The Back Nine: Conspiracy theories are ruining the SEC


Tiger beat
Tiger beat

The Back Nine takes a look at another wild weekend of sports while wondering if all female freshmen at UF are issued black cocktail dresses when they enroll.

1. Here in the Season of the Weird, Mike Slive can’t catch a break. Of course there was another officiating controversy. Of course it happened in the biggest game of the weekend. Of course the conspiracy theorists are going to be out in force. Heck, the Back Nine is starting to believe there is something to it. On the day Alabama RSVP’s to Florida’s invitation to meet in Atlanta, all anyone wants to talk about is another blown call.’s Andy Staples put it best here in his weekly column. This league has so much going for it that it is a shame its reputation is being smeared by all of this controversy. Look, LSU probably wouldn’t have scored anyway with Jarrett Lee at quarterback, but this is getting ridiculous.

2. A late game for Florida usually means there is nothing to watch when I get home. As Robbie Andreu said after the game, “Every game is the same for this team, and the first thing I do when I get home is delete the recording of the game on my DVR.” I agree. Not much fun to watch. But as Saturday turned into Sunday, what a wonderful treat. Live, I said live, golf from China with Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods in the final pairing and Ernie Els charging with a 63. Are you kidding? It was a late night.

Best practices?
Best practices?

3. A reader wanted to know something about the concussion suffered by Cal’s Jahvid Best. Where, he asked, is the outrage? After all, Best had a concussion last week as well. Why weren’t the geniuses demanding that Best sit out a month? Why weren’t they stalking California’s practices to see if he suited up? Because, my friend, that’s Cal. And this is Florida. The Gators play by different rules. Still, it’s weak when UF cancels Urban Meyer’s usual Sunday teleconference at the last minute as it did Sunday. It’s been a tough season for the coach, and I’m sure he doesn’t want to answer questions about his fine or the possibility of the Notre Dame job being open. Still, there are certain obligations that come with being the Florida coach.

4. The Heisman Trophy is now a five-man race if you ask the Back Nine, and our man Tim Tebow is sliding down the list. Sorry. My top five right now looks like this: Mark Ingram, Case Keenum, Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, C.J. Spiller. The difference between one and five is not that great. If you were to ask me who WILL win the Heisman, I’d bet on McCoy. When it comes time to vote, a lot of people are going to say, “Well, nobody stands out so let’s let McCoy have one.”

Creamsicle rises to the top
Creamsicles rise to the top

5. Watching the Bucs in those throwback uniforms made me think back to my days covering the Creamsicles when I worked in Jax. Was that Richard “Batman” Wood making the tackle? Good times. Maybe the Bucs should wear them for the rest of the year. But this does not mean it’s OK for Florida to go throwback and wear the orange jerseys. There were actually suggestions they do it for the Georgia game. Why would you want to remind your fans of the years where the Bulldogs dominated? Why?

6. And how many running backs in the history of this league have scored 14 touchdowns in their careers? That’s how many Bucs defensive back Ronde Barber has scored in his career. That’s amazing.

7. As usual, Good Morning America was about 100 hours late on a story. They did something on the New Mexico soccer player Elizabeth Lambert and her thuggery.

8. You know what’s coming. Florida State in The Swamp needing a win to be bowl eligible. It’s coming. Brace for it.

9. I went over 1,000 songs on my iPod, but does it count when a couple of dozen are Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift downloaded for my 8-year-old? Check out “Born Again” by Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, the new Weezer CD and “Time Flie” by Porcupine Tree. Now off with you.

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


  1. I just wish people would give the gators a break. It doesn’t matter how many points they score, what matters is that they keep on winning. I guess we should feel really good because people don’t attack loosers, they attack winners. A good thing about being 9-0 is going 10-0, and getting attack by the sports writers.

    GO GATORS!!!!!!!

  2. in your response to #3….i live in New Hampshire….and all i heard about watching espn…cbs sports etc….was Tebow….had heard very little about Best…seemed like every 5 seconds espn was running a crawl abou Tebow….the national media was way overboard about Tebow’s concussion and Meyer’s reaction to it

  3. Back Nine, exactly what are we supposed to brace for when FSU visits the Swamp November 28? As a Gator up here behind enemy lines, I stay very informed of FSU’s football program and FSU is so far down in talent and player development it’s really amazing when you think of how strong that program was just 10 years ago.

    I picked them at 7-5 or 6-6 this season and have picked their season accurately the past five years. They’re no more a threat to UF than Vanderbilt was. South Carolina is a bigger threat.

  4. You and your friend Andreu should maybe go into a different business, you complain about everything find something positive to say or keep your mouth shut. Go watch your golf game and leave Football to someone else. Thanks but no thanks for your article.
    “Go Gators”

  5. I think Meyer had an upset stomach over watching an offense with a Heisman winning QB, the fastest running back in the country, an all world TE and O-Line that Verne Lundquist kept extolling as “physical” go “3 and out” several times, give up 4 sacks, get numerous flags, and generally looked like it was waiting for the pizza delivery guy to come. And whatever happened to Brandon James? Maybe Urban’s just waiting for someone to throw a footall downfield more than 10 yards, just for fun, to see if the defense will move back a couple feet.

    Oh well, Go gators!

