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Dennis Dodd | CBS Sports College Football Insider

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January 5, 2023 6:09 am

Dennis Dodd | CBS Sports College Football Insider

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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January 5, 2023 6:09 am

 CBS Sports College Football Insider Dennis Dodd joins the show to talk Jim Harbaugh, CFB, and the idea of playoff expansion.

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When you need to know what's happening, it's time to get hit. In The Huddle. You're fraudulent. You're not in the business of winning football games. You're in the business of trying to prove your own asinine decisions correct. We can talk about the Ursay thing. Do I think the Saturday thing is the biggest joke in the history of the NFL? I do. But at least he was willing to say, this ain't working for me. I don't care that I just gave him extensions. Listen to In The Huddle available on the Ozzy app or wherever you get your podcast.

When you need to know what's happening, it's time to get hit. In The Huddle. You're fraudulent. You're not in the business of winning football games. You're in the business of trying to prove your own asinine decisions correct. We can talk about the Ursay thing. Do I think the Saturday thing is the biggest joke in the history of the NFL? I do. But at least he was willing to say, this ain't working for me.

I don't care that I just gave him extensions. Listen to In The Huddle available on the Ozzy app or wherever you get your podcast. We're pleased to welcome Dennis Dodd from the desert from Arizona Covers College Football for CBS Sports and Dennis will get to that national championship matchup. But first I want to ask you about Jim Harbaugh following this loss in the playoff. He does an interview on Wednesday in which he indicates that while he doesn't know his future, he anticipates being at Michigan next year. So what do you know about Harbaugh's next steps? I know as much as Jim Harbaugh knows.

I think that's not much. He could change from minute to minute. We see it every year.

You can set your watch by it. And it's getting kind of old, frankly. And I'm sure the people and the administrators of Michigan are sick of it too. It's Jim Harbaugh. He kind of does what he wants when he wants to do it. The latest statement was, I think I'm going to be the Michigan coach.

Well, thanks for that definitive statement, Jim. He apparently talked to the owner of the Panthers. Last February on signing day, he interviewed with the Vikings, was never going to get that job. Somehow held the recruiting class together, which by the way, for a team that had just been to the playoff, was not very good. And I suspect if he keeps doing this, it's going to hurt this year's recruiting class. So it's just getting worn and old and tedious. What do you do if you're the athletic director or manual at Michigan?

Do you put your foot down? You can't. The guy's the most successful coach they've had there since Bo Schembechler.

So you just have to write it out, I guess. In your opinion, is he that valuable to Michigan in that they should just kind of go with the flow and hope that he returns? Yeah, he is.

I mean, where are you going to turn if he doesn't come back? He's a proven commodity. He's been to two straight playoffs, won the Big Ten twice. We're at the point now where, well, maybe they're putting too much energy and trying to beat Ohio State. That's the biggest criticism of Jim Harbaugh, bring it on, in terms of not advancing in the playoffs.

But no, he's very valuable. He's a really good coach. He's been a really good coach in the NFL. He's been a really good coach at Stanford, now at Michigan. So he's gotten past the bugaboo of beating Ohio State to the point that Ryan Day's job wasn't coming into question with some people there. He had 45-5 when they lost the game in late November. The Panthers just fired a coach that came out of college, but obviously Matt Ruhle didn't have the NFL track record that Harbaugh does with the Niners going to, what was it, three consecutive NFC Championship games? In four years, I believe.

Yeah, that's what I mean. He is a proven commodity in the NFL, he's a proven coaching commodity, and there are owners and teams all over the place that would love to have them in there. He's quirky, but if that's the worst thing you can say about him, then that's fine. The guy can win, the guy can coach, he can recruit, he can assemble rosters. Yeah, why not, in this age of NIL, which frankly Michigan hasn't had to deal with yet, Michigan hasn't gone really big into the portal and still won big, it says something about him on that as well. We're so excited to have Dennis Dodd back on the show. This huge week for college football for a lot of reasons, but covers it on the national scale for CBS Sports. It's after hours on CBS Sports Radio. So the numbers coming out with the national semifinals in terms of viewership, huge. 21.7 million viewers, the most ever on what was a non-New Year's Day. When you think about it, defense not the order of the day, though they were certainly very entertaining. What still sticks with you about what we saw in those two games on New Year's Eve, Dennis? Well, highest scoring semis ever, 179 total points. The closest pair of games ever decided by a total of seven points.

So if you're a person or TV executive, you've got to love that. Except for TCU, three brand names. I think the prospect of TCU winning drew people to the game, maybe even after it started. So no, I think it's good. Look, the previous eight years of semis, 16 games, have been decided by an average of more than 21 points. That's probably not surprising to anybody. They have not been compelling by and large. 16 of the 24 total playoff games have been decided by double digits.

So this thing had gotten a little long on the tooth. It's a little, I don't want to say boring, but same old teams, blowouts. The TCU thing is amazing because I have written this and I've said it. I think they're the one true Cinderella of college football in its history. Because first of all, the sport has never embraced Cinderella's in the sense that they have made the NCAA tournament in basketball. It's been a very close shop.

