The Picks: Predicting winners not easy

Football fans watch the action on wall-mounted video screens in the sports betting lounge at the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., where an hour-long line of gamblers waiting to place bets stretched onto the casino floor as kickoff approached last Monday. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

Caller: What if five teams go unbeaten, but Alabama loses to Georgia by a field goal in the SEC Championship Game and Urban Meyer announces he can’t coach any longer the day before the final vote and UCF joins the Big 12? Who gets in then?

Caller: So Notre Dame goes undefeated and challenges the ACC Atlantic champ to a winner-take-all game and Texas loses this time to Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game. Who gets in?

Caller: What if the champions of all five Power 5 conferences have one loss and Notre Dame is unbeaten? Who gets in?

It has almost become a cottage industry to talk about the College Football Playoff even before the season, but it always ramps up once we get through the first six games. Call it Mocktober.

Which is why the playoff is doing just what the powers that be were hoping for — everyone talking about college football.

And yet, you know that the rest of the season is going to have these stunning upsets that are going to change the landscape drastically. Today’s mock picks are tomorrow’s refuse.

The smart thing is to lay back and let it all unfold. It could be glorious.

But there are a million talk shows and a hundred possible scenarios and it makes good radio and TV even if none of it means anything.

Who you would put in now is about as relevant as bowl predictions. They are interesting to talk about the way it’s interesting to project NFL playoff teams. And then football happens.

I know you don’t care what I think because the way I have been predicting things I could miss picking the winner of the first rounds of the baseball playoffs. And they are finished.

Last week was as bad as the previous week was good. It’s really hard to go 4-6, but Dr. Football managed to do it. The management of The Picks apologizes. That’s a mediocre 38-22 for the season. If I don’t do better this week, someone else will be picking.

FLORIDA AT VANDERBILT: I know you want me to do it. You want me to pick Vandy, because I have picked against the Gators three weeks in a row and they have turned their season around. Just understand one thing has nothing to do with the other. Florida, 24-17.

GEORGIA AT LSU: Man, Dr. Football has been struggling with this one. Part of me thinks LSU will bounce back at home. Part of me thinks Georgia has been waiting for this game to show how good it really is. The second part of me wins. Georgia, 30-23.

WISCONSIN AT MICHIGAN: This feels like one of those CFP elimination games. Kind of. Sort of. Maybe not. Oughta be a good one though. Michigan, 23-21.

MISSOURI AT ALABAMA: What is the over/under on Tua Tagovailoa incompletions in this game against that secondary? Three? Four? I’ll take the under whatever it is. Alabama, 42-21.

TEXAS A&M AT SOUTH CAROLINA: Another really tough pick. You think I’m bad at picking Florida games, I have whiffed on so many Gamecock games you’d think I’m facing nothing but curve balls. A&M, 30-23.

WASHINGTON AT OREGON: Here’s a question for you — why are there so many good games at 3:30 p.m. this week? Don’t they know we’re finally going to have a free night to watch games? Come on. Oregon, 35-31.

TENNESSEE AT AUBURN: After this game you’re going to hear how Auburn has figured things out offensively. Auburn, 38-13.

MICHIGAN STATE AT PENN STATE: Michigan State is facing one of those season-saver games. Happy Valley is not a good place to try to save your season. Penn State, 34-13.

OLE MISS AT ARKANSAS: Since it went to an eight-game conference schedule, the SEC has had 18 teams go 0-8. It should add two more this season with Arky and Tennessee. Ole Miss, 45-21.

COLORADO AT USC: Is Colorado for real? If the Buffs win in Los Angeles, we might start believing. USC, 23-21.

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


  1. This is no longer a new offence for the Gators. Cdm has done a great job bringing this team around and the defense is playing lights out. Who Dooley picks has nothing to do with how the players perform. I trust cdm and the positive attitude he has brought to this Gator team and trust he will have the Gators ready for vandy. I will not predict the score because I haven’t a clue, but I do think our team will win and play hard doing it.

  2. This is actually a realistic pick. I think Florida’s defense along with their kicking game can hold Vandy to 14 or less, 24 points on the board is an attainable goal for this offense…..against this team.

