The Back Nine comes to you after a great weekend that included Sister Hazel (with an assist from Stan Lynch), a Gator win over a rival and an NFL Sunday that showed a lot about the quarterbacks in the league.
1. So this is it Tennessee? This is where you are as a program? You lose by 10, never threaten to win the game and you’re singing “Rocky Top” all the way home? Hey Vol fans, if the game had unfolded the same way and Phillip Fulmer was your coach, how would you feel? You’d be ripping him for conservative play-calling. This is the quote that was the stunner from Lanie Kiffin: “We probably could have kept (the score) closer if I had been even more conservative, but we took some shots and things got away from us a little bit.” What shots? Did he see the same game I did? Tennessee did not come to Gainesville to win but to not be embarrassed and go home talking about a moral victory.
2. But the game did show something. It showed that all summer when I was on radio shows around the country telling people Florida had a major issue at wide receiver and the Gators might not be a shoo-in for the national title game because of that and they all scoffed at me, well, I was right. Now, suddenly, everybody sees what I was talking about. But now that they see it, they discovered it. Dude, it has been there all along.
3. And let’s not get carried away. Tennessee is 1-2. They probably will finish 7-5, and to do that the Vols can only lose three more games with at least five games left on the schedule where they will be underdogs. And they have no quarterback. Did you notice?
4. Don’t be too quick to jump on the Miami and FSU are back bandwagons either. Big wins for both, but these are still flawed teams. Miami beats VaTech and I believe. And it’s not out of the realm of possibility the ‘Canes could play for the national title. I picked FSU to win at Brigham Young, but even I was surprised at the score. It just goes to show that my college football mantra is dead-on — every game is its own game. It doesn’t matter what you did the week before against Jacksonville State or what you did against Oklahoma. Repeat after me, “Every game is its own game.” Good. Now you can have dessert.
5. Hmmm, Southern Cal lost to a mediocre Pac-10 team and ruined its shot at a national championship. Uh, haven’t we already seen this movie, honey? That’s four Pac-10 losses since losing to Texas in the national title game. Is it time for everyone to back up and look at Pete Carroll and admit he’s not the greatest coach in America?
6. The SEC West has three of the top seven teams in America according to the pollsters. Combined, they have one significant win. OK, two if you’re looking at Washington differently. It’s going to be a crazy October-November in that division and somebody is going to be really disappointed. I don’t know how good Ole Miss is, but I know the Rebels are overrated in the polls.
7. Hey, Jaguar defense. Kurt Warner just completed another pass.
8. And how’s that whole thing working out, passing on Percy Harvin who has played two games and has two touchdowns? And dumping Mike Peterson? You guys will probably screw up the whole Tim Tebow thing. Although I will say this — that was the biggest non-story ever.
9. One last thing and then I’m over Florida-Tennessee. The no-call on the intentional grounding on third down on Tennessee’s last drive was either the worst call ever or there is some rule I’m not aware of. I asked Urban Meyer about it and he said he was told Jonathan Crompton was out of the pocket when he sailed the ball out of bounds. Go back and look at the replay. He was about as much in the middle of the pocket as a person can be. That said, you guys need to get off the refs for flagging Jaye Howard and not Chris Walker. What Howard did (rolling his arms) was premeditated. Walker’s chest thump was not. Now, is it a stupid rule enforced by brain-dead officials who judge the actions of college kids as if they were American Idol contestants? Absolutely.
Bonus hole — 10. Highlight of a great weekend was either Drew Copeland giving me a shout-out on stage or the boys singing “American Girl” with Lynch playing drums.
Sudden death hole — 11. Or seeing Jerry Jones lose.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow at http://Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.