Didn't Ohio State have like a two touchdown lead lately? What happened there? Oh man, Chip Patterson, CBSSports.com, Cover 3 Podcast.
Alright, let me ask you this question. Which of the two games occupied more of the Cover 3 Podcast bandwidth? The Ohio State come from a head loss, or the Michigan two pickings? Was it a six six giveaway, nearly come back to win anyway loss?
Well, we recorded live youtube.com slash cover three as we always do. Right. And as you know, the game losing kick happened right at midnight.
So I was in a tux naturally, as I am on New Year's Eve. And we could not help ourselves. But begin with what we just saw. Now there was plenty of time dedicated to and this one of the things that I love is we were actually able to pick out a lot of the X's and O's battle because one of the things that happens in the college football playoff is, duh, these teams are really, really good. Yeah. And a lot of time to prepare for each other and things like Michigan's desperation when with trying to run the Philly special, you know, things with Michigan's defense kind of tipping its hand that it realized it was outmatched on the perimeter. What TCU did to be able to get those winning plays because the pick six is in a six point win. It is easy to point to that.
And I do think it is very, very significant. But at the same time, it's the flow of the game. Because one thing that happened in this contest is that TCU is very comfortable in these games with large swings back and forth because it's what TCU has done the entire season. I think that it was about Michigan getting out of its comfort zone. And then with the Ohio State, Georgia proposition, you can't help but start to look at all of those white polo shirts in the team photo.
Now, what do I mean by all of those white polo shirts? I mean that the programs that are investing at the highest level aren't just paying their head coaches the most. They have brinks trucks full of money that they're willing to pay to staffers and analysts and people that are not officially coaches. And so, what we did was we decided across the entire coaching staff, if we see this, this being a certain Ohio State punt formation, they would call timeout right away.
What happens? They call timeout. Yes, there might have been 12 men on the field. But the point is that they avoid the fake punt. They get the ball back. They score quickly. They stole a possession in a game that was so crucial. So for TCU and Michigan, the standout to me and what we talked about was getting Michigan out of their comfort zone, making Michigan desperate.
And then for Georgia and Ohio State, I mean, just the level of preparation and the championship standard that has been set in Athens both on and off the field. All right. This is going to sound weird, but do you really need a whole bunch of white polo shirts to remember that the last two opponents ran fake punts on you and that certain looks from a punt team are going to trigger in your brain? Like, why would you need extra coaches to tell you that?
It doesn't hurt. Okay. That's fair.
That's fair. Look, Nick Saban for years, they had analysts, former head coaches that were just like, I just need to stay away for a year, but I'll come down and I'll lend you some my own expertise in this regard. Did it tell us anything that we probably should have known about Stetson Bennett or is is he still just mostly an operator, but Georgia has better players? No, we're talking about potentially an all time college quarterback. You drop like this is the second time he's connected with A.D. Mitchell in the college football playoff in an absolutely crucial touchdown. He is someone who you cannot count out whatsoever. And like, I don't think that the Stetson Bennett journey and from a walk on to this, like the the big Stetson Bennett story is going to be told a lot.
For me, it's very simple. If he wins a national championship against TCU and as we sit here right now, Georgia's a twelve and a half point favorite to you, then Stetson Bennett is an all time college quarterback. You just you are not just a bus driver.
You are not just a game manager. He has had to make plays in key games and he has been the one to go out there and do it. This is an offense that lost Darnell Washington, who is not as important as Brock Bowers, but maybe one of the five most important players on that offense.
They had to make some tweaks and some adjustments. And I think that Stetson Bennett, after throwing a bad interception early that contributed to the hole they were in, I think he had a terrific response. I mean, it is hard for our NFL twisted brains reckon with a good quarterback at the college level who is not a good NFL draft prospect. But that is exactly what we're dealing with, really, with both quarterbacks. OK, ex Duggan and Stetson Bennett. So who would you compare Stetson Bennett to as a college quarterback?
Does he go into the Tim Tebow realm? How many other quarterbacks are two time national champions? Did Matt Leinart win two, regardless of whether or not one was, you know, reclaimed by O.J. Simpson? Did he win two?
The 03 and 04 or the 04 being shared. So, yeah, the thing that stands out to me on the like the repeat of a national championship, the list of doing that as a head coach is so, so small. And Kirby Smart might be about to add his name to that, which, yes, they have so many built in advantages, but you still got to go and get it done.
And this is this is really remarkable. You know, we do as easy here on this unprecedented statewide platform for me to make a basketball connection. But there are NCAA tournaments where we watch an elite eight game and we say that was the national championship.
