So my biggest fear is there's going to be sneaks in the toilet. We're all afraid of that one strange thing. I'm Larry Mullins, the host of a new short 10-minute podcast called Your Weirdest Fears. We unpack where these fears come from. A rat climbed into my toilet.
And learn how to manage them. Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. College football rankings are coming out. We got teams that are disappointing. We have teams that are surprising.
Looks like we won't have a team that we always have in the mix. And to break it down, to talk about it all, we're being joined right now by a college football expert. It's my main man Emory Hunt from CBS Sports HQ. Emory, how are you this evening?
I'm doing fine TR. Man, it's always a pleasure, man. Appreciate you bringing me on. No doubt about it. Happy to have you here.
I got to start off. I feel like dating back the last year, Nick Saban said it was a rebuilding situation. Now it seems like his team isn't as talented. We saw them fall to LSU and now Nick Saban is taking the blame. What's going on with Alabama? I don't think they'll make the playoff this year.
I think that's obvious. And what does this look like for them moving forward into the future? Have we seen them peak under Saban?
You know, that's a great question. I don't think we've seen them peak under Saban. I just think that this year in particular, they ran into two different teams that do the same things in terms of how they attack and in showing how they're not afraid of Nick Saban and the Nick Saban coach defense because that's been the biggest issue. And in history, it used to be, okay, if you had a mobile quarterback, you have a chance to knock out Saban. Secondly, you can't be afraid to throw at these DBs in their secondary because they really, based off how they're taught, they tend to play into the chest of the receiver.
They don't turn around and find the football. So if you throw at them, if you're not afraid to throw at them, you've got opportunities. And so we saw Tennessee not be afraid to throw at them. We saw other Sean Watson back in the day not be afraid to throw at them and also be a mobile quarterback. We saw Manziel not be afraid to throw at them and be a mobile quarterback. We saw last week, Jayden Daniels not be afraid to attack them vertically, but most importantly, not be afraid to take off and run. So unless you have those elements, and that's why they had that game that went back and forth earlier in the year against Arkansas. KJ Jefferson is a guy that's not afraid to throw at them, but also has the mobile quarterback element.
That's the issue. And so as long as you don't have that, you're never going to be able to beat or contend with the Nick Saban defense. And if you're one dimensional, like Missouri, like Mississippi State, like these teams that want to run the air raid, but don't have the quarterback that can also run, you're going to be at a disadvantage.
But if you have guys that can do both, you're going to have the advantage. And that's why we saw what we saw versus Tennessee and LSU. Tomorrow, Nick Saban is going to be taking on one of his former employees and Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss. What chances do you give Ole Miss of knocking off Alabama tomorrow? If Ole Miss had a quarterback that wasn't afraid of pressure, I'd give them a heavy chance. But the fact of the matter, they do have tremendous talent at tailback. They got tremendous talent at wide receiver. They're defense capable enough to where they can get some stops and contend, but I don't trust Jackson Dart to supersede pressure.
And that's all what you want to boil down the quarterback position to. How can you handle pressure? Pressure from the defense itself and pressure from the situation.
I don't think Jackson Dart is that guy in terms of handling that type of pressure on both ends. So I like Alabama in that spot. I think they rebound and bounce back against Ole Miss. Emre Hunt is here with us, college football expert CBS Sports HQ. Another matchup is the team that beat Alabama. LSU is going to take on Arkansas at the beginning of the season. People were looking at Brian Kelly and just clowning him after that loss to Florida State. What do you think about the job that he's been able to do up until now? Listen, if you go back and check the CBS Sports HQ footage, I was on LSU being an SEC champion back in May.
And here's why. You look at what Brian Kelly was able to do at Notre Dame with the recruiting, let's say, limitations that he had in that in that realm. Now you give him access to guys that don't eat nothing but grits and hard-hit cheese sandwiches all day long. In conjunction to what he's going to be able to do to develop these dudes, there's going to be a problem. And he brought in a quarterback that's not afraid of pressure.
