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Josh Pate | National College Football Insider

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December 1, 2023 6:11 am

Josh Pate | National College Football Insider

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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December 1, 2023 6:11 am

National College Football Insider & host of "The Late Kick Podcast" Josh Pate joins the show to talk all things Championship weekend & CFP seeding. Will chaos ensue!?


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That's slash positive. He's got Late Kick Josh as a very popular show and a podcast. He's also on CBS Sports HQ, and he's on the move for Championship Weekend, so we'll get to that. Josh, thanks so much for hanging out with us. We've gotten to this point. There's so much buildup. How are you feeling about the big weekend? The big weekend for college football is lack of chaos. I call it Volcanic Saturday. Normally, we have like three of them, and we haven't had that one Saturday where there's just this big cloud of dust over the sport after multiple upsets. And yeah, it could happen this weekend, Amy, but there's also this path where, you know, if we don't have a lot of upsets and mostly chocolates, we could have this log jam where we've only got four spots and you got five or six teams that feel like they're deserving. And all the while you got people like me over here in the corner who have railed against playoff expansion, and it's like the mob all of a sudden turns and looks at me collectively as if to say, all right, now what?

You got what you wanted, now what? And I just, I'm the Shruggy emoji. I'm here for it. What would it look like potentially if we already had the expanded playoff? To me, it would look a little lame. To most people, it would look very exciting because most people, I think the difference fundamentally in my argument versus the expansion argument is most people who are pro expansion, they start their argument by looking at the hypothetical bracket of the 12 teams and saying, how could you not like this?

This looks so exciting. And I never disagree with them. So then they say, well, okay, why don't you want it? And I say, well, that's not chapter one of the book. That's like chapter six.

To get to that, you have to go through chapter 12345. And, you know, chapter one, let's just take Penn State, for example. Penn State's out of the playoff picture right now, as they should be. They're not an elite team. They had a shot against Michigan, and they lost. They went and had a shot against Ohio State earlier in the season, and they lost.

Okay, that's like chapter one and two. And so I don't have any interest in getting to that third chapter where all of a sudden, a two loss Penn State gets a shot in a tournament to win a championship, because it really devalues the emphasis that was placed on those two games. And I could say that about a lot of different teams. Like, I love that Alabama has their playoff life on the line this Saturday. I love that Georgia has had to win every single game this year, and still they don't know what would happen. Still, they think they need to win Saturday.

Michigan, ditto. Like, I love the hundred foot in the air tightrope walk that is the regular season. And I know people, because I've got several friends who disagree with me on this, and they all tell me, oh, it's not going to devalue anything. It just puts emphasis on more games. Amy, you cannot pretend to watch games and just ignore the safety net under it. You can't watch Ohio State and Michigan last week if you know that they inevitably are both going to the playoffs no matter what. You cannot just pretend it still means the same.

And so, I don't know. Maybe it's the old school in me. I grew up on a way of college football, and I love it, and whatever. Now, I agree with you. The idea behind the playoff and making it small, and even going back to the BCS, which was a different model, now archaic, the idea was that every single game during the regular season would matter. And if you lost early in the year, well, okay, you had some time to work your way back up. But yeah, the closer you got to the end of the race, the closer you got to the finish line, the more each of these games mattered, and the less of a margin for error.

So I agree. I think the buildup is so incredible. You can almost feel the tension coming into conference championship, because if these top four teams have a slip-up of any sort, well, too late.

You're out of real estate. See, the other thing, the beauty to me of the BCS era was we had that, and we only had two spots, but we didn't have this meaningless bowl game era that we had entered into that really came in conjunction with the playoff. Like, back in the BCS day, if you lost a game late, yeah, it sucked, and yeah, I'm probably not going to be able to play for a conference championship or maybe play for the national championship. But back then, being 10 and 2 and going to the Cotton Bowl, being 9 and 3 and going to the Peach Bowl, that still had a ton of value. When the playoff came around, that coincided with certain networks that had certain media rights deals putting all the marketing emphasis on the playoffs, and the public bought it. And then the public started saying things and believing in things like, if you're not in contention for the playoff, the games are irrelevant. And if you go to a bowl game that doesn't have a playoff sticker on it, well, it's kind of irrelevant, and the players believed that. And then the players started opting out of games that didn't have playoff significance, and all of a sudden you're on a slippery slope. You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube, and now you're asking, well, how do we get the value back in bowl season?

