The Back Nine: Hits keep coming for Georgia


Another hit on Georgia
Another hit on Georgia

The Back Nine comes right at you with thoughts on another big weekend of college football and the NFL.

1. Can it get much worse for Georgia? The Bulldogs just lost for the 17th time in 20 seasons to Florida, have to be wondering if they can make it to a bowl game and Georgia Tech is a top 10 BCS team. Yuck. On top of that, there are calls for Joe Cox to be benched and for Willie Martinez to be shipped out. And they wore those ugly helmets for motivation and went out and got hammered. Not a good time to be a Bulldog fan. Oh yeah, they did their dance on the sideline after they cut the UF lead to 14-10 and had a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff. Double yuck. I actually liked the helmets. Much better than Tennessee’s black jerseys. At least the Vols won.

Tennessee Jack-o-lanterns?
Tennessee Jack-o-lanterns?

2. It really was a perfect weekend for the Dooley family. Kelsey got a private moment with Tim Tebow and we saw so many good friends at the Sawgrass Marriott last Friday night, including former Gator hoopster Ric Clarson. Perfect tailgating spot secured by my brother Tim. Good times.

3. So on Tuesday I asked Billy Donovan if he had talked to Urban Meyer about the similarities between the ’07 basketball team and this year’s football team. On Wednesday I asked Meyer about it. And on Thursday Meyer had Billy come and talk to the team. Coincidence? I think not. The bad thing is I wrote on Saturday that Billy had not spoken to Meyer about the similarities, because when I talked to him he had not. The art of the job! Or does the Back Nine take credit for the meeting?

4. Uh, didn’t you used to be Southern Cal’s defense? What the heck happened there? At least we don’t have to hear how USC is the best team in the country anymore. But that wasn’t the most surprising result Saturday. It would be Georgia Tech scoring 56 on Vandy’s defense. And giving up 31. Really?

5. Really? Texas jumps Alabama because the Tide had the week off? Again, I have no problem with anybody voting Texas No. 1 or No. 2, but the voters are still too reactionary. And people need to talk me out of picking LSU to beat Alabama this week. I’m tempted. Really.

Viking rocket
Viking rocket

6. Quick question — why did Percy Harvin not return kickoffs for Florida? The guy is a monster in the NFL. I’m sure the Andre Caldwell broken leg in 2005 had something to do with it and there was the Brandon James factor. But in hindsight, it would have been interesting. I mean, Florida might have won a couple of national titles if Harvin had been back there. Oh, never mind.

7. Watching the Jaguars on Sunday, and they punted with more than a minute to play down 30-13. Why? It’s different in the NFL, I guess, but Tennessee took knees after the punt and would have if the Jags had been stopped on fourth down. It had no bearing on which team would have won the game, but why?

8. Shout out to the Florida women’s soccer team. That’s 10 SEC titles in 15 years of existence. We tend to take those things for granted, but I know Jeremy Foley does not. You should have seen him glued to his cell phone Friday night as he was being texted with every development. Kudos to Becky Burleigh.

9. I don’t get Mark Richt pulling his starting quarterback down 17 points, except that Cox seemed like he was trying to break John Reaves’ record of nine interceptions in a game.

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


  1. Brandon James is a great punt returner, but not a very good kick returner. You should never come to a complete stop on kick returns, but James does and dances around. Rainey and Demps are better kick return options than James, as Harvin was. But I’m okay with it if they just didn’t want Harvin to get injured.

    It took Harvin half a season to return 2 kicks for td’s, against NFL caliber talent and speed. It took James 4 years to return one…against Charleston Southern.

  2. How can anybody not say “it’s great to be a Florida Gator”? We just achieved our fist goal – WIN THE EAST, and it was done in October. Congratulations to a very, very good Gator Football Team that I believe will keep getting better. Sure is nice not to have to change uniforms to get yourself fired up!