That's the kind of thing with me. I don't care how tall you are, how far you can throw, how fast you can run. Are you scared or are you not scared? Jayden Daniels showed early in his career at Arizona State that he was not afraid of pressure of all types. And so you add those two components combined with what they already had on the roster and what they were able to accumulate in the transfer portal, I was shocked that more people didn't see this coming from LSU. So I'm not surprised at the job he's doing. I'm more afraid for the SEC moving forward, knowing how this dude can recruit, develop, and accumulate talent in that talent-rich state of Louisiana where you have 12 Division I teams, FCS and FBS, and none of them are bad. So that tells you the high school talent that's there in that state alone. And when you combine all of those factors with what his ability is as a coach, LSU is going to be a problem moving forward.
Brian Kelly, he just took the job, already has him in a solid position. How long do you think before they get into that college football playoff? Maybe next year? Hey, listen, I mean, I feel like they're going to run the table the rest of the way. So they'll be in the SEC title game. And against Georgia, you factor in, okay, Stetson Bennett versus Jaden Daniels. Georgia's defense versus LSU defense.
That's a wash in my opinion. Can Jaden Daniels make enough plays in the passing game? Can those receivers step up and make enough plays in the passing game?
That's the game to watch. So there's a legitimate shot for them this year to be in the college football playoff. And if not this year, then most certainly next year, if Jaden Daniels returns, which I expect him to do so, they'll be in there because of, again, they're starting two true freshmen at both tackle spots. That doesn't happen in the SEC when you're dealing with Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, those teams that legitimately have dogs up front. You're starting two guys that were just in high school last year in the SEC. So this team that we're seeing now, while they're good and really good, they'll be even better next year.
So if they don't get to the playoffs this year, they're more than for sure getting to there next year. Yeah, Brian Kelly, not looking like too much of a joke right now. We're being joined by Emery Hunt of CBS Sports HQ. There's another coach who's kind of digging his way out. It's been a slow burn, not as fast as Ellis.
You turn around here. That's UCLA. They're going to take on Arizona. Their offense is lighting everybody up. Chip Kelly criticized early on at the start for how slow it took to turn things around out in California. What do you think about how he's been able to turn the tide there? You know, I think he gets a bad rap because of what happened with his NFL tenure. And people forget the first year of his tenure, you know, they got to the playoffs and they were competitive.
They were doing things that we now see that are commonplace in the NFL. So him going him going to UCLA, UCLA is like the Tiffany version of USC. You know, you're in Pasadena, you're not in LA. You know, I know you've probably been out to LA and also Pasadena.
So you see difference in culture that what is LA and what is Pasadena? You know, you're going from, you know, beer to champagne. And it takes time to get that champagne to get up to speed. And so he's got guys now. He's got a good running back in Charbonnet. He also has a quarterback in, you know, Dorian Thompson Robinson, who's not afraid of pressure, kind of like James Daniels, but I think has a better arm talent. So he has a lot working for him and is now starting to come together at UCLA. And he's taking advantage of a Pac-12 that really, to be complete, completely honest, is wide open.
So, you know, it takes some time in certain programs. I've always said this, and I've been a part of this whole cycle, part of this problem. When you're in a metro area, major city, college football, I remember my senior year in high school was the year Tulane was coming off their 12-0 season. And my high school was legitimately, and no lie, two blocks away from Tulane. So even though I was a recruit coming out of New Orleans, there was no way in hell I was going to Tulane, because I'm not trying to be on the same street for four to five years. I'm out of there, right?
So it's hard to recruit in these major metro areas, so it takes time in those spots. And I'm glad to see him finally get that opportunity to turn around so he's not starting to see the fruits of his labor. Well, Emery, let me ask you this. We know UCLA, they not long for that conference, getting ready to move over to the Big Ten. They was an article today in the New York Times detailing the fall of attendance at UCLA in this transition, how they are giving away tickets. What is this going to look like?
