The Back Nine comes at you after a crazy football weekend that unfortunately Florida decided not to show up for.
10. It is really depressing for Gator fans to deal with this constant roller coaster. Every time they start to feel good about what is happening, it goes south, and it goes south hard. Kentucky is a good team. It didn’t need any help. But it was like Florida on the road (more on that later) likes to be polite guests. Oh, yes, we will make our beds here at the Kentucky Bed and Breakfast, but let us get the turnover. Kind of sad in a way.
11. Because Billy Napier was supposed to be the dude who came in here and whipped everybody into shape and had this great attention to detail. Here’s one detail he might want to explore – making sure 11 players are on the field for each play and coaches aren’t calling timeouts you don’t have. The glow of the Tennessee game just like that turned into the glow of torches coming down the road.
12. I wrote this stat for GatorsWire and it is pretty telling. Napier is 1-5 in true road games. The last coach to start 1-5 in true road games was Charley Pell. Napier wants to say that everything is fixable (isn’t that kind of Zook-speak?), well then fix it. He called it a taste of humble pie, but it tasted more like a crap sandwich. But also, think about this – a coach who inherited a mess and had to change the culture, who calls his own plays goes 1-5 in his first six road games. I’m speaking of FSU coach Mike Norvell, who went 1-8 in his first nine true road games. FSU stuck with its coach, in part because it couldn’t afford to let him go, and it paid off. I can’t promise Napier will have similar results, but we know it’s possible.
13. OK, so let me take a positive approach. The Gators play at home this week. There, that’s it. I can’t even applaud Graham Mertz setting a record for most games with more than 70-percent completion percentage (is that redundant?) because he started so poorly it contributed to the mess early. This was a team bludgeoning and there is no person connected with the program who should be feeling good today.
14. That’s enough about the Gators, let’s move on to some exciting games. I wonder if any Ole Miss fan tripped on the beer cans they threw for a bad call later when they rushed the field. I was heartbroken for Duke, psychic when it came to Georgia (you knew they would win) and stunned by UCF blowing its first home Big 12 game. Once the Gator game was over, it was a pretty good Saturday.
15. The Gators weren’t the only losers last week because Dr. Football was a big loser. A 1-4 record makes it 15-10-1 for the season, although I technically was right on UF, because I said it would win if it made no mistakes. On to this week:
- Florida is giving 18.5 points to Vanderbilt back in the friendly confines. I don’t think Florida has the firepower to cover so give me Vandy and the points.
- That same Kentucky team we just saw was getting 24 points at Georgia, but the line dropped to 15. That’s more like it. I’ll take the Doggies.
- Oklahoma is getting 5 points against Texas in the Red River Rivalry and I think Texas blows the Sooners out. Give me Texas.
- Alabama is at Texas A&M and the line opened at 10 and then dropped to 3. Perfect. I’ll take the Tide.
- LSU is giving 6.5 points at Missouri in the battle of the Tigers. I’ll take LSU reluctantly.
16. I woke up at 4:48 a.m. Friday and ran to my TV to watch the Ryder Cup. Within the hour, I was watching old Andy Griffith shows. That was it for me and the event I couldn’t wait for except an occasional check to see how bad it was. Then, I read where the team captain Zach Johnson said he wouldn’t change anything he did in getting the team ready. Boy, that sounds familiar.
17. This is the most wonderful time of the year, because the baseball playoffs are going to be battling college football and the NFL for time on my television. I’ll take Tampa Bay, Toronto, Milwaukee and Philly to win their best-of-three wild card series. It seems weird that my Braves will have to play a team from the NL East on Saturday, but you have to beat whoever is put in front of you.
18. I had a nice playlist for Friday golf where the friends were excellent, and my game was awful. Hey, it was a nice day:
- “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall.
- “Proxima B” by Benjamin Gibbard. Awesome song.
- And for an old one, “Skating Away (On The Ice of a New Day)” by Jethro Tull, who my daughter went to see in Los Angeles last week.