It's been a very exclusive shop. And for a comp on this, you really have to go back 38 years to when BYU beat Michigan for the national championship. And it was number one, really, by process of elimination. It was the only undefeated team left. You had to vote for BYU. But even back then, BYU was considered a major power.

I don't have to tell you what Lavelle Edwards did. The WAC was considered a major conference, believe it or not. So it wasn't even TCU. TCU has spent decades doing this. This is their fifth conference since 1994. They've only been in the big 12 since, I want to say, 2012, maybe 11.

So it hasn't even been that long. And it's TCU. It's a little private school on the outskirts of the Metroplex in Fort Worth. 9,000 enrollments.

They put resources into this. But they're the first school, at least in the CFP era, to go from unranked to go this far. I guess no surprise there. They're only the third school to go from a losing record to the CFP. Strangely enough, Michigan was one of those last year. And then, who was it the first year? It was Auburn in 2013.

So it is strange. The upset of Michigan was one of the more significant ones, again, I would say, in college football history because of the stakes. Michigan was surprised by the athleticism, particularly of TCU's defensive front and their defense as a whole. And I think in a six-point game that went down to the wire, I think that was a factor. Well, and a pair of interception returns for touchdowns were huge as well.

So yes, it was back and forth the entire time. And then in the other game, you have the defending champion, Georgia, with that late touchdown drive. What saved the Dogs in this game against Ohio State?

How did they pull it out? Well, Stetson Bennett, they got hot late. And it begs the question, if Georgia didn't have Stetson Bennett, where would they be as quarterbacks? We're talking about a six-year former walk-on who transferred to JUCO College, came back.

And Amy, what is this? About a year and a half ago, in the spring of 2021, Stetson Bennett did not take a snap. That's how far he was down the depth chart.

Obviously, he won it last year, is 100 yards and change from throwing for 4,000 yards. And his story just keeps getting better and better. It's beyond a movie. It's a Netflix series.

It's a doc. And he might still be playing by the time they get around to doing it. I guess, a six-year player who has just done great things.

People underestimate him all the time and at their peril. So you combine that with a pretty good defense, a really great defense. But here's the reason TCU has a chance. They've already played this game once with Michigan.

Michigan was a prohibited saver. Seven and a half. Georgia is 12 and a half, which I think is outlandish. I think it is way too late. Georgia may win, but TCU's offense is going to hold them in this game. But they've already, in this game, they've played this and they know they can do it because they've won this game in their minds. Georgia's given up a thousand yards combined in the last two games. I can't remember saying those words ever in the last 15 years. But I think they had a puncher's chance.

Maybe more than that. What do you think about the game against Ohio State? They're scoreless in the third quarter, if I remember correctly.

And so they kind of went through these droughts. There were stretches where they didn't execute the way that you would kind of expect from a team that's competing for a national championship. Could TCU kind of pounce on those mistakes? Well, I think Georgia was fortunate in many ways to win that game. You know, Kirby Smart called the time out when Ohio State was going to hit that fake punt, which they were going to succeed on. And a lot of people thought that he shouldn't have even gotten the time out. He called it so late. There was a non-targeting call on Marvin Harrison in the back of the end zone. I just told you they gained 500 yards against Georgia. CJ's job was great until he wasn't late. I'm still trying to figure out a little bit how they won that game.

So yeah, I mean, I don't know if it was the mistakes. I just think Ohio State had a great plan. Is TCU going to get two pick sixes against Georgia?

Probably not. But they do have the means again with that defense to make Stetson Bennett look a little ordinary. So we'll see. Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports with us here after hours on CBS Sports Radio, thinking ahead to when the playoff expands. And it's not, of course, going to be the same old, same old because they're going to have to fill out a much larger bracket.

Yeah, it's going to be fun. You used this year, Tulane would have been in as a 12 seed. Utah would have gotten the first round by as a conference champion. And I've got a piece tomorrow skipping all the way ahead to 16 because the structure is already there. Well, they modeled it first, but when they announced this formally in June of 2021, they had already modeled everything from six to 16. And there was a lot of support for 16, but they thought, let's take this, let's take this intermediary step. But I think eventually it's going to go to 16 because there's too much there.

If it's about access, then why not? On that first weekend in December, in those first round games, you're playing four games, eight teams. That's two days, two games each.

You're only talking about everybody playing. That's 16 teams, eight games. Your only problem is where to put that on the calendar so it doesn't conflict with the NFL. So I think they'll be there. And I think it'll be even more fun. I think these two semifinal games have people kind of looking at that going, man, this could be really, really cool if Tulane was playing for it instead of a New Year's six bowl.

If Utah had a first round by and then hosted a game in a bowl or something like that. So it could be really, really fun. This is certainly going to be a topic even more so moving forward in college football, but I'm hearing rumblings about expanding the NCAA tournament.

People keep asking me, do you think it's a good idea? So I don't know, Dennis, do you think it's a good idea to expand on the basketball side? Well, first of all, it's not going to happen. That was the headline from the results of the transformation committee recommendations yesterday. It's not going to happen.

