Back Nine: UF baseball set up for another run in '12


Published: Monday, June 27, 2011 at 6:37 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 27, 2011 at 6:37 p.m.

The Back Nine comes at you from Omaha (again) and a new hotel (again) where the Gator baseball team is facing an SEC team (again) on baseball’s biggest stage. Talk about Groundhog Day.

10. My daily walk took me to the Missouri River and it is quite a sight to see. The river is flying by Omaha so fast it’s a little scary. It has flooded the banks to the point that trees are under water. And they say the worst is to come from South Dakota where the snowpacks are melting and causing this. I hope it doesn’t flood my new friends here in this really wonderful city. By the way, I know a lot of Gator fans headed out here for the Finals so here are some dinner recommendations — Rock Bottom Brewery, M’s Pub and The Drover. And a really good sports bar is D.J.’s Dugout where I got to watch the Braves lose Sunday. Drats.

11. Someone asked Kevin O’Sullivan if there was one player he signed who made him think he had the key to making it to Omaha. He said it was the whole class of players who are now sophomores. Brian Johnson, Austin Maddox, Nolan Fontana and Hudson Randall. Pretty good class. “Sometimes you land one or two special players,” he said. “But I think in that class we were able to land quite a few.” Florida is going to take some hits when drafted players sign, but the nucleus is there for another special season next year.




12. I have to say I was rooting for Serena Williams to win Wimbledon because of everything she’s been through. But I didn’t think she had a chance to make it all the way through. I don’t watch a lot of tennis (although I watched the Bjorn Borg-John McEnroe documentary on HBO three times), but I was watching her matches. Hopefully, she sticks with it. She’s not Tiger Woods, but tennis is more fun when she is playing.

13. I wonder how big a deal it would be that Yani Tseng won her fourth major at the age of 22 if it was any sport other than women’s golf. I mean, I get how unbelievable that is especially to win the latest by 10 shots. But I don’t think the mainstream media is into it. One of the problems for the women is that their majors don’t feel like majors. You win the Kraft Nabisco Championship and you should get free cookies not a major. It will be interesting to see if Joe Fan will start to watch women’s golf if she keeps winning majors. Probably not.

14. So Russell Wilson is transferring to Wisconsin, huh? The Back Nine doesn’t know if that will work out (see: Jeremiah Masoli at Ole Miss) but there are a lot of pundits who are going to elevate Wisky a handful of spots in their preseason polls. You have to consider the Badgers to be a national contender now because their weakness was considered quarterback and they don’t have a brutal schedule. They have an early test against Oregon State and play host to Nebraska. They do have to go to Ohio State later in the year, but who knows what the Buckeyes will look like by then? No, I’m not penning Wisconsin in for New Orleans. But whatever SEC team that makes the national title game is probably hoping for a Big 10 team.

15. You talk about time flying by. With the two-week run in Omaha, it suddenly dawned on me that I leave for SEC Media Days in exactly three weeks. Where did my summer go? Of course, I’m never going to complain about college football getting closer. I think this is going to be a fascinating year in college football. It’d be nice if we had pro football to help us all unwind on Sundays.

16. The Marlins have Jack McKeon as their manager and now the Nationals have Davey Johnson. What’s next, is Bobby Cox’s cell phone ringing?

17. Tweet of the Week comes from former Gator strong safety Ahmad Black, who must be losing his mind waiting for this lockout to end — “Shout out to all the new Gator freshmen on their first day of classes today...first day of the best times of your lives!!”

18. My iPod has smoke coming out of it I’ve used it so much. The only good part about changing hotels three times is that I’ve upgraded the scenery in my walks each time. From a prison to a lovely neighborhood to a beautiful lakeside walking trail. Try these out — “Pressure and Time” by Rival Sons, “Holdin On To Black Metal” by My Morning Jacket and for the old school in you “Highway Star” by Deep Purple.

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