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The Drive with Josh Graham - ACC Football is Coming

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
July 15, 2019 6:59 pm

The Drive with Josh Graham - ACC Football is Coming

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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July 15, 2019 6:59 pm

Host Josh Graham with Desmond Johnson and Aaron Gabriel. ACC Football is around the corner! No love for Wake Forest? ACC Network details...how can you actually watch? Plus...Josh Graham...raps? Tune into The Drive with Josh Graham Mon-Fri 3-6pm on Sports Hub Triad!

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Attention, please. This is The Drive with Josh Tram Podcast. Tune into The Drive 3 until 6 p.m. weekdays on the Sports Hub. I love it.

It's brilliant. College football season is nearing and we'll be broadcasting live in Charlotte for the ACC Media Days Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Usually there's very little substance said by coaches and players. If you do say anything interesting, say like Larry Fedora did last year, it will dominate the news cycle, given that it's July and there's nothing else to talk about, and dominate the event.

Furthermore, to prevent that from happening, coaches, players, league administrators, they often say nothing, stay on message, and discuss the same topics over and over again. So what I'm interested in, to make this event a lot more fun for us, I like the idea of creating an ACC Media Day bingo board that we can get to for Wednesday and Thursday of this week. But before we do that, I want to prepare Wake Forest fans for what is about to happen. I've been studying up on every single ACC team. I've just now broadened it to the SEC. I pick up the magazines.

It's a very exciting time when the magazines are on the shelves. Fantasy football previews for the NFL, Phil Steele's magazine, and I flipped immediately to the ACC section of Phil Steele's magazine to find Wake Forest, yet again, has been picked in the bottom third of the Atlantic Division. Wake Forest is going to be picked no higher than fifth this year, and it's a damn crime.

That's what's going to happen. Wake Forest fans, you should just prepare yourself mentally now. You're going to be picked either fifth or sixth in the league.

That shouldn't really deter you. Last year you were picked sixth, and you had your third consecutive winning season. You were picked seventh a few years ago, won a bowl game. You were picked fifth, finished in the top half of the Atlantic Division. So you shouldn't be that worried about this.

Maybe by now you're not, but I just want to prepare you anyway. And also add on it, I expect Wake Forest to be pretty good this year. Not just pretty good, I think they're going to win eight games.

I really do. Looking at the schedule, I think Wake Forest can and will win eight football games this year. But in terms of the expectations, Dave Claussen understands it. Heck, when we were talking to him in the spring, this is from the spring press conference. He already saw magazines putting out bowl projections and not including Wake Forest in it, and he responded with this. I mean, the first day that we show up in that list, I'll be shocked and probably die of a heart attack and my career will be over.

More than my career. Yeah, I mean, it's, whatever. I mean, every year it's, you know, we just, and there's other schools that, we're not the only one that get disrespected like that. But yeah, it's really, I guess, you know, maybe hopefully next year we can make it four in a row and then maybe, you know, one projector out in Alaska or something has Wake Forest in some bowl that doesn't even exist now. You know, we'll be up in, I don't know, the Antarctica bowl or something.

They'll predict us in. As bad as the Antarctica bowl sounds, is that much worse than the Birmingham bowl? Let's just be honest here.

Call a spade a spade. That's where Wake was at last year. Now, I hear Birmingham's fine. I've been to Birmingham.

I'm here to tell you I'd rather be in Antarctica, even in December. 336-777-1600 on Twitter at Sports Hub Triad. I wouldn't pick Wake Forest any lower than third in the Atlantic Division this year. Now Clemson's number one, right?

Syracuse. They lose their all-time leading passer in Eric Dungy. Now it's Tommy DeVito playing quarterback, but they have a strong offensive line. Good skill position players, an excellent secondary, a very good coach in Dino Babers. They handled Wake Forest last year inside BB&T Field. I like Syracuse being the second best team in the league. I think most people agree with that.

After that, it gets muddied. Nobody is convinced Florida State is going to be bad back-to-back years. I'm not sold on Willie Taggart.

I wasn't sold on him, dating back to his Western Kentucky days. I've spoken to him a handful of times when he was at South Florida, losing seasons his first two years at both those stops. Then he catches lightning in a bottle, finds himself at Oregon for a year, and after one year at Oregon, Florida State decided this is the perfect guy to succeed a national championship-winning coach at Jimbo Fisher.

