Dooley Noted: Under new coaches, 8- to 10-win seasons in sight for UF football


Gainesville Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley is back with an in-depth look at the improvements Gator football fans should look for and more.


    • I don’t think it will sell either, Kevin. First couple, three years, sure. As long as improvement is seen each year. I think that will happen, myself. At least, I’m expecting it to, and I’m expecting to be back to elite status sooner than later, too. Too much to expect? No, I don’t think so….not with this coach and not with the talent he should be able to recruit once he digs in. If Kirby Smart can turn around Georgia like he has, there’s no doubt in my military mind that Dan Mullen can too. In fact, I think the East has already started its rebound, and there are going to be some really competitive games played on this side of the line in the near future.

      • Kirby about to show the nation that he is “elite” and the Dogs will be Top 5 consistently for the foreseeable future. What have you seen in Mullen that makes you think that if Kirby can do it, Mullen certainly can?

        • Well, you’ve certainly got a historic Georgia name, Wally, but even so I can’t disagree with you as regards Kirby Smart. I also agree that the Dawgs will be a highly ranked team for quite a while, although the way I see it with the Vols also overdue to come back to prominence now with their new coach (and especially AD), maybe with USC possibly getting some traction now (?)….there’s going to be some old fashioned hot competition in the East. And that’s good for Florida too. More specifically, though, I think Mullen is not only as good a coach as Kirby but he has his heart in Gator-Land, big time. With his background and two NCs here as OC, his coaching abilities, the staff he’s assembling, and the talent that will likely be coming…yes, I do sincerely believe that Dan Mullen will do it. That takes nothing away from either the Dawgs or Kirby Smart, bud–historically, there have been a lot of great coaches and programs in the SEC and East at the same time. Me, I think this is gonna me more fun than the law should allow, to be honest with you.

    • He is talking about next year, not the future. no one seems to know what will happen with the suspended players. He might end up with only 75 scholarship players. You are not going to win the SEC with that number of players

  1. Pat: Good Podcast. Overall I do agree and enjoy way more of your views than I don’t agree with. Glade your knee is making progress. I’m fearful that Mayfield is Mansell II. He has the arrest record and disposition. The weight room situation you covered goes hand in hand with what I called the “flip flop wearing, I’m a free bird” mentality MacElwain had….not a big league football program manager.

  2. ”Welcome back, Mr. Kotter!” (aged myself). It showed (to me) that some ”U.F. Football players didn’t work out” regularly. And between the leagues letting the players wear 1/2 sized knee pads (very little protection) and not lifting, it’s amazing that more players don’t get injured. But, it’s a new day! Go Gators!

  3. For once, I almost agree with Pat…However, I think UF will win 10-12 games, Mullen’s first year…there is no one on UF’s scheduled next year that UF can’t beat…UF will probably be favored in all it’s games next year…the talent is certainly there, even with a Fr. QB…next years team will be a lot this years Georgia’s team …excellent running game and a decent passing team…UG is a flash in the pan this year and will struggle to win 8-9 games next year.

    • I sure hope you’re right, Cody, and I also agree that the Gators will probably resemble a lot of what we saw in Athens this year. Not sure I embrace UGA as a flash-in-the-pan, though. Just got too much respect for Kirby and what they’ve built and recruited for next year too (but to be honest, I sure do hope you’re right about that too!). I suspect that the East will still be dominated by Georgia next year, but I really do believe that it will be on fire after that and that Florida will be on top.

    • What part is “nonsense”, Pete? Don’t forget, there will be more vets on that Florida O-line next year, pretty sure some very talented new faces, and very improved coaching all around for a change. I’m not saying that next year is “the year”, but it’ll be sooner than anybody thinks–of that I’m very certain. Who are you talking to, anyway? Cody? Me? Somebody else? No te hagas pedo, amigo.

  4. Dooley – I can’t help but take the leaks from your source with a grain of salt. Perhaps your respect for him is due to the fact that he feeds you dirt to write about and you want to pump his or her ego up to nurture that relationship. We know you are competing with ESPN and other national media outlets to break the news. For all I know, your source is the same character with an axe to grind that kept leaking dirt during the week that led up to and immediately following McElwain’s firing. I doubt a person of high character would be passing this gossip fit for banter around the water cooler. If you are being fair and impartial, you should get a response from a secret source out of McElwain’s camp. We know you can’t get him to say anything on record because UF stipulated that he can’t talk bad about them as part of the settlement. However, UF’s slimeball sources has the freedom to leak dirt as they fit. Pat, I like your entertaining pieces especially your quirky analogies, but I have to call you on this one.

  5. I could coach Florida to 8 wins. Hopefully Coach Mullen will do a bit better. It’s unrealistic to have higher aspirations with so much of the scheme on both sides of the ball in transition.

    Glad your back Pat. Based on the comments, glad to see you didn’t lose your thick skin in the rehab.

  6. GATOR-6, I agree with you 100%. I’m totally positive about this hire. Sure Georgia is loaded but I think the east will be better and I definitely think Florida will mature into a top 10 program sooner than later. Not sure Tenn will jump out so quickly. I do think Florida will have a year to get the past coach out of its system but I’m really ready for the next year. I thought coach Frost was going to be next coach and glad we didn’t go the Kelly route only because I didn’t trust him. However, after the press conference with Mullen’s I’m sold he wants this job and is well trained and equipped to be successful here at Florida. I know there are the naysayers but we’ll see soon.

    • Well put jerrygator…..I think in the case of Tenn, the problem up there had more to do with a very dysfunctional athletic department than it did with their head coach, per se. But that changed, I hope and do believe, when Phil Fulmer took back over as AD. That’s a coach and a man I’ve grudgingly admired for a lot of years, and with a new, strong head coach on board too, I think the Vols will be on the rise too and in relatively short order. You might be right tho, there are a whole lot of problems up there to overcome. I know it sounds odd to a lot of folks, but I really do love the high level of competition we used to enjoy in the East, and I really do think that both makes the Gators not only better, but also on top again once all the dust settles.