    • Grumpy. More like Florida will put up 40 plus on “this team”. A realistic prediction now for this ever evolving Florida offense that is now taking advantage of the many playmakers on offense. And that now includes the QB. But I will take the 24 to 17 final score if it makes you “happy”.

      • For someone who is always chastising others for perceived lack of comprehension you need to practice what you preach.
        My comment is in response to Dooley not anything to do with Grumpy. There you go again making up sheet out of the blue and stirring the pot with fake news

        • CO Jones. For someone chastising someone for preaching about preaching to someone and about comprehension skills, you clearing missed my post intent. My post to you was not in response to you responding to Grumpy and was posted directly to you. But it was related to both of you being very supportive or “happy” with Dooley’s pick, which I perceive to be a rare show of positivity from the both of you (which may be true or not true). But I am so sorry that you were not able to comprehend that from my clearly inept attempt to do so.

          • And did you know the song, “Happy Together”, by The Buckinghams?

            “Soooooo……happy together……….gether…… happy…..together……..gether……so happy……together.”

          • The only thing you got right was that your attempt was inept
            Again, I was not responding to Grumpy.
            Furthermore I am neither happy or upset with Dooley’s pick.
            I’m agreeing with him that his pick has no bearing on the outcome of the game
            BTW the song you keep referencing was a hit by The Turtles
            Guess you don’t know it all after all

          • CO Jones. I am a lot of things, but inept is not one of them. But, obviously, my posts went way, way over your head concerning intent and content. But I give. You win.

  3. Let’s go with Alberts picks Gators 28 Vanderbilt 17; Vandy always plays us tough. Upset of the week Lsu 26 Poodles 19 after Offensive line struggles a week ago. Against Mr. Polite and Mr. Zuniga. The Cookie monster also known as Ed Oregon makes the Offensive line wrestle real Alligators in the Bayous of Louisiana.

  4. Vandy’s left guard and right tackle are sophomores and the Gator DL should give them problems. Their passing game ain’t bad but their qb should be under a lot of pressure. Their running game didn’t put up many yards against the Dawgs, and I doubt it will be much different against UF. If the dbs play at a high level, the Gators probably won’t need to score many points to win, but I hope they do anyway. I agree with what Tampa said in an earlier post that the offense needs to experience opperating on all cylinders in this game to lay the groundwork for their next matchup. In that spirit: UF 42. VANDY 10.

  5. UF is 26-1 vs Vandy since 1989, yet the thinking is Vandy always plays us tough. I remember being at the game in ’97 and we struggled to a 20-7 win, causing fans to grumble and wonder how in the world we were going to beat FSU as we exited the stadium. Of course, everybody remembers us going on to beat FSU in one of the most exciting games I’ve ever seen the Gators play, winning 32-29. But this is about Vandy and Vandy is 1-26 vs Florida since ’89. Make it 1-27. Florida 34 Vanderbilt 13.

    • You’re right. After time as the underdog, they should have learned the value of playing intelligently and intensely. Now, as the favorite, they need to remember that they will be the recipient of the effort they had been giving.

  6. Pat’s been proving all season he doesn’t know diddly about this Gator team. History-schmistory! So Vandy sometimes pushes Florida teams that don’t breathe enough fire when they see the Commodores in football unis? Last time Mullen took a team against Vandy his MSU kids prevailed, 51-0. As my friend above eloquently reminded us all, Vandy is 1 for 27 against the Gators since 1990. Last time Florida list in Nashville? 1988. Vandy has a good passing QB, one of the better SEC running backs and a good receiver. The Gators bring a ferocious pass rush, a hardened rushing defense and a secondary that will swallow Kalija Lipscomb. And the depth to wear down the Dores. Offensively our guys have gotten better every week, now are taking on a team that defends against the run like matadors in training. Florida, 38-10.

  7. The offense continues to grow but each game is a learning experience for them. The secondary also continues to grow. There is plenty of room for improvement and as long as the team understands that and approaches each game with intensity and focus, they will be fine. I see Florida struggling a tad in the beginning before they settle in and defense takes control. The offense will get decent field position and score enough to win. I say 27-13 Florida but I will take a win no matter how it comes. Go Gators!