I'm not sure if that's going to work out great. I need to see more from Willie Taggart. I need to see more from the Seminoles to pick them over Wake Forest at a proven commodity in Dave Clawson, who's gone to three consecutive bowl games and won all three of those bowl games, something that's never been done in the school. If you're ranking head coaches in the league, Dabo is probably number one. I'd probably say David Cutcliffe since he was a national coach of the year. His background with quarterbacks, even last year getting duked to a bowl game. Dave Clawson probably is the third best coach in the ACC right now. Now that Mark Richt retired, he's a part of the ACC network. Now that Paul Johnson's out of the league, retiring as well, I'd go as far to say that only David Cutcliffe and Dabo Sweeney are higher on that list of top coaches. Now I know NC State fans would say, how about Dave Doran?

I'd still take Dave Clawson. I think he's had to do more at Wake Forest than what NC State's had to overcome under Coach Doran. But Josh, what makes you think Wake Forest is going to be great again this year? When I look at the Deacs, I see a team that has strong returning starters in every single one of their units. Offense, defense, and special teams. A strong returning starter in every single one of those units. And I don't know how many teams in the ACC can say that.

Let's start at the most important position group. Quarterback. Wake doesn't only have one quarterback.

Returning, they have two! Who have won games? Sam Hartman starting the season, showing a lot of flashes. Jamie Newman finishing the year, winning on the road at NC State and Duke, and winning the bowl game coming from behind against Memphis.

Both those guys are battling it out. You have them both returning in the quarterback room. Running back Cade Carney returns. Wide receiver saves Surratt.

You lose Dorch, but you have saved Surratt, and even Scottie Washington back. The offensive line, it hurts losing to Phil Haynes. But Justin Huron got hurt in the first game last year out for the rest of the season. That was an all-ACC left tackle who returns.

Hopefully he could stay healthy, but all of this that we're talking about is health permitting. He always is in the preseason. Justin Huron, if he's on the field, is an all-ACC caliber left tackle. On the defense, you've got Boogie Basham on the D-line. At linebacker, Justin Sternad in the secondary. Asang Bassey, Kobe Davis, who also got injured that first game, a leader in the secondary back. Special teams.

You got Maggio and Skiba, both your specialists returning. Every single unit Wake Forest has, there's a good returning starter there. So I expect Wake to be good.

Here's my biggest concern with Wake. Their four most difficult games on the schedule are on the road. The good news with the schedule is, for the first time since 1921, from a marketing perspective, why John Curry's been pushing so much for people to buy tickets, you have NC State, Duke, and North Carolina coming into BB&T Field. It's the first time Wake Forest has hosted those three teams since 1921.

That's the good news. The bad news is none of those teams are great. You should win those games, but it gets a lot more difficult when you have to go to Syracuse this year. You have to go to Clemson. You have to go to Virginia Tech.

You have to go to Boston College. The four most difficult games on Wake's schedule, those four, are on the road. But I expect Wake to get one of them. No, not the Clemson game. Probably not the Syracuse game. But Virginia Tech and Boston College?

I think Wake Forest can get one of them. David Glenn's going to hang out with us in studio a little bit. He just finished up his show, so he'll step in here in just a bit. He wrote a long-form story on the ACC Network, which I'm very interested to discuss with him, because it presents interesting questions about what ACC fans will be compelled to do if their carrier does not have the ACC Network. Also, what television revenue means today in the arms race of college athletics? So we'll get to that at the Drive Broadcast Live in the Law Offices of Timothy D. Welborn Studios. But let's start to address this ACC Media Day bingo card we're putting together. Maybe David Hale can help us as well from ESPN, College Football Reporter.

He was suggesting somebody create such a thing on social media, so why not us? Things that we expect to be discussed at ACC Football Media Day's ACC kickoff Wednesday and Thursday. Let's start with 44 to 16. Yeah, that's going to be discussed quite a bit. Yeah, that's probably going to get mentioned once or twice. I think that score is going to get mentioned quite a bit.

Will the U ever be back? Clemson's schedule. You could argue this is an ACC Media Day bingo card.

The biggest topic. I mean, Dabo Sweeney might as well go to ACC Media Days. As much as they talk about Clemson over there, that's it. I'm sure the SEC would love to have Clemson. That's the thing. Well, no, no, the point I'm making is as much as they're talking about Clemson at SEC Media Day, you might as well just invite Dabo.

