The Back Nine comes at you after the most newsworthy weekend we have had in over a month. And that doesn’t even include the emergency repairs at my house. Yeesh.
- If speculation was a sport, there would be a Hall of Fame being built because of how many different opinions are being thrown against the wall about which sports will play when and where. Certainly, one of the things that caught everybody’s eye was South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner saying that all of the conferences are not necessarily aligned when it comes to starting a college football season. There’s a chance that it could start at different times in different parts of the country which would really mess with any kind of playoff. And certainly there is a chance that the SEC could decide to start on its own and only play conference games plus one non-conference game to include the big rivalries. Of course, not everybody in the league has a big rivalry game outside the conference. Anyway, I scribbled down this one scenario that may sound dumb and stupid but could actually happen. In the Dooley plan, this would be Florida’s schedule:
Nov. 7 — Kentucky.
Nov. 14 — At Tennessee.
Nov. 21 — Missouri.
Nov. 28 — S. Carolina.
Dec. 5 — At Ole Miss.
Dec. 12 — LSU.
Dec. 19 — At Vanderbilt.
Dec. 26 — Open date.
Jan. 2 — Georgia.
Jan. 9 — At FSU.
Followed by the SEC title game, bowl games and the College Football Playoff, which would wrap up in February. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. And think about how big that Florida-Georgia game would be the day after New Year’s.
- Again, it’s just a guess. There’s no telling what we’re going to see and when we’re going to see it. You know, with all the talk about college football around here, nobody talks about other sports such as volleyball and soccer and when it would start. For example, I talked with Mary Wise about the volleyball situation and she knows that a match at Stanford, the defending national champions, almost certainly will not happen. She also said she is so happy to work for an athletic director like Scott Stricklin who made sure very early in the process that all of her players were able to be sent home quickly before things got crazy. One thing that is likely to come out of this, at least in the near future, is that The Athletic story is right — we’re going to see more regional scheduling in a lot of sports. And I wouldn’t be surprised — for example — if NCAA Tournaments in all sports become more regional and less travel across the country.
- It was big news when Andrew Nembhard and Tre Mann declared for the NBA draft, but left the door open for a return and that Florida picked up a transfer in Colin Castleton from Michigan. It would be difficult to imagine Nembhard would put his name in a second time and return a second time. He is just ready to be a professional basketball player even though I doubt seriously if he will be drafted. Mann is looking to get input and I’m sure there are a lot of people wondering why he is doing that considering there likely won’t be opportunities to show what he can do and his body of work wasn’t anything special his freshman year. But when you have been away from your coaches for this long, people are going to get in your ear.
- And there was good news and bad news for Florida softball. Kendyl Lindaman will be back, but shortstop Sophia Reynoso will not return for her extra year of eligibility. Reynoso wants to go to grad school in athletic training and Florida does not offer that opportunity. She will be missed, but good luck to her. She was an unbelievable leader for Tim Walton.
- Oh, and they finished up the NFL draft this weekend and it received ridiculous ratings and high praise from fans and the media. I think we all got a kick out of seeing where the coaches and general managers lived and even though there were some glitches and ESPN overdramatized some things, it was certainly what we needed in this difficult time. However, I don’t think you’ll see anything like it again despite the ratings.
- One thing about all of the Gators who were drafted and signed free agent contracts — those guys are going to have an impact on the league and they should all be happy that this coaching staff and support staff came along when they did. I wonder how many of the players would have been selected if Dan Mullen doesn’t work his developmental magic over the last two years.
- Everyone is quick to rate the drafts each NFL team had, but the reality is we have no idea which ones were good and which ones were mediocre. There are players who don’t pan out and others who turn out to be steals. It’s just the way it works in the NFL. You can watch a player dominate in college and do little at the next level and others you thought were not worthy of being selected go on to have great careers. Five years from now, a look back at the 2020 class will point out the mistakes that were made, and, in a way, it’s like recruiting. It’s what you do with your chance to perform. One day, we may be talking about why in the heck Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm slipped so far and then he is starting for a playoff team. It’s just the inexact science that is football.
- The hills were alive with the sound of Tweeting all weekend with the draft and the next two episodes of “The Last Dance” taking us from couch potatoes to those potatoes you see with stuff growing out of them. Gross. Here was my Tweet of the Week and it came from Brett McMurphy of Stadium — “Pretty cool: Alabama first team ever to have 4 of 1st 15 picks in NFL Draft that also ended the season playing in Citrus Bowl.” Dang. Burn.
- Another week has gone by and we are now in Week Seven without real sports. Yeah, the draft was fun and the old games are interesting, but I miss going to bed and not being able to sleep because of the result of a late game. Luckily, I have music to soothe the savage beast that lives in my brain:
* “Saturday Music” by The Berries.
* “Art Isn’t Real” by Deer Tick.
* “Waiting Around To Die” by The Be Good Tanyas.
* “Private Lives” by Low Cut Connie.
* And for an old one, I hadn’t heard this one for a while and it came on the radio and I immediately said, “Back Nine” and fortunately I remembered to include it. Anyway, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” By Neil Young.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.