The Back Nine: No more waiting for Weis
Published: Monday, January 10, 2011 at 5:09 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 10, 2011 at 5:09 p.m.
The Back Nine comes at you after NFL wild-card weekend, a big Gator basketball win and a fire pit and HD added to the back patio. I'm getting a lot closer to living out there.
10. So, was it discouraging to see the Kansas City Chiefs' offense get shut down in Charlie Weis' last game as coordinator Gator Nation? Shouldn't be. The NFL and college football are apples and oranges, and Weis will not have to face a defense like Baltimore's in the SEC. You can't really blame five turnovers on Weis. It was curious why the dangerous Dwayne Bowe never had a pass thrown his way. "You have a game like that," said Chiefs coach Todd Haley, "and one of the guys that you've kind of ridden throughout the year appears to be un-involved in the plan." The Ravens, whose defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is a former UF assistant, took Bowe out of the game with double teams. There is going to be speculation in Kansas City that Weis was distracted by the Florida job, but none of it is relevant to what he does here. In Kansas City, he had a lot of interference from Haley and there was one report that Haley stripped Weis of play-calling duties at halftime. That won't be an issue in Gainesville.
11. And I am fascinated to see what he does here. Who will be his quarterback? Will he pound the tailbacks? How will he use Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey? Can he teach Deonte Thompson how to catch? I'm not sure how good this offense will be next year because — as I wrote Saturday — there is always the struggle of transition. But it will be interesting. And the defense certainly received a boost when Janoris Jenkins decided to return for his senior season. His return tells me the secondary will be fine even with the loss of Ahmad Black and Will Hill. Where Florida has to get better is at outside linebacker and defensive end. The perimeter was not good in 2010.
12. Back to the NFL, if I was writing the headline after the Seattle-New Orleans game, it would have said, "Seahawks pull to within one game of .500." I was surprised that the Hawks were getting 10 points in a home playoff game. Seattle wasn't a bad team at home. I'm also not in favor of changing the way you seed the playoffs and here's why. It's not like a 7-9 team makes the playoffs every year. It's never happened before. And let's say you have a team in the NFL North that has an 11-4 record and has clinched the playoffs. That team plays its backups in the last game of the year and loses. Meanwhile, a team in the NFC South is 10-5 and has to win its final game to qualify. And it beat the team in the NFC North in a head-to-head. I just think you should be rewarded for winning your division. And I have a headache from trying to explain my flawed logic.
13. My take on Florida basketball right now is probably the same as yours. When the Gators shoot the ball well they are a really good team. When they don't they are not, but at least they do have defense to fall back on. I wrote Sunday that everybody in the league has a guy who can score points in bunches but the good news for Florida is that it has several. There is still a long way to go, but the Gators are 14th in RPI and their schedule is ranked sixth-toughest in the nation. While the league isn't very good, the Gators are in good shape and hope the senior leadership will help over the long haul of the SEC schedule.
14. The West is really bad. There is no way to spin it. Auburn scored six points in the first half against LSU. What's more amazing is that the Tigers scored 49 in the second half. The Tigers were booed at home after shooting 8.3 percent in the first half. That's not good. Mississippi State might have the best talent in the division now that Dee Bost is back but opened SEC play by getting hammered by Alabama and has an RPI of 235.
15. Yahoo recently listed the best football coaching jobs in sports and had Florida at the top of the list. To me, you have Texas, Ohio State, USC, Alabama, Oklahoma and Florida and then a second tier that would include Georgia, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, LSU and Michigan among others. If I was ranking the SEC, it would go like this — 1. Florida; 2. Alabama; 3. Georgia; 4. LSU; 5. Tennessee; 6. Auburn; 7. South Carolina; 8. Arkansas; 9. Mississippi; 10. Kentucky; 11. Mississippi State; 12. Vanderbilt. Florida gets the nod over Bama because of location.
16. Finally crossed one off my Gainesville bucket list when Karen, Kelsey and I biked the Hawthorne Trail on Saturday. If you haven't, you should. It's really nice. We saw some wild horses and an armadillo. Can't wait to do it again after everything greens up.
17. This week's Tweet of the Week comes from Dennis Dodd of CBS Sportsline — "I don't know what else LSU can give Les Miles, but they better start thinking about what those things are. The Hatter has leverage."
18. The total weight loss spurred by the good people at Request is now 27 1/2 pounds. A long way to go and a lot of good stuff needed for the iPod. Try these — "Love You 'Til the End" by The Pogues, "Fortress" by Hope and for the old-school in you "Space Truckin'" by Deep Purple.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at email@example.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.