Pat Dooley’s Back Nine (August 21st)

The Back Nine comes at you with Dr. Football dealing with my first case of Covid. It’s not fun. Thank goodness it did not happen during a big football weekend.

 10. Although sitting at home watching TV still works when you are sick. I can’t believe I got through three-plus years without catching it and have had five shots. Hey, it is what it is. This variant comes in waves. Wait, here comes another one.

11. OK, so this is Game Week. Not THE game week, but there are college football games this Saturday and that does get me excited. I watched the tail end of three old games this weekend just to get fired up (all three went to overtime). I’m getting this feeling that the optimism around this Florida program is contagious (like coronavirus) and Gator fans are getting more and more amped for a season where the over/under is 5.5 wins.

12. Some of the optimism is based on the shaky situation at quarterback in Utah. Cam Rising is clearly not 100 percent, and his backup is out. Then again, it doesn’t appear Florida’s backup Jack Miller will be ready to go with a sprained shoulder.

Utah quarterback Cameron Rising is trying to make a comeback from injury. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

13. I’m just ready to get this thing started and certainly had a solid year with The Picks in 2022. Maybe one day I’ll actually wager on some of these games. Naw, too risky. Here are Dr. Football’s selections for Week Zero:

  • Navy is getting 20.5 points against Notre Dame in Dublin. Notre Dame is one of those X-factor teams that could end up in the playoffs or go 8-4. Never bet against the Irish in Ireland.
  • Vanderbilt is giving 17.5 points to Hawaii in Nashville, which would seem like a lot of points to ever give the Commodores. And yet, taking Vandy and the points is my lock bet of the week.
  • San Diego State is giving three to Ohio and I wonder if the Aztec players have been distracted by all of the realignment talk. Probably not, so take SD State at home.

14. I have to be honest – I didn’t watch a second of the Women’s World Cup after the USA was eliminated. But the story of the woman who scored the winning goal (Olga Carmona) finding out her father died after the match was really sad.

15. I did watch a lot of the U.S. Amateur cheering for a guy I didn’t even know was on the Florida team. I know Parker Bell now after he made it all the way to the semifinals. The story is that he couldn’t make the lineup most of the season and is dedicated to pushing himself so he won’t have to watch this year. The national champs are going to be good again this season.

16. You know what’s funny? You would think as bad as Florida football has been there would be, like, 10 players in the NFL. Instead, it’s difficult to find a preseason game without a Gator. Some of them did really well (Kyle Trask, Justin Shorter) and it will be interesting to see how many end up on the opening day roster.

17. I’m getting a little light-headed so let’s wrap this up with a playlist. The wave is coming.

18. I had plans for the weekend that included a lot of different things, but they were upended. Still, I had this playlist ready:

  • “The Victory March” by Citizen Cope.

  • “California” by Phantom Planet. We’re thinking about you Cali.

  • And for an old one, “Orange Crush” by R.E.M.

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