The Back Nine comes at you after a weekend that started out fun but ended up with some real blowouts.
10. I know that college football season is over except for bowl games, playoff games and Army-Navy, but this could still be the most interesting month around here in a long time. The combination of the transfer portal now being open and Signing Day December 21 is going to reshape a lot of rosters and especially the one here in Gainesville. The coaches know what they are doing but I would be careful with five-star recruits jumping into the portal. The odds of a former three-star helping your team are better than a guy who thinks he is better than he is. There certainly is a track record at Florida.
11. The word out of Florida’s camp is that the Gators wanted the Vegas Bowl and listed it as their top choice in the communication sent to the SEC. The reason in part was to make it a more attractive bowl for players thinking of skipping the bowl game. It also means Florida loses a recruiting weekend and some of the 15 practices allowed since the game is less than two week away. The bad part about this bowl is that Oregon State is really good, a 9-3 team with two losses by a total of six points. I don’t know who will come to play for Florida, but it could very well be a second straight 6-7 season.
12. I thought we might be headed for real chaos this weekend, but instead I ended up watching a movie on one TV for most of Saturday night and monitored the games on the other. My first thoughts on the playoffs that are so far away is that Georgia will do whatever it takes to win the whole thing again. I just hope for some fun semifinals because for the most part, they have been duds. The 16 semifinal games so far have had an average margin of victory of 21 points.
13. Scott Satterfield was not a very popular coach at Louisville and was under .500 in his four seasons in the ACC. He just landed the Cincinnati job after Luke Fickell bolted for Wisconsin. The coaching carousel is slowing down for this year, but it always makes me wish I had gone into coaching. Or not.
14. Soccer is over for another four years, said every person who only watches the World Cup kind of like they only watch track and swimming during the Olympics. It’s just the way we are in this country. We need more action than soccer provides. It doesn’t mean it’s not a great sport. That’s why it is so popular worldwide. I covered soccer in my early years and it was a joy. But we are built differently when it comes to things we really care about all the time.
15. Mary Wise and her volleyball team keep on pushing and reached the Sweet 16 for the 29th time, which is in itself an amazing accomplishment. The third-seeded Gators rolled Iowa State and now face No. 2-seed Pittsburgh in Madison, Wisc. I went there once for a Final Four in volleyball. It did not end well. But we definitely should be celebrating a team that is 25-5 and still alive.
16. Florida’s basketball is through the first leg of its schedule and now it gets really interesting with UConn coming to town. A Wednesday night 9 o’clock game is great for TV, but I can’t imagine it’s ideal for those of you who have jobs. It will be interesting to see if Florida;’s shooters have truly discovered their strokes when the competition goes back up a level.
17. You have to give Dr. Football credit for one thing -=- The Picks were consistently mediocre. And that Championship Weekend. It felt like every week, it was a 3-2 or 2-3 record (2-3 this week). That left the final record at 34-34-1. Dead even, minus the vigorish. Just awful. I hope to make it up in the bowl games when I go head-to-head with Drew Copeland on Another Dooley Noted Podcast. He always leans SEC, so I have to figure out which teams from America’s Conference will not show up.
18. Getting old is not for the weak of spirit. I have so many aches and pains I have to take a lot of Ibuprofen to play golf. But I keep trying even though the scores go up and the distance comes down. Anyway, I love to have a good playlist when I’m on the course.
* ”Rudderless” by The Lemonheads. Sometimes, I feel that way.
* ”Wouldn’t Mama Be Proud” by Elliott Smith.
* And for an old one, “You Make Loving Fun” from one of the greatest albums ever Rumours by Fleetwood Mac in. honor of the passing of the soul of the band Christine McVie.