Yeah. Or NCAA tournaments where we watch a national semifinal and say that was the national championship. Georgia forty two, Ohio State forty one was probably the national championship and Georgia made enough plays down the stretch to get it done. So are we if I could read into that, you are forecasting a a Molly stomping.
No, listen, I am going to be on CBS Sports HQ in the six o'clock hour tonight, probably about forty five Eastern Time. And my official prediction is going to be the TCU does cover this number. But that is because I just don't think that TCU is the kind of team that it could can ever, ever, ever be counted out. And you need to be able to have some great open field tackling against wide receivers like Quentin Johnston, who had yes, one hundred sixty three receiving yards.
But one hundred eleven of those were after the catch. I just I think there's too much potential for TCU to be able to storm back into this thing. So I think it'll be tight in terms of the spread. But I think Georgia wins the game. I mean, I basically paraphrase a tweet I got after I guess it was the Fiesta Bowl where Tulane came back and beat Southern Cal.
And I talked to Mike Felder about this, but I really want your your thoughts on this. The tweet basically said after the Tulane win was that and I think I got it in all caps. This is going to happen all the time now that we have playoff expansion. Cinderella is coming to college football, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
No, no, no. You need more emphasis on it because I'm a passionate listener of the Canes Corner podcast. And when you are emulating some of the tweets that make you angry, it's more blip, blip, blip, blip, blip, blip, blip. It is killing me today. I love it. I love it. And when you texted me, I just I heard it. I read it. I heard it. It's again, you only connect these dots listening to the Adam Gold show in the Canes Corner podcast. But I know exactly what you're talking about.
The tweets that frustrate you. Will all of the blue bloods going up against Cinderella in the college football playoff have zero defense? Blue Bloods in the college football playoff that are going to lose to Cinderella have defenses that rank outside of the top 110 in most statistical categories. USC's had a bad defense all season.
They had opt outs. You are always going to be susceptible to a team jumping back and stealing it from you. And look, if they don't make the mistake on the kickoff to then get tackled in the end zone for a safety. I mean, it was an epic collapse on so many fronts, offense, defense, special teams. So it was among the best bowl games that I've watched. I watched so many bowl games in the last month. But it was it was the Cotton Bowl, by the way. Oh, it's gotten by. Dude, there's too many things going on. I can't. Yeah, I know. I know. Classic was the Cotton Bowl Classic was number three on Tom Fanelli's ranking of every single bowl game in terms of what were the best bowl games. I would agree with him. It was absolutely fantastic.
I liked it the most because Tulane is legit. Yeah. And they are like surging forward right now. They thought they were going to lose their quarterback to the transfer portal. Turns out that's not going to happen.
They're actually getting guys from the transfer portal to intend to twelve and two. You take down USC. I think Willie Fritz made a good decision, staying in New Orleans and not going to Georgia Tech, if you ask me. Well, yeah. Why would you go to Georgia Tech? I mean, what?
That's that doesn't seem like a difficult decision to me. Let me ask you a quick question about Tulane then. Because we're still a year away from going to twelve. So is Tulane somebody that needs to be paid attention to at the start of the season in terms of their non-conference schedule that they could group of five because they're not part of the the Big 12 exodus as a group of five school? Could they be part of a college football playoff next year? If they hadn't blown it to Southern Miss, we might have been talking about that, at least heading into the UCF game. They lost to UCF in the regular season, beat them in the American Athletic Conference championship game. But this Tulane team beat the Big 12 champions in Manhattan.
OK. They beat Kansas State. That's as good of a non-conference, beating the Big 12 champion is a pretty daggum good non-conference win.
That would have gotten them to like number six in the poll. I think that Tulane's issue would be more along the lines of, you know, Cincinnati is no longer a group of five team. So you're going to be dealing with a reworked Big 12 that may or may not produce a college football playoff contender. Oregon, Washington, USC, UCLA are giving the Pac-12 more respect at that level. It's just I think that Cincinnati benefited as much from its own success under Luke Fickle as it did from the woes that the Big 12 and the Pac-12 were undergoing. OK. God, that that's fair.
All right. We'll take a break. We come back and I referenced this earlier. Three or four weeks ago, you suggested that the ACC championship game between Clemson and North Carolina was in many ways a kind of a line in the sand for Clemson football, that if they lose, what would happen after that? Would Clemson have to have to kind of rethink how they do things and whatnot?
