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Taking a look into the 2023-24 ACC Football season

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
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November 28, 2023 3:30 pm

Taking a look into the 2023-24 ACC Football season

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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November 28, 2023 3:30 pm

David Hale, ESPN, on gearing up for the college football playoffs and the likelihood of an ACC school being in there.

How does David sum up 5 years of Mack Brown? Does David think NC State could potentially be going to the Orange Bowl? What’s his read on Mike Elko going from Duke to Texas A&M?


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Pulse in your pocket, you can play anywhere. David Hale, a David Hale joint on Twitter or X or whatever we're calling it these days, joins us on the Adam Gold show, ESPN ACC and College Football Writer. All right, so there's a couple of things I want to get your take on. How do you, because I asked this question earlier of somebody who's been covering and following North Carolina for a long time. How do you sum up five years of Mack Brown?

Oh, man. That's a really good question because, I mean, it is by any metric in a much better place than it was when he first got there, right? Yeah, like that's inarguable. However, I mean, it's also pretty inarguable that the opportunities that have been at their doorstep have been largely missed. And a lot of the same problems happening year after year. I mean, you've got, you know, I'm not going to use the term generational quarterback to describe Sam Halby starting in the NFL right now.

So pretty aren't good quarterback. And there was kind of a cap to what you got out of that. And you've got who I think really is a generational quarterback in Drake May. And there's been a cap to how much you've gotten out of that. You know, I think Carolina often obviously has the sort of sleeping giant thing and it's never panned out really. And I think that that probably speaks more towards the institution than any specific coach or group of players that maybe expecting them to play at a national championship type level or a playoff type level is just a not realistic expectation. But I think it's hard to argue that they haven't fallen short of what would be relatively reasonable expectations or come up short in some of the biggest moments. And it's hard to ignore that. So, I mean, if you're putting a grade on it, I'd say, you know, B minus maybe B something like that.

It's been good, but it has been not as good as it could have been. I mean, it's a it's a long form story for for you or Andrea to write. Right.

Because Andrea can write that because there is so many there's so many levels to the conversation. He certainly raised the the profile. He raised recruiting. He reconnected the university with all the high school coaches. It's really the first thing he did.

Yeah. And he he did. He he had to. Again, you're right about how not generational, but he is starting in the NFL. And I don't know if Drake Mays also generation if he's generational or not, but he's going to be a top five pick in this NFL draft.

And it's funny because I talked about the responsibility. I asked, what is the responsibility of having a player like Drake Mays? Because they went through it with Sam and in his third year and he was kind of hung out to dry without great skill position guys around. And there were some. I mean, Josh Downs. But there wasn't a ton. Antoine Green was in and out of the lineup.

Ty Chandler, I believe, is in the NFL. They had those three guys, but there wasn't a ton of depth. So they didn't do a great job in Howells last year and they didn't do a great job this year. But I'm not sure it wasn't other factors that kind of hampered this team like it wasn't Drake Mays fault that they lost to Virginia at home. So they just didn't get enough out of each individual season under Mac. Yeah. You know what? I think Carolina is in as a program, I think a boat that a lot of other programs are in that are sort of at the knocking on the door stage.

It gets really hard to kick that door down. And I mean, go look at the last twenty five years of college football more and how many programs have taken that step. I mean, it's like Clemson and Oregon and that's it. And part of the reason, I think, is because you're you're either you're sort of straddling the fence between having the best talent that didn't go to the good schools or, you know, is there enough want to there?

Are you getting the guys that are really top tier? Like the expectations versus reality get more blurred, I think, at that level than anywhere else. And so, you know, it's real hard for me to say that it has not been largely successful, but because they're Carolina fans who will look back and say, like, could we have done better than Gene Chisick as defensive coordinator? Like, why are we making the same mistakes again? That's that's that's a problem with with coaching and motivation or whatever.

And all of those things may be true to some extent, but I think if you go and apply that same logic to so many programs that sort of fit that same mold, you'll see very similar stories. David Hale joining us from ESPN, By the way, their their record is remarkably similar to NC State's record in that five year window. They each won 38 times. The difference really is and their conference records identical. They're both 24 and 18. And that's with a one in seven from NC State.

Well, I think they were one in seven in twenty nineteen the year before the pandemic. The real difference is that state missed out on a couple of bowl games, including one which was the holiday bowl that just never got played against UCLA. Right. Was UCLA. They never played it. State was out there. I don't know if they would have beaten.

They they're trying to claim the win, which I'm not going to get into that conversation. But so the records are basically the same. Thirty eight and twenty three per state. Thirty eight and twenty six for North Carolina. And UNC has howl, howl, howl, may, may at a quarter at quarterback for that.

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Text or call 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline day or night. 988. Hope has a new number. I think it was a good move for him, a good move for A&M. Like, I don't, you know, people have kind of looked at the money and said, like, really?

