Worst-case scenario for Gator fans

Florida coach Jim McElwain, right, and Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher meet before last year's game at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee. [File]

As we all know — and as Tiger Woods found out this week — there are pros and cons to social media and the World Wide Interweb.

You used to go to bed at night unable to sleep because you couldn’t remember the actor’s name who played Wojo in “Barney Miller.” But these days, Google is there in a flash to tell you his name was Max Gail.

Was the world a better place before selfies and students walking a beautiful campus without ever looking up from their phones? I’d like to think it was.

Facebook is less a tool of information than it is a scrapbook. You’ll never guess what little Billy did today.
A friend of mine likes to say that Twitter is evil, but it is simply a tool to use however you choose. Without Twitter, how would I get my breaking news, takedowns of sports heroes and daily lectures from Don Cheadle?

I think there is a point here and if there is one it is that social media is as good as we want it to be. And this week, I learned a new tool that is going to drive my followers crazy.

I love polls. I really love Twitter polls. It’s a great way to see how people are feeling about certain things. So I ran a few past the Gator Nation and anyone else keeping an eye on my Twitter feed.

And here are the results of my 10 questions. Feel free to retweet this or Snapchat it or Link It In or put it on Facebook or just cut it out and mail it to somebody for gosh sakes.

  1. Worst case scenario — Will Muschamp wins the SEC East, Will Grier wins the Heisman, FSU wins the national title.

You guys really don’t like the Semis, do you? Of 1,540 voters, 51 percent went with the latter brutal finish to the 2017 season. Muschamp edged Grier with 26 percent to 23 percent. Can you imagine all four happening this season? No, you can’t move to Canada.

  1. Which result would you prefer — win the East and lose to FSU, not win the East and beat FSU or go 7-5 and score a lot of points?

It’s amazing that 7 percent of the 1,573 voters chose the last option. Maybe Jim McElwain’s dog is playing quarterback in that scenario. I’m not surprised that the vote was close — winning the SEC with a loss to FSU taking a 49-44 percent win. Says a lot about what has happened in Atlanta and how much UF needs a win over that school out west.

  1. Which SEC team on the schedule this year scares you the most — Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M or Tennessee?

The Vols getting no respect, no respect at all with 4 percent of the vote. It was an almost dead heat with Georgia at 44 percent and LSU at 43 percent of the 1,024 votes. Maybe I should have included Kentucky.

  1. What is you No. 1 concern with this year’s Florida team — Quarterback, linebacker depth, secondary youth or play-calling?

Not surprisingly, the sexiest answer got the most votes. Quarterback took 62 percent of 1,405 votes registered. Playcalling only got 9 percent. Doug Nussmeier thanks you.

  1. Which team is Florida’s biggest rival right now — FSU, Tennessee, Georgia or LSU?

Yikes, the Vols only received 4 percent of the vote. FSU was the overwhelming winner at 61 percent with Georgia second. This is what happens when you lose four in a row to a rival.

  1. Florida is the home team against Michigan so what uniforms should the Gators wear?

You guys are after my heart. Blue tops, white pants received 56 percent of the vote to win out of 1,214 clickers. Second was blue top with orange pants followed by all orange.

7, How many games (including a bowl game) does Florida win in 2017?

You are an optimistic bunch voting 48 percent that Florida will win 10 and, to be honest, I didn’t put 11 out there. There was an “other” category that received 14 percent, but when I see “other” I think worse than a double bogey.

  1. What kickoff time do you prefer for Gator home games?

The restaurants and bars in town like the 3:30 p.m. games, but 54 percent of you prefer the 7 p.m. start. Of course, take this poll in November and it might have a different result. Only 2 percent like the noon start and I didn’t even vote.

  1. Who should be the next person in the Ring of Honor not named Tim Tebow — Urban Meyer, Wes Chandler, Alex Brown or Lomas Brown?