That's what I'm saying, yeah. They'd love to have him. Come on over here and hang out with us. Let's talk about your schedule a little bit. What's going on with your schedule, even though Bam is playing Duke and nobody else? And Duke.

Duke and nobody else? A.J. Dillon's legs.

Have you seen these things? No. Okay. You've seen Saquon Barkley's legs, right?

Yeah. This is the new Saquon Barkley's legs. A.J.

Dillon. He was walking right next to me at the Wake Boston College game going into an elevator. And he didn't have his jersey on. And he's only been in public consciousness for like a year and a half or so. I recognize who he was because of his legs.

They are tree trunks, these things. Those thighs. By God. A.J.

Dillon from Boston College. You ever seen Predator, the first one? Yeah, of course. With Carl Weathers and Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Of course. Remember that scene when they first met? I'm here!

And they dapped each other up. Kill me! Do it now!

Do it now! Of course. Remember that scene they dapped each other up just to flex? And both of them's biceps just popping off the screen? That's what his legs look like. Oh yeah. That's exactly what they look like.

He does look like a man. Paul Feimbaum! Paul! You live in Charlotte!

Where you at? Paul! This is bam-a-day!

Paul! So you could tweet us at Sports Hub Triad. Things we're going to be talking about time and time again at ACC Media Days in Charlotte. A game this weekend presented this question to sports fans. Just how much will it take to get you to root against your team? That's next on the Drive.

Okay, here we go! This is the Sports Hub at AM600 AM920. Now back to the Drive with Josh Graham. College athletics for decades has been all about the arms race. Whether you talk about recruiting in the late 70s and 80s, if you go back and watch Pony XS, what's been going on in the old Southwest Conference, you'll see that it was done less than legally, leading to the death penalty for SMU. Then it became all about facilities, trying to convince kids to come to school based on having the best places for them to hang out, to work out in, and the stadium experience and such. Now I think the next frontier, at least for conferences, seems to be television revenue and subscriptions, which has me very interested in the story that David Glenn wrote today.

Just got done with this show, now he's hanging out with us here in our Sports Hub studios. The story is about one month before its long-awaited launch, the ACC Network is the big focus of huge questions and big money. It's all about, I think this is the new arms race in college athletics, because the SEC and Big Ten Network, those league members have made on average an extra $20 to $25 million per year than ACC schools, because they have television networks that have produced hand-over-fist types of cash for the athletic department. The SEC network has 59 million subscribers, and the Big Ten Network has 55 million. The ACC right now, a month before launch, has 19 million. But as things begin to separate in terms of revenue and resources, I think a place that you look at, and you spelled it out pretty well, look at the Pac-12 and how they've fallen behind and how that's coincided with the way their network has struggled in a way that the Big Ten and SEC networks haven't, and those conferences seem to be thriving. Good work, but the big question I feel like that needs to be asked to you and to everybody else is, how much are ACC fans going to demand that their television carrier have the ACC network?

Well, it's a great question, Josh. And I'm getting some feedback right now, so maybe Des can correct that. But Dan Radekovich is the Clemson athletic director, and he put his finger right on the gist of this issue when he said, look, the ACC network must be successful. If we in the ACC are going to continue to have the resources to compete with other programs and other conferences, he didn't say specifically the SEC and the Big Ten, but we know that is the case. And we know the Clemson Tigers are in the same state as the South Carolina Gamecocks, and just like they have that dynamic, it's no fun seeing South Carolina grabbing a check that's worth $44 million every year, and Clemson's check from the ACC is $29 million or in that neighborhood on average. That's what the ACC schools got paid in 2018 as their share of conference revenue. The Big Ten numbers are even higher than that.

