Who is feeling the pressure -- Florida or Georgia?
The Back Nine comes at you after a strange week and a stranger weekend. You'd have thought it was a full moon or something. What? It was?
10. A question I will get all week and you will hear all week is about how much pressure is on the Gators and Dan Mullen this week? Well, it certainly is there because this game is basically for the SEC East and because Florida has lost three in a row to Georgia. But isn't there as much or more pressure on Kirby Smart? This feels an awful lot like a loser-leaves-town game and for Georgia, the idea of making the playoffs is all but gone. If Georgia loses and a lot of the problem is on the offensive side of the ball, the whole quarterback issue will rear its ugly head. I'm just saying that there is as much pressure on Georgia as Florida and we'll leave it at that.
11. I can't say I was surprised by the decision of the SEC and Greg Sankey to extend the suspensions of Zachary Carter and Antwuan Powell and levy a fine on Mullen. There is a bell that goes off in the SEC office when someone throws a punch or punches during an event. I think there were people more worried about other players being caught on tape throwing punches and being suspended ... which is what happened to Missouri. (Don't forget, Mizzou's next game is against Georgia, too). The reprimand and fine for Mullen, all you have to do is watch the tape. He went sprinting after the head official in a frenzy and then blew up when he was pulled away. I get that he was looking out for his quarterback, but it was not the way to do it. I'm curious why the SEC did not have anything to say about the cheap shot on Kyle Trask. I mean, it should have been a penalty and that might have diffused a few things. Hey, on to Georgia.
12. Auburn under Gus Malzahn makes no sense. None. Whatever you think about where the Tigers are as a football team, they will take the turn you least expect. Remember, this was a team that was two blown calls by SEC officials away from 1-4 going into the LSU game and then blows the other Tigers off the field. (LSU is a whole other problem, but not mine). One thing to remember with this team is that quarterback Bo Nix can't play dead on the road, but he shines at home. And don't get me started on Michigan. I don't know how much more of Jim Harbaugh those fans can take. As you can tell, I didn't do to well on my picks this week.
13. I really believed Trevor Lawrence was a lock to win the Heisman Trophy this year and figured that a big game against Notre Dame would eliminate everyone else. It wasn't just the season he was having, it was what he was doing off the field. And it seemed like it was due to give the award to a guy who had never lost a regular season game. The COVID-19 hit him and he's not even the favorite anymore according to the sports books. Instead, that goes to Mac Jones of Alabama and Justin Fields of Ohio State. The problem for Lawrence is that there aren't a lot of chances to show off after this week. If Clemson loses to Notre Dame, at least he would get a shot at the Irish in the ACC title game. Other than that, there are no ranked teams remaining on the schedule.
14. By the way, sometimes you have to step away and think about this — Clemson has played seven games. The Pac-12 has played zero. Notre Dame has played six games. Ohio State has played two. Yet Ohio State is ranked ahead of Notre Dame in both polls. Even with the limited crowds, six ACC teams and five SEC teams have yet to lose a home game, but only one Big 12 team is unbeaten at home. That's West Virginia and if you take the Mountaineers out of the mix the rest of the Big 12 is under .500 at home. I could go on all day in this Season of the Weird.
15. This seems kind of obvious, but Bill Belichick clearly bet on himself by dismissing Tom Brady and lost big time. I'm not as willing as some to say the Patriots are done, but they are done being the Patriots. Let us also not forget they had several key players opt out before the season and 11 left for free agency so it wasn't just Brady departing. Nobody is going to feel sorry for a franchise that has a difficult time finding room for all of its Lombardi Trophies, but there is a certain level of satisfaction for any fan of teams that have suffered under the rule of Lord Belichick. And anyone who has had to sit through one of his news conferences.
16. For those of you wondering, I now know what was ailing me and we're treating it. Last week was the toughest week I've had on the planet and I'm still recovering. Thanks for all of the well-wishers. I know I'm tired of being tired.
17. The Tweet of the Week goes to Jason Sobel, who covers golf for Action Network and Sirius — "At 48, Brian Gay is a PGA Tour champion for the fifth time and first since 2013. 'This is absolutely insane,' he said after the playoff. 'I’ve been playing awful.' " Think about this — the former Gator golfer has as many wins as Rickie Fowler. So happy for Brian, who is a terrific dude.
18. You know, the worst thing about those 7:30 games isn't the waiting around or the deadline pressure. It's that you can's sleep once everything is put to bed. At least I can't. But I have stuff running through my brain. I also have this playlist for you:
• "The Buzz" by The Pretenders.
• "Home Tonight" by Sir Paul McCartney.
• "Song for The Summer" by the Stereophonics.
• "Hard On Everyone" by Kathleen Edwards.
• And for an old one, put on your go-go boots if you want to get up and dance (not you, Earl), "I Only Want To Be With You" by Dusty Springfield.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.