The Picks: An opponent in making predictions


Apparently, some people did not like my choice of Georgia over Notre Dame in my Associated Press poll this week. Most of them left out curse words, there were no threats of physical attacks and only one was written in crayon.

My thinking was quite simple — if Georgia and Notre Dame played at a neutral site, who would win? I think the Bulldogs would kill the Irish (wait, is that a death threat?)

A lot will change in the College Football Playoff rankings before we get to the final poll and we get UF athletic director Scott Stricklin back in Gainesville on a regular basis. Most of the posturing and campaigning you are going to hear will be to avoid the dreaded fourth spot where Alabama will likely be waiting on the other side.

Seriously, the most intrigue is whether Bama will pick the Cotton or Orange Bowl for the first semifinal game.

But we still have three weeks of football, plus the championship games before we know the four teams and also what bowl game the Gators will play in.

Hopefully, by then I will shake off this level of mediocrity that has infected The Picks. A 6-4 week left me at 70-30 for the year, which is not special unless you’re shooting 3-pointers.

After listening to Dan Mullen’s impassioned talk last Saturday night about competition, I realized that was something that was missing. So I started to think about an opponent.

Shannon Seal is a Gator fan who went to UF and works as a bartender in town. I’ve never met him (shocking, I know), but every week he sends me blogs, power ratings and predictions via email.

So, Shannon, let’s go. First, we’ll thumb-wrestle, then see how we do in The Picks. If this works out, we’ll have another guest picker next week.

SOUTH CAROLINA AT FLORIDA: I’m not really sure why anyone cares what I think. I have missed more Gator games than I have gotten right. And I have no idea where this team is mentally. South Carolina, 30-20.

Shannon: I want to see what the Gators are made of with this high-octane offense coming to Gainesville. Gators respond (Crossing fingers). Florida, 24-16.

MISSISSIPPI STATE AT ALABAMA: Alabama doesn’t do trap games, That’s the majesty of Nick Saban. Alabama, 40-19.

Shannon: I actually think that the Bulldogs will push the Tide like nobody else has been able to do, but they just don’t do enough. Alabama, 38-12.

AUBURN AT GEORGIA: The Bulldogs with quite a tripleheader, huh? You wonder if they will wear out. Naw. Georgia, 31-16.

Shannon: This is one of my upset specials this week because I think that Gus Malzahn and the Tigers are heating up at the right time. Sneaky game for UGA. Auburn, 27-24.

FSU AT NOTRE DAME: I need to know what happened to all of those multi-star defensive players who went to FSU. The Semis are 85th in scoring defense. Seriously, what happened? Notre Dame, 31-20.

Shannon: Notre Dame isn’t that good, and they might fall next week to Syracuse, but no chance to possibly the worst FSU team ever. Notre Dame, 41-20.

CLEMSON AT BOSTON COLLEGE: I think it’s blasphemous for GameDay to go to a campus where there are serious tailgating restrictions. But that’s me. Clemson, 28-13.

Shannon: I do think that the Eagles provide somewhat of a challenge for a half or so, but Clemson is becoming more complete each week. Tigers cruise. Clemson, 45-24.

LSU AT ARKANSAS: LSU may be suffering from an Alabama hangover, but Arkansas is still dealing with a Bret Bielema headache. LSU, 38-7.

Shannon: We’ve seen Alabama suck the life out of teams before, and I think Joe Burrow and the LSU offense struggles again even against measly Arkansas, but the Hogs can’t capitalize. LSU, 24-9.

KENTUCKY AT TENNESSEE: The Vols scored 14 points last week against Charlotte. OK? Kentucky, 24-6.

Shannon: I just feel like the Wildcats might come out flat on the road after seeing their SEC title hopes dashed, and Jeremy Pruitt’s Vols get another signature win. Tennessee, 16-13.

OLE MISS AT TEXAS A&M: The NCAA needs to rescind the Ole Miss bowl ban because the Rebels are so much fun to watch. A&M, 45-35.

Shannon: The Rebels can’t stop my grandma, and it’s a great time for the Aggies to get their offense back on track. A&M, 51-33.

OHIO STATE AT MICHIGAN ST.: I was looking for something the other day and ran across a column I wrote when Urban Meyer quit UF for the second time. I had asked him in November if he might leave after the season. “No chance,” he said. “And that’s on the record.” He quit three weeks later. Just thought I’d throw that out there for the Ohio State beat guys. Ohio State, 27-21.

Shannon: Another upset, well sort of anyway. I guess I can’t considering anyone beating Ohio State an upset with the way that the Buckeyes are slacking right now. Michigan State, 24-20.

VANDERBILT AT MISSOURI: I think Missouri just scored again on Florida. Mizzou, 30-14.

Shannon: Missouri really impressed me with their effort last week — I mean they flat out balled at The Swamp. I think that momentum carries over and the Tigers finish with an 8-4 regular season. Missouri, 40-17.

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


  1. South Carolina 30, Florida 10. I’ve got to go and wrap my brain around a “high octane offense” under Muschamp. That’s the same thing as saying, “a Ford Pinto will win the Daytona 500.”
    But it seems that the program was beaten as well by Georgia 2 weeks ago, not just the team. Last week was a total program loss in all phases of football. Now, can the whole program rebound in all phases of football. I think the offense is now just too far gone with no more plays in the tank. There’s nothing left but run right, run left, screen pass, then punt. Mizzou was putting 9 in the box, daring Florida to throw over their heads. They knew Franks couldn’t do it. South Carolina’s defense will smother Franks. The tight ends we’ve heard so much about are nonexistent. Wide receivers?? Not this group. And now, 3rd and Grantham has come home to roost. Maybe this team can finish 8-4? FSU is pretty bad this year. We’ll see.

