The Back Nine: Gators are alive and kicking


Published: Monday, November 1, 2010 at 6:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 at 6:04 p.m.

The Back Nine comes after surviving both Florida-Georgia weekend and Halloween. It's just not a good holiday for the Bulldog Nation, is it?

10. It's funny how one field goal can change so much. Florida fans now believe they have a real chance to go to Atlanta for something other than the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Georgia fans now believe they have the wrong guy under the headsets. Mark Richt is 2-8 against Florida and 1-5 against Urban Meyer, which does not sit well with anyone wearing red and black. In his six games against Meyer, Richt has seen his team lead in only one of those games — the 2007 game that Georgia won. In his last 24 games, Richt has won 13. His current team is 4-5 and needs to beat either Auburn or Georgia Tech to be bowl eligible (assuming the Dawgs can handle Idaho State). So you can understand why the Bulldog Nation is grumpy. I don't think Richt is going anywhere after this season but he sure has made it interesting. By the way, Florida is now only six games under .500 against Georgia. You might live long enough to see it evened up.

11. Meanwhile, the trend continues for Meyer. I'm not sure it's explainable but he is now 26-2 against the SEC East and 11-10 (counting SEC title games) against the West. Sure, the West is better this year but that hasn't always been the case. (The West is 21-10 this season, while the East is 12-23.) Or has it? During Meyer's career at UF, he has played 12 games against ranked teams from the West and only nine ranked teams from the East. Of course, when LSU is your constant on the schedule from the other division, that's going to be tough. LSU has handed Meyer three of those 10 losses.

12. Don't look now but we could have some weird matchups in the big bowls this season. And I'm not just talking about the potential for a Boise State-TCU national title game. One of the BCS bowl games could end up with Syracuse, which is still in the hunt in the putrid Big East. Another could get Baylor, which is leading the Big 12 South. Another could get a team that lost to James Madison (Virginia Tech is unbeaten in the ACC). Imagine if you have Boise State in the Rose, Virginia Tech in the Orange, Baylor in the Fiesta and Syracuse in the Sugar. Chaos, I tell you. There are currently 24 teams from the BCS conferences that are bowl eligible. Syracuse is the only one from the Big East. And it's looking more and more like a bowl or two is going to have to petition the NCAA to take a 5-7 team or three. There is still hope for teams like Mississippi, Virginia and, uh, Texas.

13. Take the time to go online and vote for Sean Bedford, the former Buchholz lineman now at Georgia Tech, for the Lowe's Senior Class Award. Bedford is one of 10 finalists and is as good a kid as you'll ever meet. So go and do it. Go ahead. http://Seniorclassaward.com. I'll wait. Did you do it? OK, good job.

14. The Back Nine would be remiss not to give a shout-out to Becky Burleigh and her soccer team. SEC championships still mean a lot around here and she's won 11 of them. To go on the road and win at South Carolina with the title hanging in the balance is an impressive feat by the impressive feet. We convinced the good people at the Bogey Grille in Ponte Vedra Beach to put the match on instead of the Heat-Magic game. Yes, I did get some weird looks. Also a shout-out to Ironwood which re-opened Monday after a summer of reinvention. Everything I hear is that it's like a whole new golf course. And the first chance I get to actually play golf again (projected to be May), I'm going to give it a try.

15. What is it about the NFL teams from the state of Florida that they only seem to play good football when they leave the state of Florida? Miami, Jacksonville and Tampa Bay have combined to win nine games on the road and only four at home. If you can figure out the Jaguars, well, you're a smarter person than me. What do you mean you already knew that?

16. So Lee Westwood is now the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world? Raise your hand if you think a guy who has won zero majors can be considered the best golfer in the world. OK, Sergio Garcia, you can put your hand down. Expect the No. 1 ranking to change a lot over the next few months.

17. Tweet of the week comes from Guerin Emig, who covers Oklahoma for the Tulsa World — "Mack Brown no-shows on Big 12 teleconference. Probably too busy schmoozing ESPN to try to secure early Texas Bowl invite."

18. I hit the wall on my weight loss plan and it's time to take it to the next level. So these songs have been added to my iPod, "The Fire" by Senses Fail, "My Heart Skips a Beat" by The Secret Sisters, because I need some country if I'm going to walk properly in Nashville, and for the old-schoolers "School's Out" by Alice Cooper.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at dooleyp@gvillesun.com. You can listen to The Pat Dooley Show weekdays from 4-6 p.m. on 104.9 FM. And follow at http://Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top