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Chris Doering, SEC Network Analyst

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
December 5, 2022 8:37 pm

Chris Doering, SEC Network Analyst

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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December 5, 2022 8:37 pm

Chris Doering joined Zach to discuss if the College Football Playoff committee got the four teams right and if Deion Sanders will be successful at Colorado. 

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There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today. Chris, appreciate the time. How you been? I'm good. Good to be back on with you, man.

Well, thank you so much for coming on. Let me start you off with TCU. Before we get into if they deserve to get into the college football playoff or not, what the heck were they doing at the goal line? I could not believe with those two opportunities at the one, they didn't give the ball to Max Duggan one time.

Yeah, I don't know. Obviously, if they'd like to do it over again, I'm sure they would do something completely different there, but I have a lot of respect for Doug and that entire team, really, man. The whole season, they've been this come-from-behind, never-quit team.

I think they're a great example to young kids and to people in general, just about how you got to fight sometimes all 60 minutes and beyond, as they did the other day. Unfortunately, it didn't come up the way they wanted, but still found their way into the postseason, man, which is great. Once Ohio State lost, excuse me, once you had USC lose on Friday night, I thought that TCU was a lock to get in. Did you feel that way or were you worried if they were going to get squeezed out yesterday when the selections were made?

No, I thought they were in. It was a situation, I don't think there were any other deserving teams there. In fact, the three teams that were kind of waiting in the wings with Ohio State and Tennessee and Alabama, I didn't feel good about any of those three slide into the fourth spot, let alone moving up to the third spot. I just think it was kind of a situation the way it worked out this year, but at the end of the day, I can't wait for the next couple of years when we get to the 12-team expanded playoff where we have an opportunity to have these championship weekends mean more than what they did this past Saturday. With only the Pac-12 game meaning anything, you have to be excited about what automatic birth will do and the chance to get a bye and just how much more sense of urgency I think teams will have playing in those championship games. The only thing I'll say about that, and I've realized that expansion obviously is happening, I'm not a fan of it, I don't like going to 12, it seems like each and every year people say we need more teams, Chris Doering, but it doesn't seem like we can make these great cases when it's just four teams.

What's the end game? I still think the college football playoff above any other sport is still going to be dominated by the best team. It's a one-game, do-or-die situation, win in advance, and I still think it's very difficult for teams to pull enough. I don't think there's a team that can match with Georgia like that would be in the 10, 11, 12 spots, I think you'll still get the best teams. McCream will rise to the top, but I think the other side effect that I'm excited about, more meaningful games with more teams involved, with a chance to get into a postseason that now largely has been devastated outside of the college football playoff.

So I do look at this as an opportunity for more teams to taste that excitement of getting into the playoff and players not opting out as much as we're seeing them right now. Today has been just a devastating day if you loved traditional college football the way it used to be. Talking to Chris Doering right now on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio, getting back to Friday, USC Utah, we know what happened when these teams went up the first time, USC was up by 14 and they weren't able to slam the door shut. Cam Rising had a great game, they were up 14 again, and then this one just got out of hand for the USC Trojans.

How do you look back on that Friday night game? You know, I was actually kind of pulling for USC as much as I pay attention to the SEC and would have loved to have the opportunity to get two teams in. I think it would have been great to have regional representation all around the country, to have the Pac-12 get another opportunity to play in the playoff, and to see Caleb Williams, who I imagine is still probably going to win the Heisman Trophy, to see him play in a really meaningful postseason ballgame.

So it was quite the change there after the first quarter, I thought it was going to be a blowout when I guess it was a blowout, but just not the direction that I expected, and certainly the injury to Caleb didn't help their chances of coming from behind. What did you make of him riding on his fingernails at Utah before the game? Yeah, I've heard a lot of people say that they weren't going to put him on the Heisman list because of that.

