Pat Dooley’s Back Nine (Sept. 25)

The Back Nine comes at you after a weekend that had a little bit of everything, and we’ll leave it right there.

 10. I think Florida fans, who have been awesome this year in terms of showing up, need to realize this football team is what we thought it might be. And that is a team that is going to play a lot of close games and can’t afford many mistakes. You just have to hope that there are enough leaders and elite athletes to make a difference. Look, I’m not saying you should be happy because you won, but maybe not so surprised it was close.

11. But that is part of being a fan and I think one reason the game was a sellout was that fans wanted to just celebrate the team one more day for what the Gators did last week. Let’s face it, if Florida scores three more touchdowns instead of kicking all of those field goals, you’re feeling different about 34-7 than you did about 22-7 and in a game in the fourth quarter.

12. There are a lot of mysteries still with this team. Like how Trevor Etienne can be the MVP of the biggest game so far this season and only get eight carries in the next one. Or why Trey Smack hasn’t been the kicker since the first game. Or whatever happened to Kamari Wilson. Those are the mysteries for the fans. The rest is pretty much known. And now it is about to get really serious.

13. Because we all hate to admit it, but Kentucky has owned Florida of late. Not the way Florida used to own Kentucky. But three wins in the last five games don’t lie. And they have all come in different ways, whether it was the two terrible interceptions Anthony Richardson threw last year or the 15 penalties in 2021 or the defensive collapse in 2018. If Feleipe Franks doesn’t get hurt in 2019, it would probably be four of five for the Cats.

14. I’m not sure if this is still relevant, because a year from now what will we consider to be the Power 5 in football? Will it be the Power 2 and the Relegation Five? Anyway, now that GameDay is going to Duke this week, here are the Power 5 teams awaiting their first visits from the ESPN show.







The Big 10 dominates.

15. It was not a good weekend for Dr. Football, because there was too much confidence in The Picks playing out the way the first three weeks played out. A 1-2-1 record leaves the good Dr. at 14-6-1 against the spread and still making fake money. On to this week:

  • The mighty Gators are 1.5-point underdogs at Kentucky and I’m pretty sure it was a lot higher this summer, like, six or seven. Doesn’t matter. If Florida plays like it has the last two years against the Wildcats, the Gators will lose. If the Gators play mistake-free, they will win. I will take the mighty Gators and the points.
  • Texas is giving 20 points against Kansas and that seems like a lot of points to give a 4-0 team. However, I also understand how Vegas works so give me the Horndogs.
  • LSU is giving 4.5 points at Ole Miss and if I know one thing it is to stay away from Lane Kiffin. That’s a good policy in life and in making picks. LSU gives the points and wins.
  • South Carolina, another team that is a bit of a mystery, is getting 13 at Tennessee. I’ll take the Gamies and the points.
  • Notre Dame is giving the Dukies 6.5 points and I think the glare will get a little too bright for the Blue Devils. Give me Notre Dame, but I am rooting for Duke.

16. At first I thought it was a mistake. I had watched the first half and went to play nine holes, but when the Miami-Denver game was on the TV in the bar and I saw the Dolphins were running down the field to make it 70 points – IN AN NFL GAME! – well, I just started laughing. And then there was the Texans beating the Jags and the Cards beating the Cowboys. Buckle up, it’s going to be wild.

17. I can’t wait for the Ryder Cup this weekend (why does it always seem like it’s @Kentucky week?). But I can’t wake for the Cup. It starts Friday at 1:35 a.m. Hey, when in Rome. And I can’t watch replays and pretend they are live. I must know it’s live. Guess I am setting some alarms this weekend.

18. Because I don’t play much golf during football season (Stop Children’s Cancer tourney excepted), my music consumption has decreased, but I came up with a gem of a playlist. Give it a try:

  • “The Emperor’s New Clothes” by the late great Sinead O’Connor.

  • “Life of Illusion” by Joe Walsh.

  • And because I owe the Rolling Stones an apology for something I said Friday night, “Paint It, Black” by the Stones.

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