  3. They played QB Gray to give him a chance to show what he can do in a real game. They are Red Shirting the FR QB from Tampa, Aaron Murray, who is their real future stud and showed it in the Spring Game. If Gray doesn’t take charge Murry will be the man next year…

  4. classic gator geek responses:

    1)what do you mean that was a bad call on the pass interference in the endzone against Arky?
    2)if you really knew Brandon Spikes you would know what a class act he really is “class act” defined as any Gator who comes back for the SR season
    3)just in case, I’m bringing a gold fish in a ziplock to the Ga dome against the Tide, b.c God forbid we loose and Tebow breaks out crying. Just in case, I’ releasing the gold fish and getting the heck out of there!
    4)Urban Meyer “that was to total team effort against the Joe Cox led Ga team!

  5. I just can’t figure out this whole uniform thing. Let’s not wear them during warm-ups and then after that we’ll put on these “magical” black ones and we’ll suddenly be able to play defense. The pants were cool but the helmets? At least Georgia had a reason to wear them because one of their school colors is actually black!!! That’s right Tennessee there was no reason to break out the halloween unis. Will Tenn. be wearing a red and green version during their bowl game for Christmas?? I hope so. I’m taking bets right now that they’ll break out the black shirts next year when the Gators come to town.
    Hey nobody said that the PAC10 plays defense too.
    As for the Tide, you must have forgotten the “cheeseburger rule” whenever a team is home eating cheeseburgers they are allowed to move up or down the polls with no rhyme or reason.
    Speaking of new ways to lose a game did anyone see the Dolphins
    beat the Jets. Jets allow 52 yards rushing and 52 yard passing but give up 30 points and lose to their arch rival.

  6. Pat, I also addressed the startling similarities between the Back to Back B Ball teams last week, so I think I’ll take credit. But really, the credit goes to Urban and Billy. Do we really realize how lucky we are that they are at the University of Florida??? I know, that being a 40 plus year Gator, I find myself pinching myself all the time and being thankful that these two men of such great talent and character are leading our programs!!!

  7. Pat,

    Can you address the cheap hit Brandon Spikes took on the last play of the 1st quarter? Listen Spikes deserves his punishment. I just would like to see integrity in the press. I can’t believe the way Tony Barnhart, Tim Brando, Chris Low and Pat Forde have run with this. The Gator hating is showing its green envy.

    If you look at the last play of the first quarter, #78 for Georgia accelerates and launches the crown of his helmet at Spikes for a square hit on his unprotected face. Slow it down like the youtube and its worse. #78 is almost stopped when he sees Spikes helmet come off and then aggressively goes after him while Spikes is totally blindsided. The spearing is already illegal but the fact that his does intentionally to an unprotected player makes this the most terrible play I have ever seen in any sport, this includes hockey.

    My point is not to justify Spikes, but rather to counter Mark “magic beans” Richt who no doubt condons this behavior. Richt thinks Georgia has act in some classes way to win. I honestly believe he thinks the TD celebration is the reason they won, not the fact that they were simply a better, more prepared team in 2007. Someone has to pick this up and run with it to counter the Gator hating four letter beast and you have the power of the pen, just like Tony Barnhart who got this started.



  8. Congratulations to my Florida Gators 2009 version! You guys have finally arrived! Our team needs to build from this win an on. We are starting to be a well oiled machine again. The key is “sharing the wealth” Kudos for Riley Cooper and for stepping up as a go-to-receiver. I was pleased to see Nelson and Deonte involved also. Hernandez always plays solid as well. He is a beast once he catches the ball. Hey, maybe is time to play Gilislee a little bit more at running back. That dude can move! To Spikes, man you made a mistake. We all do, but we are still behind you 100%. Hope you become a better man and player after this. Remember you are a leader and a good one by the way. I am getting tired of hearing what a gentleman Mark Ritch is. His character is not reflected on the field. Georgia players like to taunt (pretty much in vain) and they are getting a bad reputation among the league. He instills taunting tactics to his players and complains all game long to the refs. In the second quarter he worked the refs so much that Florida got penalties after penalties and all the breaks got to Georgia’s side. Some gentleman I say.
    Now Meyer, that’s a gent!
    Go GATORS!!!

  9. Thank you Mr. Robinson for bringing ups the “helmet” issue. A mistake was was made and is being handled satisfactorily. But the previous helmet rip offs (at least 2) and extra shoving and hits after the plays were over was nasty and unnecessary. Georgia plays dirty and has since Mark Ritch arrived. Guess that’s the fall back position when your team can’t perform. Did he learn that from Bobby?