So it does matter. Even the athletic directors will tell you that it matters. And when it comes to your passion question, I think Tony Barnhart, Mr. College Football himself said it best, and I quoted him in this article because I loved his quote so much. He said, when the Big Ten network was launching, yeah, there were people in Big Ten country who really wanted that channel, and maybe they wrote an email or they made a call, and maybe even the most passionate Big Ten fan made an angry phone call to its carrier and said, I got to have this channel. As Tony said, the SEC has a lot more fans who if they weren't going to get their SEC network when it launched five years ago, they would threaten to burn somebody's house down. Now that reflects passion, and sure enough, the SEC gives the best college football numbers that anybody has ever seen on a regular basis. They're number two behind the Big Ten in money, and the SEC has the best, most successful network so far. Even though the SEC network's only been around for five years, it's got way better numbers than even the Big Ten network. So the Big Ten's making more money overall, not just with its Big Ten channel, but it has other really good TV deals beyond the conference-specific channel. The SEC has tapped into the most intense passion, especially during college football season, and that translates into subscriber numbers for the SEC network. It even translates, Josh, into how much these carriers, satellite companies, cable companies, how much are they getting or willing to pay for, rather, the SEC network? That's a higher per-month price than what these same carriers would pay for the Big Ten network or even the ACC network, or the Pac-12 network is at the bottom of all these lists in part because there's not nearly as much passion in Pac-12 country for these things, including the TV product, as there is in the SEC.

The question on the front burner now is, where does the ACC slot in between? You and I know there are more large numbers of passionate ACC fans compared to those who are passionate about the Big Ten. There's no doubt about it, or Pac-12, rather. But are those numbers going to be as large as they were when the SEC launched its network?

I don't know, but that stuff matters. That passion question matters as these negotiations continue, where a lot of people have already agreed to carry the ACC network more than five weeks out, but some of the biggest carriers in America have not yet struck a deal. So let's limit the scope to our audience, or at least the people in North Carolina. We see North Carolina ACC fans, the big four here. And kind of leave aside for now, Tallahassee, of course, they have a big following for Florida State, Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, and Clemson in South Carolina, certainly. Do you think there will be that kind of burning passion to get the ACC network during football season, or will that wait till basketball? Because D.G., you know it, this is not a football state. NC State's the only program, I think, among the ACC big four that consistently the fans support both football and basketball, and it's tough to even figure out at times which one they care about even more. North Carolina and Duke, of course, success plays a part of this, like on the field success. But obviously basketball comes first at those schools, and I feel like there's going to be an outcry and people upset if the North Carolina Notre Dame basketball game isn't on and they can't get it, even more so than the one-off game that your team's playing on the ACC network that you can't catch in football.

Well here's the thing to remember. If for example, the biggest TV provider in our state is Charter slash Spectrum. Charter is the name of the company, Spectrum is the name of the brand that many cable customers are familiar with. They have 16 million subscribers in the country, and that makes them the second largest cable company in America.

If this was truly a state of North Carolina question, I think your question would be front and center. I mean, there would be some worry about whether there was enough true passion, I'm going to change my carrier if I don't have this new network on its launch date, August 22nd, or at least soon thereafter when the football games are being played at the end of August. Now a Wolfpack fan in our state, remember Josh, the only way they can watch the Wolfpack against ECU is to have the ACC network. There is no ESPN 3 away around it, there is no ESPN Plus way around it. You must be a subscriber to a carrier that has agreed to carry the ACC network, or at least by that point has agreed to carry it. Otherwise you're not watching NC State against ECU, at least not through your house.

You might go to a friend's house, you might go to a bar or restaurant, or maybe you go to Carter-Finley Stadium, but there's no end around. So I'd argue that a lot of Wolfpack fans would say, I'm not missing that game. Meanwhile, Carolina plays Miami on September 7th. You and I both know that Carolina is a basketball first school, but you've sensed the energy around the return of Mack Brown, and that's to me a must-see TV game on September 7th when Miami takes on the heels in what is Mack Brown's home opener for Mack Part 2.

So yeah, it would build to a crescendo when you get close to early November and Notre Dame at Carolina and that Tar Heel Roy Williams season opener, you're right. But remember that Charter Spectrum have customers in a lot of places, so they're negotiating with ESPN and Disney over those 16 million customers to get into those 16 million households. And Charter Spectrum, man, they have lots of customers in Football Crazy Florida and Football Crazy Georgia and Louisville fans in Kentucky and Boston College fans in Massachusetts and Syracuse fans in New York and Clemson fans in South Carolina. You think those Clemson fans that are Charter Spectrum customers in South Carolina, they want to miss the defending champion Clemson Tigers home opener against Georgia Tech?

No way, Jose. So it's not just a state of North Carolina question again. Charter Spectrum is under pressure to make a deal because they got a lot of customers in a lot of places.

How many different places have you seen your story already? Because literally right as you were saying that, I see Awful announcing just picked it up and talking about the ACC network approaching its launch and you've been working on this story the last few months. And the biggest one, you mentioned that Charter Spectrum is the biggest television carrier here in the state of North Carolina, at least especially in this part of the state.

