Wednesdays With Dr. Football comes back after another week off and this is the penultimate one. But we’re going to have so much stuff going on during the season you won’t miss it.
1. It’s one thing to predict the teams that will make it to the College Football Playoff or who will win each conference or each division. Here’s an exercise for you — try picking the bottom four teams in the SEC this year. Last year, they were Kentucky (0-8), Arkansas (0-8), Tennessee (2-6) and three teams tied at 3-5 (Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Florida). Certainly, preseason optimism makes us all believe these teams will be better this season. In fact, it’s not crazy to think Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Florida all have a chance to win their divisions. So which teams are in the bottom four when it all plays out? It’s easy to pen Kentucky there. Arkansas should be better, but how much better. One of the toughest things for SEC bottom-feeders is the quality of teams above them. If you are wondering, the media picked these four teams to hold up the rear — Vandy, Kentucky, Texas A&M and Arkansas.
2. During my trip to Northwest Florida, Jimmy Ray Stephens and his wife, Regina, showed up at my speech in Destin. What a treat. After my talk, Jimmy Ray and I started talking about the origin of the jet sweep. He said it started at Mississippi College and went to a high school and then a coach brought it to Fort Walton Beach high. One day when Stephens was at Florida, Steve Spurrier said he wanted to get the ball quickly into the hands of his fastest players. Stephens brought up the play which Florida ran with great success in the mid-to-late 1990s.
3. Because I was out of town, I finally got to see my first UF practice Tuesday. Here’s what I saw:
* Florida is better at backup quarterback than it was last year. Scoff if you want, Tyler Murphy fans, but both Will Grier and Treon Harris throw the ball really well.
* This is a good-looking team physically. It looks like an SEC contender.
* I can’t wait to see running back Brandon Powell in the open field. He can scoot.
* Dante Fowler is Florida’s best player. Duh.
* As loaded as Florida is at running back, you have to be concerned that Matt Jones had swelling on his knee after the first scrimmage. If Jones and Kelvin Taylor are healthy all year, it will be tough to slow this offense down.
* I go back to what I wrote on my notebook during the spring game — GUYS GET OPEN!
4. We are all so excited about the first week of the season, I hate to dull your enthusiasm but the second week isn’t so great. There are a couple of big games and one huge one — Michigan State at Oregon. But the SEC is basically taking the week off. The biggest game? Ole Miss at Vandy. The second biggest? Missouri at Toledo. Don’t ask about the third best.
5. After watching the infomercial for the ESPN Network that is the Paul Finebaum Show, I still tuned in for part of the SEC Nation debut to see how Tim Tebow did. He dominated the set like he dominated SEC defenses at Florida. The rest of the guys had a hard time getting a word in. Clearly, Tebow is a combination of knowledge and energy and wants to do well. Marcus Spears is also very good.