Dooley Noted: Perspective on Florida’s loss to Kentucky, plus an interview with Tony Barnhart


Pat reflects on Florida’s poor performance against Kentucky, looks at other games across the country and interviews college football insider Tony Barnhart.

If you’re using the Gatorsports app, please listen to the podcast on the website HERE.

Podcast breakdown:

00:14 9-11 remembered.

02:00 UF vs. UK confirmed our worst fears for Florida

07:25 Culture hasn’t changed. It’s entitlement without talent.

16:00 Looking for answers. And is it really Tom Petty’s fault?

20:00 Tony Barnhart

32:17 Big games last weekend

37:20 Three Things


  1. Tough loss, but I still see dropping 6 or 7 games this season to be a successful first year for CBM. Here are the 5 additional losses that I see as of today (subject to change):

    – UT
    – LSU
    – UGA
    – MSU
    – One of USC/Missouri
    – FSU

    I don’t think we’re bowl eligible with 7 losses, but I may be wrong.

    • Have you watched FSU play this season? They’re by far not the same FSU of the last 7 years. They almost got beat at home by FCS Samford last game. I know you’re obviously very down on the Gators, but when comparing the games against FCS opponents, the Gators looked far better than them. You’re probably right about the rest of the losses, but we’re not losing that game. Winning that one alone would take a lot of sting out of a 5 or 6 loss season.

      • But they still have much better players than we do, and I suspect their current problems relate to new offense install rather than bad coaching or lack of talent. In all likelihood the issues will correct themselves as the season progresses and we’ll face a stronger more potent team at year’s end in Tallahassee.

        My biggest fear going forward — and I hope to God I’m weong — is that Mullen will not sufficiently differentiate himself from other SEC coaches and we’ll wallow in mediocrity for years to come — the next Tennessee. Taggart also seems to be an innately better recruiter than Mullen, and it’s not clear to me Mullen will win many one on one recruiting battles against him.

  2. Pat, you were spot on about the culture being the problem! Clearly, Dan doesn’t have total team buy in, and he indicated that practice has been too soft. Another indicator, a player throws a tantrum after the game, is dismissed from the team, and later claims he is transferring. These type of players are cancer and need to be removed. Mediocrity has defined Florida football and is all the players have known; and that standard is unacceptable and Mullen will change it. It may or may not be visible this year, but the change in relentless effort and winning will be the standard of Florida football in the future.

  3. I honestly thought, even before Charleston Southern, U.F. would/could win 9 games.
    Now, I agree with you, Rocketman. I don’t see U.F. winning more than 5 to 6 games this year, and possibly next year, too. Because without a serious gut check by the Florida football team, Florida will become like Vandy. 5-6 wins per season will be a success. So damn hard to admit that.

        • I don’t know, I’m hoping the UK game was an anomaly. I’m hoping it was just a case of them being a little too cocky and coming into the game and thinking they were going to win just because of the streak and got smacked in the face and it became a wake up call similar to when a bad ole miss team shocked the world and scored 31 pts on a national champion defense in 2008. Not saying this team is going to go on and have the same results, but I believe they’re going to play much better and win more games than people think. Hell if arguably the greatest team in Gator history can get too cocky and lose a game they had no business losing, then there’s no reason to believe it couldn’t happen to this one. I know it was only Charleston Southern in the first game, but that was in no way the same team that played UK. I just don’t buy that that UK performance is going to be the norm for the rest of the season. At least I hope that’s the case.