Tebow will go in soon and Meyer is the only other person eligible right now under the overly strict guidelines. And he received the highest percentage at 28 percent of 949 votes. Maybe the healing has begun. It was close — Chandler 27 percent, Alex Brown 25 percent and Lomas Brown 20 percent.

  1. How much does SEC pride matter — Matters lot, couldn’t care less or chant “S-E-C” when convenient?

The winner? When it’s convenient with 44 percent. For all of the talk about SEC pride, I know a lot of Gator fans who root against SEC teams in bowl games. In this poll, 32 percent said it matters a lot and 24 percent said they couldn’t care less.

So, anyway, thanks to all who participated. And now that I have a new weapon (like it was complicated in the first place), you’re going to get a lot of opportunities to vote in Twitter polls.

Try to contain your excitement.

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


  1. Pat – interesting column. But see Clay Travis’s take on reacting to social media opinion: “Social media has led to a distortion of what the public actually wants. You can’t serve your entire audience by reacting to social media. And I think that’s what brands are trying to do now. Everyone lives in fear of going viral for a negative reason.
    But here’s the deal — nothing happens when a brand goes viral for a negative reason, the story lasts for a day and then it’s over.”
    His full column is fascinating. It’s at https://www.outkickthecoverage.com/all-that-and-a-bag-of-mail-11/

  2. Winning the SEC is ALWAYS paramount – #1 priority every year. Ergo, you have to win your side of the draw 1st.

    Beating Dawg Scum is #1A – period. Sorry, Nolies, you just aren’t that important.

    I always loved the old orange tops w/ the orange helmet. The continuity is more intimidating than breaking it up with blue jersey.

    I think the Gators are a 10 win team. My #1 worry every year is offensive line play. No QB is good when they are flat on their back (I’m still not sure if Jeff Driscoll is any good or not).

    Lomas Brown doesn’t get nearly enough love. He was so good he was unremarkable – he made it look easy. And I hope the day comes when Chris Leak gets Gator Nation love he deserves.

    Later kick off starts are better than Blast-Furnace O’Clock.

    All day every day S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C!

  3. Under no circumstances should “Family Time” Meyer EVER be in the Ring of Honor. Honestly, I don’t even like the Ring and wish it had not been started.

    But if we’re gonna have one, it will be awful to see the name of the dishonest grabber that gutted our program. Yeah I cheered for him crazy before he emptied his purse and pulled a recruit-roosky. But the two nat’l titles were not worth it. His coddling of thugs, lying to the fans, his self-absorbed swan song season, and lying to recruits about UF after he left should ruin his name for all Gators. Thinking about that name alongside real Gator legends is nauseating.

    Maybe the healing has begun??! Dooley has always been soft in Meyer – and well, everybody – but I will have only contempt for the Buckeye coach. Great riddance, sorry you were ever here.

  4. Better hope the rain stops in SE Texas or this game could be cancelled due to a lack of Police to run security for the contest and unsafe traveling conditions due to the excessive rain in Texas and along the Louisianan Coast. Same thing that happened to LSU at Florida last year…

  5. I’d prefer, Pat, the Gators kick the ‘Noles butts, knocking them out the national championship race (see: 1997 game), and then kick the tired out Crimson Tides’ butts (see:1996 S.E.C.C.G.), and then play in the Coach Mac era’s 1st ever ”College Football Playoff”. That’s not too much to ask for, is it?

  6. FL-MI? Perhaps the biggest obstacle for FL to overcome will be Michigan’s belief in themselves. Fl must be willing to fight win or lose. Fall behind and give in is what MI believes FL will do. I am concerned whether the Gators’ resolve can match that of Michigan. This is a mental quality as much as a physical quality. Gators must not accept defeat. It’s not good enough to simply have a good showing. Defeat can not be acceptable. Beat Bama too! Go Gators!

  7. @Pat (not Dooley) I’d be willing to bet that you’re not even part of Gator Nation. By the way Gator Nation is anyone who attends, has graduated from, works for or who gives money to the University of Florida. If your not any of those you’re just a band wagon fan, who likes to go to games and wear orange and blue.