    • High octane offense that ranks 63rd in the nation in total offense, 47th in passing, 76th in rushing, and 50th in scoring. Could somebody please explain what classifies that as high octane, cause I’m really struggling with that assessment?

    • Grump…you often hit the target close to the bull’seye, but after reading your depressing post, I’m wondering if maybe you should change your tag to Gloom E. Gator. Maybe I’ll change mine to Dream E. Gator. I’m probably dreaming when I imagine the O-line providing enough protection for Franks to find open receivers, taking advantage of SC’s depleted backfield, or thinking Mullen will insert Jones in the mix enough to spark the offense when needed, or believing that the D will recapture its Mojo. Gators 35. SC 24.

    • I’m new here. Are you sure you’re a Gator? Sound more like a trolling, frustrated Seminole.

      The South Carolina game will boil down to whether the Gator pass rush can get to Bentley before Samuel can finish his routes against a young Gator secondary. Bentley is not Lock.

      • Dont start that Cr*p on here, just because you dont like his analysis, he’s as much or more than a gator than you!
        As far as what he said, if muschamp has half a brain he will do the same as Mo and shut down our running game. Everyone who does that clobbers us because Franks has lost the little Mojo that he had gotten. I mean, he couldnt hit the broad side of a barn against Mo.!

  2. Sorry Pat, but Georgia’s overrated and with a healthy Book at Qb Notre Dame wins that game easily. Hell, if the Gators had a competent Qb and healthy secondary, they would’ve beaten them easily. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if Auburn beats them.

      • I love college football, but the only game I really care about this weekend is USC-Florida. That said, beware of Auburn — those guys can be the best turd in punch bowl you ever saw for an SEC pretender who thinks too highly of itself.

      • Shannons predictions regarding scores are ridiculous! Regarding Ga they are far from a pretender! that pretender stomped UF pretty good! They arent top 4 i dont think but far from a pretender. I dont think ND is a top 4 team either!
        regarding Pat, I could get rich with a 70-30 prediction rate. Thing is I dont gamble I just bet on what appears to be a sure thing. Consequently I have very few bets and keep them just to what I dont care if I lose to protect my gains so it goes up slowly. Especially as the season goes on and its gets harder to find sure games that have the point spread thats sure, or a moneyline that makes anything. Early in the season I rocked 2 grand in a week, now Im lucky to get $200! point is if I could guess games at 70-30 I would gamble and make a fortune. Pat , thats a great percentage!( I havent actually checked his numbers against the point spread to see if he is 70-30 against the spread , or just winning teams) Still, against the moneyline , with a big enough bankroll and keeping all your bets the same size he could do OK with a 70% winning rate!

  3. I stated at the beginning of the season…that anything under 11-1 would be a disappointment…especially with the abundance of talent on this team…now we stare at a 9-3 season, which is, somewhat of a disappointment.

    I really thought Trask would be the starter…after watching Trask throughout fall camp…I thought he was by far the most accurate of the four QB’s…he has an arm that doesn’t take a back seat to Franks…he can certainly throw the ball as far as, Franks and has more of a touch along with the ability to see open receivers across the field…and a quicker release, which, is something Franks lacks…but, Franks is the guy who caught the coaches eye with his looks, arm strength and the ability to stand out in a crowd with his outward personality…Trask is more laded back and not as flashy of a personality…actually there is probably not a college coach in America that would not have started Franks…He’s just a guy that based on appearance you want as your QB…unfortunately it’s all looks with Franks…don’t get me wrong..,because I really like the kid and wish him well…but, he’s just not developed into the player that the the coaches and fans were expecting at this point in his career…

    I’ve stated many times that Franks is the type of QB that can certainly lose a game by making poor decisions and not being able to hit open receivers…you just never know what Franks, is going to show up…Franks has an awful 3rd down conversion rate when he either throws or runs the ball… which, usually occurs 8-10 times a game….and his completion rate is only two times a game where he is successful on 3rd down…this percentage does not include 3rd downs where the RB’s run the ball for a first down…before the Georgia game I was hoping the coaches would have a series of 3rd down plays for Trask…but, that never happened… The offensive line played great in the UG game and Franks just could not hit open receivers and had Fromm been UF’s QB …Florida wins that game…trade QB’s, the same holds true in the Missouri game.

    I wrote before the UG game that UF could match UG at every position both offensively and defensively except QB…Franks just makes too many mistakes…the best game he had this year was the Vandy game where he was 50% of 3rd downs where he either threw or ran for a first down…we need him to preform that way in his next three games in order to win out…most of his completions come on first and second downs but can’t make the 3rd downs on a consistent bases…

    I also think that they should not burn Jones red shirt year…when Toney can do anything and everything Jones can do…Toney, is game experienced and an overall better athlete than Jones at this point…UF has more talent and depth across the board than SC, except QB… and depending on what Franks shows up…UF should win this game by 18-21 points.

  4. I will say Muschchamp has opened it up from the past and at least finally realized his devotion to weird 1950s offensive schemes was not going to work. As others have pointed out, the “high octane” moniker is ridiculous because the numbers are actually not that impressive, but it is much superior to what he used to inflict on his teams, and i will give him credit for at least learning something after all his numerous failures.

    My feeling a few weeks ago was that the fans were losing faith in him, but he won some games down the stretch, and if he beats us again that may be enough. However, when Clemson annihilates USC and people start to realize he will never deliver anything but mediocrity, they will start looking for change.

  5. Need assistance from Gator Nation with a dilemma: Do I A) Sit through yet another franksandbeans horrific performance and a Gator loss or B) Count how many grains of sand on Waikiki while wearing my manly Orange & Blue thong?