You can't. It's like that meme where there's a guy with a gun with smoke coming out saying, how could we do this to bowl season? You did it to bowl season. Like, you did it.

So I think that probably it's wishful thinking to want to go back to that, but I do miss it. Philosophies with Josh Pate. You know him as Late Kick Josh. He's got this incredibly popular college football show. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio.

We're just happy to be able to connect with you for a couple of minutes. Now, before we get into Conference Championship actual matchups, I have to ask you about this. And maybe I'm naive because I just didn't see this coming or didn't realize it until Matt Rule said it at his press conference this week. That there are players in college football earning six to seven million dollars. Am I the only one who didn't know this, Josh? Yes.

How can I say this kindly? No, I'm joking with you. I think that there is a pretty big swath of the general sporting public and probably the college football public that doesn't understand how the sausage is being made right now. But that is reality. That's the quarterback market. And look, that's a big dollar figure. Unless you start ascertaining what the return on that investment is, it's no different than at the NFL level. And it's kind of gross to me that we've gone that route of conversation.

But whatever, it is what it is now. If you go get the right quarterback, he's worth tens of millions of dollars any given year to your program. I mean, look, I'm going to watch Bo Nix lead Oregon against Michael Pennix and Washington. Those two are transfer portal quarterbacks who make pretty good money in NIL. But if even now, if those guys were on the market, those guys are two million dollar a year quarterbacks. Now, you can either raise your eyebrow at that figure or you can ask Oregon, what is it worth going to the Pac-12 title game?

Not to mention all the free marketing you've gotten because we're talking about them right now for free. Also, you may go to the playoffs. How much is that worth? How much is it worth to Washington football to have been plastered coast to coast as much as they were this year? Because that's cause of a kid from Indiana who couldn't stay healthy, came to your place and it all clicked.

And now, voila, here you are. So, yeah, it's a big number. But for the most important position on the field, if the domino falls your way, it's still a bargain, even today, even at that price point. I do agree with that.

And you're right. It's why we talk about the monetary values for quarterbacks in the NFL and say, come on, if they win a Super Bowl, the franchise in the city has made double that or triple that. But my question, Josh, is about pay for play. You and I have had this conversation about NIL really doubling or disguising as pay for play. Doesn't that tilt the playing field then? Because there are some schools that just can't afford that or I guess some boosters, some sponsors that aren't going to be able to fork that over top QBs.

So ultimately what you're going to see is, well, first, my answer to your question is yes. And because of that, what you will see in the aggregate is you'll see the same teams win that have always won. I've argued this till I'm blue in the face because there is a detracting point of view out there that NIL will level the playing field in college athletics.

But what people don't take into account is going and buying talent alone is not how you win. Organizations still win championships. It's just as true in college as it is in the Sunday game.

You build the organization differently in college, but it's just as true. What you what you'll notice is we just brought up Pennix and Knicks, for example. What you'll notice is those are quarterbacks who have thrived because they were dropped into solid organizations. It's no different than we used to talk about Brady with Belichick and vice versa.

And conversely, you know, Carson Palmer wasted away some of his career in Cincinnati because he didn't have a solid organization there. And in the Saturday game, it's the same. The misconception amongst people who kind of know what they're talking about enough to be dangerous is, all right, well, now if some random team out there that's normally eight wins per year gets a booster with a wild hair and you've got, you know, eight figure net worth, they can just go buy a quarterback. It will not matter. I am telling you, it will not matter. You'll think it'll matter and it'll garner all the headlines. And then they'll go seven and five like USC just did, by the way, with a with a superhero roster offensively. And you'll be left scratching your head in December.

And it shouldn't confuse you. It's a poor it's a poorly built organization on the West Coast right now. And I know they were preseason favorites, but they were never favored in many people's minds to win that conference because folks knew that. So you've got the Alabamas, Georges, et cetera, of the world who understand how to build model organizations. They'll go selectively purchase the best talent and they'll win with them. And you'll have other places who think they can cut the corners and go buy the talent without having the proper structural organization.

And they will go eight and four and then their coaching will be fired because the boosters will want return on their investment. So it's it's kind of the same old song and dance. It's just this used to happen in recruiting. Now it happens out in the open.

Right. Josh Pate is with us here after our CBS Sports Radio. You are going to be posted up at Allegiant Stadium for the Pac-12 championship, by the way, also home of the next Super Bowl. What is the future of the Pac-12 after this very high stakes conference title game?

