A Sun Blog

Dooleys Desk

Insightful commentary from our sports columnist


OKLAHOMA CITY — I am freezing and I’m not complaining. It is about an hour before the Florida-Auburn game here Sunday and we are sitting outside in our press seats. It is 66 degrees. It has been this way all week and I certainly didn’t pack for this weather. I think Oklahoma City in late May and early June and I think about beads of sweat running down the side of my face and major pit stains. But this week… Read More »

Ranking SEC schedules from opposite divisions

We all know that things can change as a season goes along, especially in the volatile SEC. But a team’s chances of winning its division often depend on which teams it plays from the other side and where they play them. It’s the preseason, so this is how we rank the schedules from the other divisions heading into the season. 1. Georgia: At Auburn, Alabama. Nobody can complain about the Bulldogs having an advantage this year. 2. Kentucky: Auburn, at… Read More »

Win-win situation for Billy

There have already been some negative stories and comments coming from Oklahoma City and some national outlets about the hiring of Billy Donovan by the Thunder. The basic reason is because the Thunder are in a “win-now” mode because they could lose Kevin Durant after the next season and Russell Westbrook a season later. People close to the negotiations told me that Thunder GM Sam Presti has a plan no matter what happens with the two superstars and that helped… Read More »

Fun in Fort Worth

For several years, he was just a voice on the other end of the phone or an occasional text message. But on Thursday, I finally met Gilbert Little, a big Florida Gator fan who was Hal Sutton’s agent for 15 years. He called me one day many years ago about a column I had written and we stayed in touch. He moved to Fort Worth seven months ago and I showed up here for the NCAA Gymnastics. Little gave me… Read More »

Hard to find good SEC non-conference games

If the SEC doesn’t get a team into the second College Football Playoff, it only has itself to blame. The conference is still the best in the land but the non-conference scheduling is pretty pathetic. Four SEC teams don’t play a non-conference game against another Power Five conference team. Only South Carolina plays against two of them. It’s slim picking when we look for the best non-conference games in this conference, but we’ll try to rank the top 10. 1.… Read More »

SEC’s big weekends

We continue with our weekly look at the SEC schedules to get you pining for the season to start. Hey, it’s only five months away. This week, we look at the best weekends in the SEC: 1. Week 13, Nov. 28 No real surprise here that rivalry week takes the top billing. Best game: Alabama at Auburn. And then there are: FSU at Florida, Texas A&M at LSU, Clemson at South Carolina, Georgia Tech at Georgia, Missouri at Arkansas, Ole… Read More »

SEC Swing Games aplenty

The Final Four is this weekend and The Masters is next week, but it’s never too early to talk SEC football around here. So for the next few weeks we’re going to look at the conference and the schedules each team will face. Today, we look at the Swing Games. Everyone’s definition of a Swing Game is different. To me, it’s the game that doesn’t necessarily define a season like a rivalry game, but it’s a game that each team… Read More »

Sunday Blog from Nashville

The Sunday Blog comes at you from rainy Nashville where the skies are clearing and there are puddles on the ground. Puddles of what, I have no idea. 1. Florida may be a long way from the NCAA Tournament, but the Gators are represented because of Wyoming’s big win Saturday in the Mountain West Tournament. Not only is former UF assistant Larry Shyatt going to the Big Dance but Matt Wise, who served as a grad assistant to Billy Donovan… Read More »

Sunday Blog Marches On

The Sunday Blog took last week off because my fingertips needed a rest. But it’s back today on another busy weekend. * The Sunday Blog received word late Saturday night that Kentucky gymnast Shelby Hilton, who had to be removed on a rolling stretcher Friday night after hitting her head on the floor exercise, sustained no injuries from her fall but was held in Gainesville for observation. It was sobering moment when the O’Connell Center was dead quiet while Hilton… Read More »

Five sports, four days, one Sunday Blog

One of the reasons I still enjoy living in Gainesville after 28 years is a weekend like this one. Look, football is my favorite sport and I love college basketball. But I am also appreciative of the other sports and the fact that Florida is so good in them makes it even more interesting. So covering five events in four days was a blast. This diary is probably more for me than you, but here it goes: Thursday: I’m going… Read More »