That's stupid if someone keeps him off the Heisman Trophy list for that. I agree with you, I don't have a problem with it. I think if people are shocked by that, they should hear what actually goes on on the field in the locker room. I have a terrible mouth as it is, I'm probably lucky I haven't been fired yet from my job on television or radio, but obviously I think if that's what it takes to get him and his teammates motivated, I don't have a problem with it. Well that's the only thing. I just don't get what the goal was there.

If it's motivation, I think that could only work against you, right? Yeah, I can't even try to put my mind into the mind of some of these college athletes these days because it's a much different, not only college football landscape, but just societally in general, so it's hard to relate there. But I do think there's, it seems like there's a confidence that borders maybe on cockiness between that and the strike at the Heisman pose against Notre Dame, not the way that I would necessarily go about carrying myself, but this guy's certainly a very talented player and a guy that I think has helped carry his team further than what we ever would have expected this year in Lincoln Riley's first season there.

Chris Doering here with us. He does a great job SEC this morning on Syria. You can also catch him ESPN SEC Network. When he gets to the college football playoff committee, do you get why they put Alabama in front of Tennessee? Because we talked about this a lot last week. Tennessee beat Alabama. I never got why Alabama was then ranked in front of Tennessee.

Yeah, I don't, I can't explain that. In fact, shoot two weeks ago when we put our top six out, I still had Tennessee ahead of Alabama. We talk about games in the regular season meaning something. Well, when you have the same exact record and you've gone head to head and one team beats the other, I don't know how you can justify putting them behind the team that lost that head to head matchup.

I know you can point to the fact that you lose your quarterback in Hindenokker, but they did have a game with Joe Milton, but still put up 56 points in. So, I don't think they deserve to be dropped behind Alabama particularly because every real meaningful metric that the college football playoff bases their decision on still gave the advantage to Tennessee. When you get to Nick Saban going on television and pleading his case, I don't have a problem with the coach doing that. If you think he can help your chances, you do whatever you can for the players in your locker room. But how about what he was actually saying on TV when he was doing those interviews? Well, first of all, I have a problem with all the people that were hating on Nick Saban for going out on the television and making the rounds, pleading the case to this team.

They're not something we're seeing or used to seeing from him. They're not in that position where they have to do that much, but I don't have a problem for a coach going out and advocating for his team. In terms of the argument, I actually believe that point spreads probably should be factored into what the college football playoff committee is looking at because I think it does measure the intangibles of which teams are better. I think we ultimately still go back to this argument, who's the most deserving, who's the best team? I think if Alabama snuck into the playoff amongst the top four, they would be the favorite to win outside of Georgia.

The Vegas odds would probably have Alabama as the next closest team that's likely to win the playoff because of their experience, their talent at quarterback, and obviously what they've been able to accumulate around on both sides of the ball. So I don't have a problem with necessarily what he said. I know some other people kind of picked apart some contradictions, but it was nice to see him going out and standing up for his team in my opinion.

I'm actually with you. Now in terms of the point spread, I thought it was a very creative argument. The only thing I would argue back on that is you were an eight and a half point favorite against Tennessee.

You were over a two touchdown favorite, almost a two touchdown favorite against LSU when they lost those games. So point spreads may not always be everything. Point spreads just matter in terms of comparing where I believe the public opinion is.

Obviously point spreads are designed nothing more than to try to get even betting on both sides, but I do think it's a useful metric that I would like to see incorporated into the playoff committee's criteria. The other thing is, you look at the resume this year for Alabama, you could say that if they got into the college football playoff, maybe they're going up against Georgia in the national championship game. I don't think that would surprise anyone, but when you look at the resume this year, I just don't see how the committee would have been able to make the case that they were deserving of going. I agree, but at the same time Ohio State, I look at that Notre Dame loss, that's not impressive to me at eight and four, especially when you played them at the beginning of the season and they got better as the year went on. I look at Penn State, the Big Ten as a whole, like who were the teams in that conference, your schedule comes down to your Penn State to basically pass or fail if you can beat Michigan or Ohio State and they failed in both instances there.