It's going to be off your radar for a little while. It'll be sort of the equivalent of what we presently call a G5 conference. And I don't look I don't even know what power five means anymore moving forward.

It's more like power two or power three. And we're really going to have to reassess how we phrase that. So in the future, the Pac-12, you know, you'll have your Oregon State, Washington State. They'll merge with another lesser conference.

They'll be OK. Like, I think that name will live, but it will live in a different capacity. I just kind of selfishly think it's a shame that finally the conference gets its act together on its way out the door. And not only do you have Oregon, Washington, but Arizona has been a wonderful story. I think Jed Fish probably is your coach of the year in all of college football.

You've you've got to think about this, Amy. You've got the Pac-12 unanimously having their best season in a decade and Southern Cal wasn't even a part of it. Southern Cal was a disappointment and you would have thought you have to have USC spearheading a Pac-12 surge if it were to happen.

But nope. Oregon State's been great. Utah's been good.

UCLA had a pulse early on and it's been really competitive and really fun to watch out there. We believe that the winner of this game would end up in the college football playoff because you're talking about three versus five. But you mentioned chaos or mentioned kind of that big blow up weekend.

Where else is the potential for a lot of chaos? Let me go back to one thing you just said. I think if Washington wins, it's a moot point they're in. I do not know that it's a foregone conclusion that Oregon is in if they win. And I can I can pretty well assure you they are a little they're a little I'm not going to say worried about it, but they're aware of that even inside their organization there because they know what a twelve and one SEC champion Alabama sitting there on Saturday night means to that committee. And I don't care where they have them ranked right now.

Like it's one thing to catch out these hypotheticals. If you watch Alabama beat Georgia in Atlanta for the SEC championship, it is tough and it should be tough for that committee to leave them out. Now, if it comes down to a head to head Bama, Texas, Texas will go. They've got the head to head win regular season.

That should be the case. But if it comes down to one spot left and it's a Bama Oregon debate, Bama's got more ranked wins. Bama's got the better strength of schedule. Bama's got a lot of those in their favor.

Also, they've just got the brand of Alabama and the name Nick Saban and that sticker SEC right there next to their name. That's one chaos theory. The other chaos theory is I think that Louisville may beat Florida State and they're a slight favorite.

And those were a slight favorite. But top 15 run defense for Louisville, you're without your quarterback and FSU. They're going to have to be a run first approach here Saturday. It's going to probably be very rainy in Charlotte. And I have not heard a lot of people take that into consideration, but it could be an ugly game. And if they fall, if Washington falls, especially if Georgia falls, that would be three unbeatens falling in conference title weekend. And then you start to ask questions like, is Texas in? I think they're going to win comfortably. I think they will be in. But do you have one spot left?

Do you have two spots left? Like those sorts of debates are the ones that could rage. Now, the one I didn't bring up to you because I respect your airtime too much to waste it with this. The one I didn't bring up is Iowa over Michigan. And I'm just going to let you guess why I didn't bring that possibility up.

There are so many things that would have to take place. I think Iowa would need 17 to 20 non-offensive points to even be in the realm of competitiveness in the fourth quarter. It's just there's there's no way.

I've never said that about a conference title game. There is no way. If I'll eat crow, I will come on your show next week.

But there's no way that's happening. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. A few more minutes with our friend Late Kick Josh. His actual given name is Josh Pate. But he's got an awesome college football show called Late Kick Josh. And you can also see him on CBS Sports HQ.

He is in Las Vegas for the Pac-12 championship on Friday. But will also be doing the Crazy Red Eye to get to Atlanta for the SEC championship come Saturday. So let's dive into this one. I need to know, Josh, what if Georgia loses to Alabama?

Does that automatically drop the dogs out? How much time do we have right now? We've got time.

Go. OK. OK. So this is a soapbox and it's really aggravated me because. I listened to Bill Hancock the other night, who's the president of the playoff committee, and he said something voluntarily that I think was really shortsighted to say. He said, paraphrasing him, but he said the most deserving team is not even a phrase that's in our lexicon as the committee. We are out to put the best teams, the four best teams in.

