks after this week because I know you can’t wait for them.

* Georgia is favored by 16 in the SEC Championship Game and will have the home crowd. But remember that every game is its own game. Also remember that Georgia doesn’t have to win to qualify for the College Football Playoffs. I’ll still take the Bulldogs and the points.

* Clemson is an 8-point favorite against North Carolina in the ACC title game and any luster was taken off the game with what happened last week to both teams. Take Carolina.

* Purdue is getting 15.5 against Michigan in the Big 10 title game and raise your hand if you even knew that could happen this weekend. Michigan may have a little hangover, but Purdue just can’t compete in this one.

* TCU, still getting no respect, is a 2.5-point favorite of the Big 12 Championship Game against Kansas State. This will probably be the best game of these five, but betting against the Horned Frogs keeps getting people in trouble to take TCU.

* USC is a 2.5-point favorite against Utah and the money is already pouring in on the Trojans. I agree. Utah may have not had the season it hoped for, but a second win over USC would make this a great season. Not gonna happen. Take SC and give the points.

 

 

18.   Time for another playlist after a weekend with too much food and not enough exercise. Gotta get back to it with some good tunes for the elliptical:

 

* ”Run Away To Mars” by TALK, which is an awesome song. Take my word for it or give it a listen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMPkCCxkEVI

* ”Alone” by Trampled By Turtles. Love this band.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6GmDclaoIU

* And for an old one, “Lonely People” by America.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JSWUFdjoHU

 

About Pat Dooley

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