Pat Dooley’s Back Nine (December 12th)

The Back Nine comes at you after a weekend that included a gourmet meal (my wife is something), a little golf and probably too much time on the recliner. I mean, it wasn’t even a college football weekend.

10. Gator fans like to panic, but certainly the lack of major activity in the transfer portal so far by Florida should not be a reason. This isn’t something you have to take care of the first week it opens because you’d like to make sure that a transfer is going to be happy and that you are going to be happy with the player. Either you trust your coaches or you are constantly stirring up the angry mob from Young Frankenstein. This is an interesting time for this coaching staff which has to juggle recruits, transfer possibilities and a bowl game on Saturday.

11. One thing for sure is that nothing is for sure in the transfer portal. We have discovered that five-stars coming in from the cold portal are a mixed bag (Justin Shorter, Lorenzo Lingard) and that three-stars that developed late are more likely to be successful (Jon Greenard). There are a record number in the portal this year and about half will not find a new home. The story I want to read is about the path the players take who thought the grass was greener and end up with nowhere to go. Is this really what the NCAA wants?

12. It doesn’t feel like a bowl week, maybe because Florida is taking 62 scholarship players at best to Las Vegas. Try to remember that all bowl games are for the players, the cities where they are being played and ESPN. Whether you want to watch or not is almost irrelevant until we get to the playoffs. The Gators are now a 10-point underdog with a quarterback who hasn’t played in an orange and blue uniform and without the defensive leader of the team. There is a path to a victory, but it is a treacherous one.

13. To be honest, I think there are a lot of Gator fans who won’t want to watch this team play this game. This team was tough to watch when it had everybody. Rather than dwell on a second straight 6-7 record, you’d rather skip ahead to next season, right?

14. While men’s basketball has been a disappointment this season with two blowout losses and no really good wins, the women keep plugging along. We scoffed at their record last week because they had not played anybody. But I watched that whole game Sunday, an overtime win at Miami after trailing for most of the game and was impressed. The women are 10-1 now and more than anything, it was nice to see Florida win a game in something. It has been a rough fall.

15. At first, the idea of having what may be the four most popular golfers in the world play a night match was intriguing and took me back to the days of night golf at West End. You know, back to the days when Gainesville was really a golf community and had more than four courses. But it didn’t work visually. What did work was the banter among the players with Tiger Woods and Co. keeping it fun. I don’t know Tiger, but he seems to be in a good place right now mentally. He seems to be embracing his status as the GOAT no more.

16. Oh, I can reveal my Heisman vote now. It was 1. Max Duggan, 2. Stetson Bennett, 3. Hendon Hooker. There were six guys I could have easily voted for and really thought long and hard about it. I know the vote was not close, but it was in my mind and Caleb Williams’ fingernails were just enough to keep him off my ballot. Hey, it was Steve Spurrier’s night anyway.

17. So, we wipe the slate clean and later this week Drew Copeland and I will go head-to-head on Another Dooley Noted Podcast on a baker’s dozen of bowl games and the playoffs. But let’s just do the games of this week and try to do better than the regular season:

*No, there is no way I am taking Florida even with the 10 points. I thought this was a bad match-up long before guys started opting out or were asked to leave. The spread was actually 11.5 at one point, but came down a little. Still, I don’t see it.

* If you want to pretend the teams are wearing different uniforms like Alabama and USC, you will really enjoy the Cure Bowl between UTSA and Troy. These are good teams. Take UTSA and give the 1.5.

* Cincinnati is a 1-point underdog against Louisville in the Fenway Bowl which is one of those games that is typical college football because both lost their head coaches to other jobs. Take the Bearcats.

* I think all minor bowl games should be named after funny people and the Jimmy Kimmel Bowl is a good example. Take Washington getting three against Fresno State.

* One more as we get ready for the really good ones next week. SMU is a 3-point favorite over BYU in the New Mexico Bowl. I will take the Ponies.

18. I need a new workout because I am getting bored with the elliptical one day and the Stairmaster the next. Hopefully, the new shoes I ordered a month ago will show up one day and I can start walking again. Not that anyone cares. Anyway, this is the latest playlist:

* “Another Sunny Day” by Belle and Sebastian.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx08E0b0Rs0

* ”Cold Brains” by Beck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1f6vk4PZ7o

* ”Angela” by The Lumineers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_II0fc7hgNY

About Pat Dooley

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