THE PICKS

Dooley: Georgia Dome part of UF history


Published: Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 5:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 5:53 p.m.

There will be some melancholy feelings Saturday when I leave the Georgia Dome for the last time. So many memories, so many buffets.

The stadium will host its final SEC Championship Game and it is fitting that the two teams who started it all and have been in the most championship games will be playing. I promise to pause and drink it all in one more time and then do the same at the media hotel bar.

I was trying to think of my favorite moments in the Georgia Dome and it’s a list that could fill this entire column.

Florida has won so many championships there in both basketball and football that it could create a trophy case that would be filled to the brim, and it would have to be a big one.

My top five:

1. 2007 NCAA Final Four.

2. 1996 SEC title game.

3. 2008 SEC title game.

4. 2005 SEC hoops tourney.

5. 1994 SEC title game.

I could go on for a long time and not get to the tornado tournament until I was in double figures.

The Georgia Dome has been a special place for the Gator Nation. And if you are going, take some time to pause and think about all of those great memories. I’m sure Alabama fans will do the same, although they don't have the basketball side of it.

This is the 25th SEC Championship Game and 23rd at the Dome and my 12th in the building. I will miss it.

What I won’t miss is a terrible November picking games. Last week was 5-5 and the slump last month put me at 74-46 for the season. Dr. Football is the Texas A&M of pickers.

I guess it’s better than being a Kardashian.

ALABAMA-FLORIDA: Florida kept it close last year, but that defense was way healthier than this one. Alabama’s defense is the story of this year’s game except that the Tide also leads the SEC in offense. Yikes. Alabama, 34-minus-3.

CLEMSON-VIRGINIA TECH: Wouldn’t it be funny if one of these teams didn’t get the memo and showed up in Charlotte? Well, funny to me. Clemson, 28-21.

PENN STATE-WISCONSIN: Forget getting two teams in the playoff, what if the Big Ten gets three in? It could happen. Talk about poor ratings. Wisconsin, 12-11.

COLORADO-WASHINGTON: If you had this as your Pac-12 title game in the preseason, please call me. You can help me with my bowl picks. Colorado, 28-21.

TEMPLE AT NAVY: What an incredible job this season by Ken Niauma …, uh, Ken Niautumei ..., er, Ken Niumatalolo … Matt Rhule. Navy, 38-31.

OHIO-WESTERN MICHIGAN: If you did a drinking game where you had to do a shot every time P.J. Fleck was mentioned in connection with an open job during this broadcast, you would need two weeks to sober up. Western Michigan, 34-19.

OKLAHOMA STATE AT OKLAHOMA: Instead of 5-7 teams getting bowl bids, shouldn’t there be a bowl game for Mike Gundy’s mullet? I would watch it. Oklahoma, 38-23.

SAN DIEGO STATE-WYOMING: Before you blow off the Mountain West title game, remember how much you’d give for a live football game in July. San Diego State, 26-19.

LOUISIANA TECH AT WESTERN KENTUCKY: First team to 50, uh, what do you mean it’s the middle of the third quarter? If you love offense, this game is for you. The over/under is four hours. Western Kentucky, 70-67.

BAYLOR AT WEST VIRGINIA: Hey, I needed a 10th game to fill it out. So I have a game where both head coaches might be elsewhere next season. Dana Holgorsen could be in Houston and Jim Grobe could be calling out bingo numbers. West Virginia, 38-24.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at pat.dooley@gvillesun.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.

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