Penn State's only a top ten team because there's nobody else in that league that can actually compete with Penn State outside of the two big dogs. So I think you can make arguments against just about every team's resume, including TCU's probably. So if you were running the committee, if it was the one man committee, the Chris Doran committee for the college football playoff, who would have been your matchups? Who would have been your four teams? I mean, honestly, I probably would have gone with the same four after we've gone through all this.

The top three would have been the same. I may have had Tennessee in there, but again, you can make the argument that they're not the same team because of Enden Hooker's injury. I think it's hard to put a team in an opportunity to play for a championship that just got housed in their last game at home by three touchdowns.

It's hard for me to pallet that. Someone you know well, Jim Harbaugh, there's been all speculation about his future. Last year he was interviewing for the Vikings job, didn't get it back at Michigan, now back in the college football playoff. Do you think these are the last game or two that Jim Harbaugh is going to be coaching for Michigan?

I hope not. I genuinely believe that college football is where he should be. I love the story. Obviously, I'm biased. I played with the guy for a couple years in Indianapolis.

And their job's open. Yeah, I think a lot of what he was able to accomplish and working himself up from coaching at San Diego in college to getting the job that he's gotten that led him to the NFL and ultimately to his alma mater. You know this, I played for a guy in Steve Spurrier that actually played at the University of Florida. When you have a head coach that's played at that same school that can recruit from a first-hand perspective of what it's like, that can speak to the passion of the fan base of the alums, it's kind of a unique situation. And I'm hopeful that he stays there because he's turned the corner despite all the doubters, not only outside the program but those inside, and I actually think that Michigan has taken over as the big dog in the Big Ten. I think that power shift is occurring in the SEC with Georgia supplanting Alabama and I think the same thing is happening with Michigan. How about the job of Kirby Smart? What else can you say at this point? Because for a while it was okay, he's really, really good, but he can't win the big game and he's on the verge of going back-to-back his national champs.

Yeah, he changed that narrative pretty quick, didn't he? And I actually have a lot of respect for Kirby. He played against him when he was at Georgia, have watched him a long time in the SEC covering this league, even back to his days in Tuscaloosa. And many Nick Saban disciples have been hired elsewhere in hopes of duplicating the success for building a program and winning national championships.

Very few, if any, have been able to do that successfully and Kirby Smart is the one that's been able to do that. I look at what they're doing right now. Maybe the most impressive thing is not only what they were able to do to accumulate talent with these recruiting classes, but retaining that talent, rerecruiting your roster is the most important thing that you can do as a college coach these days. And the fact that he's gotten those players to buy into being patient, to being role players, to understanding that their time will come is something that a lot of other schools, a lot of other coaches have not had these things successfully. Even Alabama, one of the downfalls that you look at that program right now is the fact that they don't have the depth that they have typically had in the past.

They're not able to retain the guys as much as they were, so Kirby's kind of taking this thing to the next level. What does Saban have to change? Clearly we know he has a good team year in and year out, but they're not going to win the last two national championships.

What does he have to change now? Yeah, I don't know if they're going to end up changing coordinators or not. I imagine something at least will happen on the offensive side. But the fact of the matter is that two of the mainstays that have led to so much success for Alabama, the offensive line and the receiver position has largely failed them the last year or two. Offensive line for Alabama has not been up to what we typically expect from them. And then the receivers, I guess we got spoiled by those years of having big time players with the young backup guys coming in and learning and then taking their opportunity to shine. In all honesty, it was the biggest crime of the year to see how little support Bryce Young had.

This guy was a one-man wrecking crew and bringing his team back. To have receivers not get open, to drop balls the way that they did, to not perform, not even in the clutch, but just the average expectation for what a wide receiver should do leaves me feeling pretty empty about the way that Bryce's two years as a starter at Alabama went. How do you think these games play out? I know it's very early, we got a few weeks to talk about it, but right now what's the initial take on Georgia against Ohio State and Michigan against ECU? Yeah, I think Georgia, they need to shorten things up in the secondary. That was embarrassing giving up 500 yards to LSU's group on Saturday. They're going up against probably the best group of wide receivers that they'll face. But I do think you go back and use a little bit of the blueprint that you used against Tennessee in being physical.

