Pat Dooley’s Back Nine (Dec. 11)

The Back Nine comes at you after the first crippling withdrawals from football season started to hit. Dry mouth, headache, nausea. Oh, that was a hangover? Never mind.

10. I can finally reveal my Heisman Trophy ballot now that ESPN had its boring show on and bled right into a 30-for-30 about the year I didn’t vote for Peyton Manning. Anyway, my vote went as follows:

First – Jayden Daniels, LSU

Second – Michael Penix, Washington

Third – Jordan Travis, FSU

Hey, the College Football Playoff committee made it clear the FSU quarterback was the most important player in the sport this year. All three – along with finalists Bo Nix – are transfers who are closing in on Medicare. Uh, Graham Mertz?

11. There is no doubt Florida has lost some momentum out there in the jungle that is college football and it’s up to Billy Napier and his blank check to dig Florida out of this quicksand before it gobbles us all up. I don’t want anyone blamed for any more problems. I don’t want to hear about how you were brought in here for a reason. I don’t want to hear any more bad news or speculation of more bad news to come. Fix the problems. That’s an order.

12. Sorry, there, I didn’t mean to get stern, but sometimes you have to put your big boy pants on and get to work. It’s pretty tense over there in that big expensive building and it may get worse before it gets better. Florida needs to be in the mix for the 12-team playoff next season. Even if the Gators don’t make it, they need to be in the discussion in November.

13. You hope Florida basketball is in the discussion in March and it’s pretty clear that this is a different team than what we are used to. They need to figure out how to close some of these close games, but they can score and they can rebound. If they learn how to defend, they could be dangerous.

14. One thing for sure, the SEC hasn’t done itself a lot of favors in the non-conference portion of the schedule. It seems like every time I settle in to watch an SEC team play a good team, well, they lose. Right now, the top-25 teams in the NET Rankings are Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas A&M. Florida is 45thand could use an unbeaten remainder of the non-cons with East Carolina on Thursday in Lakeland and Michigan next week in Charlotte before two softies in Gainesville and the start of conference play with Kentucky at home. Buckle up.

15. Right before I went outside to yell at clouds and demand that kids get off my lawn, I was a little blown away by what Shohei Ohtani and Jon Rahm are getting paid. Worse yet, they are going to the enemies – the Dodgers and LIV. Maybe I should try another pastime.

16. I was going to try to pick every bowl game, but then I realized I would probably lose you. So, let’s just do four every Monday until we are done. Dr. Football will, however, watch all of them to keep track of The Picks:

  • Cal is getting three from Texas Tech in the Independence Bowl and it feels like a set-up, but I will take the Red Raiders.
  • Boise is getting two in the LA Bowl against UCLA and if you get this one right, you’re a better man or woman than Dr. Football, because I have no clue. I’ll take the UCLAns.
  • New Mexico State is giving 3.5 to Fresno State in the aptly named New Mexico Bowl and I’m sticking with the home state.
  • Jacksonville State is giving three to our old friends at Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl and I am going with the team not in its home state.

17. This weekend is kind of the start of the Christmas holidays, and I want to make sure the people who read this column realize how much I appreciate them. People tell me all the time how they miss “The Back Nine” and I tell them they just miss the convenience of it. It’s not that difficult to find. I mean, you found it, right?

18. Which means you get another playlist. The Christmas one is coming next week:

About Pat Dooley

Check Also

Gators Men’s Tennis Falls To Tennessee in SEC Quarterfinals

The Gators fell to the Tennessee Volunteers 4-1 Friday in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals in …