  4. Are field goals reviewable? Or does everyone just take the work of the ref who never bothered to look up at the ball curve through the uprights. Probably no difference but PLEASE SEC. GET SOME REFS WHO PAY ATTENTION,.C

  5. Alright, now that I’ve gotten over the initial trauma from the nasty UK loss and listen to Pat’s soothing thoughts, here is where we are:
    (1) Dan Mullen has been given the task of fixing a mess that consist of a team with no manly toughness and B- SEC talent. I feel like the other guys could say “boo” to our linemen and they would start crying.
    (2) As Gator grads and fans, our entertainment expectations should be watered down to just seeing, week to week, if Dan can generate some improvement, unlike the recent Flip Flop Coach and Pat’s USC idol.
    (3) We have to now live with the FACT, that Gator Nation isn’t relevant to the National scene or rankings or anything else of note. I know this is very depressing watching Sports TV where we are no longer mentioned and if we are mentioned, its all about how we suck until further notice, as GA stomps our guts, recruiting, etc.
    (4) Our only Gator football entertainment expectations for 2018, and likely 2019, is do we see any weekly improvements and maybe beat either UT or FSU at their home stadiums, not lose to Vandy (don bet on this). We’re not going to a bowl, unless Dan and staff pull off a coaching miracle and get to 6 wins.
    (5) We’ve got to face the facts of life that this is going to take at least 3 top ten recruitment classes. If we don’t start seeing 5/4* guys coming in, then we are going to stay in the basement and wonder if we will ever see glory again.

    • I think that’s a pretty fair assessment, DeWayne. What you have done is speak the unspeakable, and that’s healthy if not sobering.

      What continues to stick in my craw is our complete lack of national relevance anymore, being laughed at by other teams and the media, and not being respected at all. When other teams, whether SEC or other, know they’ll beat us — to the extent that they don’t even trash talk us — tells me that we’re already at the bottom.

      So what are we going to do about it? There’s an old theory about recovery that’s called, oddly enough, “Positive Disintegration of Personality”. Basically, it says that you have to hit rock bottom first before you can garner the motivation and means to climb out of the hole you’ve dug for yourself. I imagine, for our program, we’ve hit rock bottom in our slow descent over the last 7 years. So? The only thing I see is that we hire the right coach, finally (done that), support him (mostly doing that), and trust him to fix it in time and get us back to where we belong (half way doing that).

      There’s only one nuance to this scenario that scares the bejabbers out of me: It takes time. And the longer it takes, the more recruiting those Top-10 classes we need to pull out of the mess we’re in is going to suffer.

    • Been busy with work. And as DeWayne said getting over the shock. The same team that played and executed well against a nobody team fell apart against a conference foe. The basics were not followed in the last game. I hope it was a case of nerves and they will settle in. Or it could be a long year.

  6. Well that’s a first for me, we’ve finally made the bottom(10 It’s hard to swallow just how bad we’ve gotten but we really are so bad right now. It’s going to take years to rebuild and a coach that can show recruits that we are headed in the right direction. If you think we are going to get top 10 recruiting classes by just having a new coach and being UF those days are over. Mullen has his work cut out for him with this group he inherited. He has to show the progression in the offense for us to get the top recruits we need if not classes will remain below our standard. I’m hoping our defense just had a let down against UK but for some reason they looked about as lost as the offense has which is not good. My cousin who loves the (puppy dogs) UGA, has been all over me about how bad our D coordinator is. He swears that TG was super bad while he was at UGA and that we’ll have to do something about that in the future. I sure hope not but when MAC hired Nuss as OC, I felt the same way about him and look what our offense did.

    • We were actually on that list a few times last season, and not just in the number 5 spot that’s reserved for good teams that had a horrible loss. It’s much harder to recruit and rebuild a program like Mississippi State than it is a program like UF. Mullen took that program over after a 4 win season and had them at 9 wins in year 2 and the #1 ranking for a month and the best season in history by year 5, but he only won 5 games his first season. He’ll get the job done there’s no doubt about that, we just have to have a little patience and can’t expect it to happen this season. Grantham inherited some good players on defense, but is lacking in depth big time. Add on the fact that he lost his best CB on the opening series, was without his best pass rusher and leader of the defense for 2 games, and didn’t have his best LB for 2 games. That all adds up to a difficult job for a DC. UGA fans would claim Urban Meyer sucked if he were still here, that’s just what they do. Grantham has had top 10 defenses everywhere he’s been, UGA included. He took MSU from 56 in total defense to top 10 in 1 year. He’s a very capable DC as long as he has the right players to run his system the way it’s supposed to be run and right now he doesn’t have that. Lets see what difference Jefferson and Reese make when they come back. Going to be impossible to replace Wilson.