What do you know about how close those two sides are? Because you made it sound like in the story that both sides kind of feel like this deal is going to get done before the start of the year. Yeah, and it's because both sides have incentives, right? I mean, the ACC network doesn't want August 22nd to arrive or pass and they look like they have a laid egg of a launch. So the ACC, you know, it's actually Disney slash ESPN people doing the negotiations on the behalf of the ACC.

But there's pressure to expand your numbers, right? If you know the SEC network has almost 60 million subscribers and the Big Ten network is not far from 60 million subscribers, and you know that according to my research in the article, the ACC's current subscribers is closer to like 20 million. Now they believe they're close to other deals and that stuff is in the articles as well. The ACC and Spectrum, for different reasons, have massive motivation to come to an agreement. And nine times out of 10 in the business world, when both sides have massive incentive, a deal gets done.

And maybe neither side loves the number at which it gets done, but it gets done. Comcast Xfinity is a little different and the biggest cable provider in America because it's intense in different parts of the country. But do cable subscribers in Virginia who might love the Hokies or the Cavaliers, or maybe they love one of our state schools that just they live in Virginia. I mean, they're not going to wait three years to get the ACC network just because Comcast doesn't have to negotiate with the Disney folks for another three years if they don't want to. So you know that all these negotiations are continuing and the ACC wants to be able to say at launch that it had a great launch. It already knows it's going to be better than the Pac-12's numbers today. It already knows it's going to be better than the Big Ten's launch 12 years ago. Will it be as grand a launch as the SEC network was five years ago? That remains to be seen. And that's why, you know, who knows, maybe John Swafford later this week in Charlotte at the ACC kickoff event, maybe he's able to announce a new agreement and the ACC gets that much closer to a launch that makes it look like the ACC network is going to be something as successful or at least in the same neighborhood gradually as what the SEC and the Big Ten are doing with their channels right now.

Good work on the story, D.G. It really is a mammoth three months. It is a monster. Yeah, it is. It's been a month before its long awaited launch, ACC Network, the focus of huge questions, big money.

You can find it at theathletic.com. While I got here, you want to talk a little football? Let's do it.

Which ACC coach is on the hottest seat heading into next year? We'll discuss that with D.G. in here next on the drive.

Let's get started. This is the Sports Hub at AM 600, AM 920. Now back to the drive with Josh Graham. David Glenn's hanging out with us here in studio. He has the new ACC Network story out that you can read at theathletic.com. If you have any questions about that for D.G. or ACC football concerns, 336-777-1600 while you got us both here also on Twitter at Sports Hub Triad. We're both going to be broadcasting from Charlotte a little bit later on this week, Wednesday and Thursday.

And D.G., you know how it works. It's the middle of the summer. These coaches do a million interviews at these events. So generally, they're not saying the most substantive things. They're not very interesting at times.

Usually they stay on message, talk about the same things over and over again. So to make things more interesting, D.G., with the inspiration of David Hale, who's a guest on today's show from ESPN, we've been putting together an ACC Media Day bingo board. And just let me know, Des, really quickly, if you like each of these ideas, Steve Smith maybe can help us out here. Things that you know are going to come up on your ACC Media Day bingo board. Let's start with the three letters FBI. That's definitely on there, right, D.G.? Got to be.

Yes. Now, I mean, the FBI is an even bigger issue for college basketball coaches. But yeah, they're aware of repercussions hitting some of their colleagues in the coaching industry. It's just a matter of how deep football coaches will go into that stuff when, you know, it was really a basketball driven kind of thing. Dabo Sweeney to Alabama rumors. Yeah, that's come up in previous years as well. Everybody knows he went to school there. Everybody knows it has a special place in his heart. But so does Clemson now. So, yeah, it's almost a requirement to like not punch our ticket at the door as we answer unless we promise to mention that at least.

I don't know. But but yeah, it'll be talked about. There's no doubt about it. A coach denying the link between football and CTE. Well, given Larry Fedora's unpleasant experience, I think much of that emanating from my show last year, the poor guy lost the battle of public opinion and gradually lost his job. Now, I know he lost his job because he lost too many football games, but the perception of him as a person took a turn for the worse when he decided to go down several of those roads last year. And, you know, one of the reasons these coaches tend to be so vanilla, Josh, is that they want to avoid the grenade that Larry Fedora found himself handling a year ago. So we like interesting answers. But one of the reasons we don't get more of them is that Larry Fedora decided to freelance just last year. And man, he ended up paying a public relations price.

