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Was perusing a writer's bowl predictions and yes, those are fun even in August.

In fact, yours truly's annual prediction of the final Top 25 will be this Sunday.

Anyway, the writer had 11 SEC teams in postseason play, and to keep it very simple, it was everyone but the University of Arkansas, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

Hard to argue with that, although the prediction has already been made in this space that the Razorbacks will be bowl eligible.

He had Georgia playing Alabama in the College Football Playoff's first round with the winner advancing to play the winner of Clemson-Oklahoma.

That's a safe pick, although not sure if the selection committee would take a one-loss Georgia or Alabama -- and if they play for the SEC championship one of them is guaranteed a loss -- over a one-loss Notre Dame or Michigan.

In fact, having a rematch of the SEC Championship Game might not be appealing to ESPN.

There are 40 bowls not including the playoffs, so 84 of the 130 teams in the FBS will be playing in a bowl game. That's almost 65 percent of all schools.

Whereas, in basketball it is a little different as 68 of 351 teams make the NCAA Tournament, and no, the NIT doesn't really count.

That's just a little less than 20 percent.

It's time to expand that basketball field and make March great again.

On another note, the SEC has so many bowl tie-ins, 11, according to the predictions column, that two will not be filled by SEC teams.

The Orange Bowl has an option to take an ACC team or Notre Dame and the always exciting Birmingham Bowl may opt for Houston-Purdue if Arkansas, Ole Miss or Vanderbilt doesn't get eligible.

Vandy has slipped in with 5-7 records on the strength of its APR when there are not enough bowl eligible (6 victory) teams.

The predictor of the bowls did some research and did a good job, but Sunday you will see we differ at the top.

. . .

At 6 p.m. Saturday, on ESPN, big-time college football is finally back.

In a classic ACC vs. SEC showdown between Miami and Florida, TV ratings could be through the roof.

College football, including bowl games, lasts about four months, meaning fans spend two-thirds of the year waiting on its return.

As of Thursday, the Gators are favored by 7. They went 10-3 last season including a walk-over victory against Michigan in the Peach Bowl.

It was Dan Mullen's first year at Florida after nine very successful years at Mississippi State.

The Hurricanes have a new coach in Manny Diaz, who has not been a head coach.

Diaz was the defensive coordinator for Miami under Mark Richt, who resigned when pressure was put on him to replace his son on the staff.

Richt chose to walk away rather than fire his son. That's a first-class dad.

Diaz worked for Mullen at Mississippi State in 2015 as defensive coordinator but jumped to Texas for two years and fell to Louisiana Tech before Mullen hired him.

Diaz hired former Arkansas assistant Dan Enos to be his offensive coordinator. Enos was at Alabama and accepted the Hurricane job and left town without saying goodbye to anyone, including Nick Saban.

Saban had implied Enos would be promoted to offensive coordinator after the national championship game, but when Bama was spanked by Clemson 44-16, Saban said he was reconsidering the promotion.

Obviously, Saban was not going to blame the defense even though it gave up 482 yards and three touchdown passes by freshman Trevor Lawrence.

Regardless, football is back and to start the season, here's a prediction:

Florida 35-21.

Sports on 08/23/2019

Print Headline: WALLY HALL: Bowling on minds of writers in late summer

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