I think physicality will be something that Kirby talks about a lot as they lead up to the game on New Year's Eve. You've got to be physical. You've got to press those guys to the line of scrimmage. I can tell you from a first-hand perspective, playing wide receiver, I would much rather have a guy play off and let me get a free release than play press coverage and try to get physical at the line of scrimmage. It throws off the timing of routes with the quarterback.

It throws off your ability to get vertical. And so I definitely think you go back and look at what you did against Tennessee and try to replicate that against Ohio State's wide receivers. I think ultimately Georgia wins that game. And then on the other side, Michigan to me is kind of a cheaper facsimile, if you will, of what Georgia is. Do a lot of the same things.

Talk about the same kind of principles of being physical as well. I think they'll have too much for TCU and ultimately we'll get a rematch of the semifinal game from last year. And the test will be, hey, has Michigan closed the gap? Has Michigan been able to add more explosive plays that they were missing last year and that Orange Bowl matchup or the semifinal in Miami last year? Do you think they've closed the gap? I think they've closed the gap. I think it's Georgia and kind of everybody else from there. I think Michigan is probably the closest team, but I don't know if they've closed the gap enough to make it a competitive ballgame.

Alright, let me get to your school in Florida. Anthony Richardson declared for the NFL draft today. Is that a mistake? Did you think he should come on back? Are you okay with that decision?

It depends on what the grading scale is of a good decision or not a good decision. I think he's going to probably be a first round draft pick, as crazy as that is to say, as inconsistent as he was as a starting quarterback this year. I think the guy's got tremendous athletic ability. I think he's got a long way to go when it comes to being a starting quarterback in college, let alone in the NFL. Every student's goal, athlete or non-athlete, is to go to college to get themselves in a position where they can make a lot of money when they come out. I think he's going to make a lot of money when he comes out.

Honestly, I think it might be the best thing that could have happened for Florida as well. This was a team this year that largely depended on Anthony Richardson. At times, he used that athletic ability to take over and win ballgames. At other times, he was more passive.

He's going to have to learn a lot. He's played a very limited amount of snaps throughout his career. I don't know how developed he was in high school either. At some point in time, the athleticism of everybody else catches up to you.

Then you've got to use the technique, the football IQ to separate yourself. I think he's got a long way to go when it comes to learning how to be a professional quarterback at the NFL level. Last thing I'll ask you, Chris Doring, I love Deion Sanders' speech.

I loved his introductory press conference. I don't know if it's going to work or not, but where is your viewpoint out of the Deion Sanders hire with Colorado? I think it's a pretty good hire for them. They've been irrelevant for a long time and all of a sudden we're talking about them again.

I would disagree with you. I didn't like the speech, the way they went about putting that out on social media and the way that he spoke to those kids. It very well may be true that you don't retain many or any of the kids on that existing roster, but I would like to have seen that conversation take place behind closed doors and have a little more respect for what those guys have done. They came to the University of Colorado to try to help the program to come get an education.

To make that statement publicly I think was a little bit embarrassing for them and in bad taste, quite honestly. Chris Doring, always appreciate the time. Enjoy bowl season. Enjoy the college football playoff games coming up in a few weeks. Always enjoy catching up with you. Thanks for having me, bro. Good to be back with you, man. Take care.

We'll be right back. Get started and download the free Odyssey app today. The listening you love is on the free Odyssey app. Your trusted local radio stations, coverage of your favorite teams, live news from your hometown and millions of podcasts on demand. Best of all, you can completely customize your listening experience. Follow topics you care about like leagues and teams. Pause or rewind your local sports and news and add shows to your queue to catch up later. There's a lot to listen to. So get started and download the free Odyssey app today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-05 22:08:29 / 2022-12-05 22:17:02 / 9

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