The Picks: No storming the field at Kentucky

Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks celebrates with fans after he threw a 63-yard touchdown pass as time expired to defeat Tennessee 26-20 in a game in Gainesville, Fla. Florida won 26-20. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Can we settle down now?

I’m not talking about fans either jumping up and down on metal bleachers (bad on the knees) or the ones lighting their team’s jerseys on fire (rhymes with Fennessee).

I’m just talking about a college football season that has been wild and crazy and we’re still not out of September.

Oh, we like the upsets (Nebraska, I think geography has totally caught up with you) and stunning finishes (why are people so upset arguing that it was not a “Hail Mary”?) and video game stats (Mason Rudolph, come on down).

But we could do without the hurricanes and suspensions and season-ending injuries.

Let’s focus on the weather issues (only from a football standpoint for the sake of this column). Florida State and Miami haven’t played since the opening weekend. Central Florida hasn’t played in September. Florida has played two games and must feel overworked.

It turns out we had the solution to the hurricane problems all along. We should just have sent Wisconsin fans into the path of Irma. Just last week, they descended on the only two bars in Provo (you’ll never be invited into the SEC, Brigham Young University, with that attitude) and threatened to drink both bars dry.

Apparently, they came close. They could have sucked all the rain out of that thing (if it was laced with Fireball, that is).

Hopefully, we’re done with the bad things that have come with this month and can focus only on the good things.

No more hurricanes.

No more suspensions.

No more injuries that end the seasons of great players.

Only Dr. Football could find a way to take a loss a week after a game was played. A reader pointed out that my record was off by one because I picked Stanford over USC and somehow counted it as a win.

He was right. I blame myself.

So that’s a mediocre record of 20-10 after last week’s 6-4 performance. I need a new crystal ball. Maybe I can make one from the glass patio table I shattered like it was the Death Star while cleaning up after the hurricane. But that’s another story.

On to this week and The Picks:

FLORIDA AT KENTUCKY: I am 0-for-2 picking UF games. Here’s how bad it is. CBS-4 hired a new reporter to co-host Gainesville Gameday with me. Megan is from Arizona State. She picked Florida correctly last week. Sigh. I know, you want me to pick Kentucky. But I can’t go against 30 years of tradition. Plus, there is this. Already there is a buzz in Lexington about storming the field after the Wildcats end their streak (at a cost of a $250,000 fine from the SEC because it would be their third offense). Florida, 24-17.

ARKANSAS-TEXAS A&M (ARLINGTON): The Hot Seat Bowl will have a winner and a bunch of writers covering one team checking out the buyout for the loser. There’s something scary about Arkansas after a bye week. Or maybe I’m just scarred from last year’s Florida game. Arkansas, 34-24.

N.C. STATE AT FSU: It feels like FSU’s last game was a month ago, which is not much of an exaggeration. James Blackman will throw his first collegiate pass Saturday. It’s tempting, but … FSU, 30-21.

ALABAMA AT VANDERBILT: After the Commodores beat Kansas State, some of the players declared that they wanted Alabama. Here you go. Alabama, 28-10.

TCU AT OKLAHOMA STATE: I’m not jumping off the Cowboys bandwagon now. Oklahoma State, 42-28.

MISSISSIPPI STATE AT GEORGIA: My buddy Dennis Dodd wrote that Dan Mullen needs to get out of Starkville if he wants to get a higher ceiling. If he wins this game, there won’t be a hotter coach in the country. Mississippi State, 23-20.

AUBURN AT MISSOURI: If the Tigers struggle against Missouri’s defense, it’s going to get really noisy on the plains. Auburn, 39-21.

PENN STATE AT IOWA: James Franklin caught a lot of heat for calling a timeout while Georgia State was attempting a late field goal to avoid a shutout. The game is 60 minutes of football. You play them all. Penn State, 28-21.

WASHINGTON AT COLORADO: As an AP voter, I have discovered that people really care where you put their teams. I haven’t ranked Colorado yet. I won’t Sunday either. Washington, 23-18.

UCF AT MARYLAND: Florida’s former defensive coordinator goes up against Nebraska’s next coach. Right? Not so fast, my friend. Maryland, 34-30.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at And follow at


  1. Come on Pat, drop your pride, be technically correct, and admit it was an obvious 70 yard air time pass to an open receiver, caught in stride/running, over the top of a too late defender (understand, the receiver wasn’t just standing around with 2-3 other guys hoping for a “hail Mary” mortar shot chance to catch a tipped ball)…you commented in the FB live segment that you saw two guys “wide open”…there is no “wide open” involved in a “hail Mary”. Franks throw the ball precisely to Cleveland. As you have pointed out, at 6′ 6″, Franks should and hopefully will get better at scanning the field for “wide open” guys. Hard picking games this year…FSU has a brand new Freshman QB, anything could happen and bad things are very likely.

  2. Perhaps Pat will improve his stats with this week’s picks. They look pretty good to me. I sure hope the players know that KY fans are already planning to rush the field, that would make me very determined not only to prevent it, but perhaps give Florida fans a reason to do so. Just think an opponent rushing your field, great way to celebrate 31 years of success.

  3. Let’s see how I compare vs. Dooley:
    Florida 38, Kentucky 24 (offense finally starts to get going and the D continues to do in the clutch)
    Texas A&M 45, Arkansas 21 (HC hot seat become hotter for one and less hot for the other)
    FSU 24, NC State 10 (Mike Winter might show up again next week just because FSU won a ugly game)
    Alabama 31, Vandy 13 (Bama restores some SEC East order)
    Oklahoma State 34, TCU 31 (an almost upset but the bad haircut wins it on a last second stop)
    Mississippi State 28, Georgia 24 (MSU physicality wins out and Georgia fans go into full panic mode)
    Auburn 34, Missouri 3 (see above about HC hot seats)
    Penn State 45, Iowa 14 (yawns)
    Washington 35, Colorado 21 (yawn again)
    Maryland 55, UCF 42 (no yawns, but who cares?)

    Only picked one game different. Guess I measure on point differential. But, based on your picks so far this year, I sure wish you had picked Kentucky to win. But, other than that………….


  4. As much as I like Pat, have to go c Rick Gilmore on this one. Would also note that Franklin deserves any and all “heat” he gets, after the stupid and arrogant comments he made about Akron a couple of years ago. Ridiculous thing to say in public.