After a brief respite from blogging, I’m back. To help get you through the summer, every Wednesday until game week this space will be devoted to “Wednesdays With Dr. Football” with five topics about college football.
1. I keep hearing and reading these rumors about Florida renewing its series with Miami. Forget it. It’s not going to happen. Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley has said in the past that he is open to playing a game down the road at a neutral site against the Hurricanes on a one-time basis, which he confirmed again this week to WWDF. It would probably be Tampa or possibly Orlando. Either way, the money would have to be an incentive. Maybe not the $5 million the Gators are getting for playing Michigan in 2017, but it would have to be more than what Florida would make for a home game. The Gators are paying Idaho $975,000 for the opener this year and will still make in excess of a million. And it wouldn’t be a year where Florida was at Florida State. Dr. Football’s best guess would be 2023. Hope you can wait that long.
2. One of the shames of the SEC’s announcement of the new rotations for the second opponent for the other division is that a once-great rivalry continues to be obliterated. Florida-Auburn used to play every year from right after World War II ended until 2002 and it used to be a thing. When it was Steve Spurrier vs. Terry Bowden it was at its height but it was always a big rivalry game in part because Florida is closer geographically than to Auburn than any other school. Gosh, think of your 20 favorite Florida games and I’m betting a few of them involve Auburn (1973, 1986, 1995). The next time they’ll play is 2019. The next time they’ll play in Jordan-Hare is 2024. It just doesn’t seem right. But remember, everything is fluid in college football.
3. Since we started talking in the 2000s, there has been one running back to win the Heisman Trophy — Alabama’s Mark Ingram in 2009. Other than that, this millenium has been all about quarterbacks. This could be the year that changes if Georgia’s Todd Gurley stays healthy. I think there are Heisman voters out there who might be a little hesitant to vote for FSU’s Jameis Winston a second time. And Gurley will be counted on more than ever because of Aaron Murray’s departure. Of course, as lazy as the voting gets, it will depend on Georgia’s success almost as much as Gurley’s.
4. The last time we saw Georgia Southern, the school was playing in FCS and throwing zero completions in a stunning signature win over Florida. New coach Willie Fritz wants to run more of a pistol offense and throw it a little more. It will be interesting to see how the Eagles transition to the Sun Belt and they open with North Carolina State and new quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
5. We’re seeing a cycle almost like the months leading up to the NFL Draft with Oklahoma. First you build something up, then you tear it down. Maybe Dr. Football needs to stop watching and listening to so many talking heads but it seemed that the theme in April and early May was to talk about Bobby Stoops’ team being a national contender and in the last few weeks it has been to point out their tradition of struggling with high expectations. The bottom line with Okie — forget what happened in the Sugar Bowl. I think they will have a chance this year but the Alabama win was one game a long time ago with a lot of players who have since departed and 20 days of prep time.