The Picks: Swamp, Mullen give Gators a chance

Florida coach Dan Mullen talks with quarterback Kyle Trask during Saturday's gameagainst Tennessee at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The Gators beat the Volunteers 34-3. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

This was an interesting week for college football off the field, which was a good thing because there aren’t a lot of interesting games this week on the field.

Oh, we have the doozy of a game on the schedule right here in lovely Gainesville, and that is getting plenty of attention. But the biggest story of the week has been the Fair Pay To Play Act that started in California and could — and should — be a federal law by next football season.

(I have another name for it — Title Can O’ Worms.)

Everyone has an opinion, and most of the ones against it are delivering their messages by Morse Code. (Get it? They are older men. No? Let’s move along).

Even the most uninformed of the people giving the whole idea a thumbs up don’t really have an answer for how to deal with what will happen.

It is interesting that almost all of the discussion has been about football players making money off endorsements as if the line for a hoopster signing autographs in Lexington or a baseball player in Nashville wouldn’t be longer than any football player at Kentucky or Vanderbilt.

Hopefully — and this is a real longshot — the government will push the NCAA to give us a uniform set of rules. Part of the reason we are in this mess is that the governing body of college sports kept telling us that something needed to be done but didn’t do anything,

It was almost like the NCAA was an automobile that had a “check engine” light on the dashboard for years and all it did was kept filling the car with gas.

Dr. Football wishes the solution was easy as far as administering what will eventually be reality. Schools may need to start hiring salary cap specialists.

But this is a major step in the evolution of college sports. It will have long-range effects.

Trust me on this, college football will be fine. No, the rich will get richer. How is that different from the way it is right now? No, players won’t feel any loyalty to their schools or coaches. Please let me introduce you to the transfer portal.

I seem to recall the sentiment that allowing athletes to make money and still be eligible for the Olympics would ruin them. How’d that work out?

It’s going to be fascinating to see how it all plays out. I wonder if we’ll have to start paying players for interviews.

Anyway, it was another 8-2 week, and the record is a strong 41-14 this season. Hmm, I seem to remember a game by that score a while back.

AUBURN AT FLORIDA: People need to get over the fact that this is a Homecoming game for Florida. It’s not an insult to Auburn, it’s just a practical way that the university (not the UAA, not the coach, not the players) have chosen to handle Homecoming for a long time. If Auburn needs that shoulder chip to get fired up, the Tigers are in trouble. But I don’t think it is. Auburn is the better team. The Swamp and Dan Mullen give Florida a chance. But because so many of you have asked that I pick against the Gators because I am a blithering idiot who is usually wrong about the really big games, I will acquiesce. (I can’t believe my family was so mean-spirited). Auburn, 20-17.

IOWA AT MICHIGAN: Wisconsin wearing khaki uniform pants the week after spanking Jim Harbaugh might have been the funniest thing I’ve seen all season. But I digress. Michigan, 27-21.

GEORGIA AT TENNESSEE: It was insulting that ESPN accidentally put the “Lady Vols” logo up for Tennessee when promoting this game on the website’s college football page this week. Insulting to Tennessee’s female athletes. Georgia, 37-13.

MICHIGAN STATE AT OHIO STATE: There are a lot of people who believe the Buckeyes are the best team in the country. And they aren’t all former Ohio State quarterbacks named Kirk. Ohio State, 42-12.

UCF AT CINCINNATI (Friday): I’ve seen Cincinnati play twice this year. I don’t think the Bengals have a chance. UCF, 40-10.

CAL AT OREGON: We all kind of left the Ducks for dead after they lost that tough game to Auburn to start the season. Dead Ducks. Get it? Since then, Oregon’s toughest foe has been an open date (Sorry, Stanford, but you deserve it). Oregon, 34-31.

VIRGINIA TECH AT MIAMI: Manny Diaz is a first time head coach who has four games and two open weeks under his belt. I can’t explain what’s going on at Virginia Tech. Miami, 28-16.

VANDERBILT AT OLE MISS: I have a rule that Dr. Football picks every SEC game. I need some New Rules. Ole Miss, 38-24.

PITTSBURGH AT DUKE: Maybe that Alabama rout of Duke to start the season was a testimony to the Tide rather than a statement about Duke. Remember, I said maybe. Pitt, 24-21.

BAYLOR AT KANSAS STATE: If Baylor wins again to remain undefeated, maybe I include the Bears in my Top 25. Remember, I said maybe. Baylor, 23-20.

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


  1. There was another time Auburn was ranked really high at #4 (and supposed to be so MUCH BETTER than Florida), while Florida was way down at #21, but Auburn left Hogtown LOSERS! The Gators won, 18-17.
    So I’ll take Florida and ‘1’ point. CHOMP-CHOMP! Go Gators! Just win baby!

  2. Gi I remember that game with Kerwin limping in to the end zone on a two point conversion. That was the best game I ever saw in person. The place went wild even out in the parking lots. What a great memorie!! Thanks for reminding me.

    • Yea Jack, it was a great game. Kerwin coming off the bench (bad knee, wasn’t supposed to play), and driving Florida back to a win. Then Auburn missing their last second field goal try. What a game, what a memory! And thanks to those who LEFT EARLY (’cause Florida was losing), as I really appreciated your seats on the 40 yd. line in the West side). Go Gators! Just win baby!

  3. Everybody has slowed down the Gators rushing attack and they’re still averaging 34 points a game. I don’t see this game any differently. The key point is that the Gator pass protection is decent and the Auburn pass rush is nothing like their run defense.

    I understand that Robbie and Pat are journalists. I just think they’re wrong. I also don’t think Michigan beats Iowa, or that Tennessee scores 13 points against Georgia.

  4. OK Pat – just remember that Pitt knocked off a good UCF team! As for the Gators, do not forget that when our denfense is healthy and fully stocked, it can also score ponts. Auburn may stifle the Gator offense for much of the game (but then, we may surprise them too). I will take Florida 20 to Auburn 17, as everyone thinks that Auburn’s defense is better than the Gator D – NOT – GO GATORS!!!