Dooley: UF's resume backs rank


Florida Gators center Sam Robey blocks after snapping the ball against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the first half at Dudley Field on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 in Nashville, Tenn. Florida defeated Vanderbilt 31-17.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 12:11 a.m.

The Back Nine comes at you after a trip to Nashville that was great as always. Rippy's and Jack's BBQ brought it Friday night and everything went well, even though we had some issues in Atlanta's airport. Then again, who doesn't?

10. When the news broke Sunday evening that Florida is No. 2 in the BCS rankings, I talked to several Gator fans who recoiled a bit at the news. I understand where they are coming from because they've seen the warts on Will Muschamp's team. But when you look at the resume, it makes sense. Florida has wins over two top-20 BCS teams, is 3-0 on the road and is No. 1 in the computer rankings as a result. And it's not like strength of schedule will diminish in the second half of the season with games against Nos. 7, 11 and 14. No matter what happens the rest of the way, Muschamp deserves a lot of credit for what his team has been able to accomplish despite a plethora of injuries. It got so bad on the offensive line Saturday night I thought he was going to ask me to come down from the press box to play. I told everybody before the season this is an 8-4 team. It's obviously better than that.

11. I've been trying to think who Jeff Driskel reminds me of and I think I finally hit on it — Colin Kaepernik. He wears his pants in a similar fashion as the former Nevada quarterback and when he runs it looks like he's gliding. There is no question that the passing game has to get better over the next two weeks, but Muschamp said something interesting when I asked him about it after the game. He said they see an excellent passing game in practice, but it hasn't translated to the games in part because they haven't needed it. By the way, you may have seen Muschamp return to his ‘Coach Boom' persona at one point in the game when he was all over the officials. He told me he was upset Vandy kept using illegal pick plays to get receivers open.

12. Last week there was a lot written about the transformation of Steve Spurrier to a coach who didn't throw it all over the field and instead liked to run it. But at halftime of the LSU game, Spurrier said they were going to throw it more in the second half and Connor Shaw ended up throwing 34 passes, by far the most the Gamecocks have attempted this season. Unfortunately, Shaw's pass efficiency rating was the second-lowest of the season. And Spurrier wasn't happy about some of those throws, as you could tell by the number of times he almost threw his visor and headset. ‘'I don't know if he got hit in the head tonight or not,” Spurrier said of his quarterback. “Some of his decision-making was a little off.”

13. One thing that's for sure following the weekend — the Heisman Trophy race is back on. Geno Smith looked like a lock until he was shut down by Texas Tech. He didn't lose the Heisman, but he certainly fell back into the pack. In fact, Kansas State's Collin Klein will have a chance to make his case this week when the Wildcats travel to West Virginia on Saturday. West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen blamed the wind for Smith's shaky performance, but it didn't seem to affect Tech's quarterback Seth Doege, who threw for 499 yards and six touchdowns.

14. I don't think anybody who was watching the Florida-LSU game thought the Tigers could be in the mix to play for another national title this year, but Les Miles has his team back up to No. 6 in the BCS standings with a real shot at it. It was interesting to hear what quarterback Zach Mettenberger had to say after the game. He said two South Carolina players, one of them being defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, came up to him before the game and told him they were going to take him out. “They definitely had a few choice words to say to me, but I'm guessing they're looking dumb right now with the loss on their record,” Mettenberger said. “Obviously, it didn't work out for them too well.”

15. Because baseball is dead to me after the Braves' loss, I haven't watched much of the playoffs. In fact, we kept track of the Yankees-Tigers by watching the crawl on ESPN while we were watching Louisiana Tech-Texas A&M. (Can a freshman win the Heisman? I'm just asking.) But even if you don't like the Yankees, the Derek Jeter injury was a terrible thing to see on the highlights later that night.

16. It must be nice to lose half of your first six games and still be in first place like everybody in the AFC East. Or is everybody tied for last?

17. The Tweet of the Week comes from Wes Rucker, who does radio and writes on all things Tennessee — “Vols' schedule has been brutal. Fortunately for them, they get a brief respite this week by hosting struggling Alabama.” That's the thing about the SEC. You battle and battle and there are only rare Saturdays off. Like when you play Kentucky.

18. The iPhone and I had a great walk around Vanderbilt's campus Saturday morning, and it ended at the baseball stadium where, believe it or not, the entire field is now artificial turf including the infield, which is colored brown. It's different, I'll say that. Try these downloads — “Doom and Gloom” by the Rolling Stones (the boys still bring it), “Somewhere in Neverland” by All Time Low and for the old school in you “There's A Kind of Hush” by Herman's Hermits.

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