That's it? I mean, seven million dollars a year ain't something to sneeze at, in my opinion. But I mean, when you look at the ancillary aspects of this. So what college football is today is effectively a talent acquisition business. And the bottom line is at Duke, talent acquisition is always going to be much harder. A&M's got all the money in the world. And that's for support staff, which he's going to have a massive budget to hire staff. Eleven million dollars. Right.

That's for facilities. And that's for most of all, your NIL and player acquisition and getting the best guys in the field. And look, I think there is something to be said about if the ACC has a guaranteed spot in a 12 team playoff. I don't think it's unreasonable to think that Mike Elko could have gotten Duke there. But Mike Elko has a chance at a place like A&M to win a national championship every year, because that's the kind of resources and recruiting footprint that you have at A&M.

Now, the fact that A&M hasn't done it in what, you know, anybody who's still alive lifetime, basically, that is problematic. But the other thing that I think you take away from that is Mike Elko knows what the problems are at A&M. I don't think he goes to a job, no matter how much the money is, that he knows he can't win at. He's seen it from the inside and he's a smart enough guy to know how to maneuver that. So I think I would have loved to have seen him stay at Duke for selfish reasons, because I like Mike Elko. I like working with him and I'm around Duke a whole bunch.

But this was an obvious decision, in my opinion. Just from the money, just from the finances, I mean, my opinion is, and this is no reflection really on Mike Elko, every coach that has gone to text A&M has ultimately gotten fired. So the buyout will be worth it. It's a fully guaranteed deal for, what, six years? Forty-two million guaranteed, even if he doesn't hit any of the incentives. But if he hits one, he gets an extra year tacked onto it. And the way the buyout works, if he's there, if it's four, five and six, or I guess the last three years of the deal, then he gets 80% of it. In the first part of the deal, he gets 75% of it.

I mean, that's really not that big a difference. For A&M, they're paying Jimbo Fisher $76 million to not coach. To your point, Jimbo Fisher's time at A&M was pretty much an unmitigated disaster.

And you know who probably doesn't regret a minute of it? Jimbo Fisher. He's got a whole bunch of cash as a result of that experience. Yeah, Jimbo Fisher's real estate agent is very happy with Jimbo Fisher's decision. David Hale is joining us. But I do think that history tells us something, and maybe history will change, that you're not going to win, especially where A&M lives now, with Texas and Oklahoma, and playing in that league.

It's going to be difficult to be in the top four. With all of their resources, and with all of the recruits that Jimbo Fisher brought in, he could not get them across the line. It just got worse and worse and worse. I hope that doesn't happen to Mike Elko, but my fear is that it will, because certain programs, just that's what they are. Maybe that's why North Carolina isn't winning, although, again, logic tells us it's something else.

Let me ask you one more thing before I let you go. We're not even going to talk about the fact that Florida State is playing Louisville for the ACC championship. Is that happening? Apparently, sometime on Saturday, Florida State, with a backup quarterback, will try to beat Louisville, which I hope they can, because it would be nice to see the ACC back in the final four college football.

I think they will be. NC State, however many weeks ago, lost to Duke, and they were a mess offensively in the first half, and then got run over in the second half. Nobody would have thought then that they would have had an Orange Bowl sniff coming up.

But, we'll find out tonight, I guess, if the committee thinks highly enough of them, where they have a chance to be in the Orange Bowl when it all plays out. Yeah, I mean, look, this is, Dave Doran does not get near the credit he deserves, and I think it's funny because you mentioned the similarities in terms of the sheer numbers between NC State and UNC, and UNC has sort of been like the roller coaster of like, it's real good, oh no, it's real bad. Dave Doran has largely been a victim of being consistently pretty good, but never great. And I think that, you know, if you want to criticize that, that's fine, but the job that he has done this year is tremendous, and look, what he did after that Duke game, I mean, he basically stood up in the locker room and said, I'm not going to coach a team that plays like this, and challenge guys to get better. And moreover, they made some real decisions, I think, in terms of how they were doing things, they're huddling a ton more on offense, and he thinks that that has gotten guys to play together as an 11-man unit better than they were before, and I think the city outcomes results certainly suggest that's true. The way that he maneuvered a really problematic quarterback situation, and credit to Brendan Armstrong for that as well, like all of these things are about a really good coach managing a culture and avoiding one landmine after another, and the fact that they have a chance, you know, Orange Bowl or not, to get the 10 wins at that program, which they have a very good chance of doing, is a remarkable achievement given the history, and, you know, frankly, I just don't think you can say enough about the job that Dave Doran has done there this year. It's certainly his best coaching job at State. I also think that for whatever reason it appears that he has simply enjoyed it more, even when they have had good years, he just has been very relaxed, and I'll give him sort of a pass for calling UNC pieces of blank, but whatever. It's the beauty of Dave Doran. I think he is more comfortable being Dave Doran than he has ever been, and I think that's a good thing. I agree with you. David Hale, I appreciate your time, man. I appreciate it that you'd come on today, and we'll talk again soon. Sounds good. V-U-L-S-E dot com.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-28 17:58:29 / 2023-11-28 18:04:30 / 6

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