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The Russell Report: Playoff committee rankings and the return of Florida basketball

Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 5:42 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Ok, it was a ho-hum effort, but the Gator football team goes to Nashville and takes care of business.

But it wasn’t impressive and lots of fans called into the Extra Point post-game radio show to complain about the defense mostly. Look, the defense still gives up way too many big plays and is a work in progress, but all the complaining is based on one thing: How it will do against Alabama.

Admit it, that’s what the thinking is here. Alabama gave up three points to Kentucky last week, and now the Gator defense gets a shot at the Wildcats. The comparisons will begin.

The first College Football Playoff Committee poll comes out tomorrow and the top four are most likely going to be Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Clemson, and very few people should have issue with that.

But more games continue to be canceled or postponed and that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Which games get canceled and who might not play could be big factors going forward. Some have called for the playoff to be expanded, for just this year, to eight teams because of the pandemic, much like baseball did. Good idea, but not going to happen.

Both Gator basketball teams were set to open their seasons this week.

The Gator women are picked to finish 12th in the SEC but I think coach Cam Newbauer has the program on the right track. He’s signed some highly-rated players and added some transfers and I have a hunch they will do better than their projected finish.

While the women are set to play, the Gator men will not open their season because they have to pause team activities because of positive covid tests and contact tracing protocols. This must have just happened because I interviewed coach Mike White on Friday and he made no mention of this.

This team wasn’t preseason ranked but I think this group too will be better than advertised if they play a faster tempo which White says they will. But now the hope is they just get healthy and that this doesn’t set them back too much.

I know it’s been tough, but as Thanksgiving approaches, there is still a lot to be thankful for.

If you have your health, never take it for granted. Cherish your family and the time you spend with them. And, be glad we still have sports to watch, even though it is certainly different.

Thanks for listening to my Sportscene Radio Show, thanks to the wonderful people who work here, and I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

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