  6. You forgot to mention this is Florida’s first perfect game! Perfect game? Yes, perfect game. This has been the first week where the Gators won the game without the following: There were no glaring turnovers. No major injuries or concussions to deal with. There were no officiating controversies. There were certainly no “moral victories”. There were no videos of players attempting to do anything. There was no swine flu. There were no $30k fines. Lane Kiffin hasn’t made any comments about it? OK so there are still many calling for Adazio’s head…but there were many last year calling for Mullen’s too! Unbelievable! Florida could score 95 and there would still be people saying Florida should throw the ball more so I don’t count that. Anyway, it should be a week where the team can focus! No distractions! Go Gators!

  7. You are right, last year many including me were calling for Mullen’s head!!! His play calling was as bad as Addazio’s is so far this year, last year during the first part of the season we were predictable also however Mullen tried continusly to run outside the tackles and we were getting stuffed, until he changed and started calling plays between the tackles did we start moving the ball with consistency!!! this year just the opposite, we are tring to continue to force the run inside… It is play calling and not talent that is frustrating the fans!!! I should be ashamed for feeling disapointment whe we are 9 and 0, but I can’t stop being disapointed watching our offence sputter week after week.

  8. Wondering why there is no chatter about Gator’s Offensive Coordinator. It is obvious to anyone who understands the X’s and O’s of football and has any coaching experience that the Gator’s are not a fluid team at all. Their play calling has no flow and all plays except for a few look like desperation calls.

    Somebody had better get this Offensive side of the ball moving or it will become real offensive and not in a good sense either.

  9. I used to respect Pat Dooley and looked forward to reading his articles. That all ended last week when he set Coach Meyer up and then attempted to “make hay” with an issue that he knew would cause Coach Meyer grief. Why did you do that Pat? You should have evaluated his response and realized that it would be twisted out of context. The national boys, mostly ESPN, love nothing more than smearing UF. They did it before we became top-dog and they continue to do so. If I was Meyer, I wouldn’t answer a single question from Pat Dooley. Coach Meyer deserves to be getting praise for the job he is doing – not having to duck interviews because he speaks his mind and has to be cautious, now, with reporters with agendas. I say we have a fund raiser, golf tournament or something, and give the money back to Meyer. I realize he has the money – it’s the principle and Coach Meyer would see that we have his back! I’ll be the first to write a 1K check! That’s all I got to say about that!

  10. The thing you have forgotten is “you just wait till next year”…want to delete a ugly win….remember a ugly LOSS. Perhaps, Buck Boo Hoo to Lindsey Scott. GET A GRIP, Gator fans.

    OH, wait. I forgot. You’re that guy that picked OK. to win the N.C last year

  11. Why would we want to remembeer orange jerseys? How about WIlbur Marsahll, Lomas Brown, Ricky Nattiel, Emmitt Smith? Wasn’t that Neal Anderson soaring over the UGA D-line as we whupped ’em 27-0? OK, maybe we were in road whites that day, but you get my point. I do agree that it would’ve been a bad choice this year– imagine the ugliness next to what the Bull-pups wore. They looked lke Grambling.

  12. It’s time for the Gator Nation to hold each other close and present a united front to the rest of the football world, the haterade-guzzling, pitchfork-waving mobs that are out to tear down all that we cherish. Pure jealousy! Now the ND fans are making comments about our coach, and the Sporting News has been dissing our quarterback’s value as a player. Whatever! Go Gators!

  13. I almost pucked when I read about Saban praising how hard the refs are working at the SEC games. Maybe the league would send him a bonus check from the money Urban paid. Common Saban, be a man! And how about Miles, getting brownie points with the SEC refs also. I am so dissapointed at these two guys. If I was a coach and I know I got a bad call against my team and I cannot voice my opinion at least I would say “I have no comment about that” in a serious manner. That would send my disapproval message. Saban and Miles are two cowards.
    GO GATORS!!!

  14. You know guys, we’re blessed to be watching one of the great teams of all time, captained by perhaps the greatest collegiate player in history, coached by the best coaching staff in the country and led by the classiest, most ethical and honest man, coach, husband and father you will ever see. Let’s just have some fun with them, support ’em 100% and be proud to be Gators. Go Gators, beat everybody!

  15. Wow, what a bunch of crapola. I’m so tired of the jackals in the sports “media” and the spoiled fans who either weren’t around for or don’t remember the lean years in Gator football. UF is No. 1, undefeated, defending national champs and on track to repeat. Tim Tebow is one of the greatest players in the history of the game and he gives his all every single play. This team has heart, camaraderie and a will to win. They might not be perfect, and they might not win pretty. But they WIN, don’t they? I’ll bet if the Gators were winning every game by 50 points, the sportswriters and commentators would be whining and complaining about how they were running up the score, etc.

    To the media “pundits” and hack sportswriters: give these young guys, and the fine men who are coaching them, a break, will ya? And let’s try to enjoy this, Gator fans. Or would you rather go back to “wait until next year?”


  16. Right-on! All you whiners need to chill out! Some of you seem to think we should be scoring every time we get the ball. That would be nice; however, that is not realistic. The defenses, in the S.E.C., are running the show this year. The cycle has swung to the defenses’ favor right now. It happens that way – just look back into the history of X’s and O’s. We have the best program in the country, so quit feeding the national media a story. They would love nothing more than to cause division in Gator Nation!