The Gators walk to the locker room during Gator Walk at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, April 13, 2024 before the Orange and Blue game. [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]2024

Pat Dooley’s Back Nine: Vegas Not Betting On Florida Winning Much

The Back Nine comes at you after a weird weekend. I know we have them all the time, but when Gator sports are over for the academic year, I feel a little lost.


10. Hey, we do have the Olympics, although, if they are as boring as the Trials they are not going to get my attention. It is almost a month until the British Open and SEC Media Days, which always seem to be on the same week. But mostly, the couch potatoes are going to struggle for something to watch until August unless you have one of those MLB packages and care enough to tune in. This is the time of year when you play a lot of golf unless you want to stay out of the hospital with heat stroke. My plan today is to put together some sort of rain dance. It can’t hurt. Parts of my lawn look like they could combust at any moment.

11. Instead, what we will be doing is going on vacations and re-examining everything we think about college football as we prepare for the first 12-team playoff. This is the time of year where Someone will ask me to come on radio and hint about a growing momentum that Florida is building. Even if nothing has really happened. Vegas certainly doesn’t think so, putting the over/under for UF wins at 4.5. I’d bet the over and also take Florida plus 19 against Georgia if I was a gambler.

12. The team that has actually made a push for no apparent reason is Miami at 9.5. So, does anybody really believe Miami is five wins better than Florida this year? Well, only if you believe Florida has a brutal schedule and Miami’s is softer than vanilla pudding. It’s simply going to add to the hype for the opening game of the season. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – no fan base hates Florida more than Miami’s. It’s going to get ugly.

13. The biggest thing I have to do on MY vacation is study up on what teams are in what conference and what players are somewhere else. Now that we are down to the Power 4, the SEC is clearly the top league (partly because the Big Ten lacks true depth in its bottom half). Who knows what anyone is going to look like in five years? We may start to see a trading deadline and OTA’s.

14. Yes, I will watch Game 7 of the Stanley Cup tonight even though I can’t name a player and have not watched a game all season. (Is there a McDavid on one team?) I love going to hockey games, but it just doesn’t translate to TV with its two halftimes and lost pucks in the corner. Still, it’s Game 7 for the Cup and one team might blow a 3-0 lead so I will have it on one of the two TVs. Is Gordie Howe still playing?

15. And, I will watch the equivalent of a Game 7 in college baseball when Tennessee and Texas A&M square off for a NCAA championship. With the sound off, of course. I saw a great Tweet from someone that pointed out Tennessee’s fan base is so obnoxious that we are rooting for the strangest people we know – Aggie fans. Maybe Tennessee is the new LSU.

16. This Scottie Scheffler thing is getting ridiculous. He goes into a playoff and it’s another Big Teasy moment. Those protesters who interrupted play on the 18thwith smoke bombs have to understand one thing. This is America and you have a right to protest. But you can’t trespass.

17. Let me get back to the Olympic Trials being boring. There have been some amazing races, but it has just been about athletes from UF getting in. And we have a bunch of them. Soon, we will have more.

18. Heh boy, I don’t know if anybody gets anything from my playlists, but I’m going to keep them coming: sports columnist Pat Dooley can be heard on “The Tailgate” along with Jeff Cardozo from 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday on 98.1-FM/AM-850 WRUF.

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