There are truths and untruths in the world of sports. And there are also opinions that are worth discussing. You may agree or disagree. Just do it with decorum. So continues this occasional feature as Pat Dooley and Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun embrace the debate:
Item No. 1
An SEC team will have a game postponed to later in the season or canceled altogether because of weather.
Andreu: The way this year has gone so far, I’ll be shocked if it doesn’t happen. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if multiple games are delayed or postponed or canceled by hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes, maybe even a total eclipse of the sun. It’s 2020 — what a year! This should come as no surprise: an active hurricane season has been forecast. So, get ready all you SEC schools. Be prepared to batten down the hatches in 2020. FACT.
Dooley: We deserve a break. But I saw this headline late last month — “Busy Atlantic hurricane season predicted for 2020.” NOAA predicts a likelihood of 13-to-19 major storms and 6-to-10 hurricanes. Tanks for nuttin’. Don’t forget that we already have hospitals all around the Southeast dealing with a difficult situation. And we’ve already had a tropical storm dump all kinds of water on Louisiana and Florida. Oh, heck to the yes, we’re going to have a cancellation or postponement and hopefully the LSU fans and media don’t get too upset about it. FACT.
Item No. 2
Florida will have a player get a paver in front of the football building by being named an All-American.
Andreu: Just one? I think there’s a chance there will be more than that one. I can think of multiple potential candidates: Quarterback Kyle Trask if he has a big year and the Gators win the SEC East; tight end Kyle Pitts if he just keeps doing what he’s been doing; rush defensive end Brenton Cox if he turns out to be as dominant as many think he will be; cornerback Kaiir Elam if his star continues to rise like it has since the second half of his true freshman season last year; cornerback Marco Wilson if he stays healthy and continues on his current path. So, yeah, at least one. FACT.
Dooley: It’s not as easy as you might think to get your name on one of those pavers. Florida uses this criteria — you have to make one of the designated All-American teams (Sporting News, AP, Walter Camp, FWAA or AFCA). Just because you make the Joe’s Stone Crabs All-American team (mmm, snow crabs) doesn’t mean you get one. In fact, the last Gator to be recognized was Vernon Hargreaves III in 2015. The most likely candidate would be Pitts, who is getting the most love this preseason. But I have a feeling that teams are going to have exotic defenses to try to stop him and force Florida to spread the ball around. FICTION.
Item No. 3
Miami transfer Lorenzo Lingard will be the Gators’ go-to running back.
Andreu: Based on the talent and the depth in the running back room, I’m not so sure the Gators will even have a go-to running back. Lingard has the potential to be one, but so does Dameon Pierce. And so does Malik Davis, who has shown big-time playmaking ability when he’s been healthy. When you have talent and depth like this at running back, you usually have them share the rock. So, I don’t foresee any one back getting 20-plus carries per game. More like three different backs getting 10 to 15. FICTION.
Dooley: I think this is the moment Pierce has been waiting for. An experienced offensive line that got better through the transfer portal, a passing game that will open things up for a tailback and a hunger to be the next in line. Certainly, Lingard will get plenty of carries, but Pierce will be the go-to guy if he stays healthy. Of course, there was a reason Lingard was a five-star and I think a lot of Gators can’t wait to see what he can do. One big thing — which of them is better catching the ball out of the backfield because that was a huge part of the Florida offense last year and coach Dan Mullen schemed it up beautifully. FICTION