And the last one I got here for now, North Carolina alcohol laws. That'll be fun, right? I mean, we have to ask about that. They're going to say they don't care. They have a game to coach. They have other business to attend to. I think that's what they'll say. Maybe somebody will surprise us. But yeah, on my show the other day, we were picking appropriate backdrop music for the first season in the history of our state where there's going to be, you know, university by university, more widespread alcohol sales and consumption in the building.

We know what's happened outside the buildings all these years. But yeah, thanks to that change in state law, these public universities now have a decision to make that's more expansive than the decisions they had to make in the past. So maybe we'll ask, you know, the best drinking song, although I have a feeling they won't answer that one either. There isn't a better game you can put together in this state to consummate the marriage between legal alcohol drinking and college football than East Carolina playing at NC State.

There just isn't a better game than that. I can hear Red Solo Cup playing in the background as I contemplate those two fan bases getting together. And we'll be there with the big tailgate tour. So now you know it's going to be a big party. We got we got the entire state covered. You're going to be at that game.

I'm going to be at North Carolina, South Carolina and Charlotte. So I can't wait for college football to get here. But in terms of coaches on the hot seat there, there really feels like only one answer to this question. It's got to be Willie Taggart at Florida State, yes?

It does. And it's a weird answer to say out loud because he's only in his second year. This additionally feels weird because for those who don't know, Willie Taggart signed a six-year deal worth, it was six times five, that's $30 million.

So the way buyouts work, and I've seen this contract, Florida State would owe him. Let's say, remember that the Seminoles bowl streak ended last year. So Willie Taggart's brand new. And what does he do in his first year a year ago?

He fails to make a bowl. Seminoles go five and seven, no postseason. That hadn't happened in 36 years. But it was his first year. So OK, he gets the benefit of the one-year problem. Even though Florida State is kind of a cash-strapped athletic department, the terms of his contract and the terms of his contract suggest that his buyout at the end of this upcoming year, if needed, would be about $17 million. That is a large buyout by college sports standards. You know that the number of Florida State fans at a school that's a football-first school, and that's where their pride comes largely from, and that's where their money comes largely from, it would be obviously expensive to pull the trigger on a $17 million buyout. But some fans and maybe even administrators would end up arguing, wouldn't it be more expensive in your featured sport to keep a coach that had back-to-back dismal years?

I do not wish that upon Florida State. Now, he has a lot of players. Some believe he has the second most talented roster behind only Dabo Swinney and Clemson.

So if he lives up to that talented roster, then this conversation is moot. But if somehow the Seminoles went from making a bowl every year for 36 years in a row to missing two years in a row, we would have one ugly conversation on our hands in December or even in the weeks leading up to that. I thought he had maybe the most talented team not named Clemson last year with DeAndre Francois at quarterback. I get he was coming back from a knee injury, but this is somebody who won nine or 10 games his freshman season and didn't have any protection granted on the offensive line. But Cam Akers at running back and the most recent draft pick, the Carolina Panthers, just picked up.

I mean, Brian Burns. There are a ton of talented players Florida State's had. But I was skeptical of this hire when it was made because I saw what he did at South Florida pretty closely. This is a coach with a 52 and 57 record as a head coach.

In 10 years, he is 52 and 57. It took time for him to rebuild Western Kentucky, and he was nearly fired in year three at South Florida after he won six games combined his first two years. And he was off to a one and four start. He needed a miracle comeback to pull that win out. They ended up winning eight games. The next year they won 11. He gets the Oregon job. And after just one year at Oregon, which, by the way, was a six and six season for Oregon. That was enough for Florida State to say, yeah, we're going to make you the successor to one of the four at the time active head coaches who have won a national title for Florida State. This is not a program that goes back to back years without going to a bowl game. So when I see Louisville shelling out, what, 14 million dollars to buy out Bobby Patrino in North Carolina, shelling out 12 for Larry Fedora, of course, Florida State would pay the 17 mil or so, 16, 17 million dollars to get rid of a coach who doesn't go to a bowl game back to back years. Yeah, I think you're right about that. I think it would be a divisive kind of conversation because Florida State has some money issues right now.

