Dooley: No NFL preseason games hurts college football fact gathering

[Courtesy of UAA]
Welcome back to another edition of Groundhog Day where we keep waking up in the same day with the same mask and the same plans. Get up, eat something, work, watch something, go to sleep.
We want answers. No, we want the truth. The trouble is that we may not be able to handle the truth. (Part of Groundhog Day is when I steal lines from movies).
To say that we are closer to answers is only to say that another day has passed without them. Including the big one.
Will Florida play football this fall?
I talked to a lot of people about this. Here’s what I know.
Most of the ACC’s schedule. For now.
Seriously, we have no idea how many of these games will be played, but the ACC surprised some people by releasing its plan Wednesday. Every team has a TBA, which means one non-conference game is to be inserted in that spot. So, in theory, Florida and Florida State will play in Tallahassee at a date yet to be determined.
We’ll see.
The ACC decided to schedule 10 conference games, including Notre Dame and a portion of its NBC-TV money and we’ll see how many of those games are played.
But at least there was some news here in Punxsutawney.
I spent all of Wednesday on the phone and picked up a few tidbits. Take them with a big glass of whatever because everything changes hourly.
• College football people are not happy that the NFL canceled its preseason. This would be the first time ever that anybody who is not a coach or a free agent was not happy that the exhibition season was canceled.
But college football’s peeps really wanted to see how it was handled in the NFL first before making a collection of final decisions.
• Which makes me more and more convinced that the SEC will start its games in late September after the NFL has played some games. Even later than the ACC, which may have scheduled for the second weekend in September knowing those games could be canceled without affecting the things too much.
I know that baseball has started and basketball starts tonight. But these are different sports. Who would ever have thought the NFL could be the guinea pig for the college game instead of vice versa?
• I checked with Florida after a couple of Big 12 teams scheduled Aug. 29 games to see if Florida might do the same and was told UF would not. Athletic director Scott Stricklin must be getting tired of my phone calls and texts.
• The Big 12 seems like a league out there in the wilderness while the Big Ten and Pac 12 have formed one bond and the SEC and ACC another.
• There will be a lot to digest if the SEC announces a 10-game schedule Friday after the school presidents meet Thursday. For example, if they go geographically, Florida could pick up Alabama and Auburn. Yikes.
• So when the NCAA Board of Governors meets Tuesday and decides whether or not to cancel its championships for the fall, that’s when we will get even more answers, huh?
Who knows if the BOG will make a decision or just postpone again? I know camps are supposed to begin at the end of next week, but if the season is delayed, camps don’t need to begin on time.
I told someone today I would bet on the SEC college football season to begin on Sept. 19 or 26. He would not take the bet.
That’s still not an answer.
But it may be the truth.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at And follow at