    • I’m actually kind’ve confused why fans are already calling for Grantham’s head too. Everyone knew when he was hired and switching to a 3-4, that the D would probably struggle cause they’ve been recruiting players more fit for the 4-3 for so long. Now that that’s happening everyone is shocked and saying he sucks and needs to be fired. It’s crazy. It’s the same thing for the offense that’s been recruited for a pro-style for so long. Patience people patience.

        • Doc – Are you suggesting the “culture problem” as a problem Mullen inherited from the previous regime or Mullen bringing in a different culture which is causing adjustment problems? If it’s the former, I would have to disagree with you. Ever since Dooley published his back nine a couple days ago titled “Mullen Still Working on Culture”, many McElwain bashers interpret it to mean the former. I think Pat meant the later. Some parents are stricter while some are more lenient. Does that mean one is a better parent than the other? I am in the camp of they are different as opposed to one style is better than the other. Both types of parents can produce both good and bad kids. As an example, Adarius Lemons has a marijuana problem. Mac sent him to rehab. Mullen suspended the kid for one game. Is one method better than the other? I would argue it depends on your perspective and preference rather than a problem.

          • Neither actually, Sly….which is why I put it as a quote ” “. I really hated to use that term myself, mostly because I’m getting tired of it, but did anyway as the best way I could say what I mean, economically, and still respond to what I think the central theme of Joe’s post was. You made the point the other day about the impact of coaches and staff turnover, which I hadn’t really considered before and which had a marked impact on my thinking as it turned out (thus the attribution).

            So the “culture” I was referring to was that — our tendency for that type of impatience and hence, instability — nothing to do with Champ, Mac, or Mullen other than that. I should have taken a few more words and made it clear, but I do notice that posts are getting longer and longer lately (like this one now), and I haven’t quite mastered your flair for economy of scale yet!

          • Point(s) taken, Sly……love ’em and lead ’em, and that includes discipline…..don’t embitter or exasperate them, but bring them along the right way. Thanks!

  7. It’s not just the culture of the team that needs to change, but it’s the culture of the entire program and that of our fan base that needs a make over. When SOS came to town, he brought winning ways with him, but more importantly he created the mystic of the swamp which Gators everywhere help solidify. That place would get so loud that other teams couldn’t hear themselves. But slowly but surely, this generation of fans who grew up with the Gator of the 90s and who only care about winning big, doesn’t seem to care about being loud as much as previous generations. In other words, if the game is tight and we’re too scared to get loud, then no team will ever be afraid to come to Gainesville. It used to be any opposite player that dared to do the chomp in the Swamp would soon regret it (Janikowski), but all that seems gone. Coaches who come to Gainesville now have to worry about keeping the fan base happy and eventually the pressure is too much and they want to leave. If we are to drive Mullen out of Gainesville, we could become the next Tennessee for another 10 years at least and I am being conservative.. After all, it’s been almost 10 years since Urban left.. We’ve seen promising seasons go in Smoke in Atlanta or at the bowl game and we’ve seen losing seasons. Getting blown out at the end of a 10 win season is not fun. So my advice to Gator Nation and to myself is to chill and watch Mullen turn this ship around slowly but surely. So my prediction for this season is that we’ll at worst go 3-1 against the rivals Tennessee, Georgia, LSU and FSU. We will probably stumble a couple of times when we are favored, which could keep us from going to Atlanta, but in all, I think we have a good chance to go 8-4 which would be a great record for year 1..Then win a bowl game and that’d give us 9 wins just like in Urban’s first year. But first, this team needs to take care of the next game! Go Gators!!

  8. Rocketman is obviously a Semihole fan. No way we lose to them. We may lose to the team that Dan Mullin built. We win 8 games this year and that will be a good start to the soon to be very successful Dan Mullin era.