Now, that sounds all well and good, but it's total BS because that's not what they've done. But if I were to take his word of gospel, if I were to go down that road, there is no way, whether they win or lose Saturday, that George is not one of the four best teams in the country. So if Bill Hancock's words, those aren't my words, if Bill Hancock's words are gospel, then there's no way you leave Georgia out. Having said that, I guarantee you, you're not having two SEC teams in that playoff. So if Bama wins and they're in, and you've got Michigan winning and they're in, and you've got Texas winning and they're in, and you've got either Oregon or Washington winning or Florida State winning, those teams are in over Georgia.

I will promise you that's going to happen. And if it happens, a point spread will be put out. There will be sportsbooks come out and they will put the hypothetical odds out. And they're going to tell you Georgia would have been double digit favorites over multiple teams in the playoff. And you're going to be able to look right back across the table at Bill Hancock and say, how did you decide on this field?

And he's going to be tongue tied. There's no answer because you can't say that. Last year, TCU goes to the playoffs. You've got odds makers telling you Bama would have been a 10-point favorite over TCU had Bama faced them. And Bama got left out. Now, I agreed that TCU should have been in. I agreed Bama should have been out because I didn't think Bama deserved to be in. But if all of a sudden we're just putting the four best teams in, well, at that point, you're just talking about power rating teams. And I put one of those out every Tuesday and get yelled at on the Internet because it doesn't look like the playoff committee rankings. But it shouldn't.

Power ratings should not look like merit-based rankings because one of them is done on a computer and the other involves on-field results. And I'm really not sure what the committee is trying to tell us they're valuing right now. And we're a decade into this process, by the way. And it's about to change.

The ground all moves again underneath your feet. And you've guaranteed me that there's no way Michigan doesn't win in its conference championship. Does that mean Jim Harbaugh is right that the Wolverines are in fact America's team? I love you so much for this.

Look, here has been my philosophy on this. I don't know who America's team is in college football. And so I don't know if it's Michigan. But I will say I was at the Penn State game.

I was at the Ohio State game last week. I have a lot of respect for how player-led that team is. And I got a lot of respect for how even though their leader's hands were like forcibly removed from the steering wheel, the true mark of a strong organization is the car doesn't swerve into the ditch. I mean, that's how good an organization he's built there.

You tear the leader away from a poorly led organization and it just starts doing barrel rolls on the interstate immediately. And that's not what Michigan did. And it's because a couple of years ago, I'm down in Miami, I'm watching them play Georgia in a semifinal game and they get boat raced. And a lot of those, at the time, true freshmen and sophomores are standing on the field with that black and red confetti raining down and they're just standing there watching the Georgia trophy celebration.

Well, you fast forward a couple of years. They're not kids anymore. Those are grown men. They're about to play on Sundays next year. And they are the ones leading that team. And they've taken the mentality of we don't really care what anyone else thinks. And I know some people say that, but that program is actually embodying that right now. I don't know if they're going to win a national title and I don't know if anyone really likes them and I don't know if they care. But it has at least garnered a lot of respect for me having been around it a couple of times to see how they've gone about their business.

Oh, no, they definitely don't care. In fact, I'm pretty sure Jim Harbaugh would say thank you because you created a monster. To me, they look like a team on a mission. And as much as we can debate whether or not he deserved the three game suspension or what type of rules violations, fact is they are, they're locked in. Yeah, they're locked in. And what's interesting to me is we sort of push forward on all this is they've been terrible in postseason play.

Harbaugh has been terrible at Michigan record wise in bowl games and postseason play. So they've gotten past Ohio State three consecutive times now and don't have playoff wins to show for it. And it looks like they're going to get another swing at it.

And they are the best equipped that they will have been. And what I wonder is if they go and lose in a semifinal game again, how does this season get viewed then? Because it's incomplete right now. And I'm talking about from a Michigan fan's perspective.

It's incomplete right now. But if you go and you beat Ohio State and that's its own season, that's a win. You can't take that away. But if they go lose a semifinal game again, I really wonder like there's immense pressure still on this program.

They're not playing with nothing to lose by any stretch. Josh Pate is his name, but you know him by Late Kick Josh. And he loves to stir up controversy like if the college football playoff committee actually puts the best four into the playoff, Georgia should be the biggest lock of the century. But he's still going to be at the game as well as the Pac-12 championship in Vegas. You want to find him on Twitter at Late Kick Josh and catch the great show. And we've determined not once a year, but twice a year, we can manage to connect over college football.

And next week if Iowa beats Michigan. So an emergency third session is pending. Thank you, Josh. Safe travels.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-01 09:13:41 / 2023-12-01 09:24:41 / 11

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