  10. “I don’t think we did anything in that game that they didn’t do,” Tim Tebow said. “You can see it on film.”

    Quite the quote from Mr. Wonderful.

    You guys are setting some standards this year that I hope you can live with after the thrill is gone. It’s not just Spike’s rep that is being established here. Maybe Florida needs to check into some black jerseys.

    Now you know what happened to Alabama fans.

  11. “I don’t think we did anything in that game that they didn’t do,” Tim Tebow said. “You can see it on film.”

    What a quote from someone who is supposed to be a Christian. Take the verses off your eye black.

  12. Florida State did not leave the Top 5 for ten years during the hey day. Alabama was in the wilderness for 20 years until Saban and, this is year three and still no tangible accomplishments. Pete Carroll was the crowned prince of college football after the shine came off of Bob Stoops. It can vanish as quickly as it came. Right now, the thrill of the repeat justifies everything.

    Couple of more missteps and it is only a few minutes from Glory to punchline. You may want to look at what you’re building. Maybe not.

  13. “…did anything that they didn’t do” and then someone replies “what a quote from a Christian.” What is that? Tim did not condone anything with that statement, and even if he did, the Old Testament taught an eye for an eye.
    Any way, to the real topic of Spikes: I do not condone what he did either, but it is a known fact that it happens in piles all the time. I’m not sure why it’s being blown out of proportion now. Why doesn’t anyone talk about the hit Tebow took standing in the backfield after he had handed the ball off. He wasn’t faking a fun; just watching the play and some DB saw him exposed and accelerated in to him. No flad, no media beat down. Why is that? Everyone hates #1 I guess.

  14. Hey GolfHog and TKC…get serious. I can smell the stench of hatorade coming off my laptop.

    It must suck to get worked by Florida over and over again. Tell McElroy that #8 and #49 are going have themselves a little Mcsandwhich on December 5th. I hope you get past LSU so we can bury you again. Although, I have a feeling you won’t. And you embarassed the whole conference with that loss to Utah…you should be ashamed of yourselves. And Ingram for Heisman? That’s hilarous…the guy won’t have 60 yards rushing against us.

    Go Gators

  15. The Florida Gators Dynasty dates back to the beginning of the 90’s with Steve Spurrier. Florida has dominated the SEC since then. From 1996 to 2008 (12 years) UF has won 3 National Championships and has a chance for a 4th one this year. USC has won 2 Championships and LSU has won 2. It is easy to see why our Florida team is so hated everywhere. Right now, our school is the benchmark of College Football, other sports and research. Truth hurts, but that’s the reality of it. As long as we stay together as a team, Gator Nation will remain competitive. Once, I jumped an Ohio State fan’s battery in Delaware and my car displayed a Gator head plate. I told him: “Now through your car Gators electrons run”… For those of you who hate the University of Florida so much and are just ready to judge our players for a small mistake or words that are said, and come to our forums; I would like to remind you that the next time your Doctor recommends you to drink Gatorade to help you heal your diarrhea that “inside of you Gators electrolites run”.
    GO GATORS!!!

  16. GolfHog,

    It appears to me that you are expecting perfection from other people. Despite the fact that some actions or comments may not be to your liking begs to differ. We are, as humans, imperfect. We feel, hate, happiness, depression, sorrow, anger, joy, etc. You are making comments about people who you don’t know personally and are judging based on one moment in time, disregarding their history. Of course, you have never said, or even thought of anything negative or condescending. I wouldn’t be surprised if you maybe said something that you regretted. It sounds to me that you are a fan from another school and is lashing out due to the pain you feel for being a lower tier program or recently and/or annually get their collective butts kicked by the Gators. To think that this year dictates all the following years, I think most of us Gator fans realize there is a cycle. If not, it would be dishonest and for this year, I am enjoying the season. Here is a suggestion for you GolfHog: Try climbing down from your pedestal and just enjoy the pageantry of college football. In other words, lighten up Francis. No one is perfect, nor, will they ever be. Try forgiving from time to time, it’s good for the soul.