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 begins this occasional feature as Pat Dooley and Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun embrace the debate:
Item No. 1
Jeremy Foley will serve as Mr. Two Bits for the LSU game this season.
Andreu: I really like the idea, and I think Jeremy would do an excellent job (and I can definitely see him in the Mr. Two Bits attire), I just don’t think it’s going to happen. Since his retirement, Foley has been to games, but has pretty much kept a low profile, letting the UAA move forward under the new leadership of Scott Stricklin. It seems to be a relationship that is working fine for everyone. I’d love to see Jeremy do it, he’d be great, but. … FICTION.
Dooley: This was my idea as a topic because I think he is definitely worthy. And it would be delicious irony because of the acrimony LSU people felt toward the former Florida AD during Hurricane-Gate. But I’m not sure Foley would be comfortable with the attention. He also knows that there are some knuckleheads who would boo him for hiring Ron Zook and Jim McElwain and ignore the fact that he hired Kevin O’Sullivan, Mouse Holloway, Roland Thornqvist, Tim Walton, Rhonda Faehn and, of course, Billy Donovan. That’s a lot of national championships. Deserving, no question. But I think he would pass. FICTION.
Item No. 2
The SEC Coach of the Year will come from a school in the Eastern Division.
Andreu: Just about everybody is picking Alabama to win the West (shocking, I know), so if plays out that way Nick Saban likely won’t be the SEC coach of the year. That’s just the way it is when you’re the prohibitive favorite. My dark horse candidate from the West is Jimbo Fisher. I think the Aggies are going to surprise a lot of people. But, when you look at the East, there are multiple possibilities — Kirby Smart, Dan Mullen, Jeremy Pruitt and Mike Stoops. So, it’s going to be one of those four, the one whose team wins the East. FACT.
Dooley: You never know how a season is going to play out. Georgia could win with a 7-1 record, but that one loss could be to Alabama, which goes 8-0. I’d probably vote for Saban. The East winner could be 6-2 and I’m not sure that would mean a coach of the year award. Look, if Mullen goes 8-0, he can dust off a spot on his mantle. But think about the possibilities of anybody but Alabama winning the West and you probably have your winner because there is not a lot of support for the rep in Atlanta being any team but the Tide. FICTION.
Item No. 3
Mississippi State graduate transfer Stewart Reese will be an instant starter on the offensive line.
Andreu: The minute he stepped on campus, he became one of the Gators’ most experienced offensive linemen, having played in 34 games at Mississippi State. Mentally and physically, he’s pretty much a finished product and he’ll be competing with a bevy of young linemen who are still developing in both areas. The fact that Reese has played both center and tackle definitely enhances his chances of stepping right into a starting role somewhere on the line, probably guard. FACT.
Dooley: If there had been a spring and the normal off-season workouts, I think Florida would have a starting line ready to go and Reese would have come in here to be a valuable back-up who could be inserted at a number of positions. But his experience is invaluable and they will be seeking to find the right spot for him as a starter. The way Florida has welcomed transfers into the team is a positive indication that this will be a seamless transition as well. FACT.