In fact, Matt Norlander, our basketball writer had a very comprehensive story today. Nobody who matters wants it. There's no compelling need to go from 68 to 90. The quality of teams at that point would be bad at that end. The right holders don't want it. There's no room on the calendar for the right holder, CBS, Turner, what have you. They don't want to do that. They don't want to pay more for it.

Again, because of that quality, they're worried about paying for it. Right now, every deserving team that deserves to get in gets in, except for Dick Vitale picking somebody out and whining every March about what an injustice is. Nobody else cares. The 68 are in. It should be in. It's not going to happen, nor should it happen. It's perfect. It does not need tweaking. This is literally one of those examples of if it's not broke, don't fix it.

It is such a perfect event. What the transformation committee was doing was the whole set of recommendations was about enhancing the student-athlete experience is a 25% increase in the post-season opportunities for teams. Okay, that's every team, or every sport, excuse me, including basketball. Basketball doesn't need it. Just gymnastics might need it. Basketball might need it. If you're going to do it, you're going to have to do it for men and women. That's something that I didn't mention in the basketball side, and that's something that you have to consider.

If you're going to go to 90 in men, you're going to have to go to 90 in women, and there are the same problems with that, as I mentioned with the men. There's just no there there. You really have to think long and hard about this. This is more about, I don't know, volleyball, giving more opportunities to the players than that, beach volleyball or something like that, gymnastics, than really basketball. Uh, thinking ahead to the NFL draft, I know that's not the concern at this point, but there's been some debate about Stetson Bennett, whether he decides to play college football for another six years or so, but how do you think he fits at the next level? I'm not a draft person. I'm not a draft nick, but all I've heard is that, you know, fifth round, sixth round, seventh round, something like that, but that's way ahead of where he was when, you know, he started, or even a year ago, as I mentioned, um, you know, a capable backup.

I mean, let's not go crazy here. You watch him play. He's not C.J.

Stroud. He's not Bryce Young, not, you know, Patrick Mahomes, but is he going to get onto a roster? Yeah, I think he is, and that'll be fine.

So, I think the analysis stops right there with him. There's not too much to think about. When you think about the college football season as a whole, what's one story that will remain a favorite for you even before we know the national championship, Dennis? Oh, gosh, um, I think TCU. I just think it came out of nowhere that they got this far. They're 6-0. They're going to lose.

They go to Texas now. They win a grinder. A team that is all offense wins a grinder, wins with defense, helps Texas out of the end zone offensively, and then here they are.

They are the one true Cinderella. I think that's what will dominate for a lot of people this season. You know, that and the fact that the expansion thing that bled into the season, and it was so tedious. We're going to start in two years with 12 teams, and that's fine. The prospect held everybody hostage for over a year. It was unfortunate, but it's been a really, really good season.

I'll leave you with a little nugget. If you think the game has really gone crazy offensively right now at this moment, it's the lowest-scoring season in 12 years. That's shocking. We'll wait for the final game, but overall, over whatever it is, 2,400 games, lowest-scoring season in 12 years.

Whatever that means, I don't know. That's your little stat for the night. Nice. I like that. In fact, not that different from where the NFL is.

Its trends are down in terms of scoring and passing attacks and much more about running the ball and stopping the run, which is kind of old-fashioned these days in football. It's funny that you say TCU. I think it kind of transcends the sport. My mom does live in Texas, but she's in Houston. The question that she asked me on the phone last weekend, so can TCU beat Michigan? I thought to myself, mom, how do you even know which two teams are playing in this national semifinals?

Because she's not big into college football, but yes, it definitely is a fun Cinderella story. You can find Dennis on Twitter at, and he'll be there for the national championship at SoFi on Monday. It's great to catch up with you, Dennis. Happy New Year. Thank you so much. Amy, glad to do it. Thank you. When you need to know what's happening, it's time to get hit in the huddle.

This sham with Steve Kime out there in the desert. I mean, it's like no accountability. Never my fault. It's never his fault. Stuff just happens.

Losses just fall from the sky. It's not Cliff's fault. It's not Kyler's fault. It's not my fault.

It's not the owner's fault. We just have really bad luck. Just hang in there and keep throwing money at us and we'll figure it out. Shut up.

Listen to In the Huddle, available on the Ozzy app or wherever you get your podcast. When you need to know what's happening, it's time to get hit in the huddle. You're fraudulent. You're not in the business of winning football games. You're in the business of trying to prove your own asinine decisions correct. We can talk about the hearsay thing. Do I think the Saturday thing is the biggest joke in the history of the NFL? I do. But at least he was on the site. This ain't working for me.

I don't care that I just gave him extensions. Listen to In the Huddle, available on the Ozzy app or wherever you get your podcast. 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. If you are leading change, building a team or implementing new procedures, Gonzaga University's online masters in organizational leadership gives you the tools for success. With concentrations in change, global and servant leadership, you'll get the most relevant training and education to help you tackle any challenge. Visit slash leader and find out how Gonzaga's organizational leadership degree can affect positive change in your life and career. That's slash leader.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-07 00:52:04 / 2023-01-07 01:00:33 / 8

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