We know they'll get paid from television money into the future. What does this look like with them moving over into the Big Ten from a competition standpoint? Listen, the competition is going to be there, because you know you get to consistently at the top of the Big Ten, more so than you do at the Pac-12. The only reason why Pac-12 will tend to be Pac in terms of fan support is because of the historical problems, right? But for Big Ten, you're getting to Wisconsin. You're getting to Ohio State, Michigan.
You're getting those teams. But I think what's going to happen, as with any program, just like I alluded to Tulane, you know, when I was getting recruited by Tulane, and they're playing in the Superdome, it's cavernous. And when they were going through that undefeated season, next thing you know, you're seeing 50,000 people now in the Superdome.
At first, it was like 3,500. So as long as UCLA wins, that was going to be Pac. It happened to USC. Remember, for a while, USC was mediocre, you know, under the coach that ended up coaching at Missouri.
I think it was Larry, I forgot his last name, but Larry Smith. So, you know, as long as you're winning in the major city, we know how it is. It happens with pro sports.
It's bandwagon fans that will come and support. So as long as Chip Kelly is able to turn out a winner year in, year out, he'll see the Rolls-Royce Pacs for UCLA, no matter who they're playing. Emory, what game do we need to pay attention to?
What haven't we discussed that we need to watch here tomorrow and over the weekend? You got to watch that Alabama-Old Miss game, because if Ole Miss continues to win and LSU has to slip up, which people expect for whatever reason, against Arkansas, Ole Miss is in that College World playoff. And, you know, everyone also wants to be there front and center when the dynasty crumbles. And if Ole Miss ran by Lane Kiffin, is able to topple Alabama and knocked him to an unprecedented three losses, oh my God, like, like break up the SEC. So that Alabama-Old Miss game might be the best game of the day because of what's at stake in terms of both for Alabama and also for Ole Miss. Yeah, there's always a lot of folks waiting for Alabama to fall. Let's see if Ole Miss can give them the business. One final question for you here, more of an NFL question. Emory Hunt is joining us from CBS Sports HQ.
What are your thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts, man? Listen, I'm split because as a guy in the media that I feel like I have a keen eye for identifying talent and guys that can play at the next level and being able to find those diamonds in the rough, I hope a Jeff Saturday achieves greatness. Just like I hope a guy like Mike Mayock was to have success with the Las Vegas Raiders. But on the other side of me, as a guy that knows coaches that are minorities that don't get that opportunity, it's like, well, damn, what more do they not have to do in order to get ahead of the guys that have been in the trenches all day long? So I'm kind of torn because from a selfish standpoint, I want him to succeed. So that opens the door for guys like myself. But on the other side, I don't want him don't want him to succeed because I know that opens the doors for guys not like myself to be coaches.
So it's a weird fence to sit on. You hope he takes advantage of the opportunity, but you also feel for the guys like you heard the enemy, the Marcus Brady, who was the OC, who was fired, even though he didn't call the play. And now he's going to look at it as a failure as opposed to the guy that he's got a job because he was cool with the owner. So I'm torn, man. But I could see both sides of rooting for Jeff Saturday to succeed. I hear that.
We'll see what he can do. Emory, where can people follow you, all your work on CBS Sports HQ and elsewhere? They can follow me on Twitter at fballgameplan. I'm officially official, no bought checks or nothing like that, fballgameplan on Twitter. You can catch me tomorrow broadcasting the Georgetown Bucknell game on ESPN Plus.
Check that out on the color analyst there. And you can find me all over the Internet, youtube.com slash football game. My main man, Emory, have a good weekend and we'll be sure to catch up with you again next week. Cool deal. Always a pleasure, Jr.
Looking forward to it, man. No one's more locked into the NFL than first and pod. If I'm the Jets, I would trade for Kareem Hunt tomorrow by the end of this podcast. Makes too much sense. He was like barely used. This is a perfect situation. Why do you want to trade for a one year running back just to on the Jets? Yeah, I think Hunt still maybe not a top 15 running back, but I think he's a top 25 running back.
Subscribe to first and pod on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast. So my biggest fear is there's going to be sneaks in the toilet. We're all afraid of that one strange thing.
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