Well, they won that game, but they were absolutely second best to Tennessee in the Orange Bowl. BT Potter's not trying to miss field goals, dude. Why are we yelling at kickers? He loves to do that. I remember watching him yelling at the punter when Carolina when Clemson beat Carolina the first time in the ACC championship game. Why are we yelling at kickers?
He uses that. My theory chips theory is that he uses them as a scapegoat for his frustrations with everything else that went wrong. And I think that's a little bit unfair, but maybe it's a motivational tactic that then leads the offense to say, hey, man, we can't put our teammate in that position. So I don't agree with it, but your frustration should be with the offensive line and with your quarterback. To me, that's the issue really for Clemson, is that their offensive line hasn't been to the level of those other schools' offensive lines in the last five years. They won a national championship with a good offensive line, not a great one.
You know what you don't see a lot? You don't see a bunch of Clemson offensive linemen in the NFL. You see a bunch of Alabama offensive linemen, a bunch of Georgia offensive linemen, LSU, Notre Dame. You see those schools' offensive lines in the NFL. You don't see Clemson. All right, let me ask you about the four state programs. State, Wake, Duke, and all respect to East Carolina and App. We know App had a rough year. I loved East Carolina's season, by the way. I loved everything about it. I thought even though the record was essentially the same, I thought they grew and winning the bowl game was beautiful.
Beautiful. Oh, absolutely mattered. But of the four ACC schools in state, rank their seasons.
Okay. Number one, the Duke Blue Devils, nine and four overall, a bowl game win against UCF. You've got a win against Wake Forest. You've got a loss against North Carolina. You exceeded your preseason win total by five and a half wins.
Almost half of a season better. Preseason win total of three and a half again finished. And I know the preseason win total shouldn't count the bowl game, but we're sitting here all things considered. The North Carolina Tar Heels, number two, nine and five, one score bowl game loss to Oregon, wins against Wake Forest, wins against Duke. Preseason win total was seven and a half.
You exceeded your preseason win total. NC State, number three, eight, eight and five, one score bowl game loss to Maryland. You beat North Carolina and Wake Forest, but you fall short of your preseason win total of eight and a half. And finally, Wake Forest, number four, eight and five bowl win against Missouri. But you have losses to NC State, losses to North Carolina and losses to Duke. And you fell short of your preseason win total of eight and a half by a game and a half. The margins to me are very small between North Carolina, NC State and Wake Forest.
Duke, without a doubt, is my number one with the bullet. I got a an email from somebody who was mad at me because and I'm I'm. I'll defer to your imitation of how I mock people who email it. So this is somebody who emailed me during an email, so we just leave it at that. Email is different than tweet.
We all we all understand the people who email are very different from the people who tweet. The so I. In years past, I have defended David Cuckley. And I thought even going in, even while last year was happening, my thought was David Cuckley will recognize that it's not working anymore. Everything he has tried is producing worse and worse results that he will step down.
He did not do that. He was unfortunately forced to resign, which is just another way of saying he was fired. And I hate that for him because what he did at Duke was he created the foundation for what Mike Elko built on. But what happened this year does not happen under David Cuckley. I say that with all confidence, knowing that Cuckley is a great football coach, but it had just gotten stale. The coaching staff had gotten stale.
They needed they needed fresh ideas and a fresh look. Mike Elko has done a phenomenal job. So he he writes to me, what do you think of Duke football now? I'm like, dude, I've been talking about it all year.
We have spent a lot of time talking about how impressive that that program has been. That team was I asked Mike Elko a couple of weeks ago. You probably should have won the damn division.
They should have won the division, should have beaten Georgia Tech, had had it against North Carolina as well. They scored two touchdowns against North Carolina that were chalked off. Soccer term I heard over the weekend.
I love that soccer term. Chalked off. They were not.
Again, they were my number. The margins are smaller between North Carolina, NC State and Wake. You could call it T2. You could say UNC and NC State's T2 and Wake's four just because Wake lost to the other three in-state teams. But my number one, when stacking them up against each other, taking all things into consideration, preseason expectations, performance against the other in-state teams and what happened in the postseason, Duke at nine and four taking down Gus Malzahn and UCF in the bowl game is the number one.
Is there win total next year going to be seven? Yeah, because the models are still not going to like Duke. The models of like only the market liked Wake Forest heading into this year. They made the ACC championship last year.
The models are not going to like it just because the it's going to take an uptick in talent from the talent rating standpoint to see that. I think Duke win total over next year might still have at least a game, game and a half of value. Excellent. You're the best. Chip Patterson. Happy New Year to you. And we'll talk to you next week. Sounds good. You'll be well. Chip Patterson.
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