A Sun Blog

Dooleys Desk

Insightful commentary from our sports columnist

The Sunday Blog, Week Two

The Sunday Blog comes at you after a late night because some of us are college football crazy and stayed up to watch everything. 1. One of the dumbest cliches in sports is that teams have their most improvement from their first game to their second. A college football team has nine months to get ready for its opener and a week to get ready for its second game. And we saw it on Saturday. Not only were there major… Read More »

The Sunday Blog, Week Uno

The Sunday Blog returns after the first Saturday of college football that included more weather delays than a golf tournament and a new level of tailgating at Florida. Or so I’ve heard. 1. I know. I know. We know better than to overreact after the first Saturday of the season. If we did, we’d be ready to crown the SEC and dismiss the Pac-12. The SEC had three very nice wins. The Pac-12 had three very bad losses — Stanford… Read More »

Ron Zook, revisited

Sometimes it’s all about the timing. Ron Zook followed the greatest coach in UF football history. Florida won six SEC titles under Steve Spurrier and contended every year. Spurrier threw the ball all over the field and changed everything about the way the game was played. And he won every press conference. Zook told us all in his first press conference how he wasn’t Steve Spurrier. he must have said it 15 times. Then, he proved it. But what if… Read More »

Could SEC East get shut out?

So we were talking about this on the radio the other day because I was suddenly hit by the reality that the SEC East could go 0-14 against the West. It’s very unlikely. Even a blonde squirrel finds an acorn now and then.  But the West has dominated the East recently and the West has six teams that could win that division. The East is still struggling to get back to the glory years. But where will the East get… Read More »

Instant analysis: Coaches poll

Some quick thoughts on the first college football coaches’ poll: 1. Only three teams in the top 25 were not in the final coaches’ poll of last season, which came out after the College Football Playoffs — Notre Dame, LSU and Tennessee. 2. There are eight teams from the SEC ranked and five others who received votes including Florida (2) and Kentucky (1). Only Vanderbilt was shut out. Mississippi State and Texas A&M were the top two votegetters outside the… Read More »

Nothing to see here

Back when I was a kid, before the Internet and cell phone and cable TV, most college football games were played during the day. And by day, I mean 1 p.m. That changed gradually and finally reached the point where we are now. Oh, there are day games. But TV has discovered that it can sell night college football better than it ever anticipated. As a result, we are loaded with great night games at the start of the season.… Read More »

We’ve seen this SOS before

On Wednesday, Steve Spurrier called me to tell me what a great guy Jim McElwain is. The two had shared a plane trip the day before to go to ESPN. “He’s not too full of himself,” he said. “I don’t know what kind of team they’ll have this year, but he’ll be good for Florida in the long haul.” Then, he went into what was a similar speech to the one that he gave to the South Carolina media later… Read More »

We’ve got a track record

In anticipation of the SEC releasing how the media predicted the races in the divisions and who will win the championship, let’s look at how badly we’ve guessed. And let me say this — I think one reason is that too many media members vote based on what they remember of a team from the previous season or how it did in its bowl game. In 23 years of voting, we were right five times. A 5-18 record puts you… Read More »

SEC Media Days opening blog

HOOVER, Ala. — Usually here in the land that sidewalks forgot we are told what time Florida’s early games will be played. But this is the new SEC with a one-year old network so that news broke a couple of weeks ago. So when I went downstairs to get my credential and SEC media guide, the accompanying early TV schedule got tossed to the side. But I did notice that the SEC has two scheduled doubleheaders on CBS for Nov.… Read More »

A final Dooley-Vettel collaboration

It started the way so many of these lists start, two friends sharing beverages and scribbling them down on a cocktail napkin. In this case, it was a going-away meeting with Larry Vettel, the longtime Gator broadcaster who is moving to New York City. He mentioned that last year’s Florida-Georgia game was the most unexplainable result in all of his years of covering the Gators. I couldn’t agree more. But we didn’t stop there. After all, we had a history… Read More »