But this is the reality, and I think everybody knows it. Whatever school you root for most, there is a sport that paves the way, that pays the bills, that sets the bar, right? And whereas, let's say at UNC, you know, John Bunning, beloved alum, got more time to try to turn around UNC football. They didn't love all the results, but he got more time to try to turn the Tar Heels around. Matt Doherty played for Dean Smith, also a beloved alum. How long did he get when basketball was struggling?

That was a three year turnaround, right? You can struggle in football for a longer amount of time at most of the schools in our state because some of them, and elsewhere, you know, Syracuse is a basketball first school, for example. Even Louisville is a basketball first school, although football has gotten a lot more important lately at that school. That's just the economics of college athletics, and it's a byproduct of the passion of those fan bases as well. Angry fans in their most passionate sport are less patient, and athletic directors are looking at serious financial repercussions.

Sometimes if they keep the struggling coach, and those numbers can sometimes outweigh whatever pain it might be caused when you pull the trigger on one of those mega million dollar buyouts. DJ, I appreciate you doing this as always. Congratulations again on the story that you can find on The Athletic on the ACC Network. Be sure, or excuse me, on theathletic.com on the ACC Network.

You can find that again, theathletic.com. And me and you, hey, it's good to see you here, but we're also going to be hanging out in Charlotte starting tomorrow night after our show is in, but then Wednesday and Thursday we'll be broadcasting live here on the Sports Hub. I'm looking forward to seeing you there, my friend. Always good to be with you. And a reminder to ACC Sports Journal subscribers, if you get our quarterly glossy magazine, my deepest dive on this ACC Network topic is, or will be, in the pages of our next edition, which is coming out soon. So thanks again for having me on to talk about it.

No question. You can follow us, Glenn, on Twitter for more at David Glenn Show, just an excellent read. The Drive's brought to you in part by our friends at Twin Peaks Restaurant, Haynes Mall Boulevard in Winston-Salem. It's your local sports lodge. You can find them.

Haynes Mall Boulevard for the best wings, best food you can find. And of course, all the games are on. And that's what you're looking for, right? All the games. And when football season gets here, I'm sure they'll have the ACC Network.

I don't know that for sure, but I like to think your local sports lodge will. We'll get on that and figure out those details. But for now, appreciate you being with us, however, and wherever you are tuning in, you're listening to WSGS Winston-Salem, WCOG Greensboro, WPCM Burlington and WMFR High Point. There are a lot of things going on. I want to get to the ACC Network stuff.

David Glenn had a story he published today that was three months in the making. But we normally get sidetracked on this show. We're going to be at ACC kickoff on Wednesday and Thursday. So we're coming up with a bingo card. Since coaches are often repetitive and players staying on message and saying the same thing, talking about the same subject, what are going to be the talking points that we most commonly hear at ACC kickoff? We're still coming up with different squares for our bingo board.

How do you feel about this one? Hashtag we do this. That's the motto for the ACC Network. How about SEC bias? That'll be talked about quite a bit.

Why is Wake Pick so low? So continue to send those in. That's another game that we're playing. But we started talking about Madden football games a short while ago and how they used to have rap songs to accent the game. It used to be Ludacris or Pharaoh Munch doing the music and getting you hyped to play the video game.

They don't do that as much anymore. Now it's just super dramatic music. So we wanted to do a throwback. And I agreed for some reason to do a football rap if Aaron would be the ghostwriter for it, even though you're not much of a ghostwriter now that I'm giving you all the credit here. I'm giving you the credit because I don't know how good the lyrics are.

I haven't looked at this. We're about to deliver a rap where I'm just now looking at the lyrics. I don't know what the beat is.

So Dez is putting that together, too. He was just telling me time and time again during the commercial how concerned he was for me right now. Well, I used to freestyle rap about 10 years ago when I was selling books door to door in Texas. Why do you keep saying that like you were in like a league or something? You keep bringing it up. So it means I can keep a beat.

You shouldn't be that worried about that. I got faith in you, Josh. So Aaron wrote the lyrics here.

And this is a football rap for the drive. Let's see how this goes. You ready? I feel like I'm about to jump into a pool of water. You feel me? Give me a beat. Wow. Yeah. Give me some more snare on my headphones.

Yippee yo, yippee yo, yippee yo, yay. I've got no date. I play Madden every day. Sun up to sundown. No messing around.

Check my live stream. That's where the bodies are found. It's like your squad.

Any city, any town. Player one to player two. I'm rocking the crown. Pass the jewels. I pity the fool. Mountain deuce spilled on my shirt because that's my fuel. I'm gassed up. My hand's tough. 21 skunks. How fast is this stuff? I should do this for money.

Get my racks up. Alright, those are some pretty good lyrics actually. You actually surprised me. That was not that bad. No, those were pretty good lyrics. Pretty good. Again, I thought I was doing pretty good until I read. I'm gassed up. My hand's tough. 21 is skunk so pass the sticks up. Wow.

That's the hip hop air horn if I've ever heard one. Holy bleep man. You did good buddy. You did real good. Thank you. So this ACC Network. I don't know how you segue from that.

The best way to segue from a rap. Let me know how I did. 336-777-1600. Just how bad was that? On Twitter at sportsubtriad. The biggest question ACC fans will have to answer is, will you call your cable provider and threaten to leave your cable provider if it means they don't have the ACC Network? Just how passionate are ACC fans, especially when it comes to football? Because that's what it's going to take. How much demand is there going to be to have the ACC Network when it launches in about a month?

David Glenn wrote the long story. Right now they're at 19 million subscribers, but they don't have three of the four biggest cable providers, including Spectrum. So without Spectrum on board, most of the people in the state of North Carolina with television providers will be unable to watch these games at home that are on the ACC Network. There's no roundabout way. You can't do it on ESPN 3.

You can't buy some package online. The only way you can watch some of these games, including Wake Forest in North Carolina in football, Clemson and Georgia Tech, Mack Brown's home opener as the head coach of the Tar Heels. The only way you can watch some of these games is if you have the ACC Network. Now, if you don't have it through your cable provider, let's say a deal doesn't get done with Spectrum. Do you feel passionate enough as an ACC North Carolina football fan, not just talking about the Tar Heels, but NC State, Wake Forest, Duke, North Carolina, whoever you root for, to call your cable provider and say, listen, I am going to make a business decision and cancel my subscription to Spectrum and go elsewhere, maybe DirecTV, just because I need the ACC Network and I need to watch these games.

I don't know if the demand is there for football. DG was referencing a line that Tony Barnhart, Mr. College Football gave him, where he was quoted in saying, if people in Big Ten country can't get their network, they write an email or make a call, maybe even an angry call. The SEC has a lot more fans who, if they can't get their network, they will threaten to burn somebody's house down, end quote. Are ACC fans that passionate when it comes to football? I think Clemson fans probably are. Maybe Florida State fans at Tallahassee, Virginia Tech fans. I don't know who that is in this state. I don't think Wake Forest fans are that passionate where they'll say, listen, I can't, I got to change TV providers to get the ACC Network.

Now I could be wrong. I don't feel like we'd accept it in basketball season, like when November rolls around and you start flipping, okay, where are the Tar Heels? Where's Roy Williams? Where's Mike Krzyzewski? Where's NC State, Wake Basketball? I think then you'll make those phone calls and say, uh-uh, I need to watch my heels. I need to watch my Tar Heels, my Demon Deacons, my Blue Devils.

No exceptions here. I feel like that's when North Carolina ACC fans would threaten to burn a house down. Not in August. This isn't a football state.

I realized that a few years ago. It's do or die in Boone. It's do or die in Greenville, America. But aside from East Carolina and Appalachian State fans, it's basketball first. It just is.

Yes, Des. If I can't watch North Carolina versus Furman or whoever late November, first, second week of the season, I'm going to be very angry. I mean, we're talking about, no, the opener's against Notre Dame. Well, basketball. Well, I am. I'm talking about basketball.

Right, right, right. They're changing it to a 20-game schedule and you're actually playing conference opponents in November now. So yeah, if Mike Bray's going into Chapel Hill and facing North Carolina and I don't have the game on TV because of my cable provider. Yeah, I'm going to be upset if I'm a Torrio fan and I'm going to threaten to change my provider and go where I can watch the game. I don't feel that passion for football.

I don't. Not here. And honestly, I mean, there's not really a team in North Carolina to have that passion for, you know, like what team in North Carolina that's in the ACC would you say deserves that type of passion? Maybe Wake Forest.

Reconsecutive Bowens is pretty good. And NC State. You know, you win nine games last year, you the year before that, you were pretty darn relevant. I mean, everyone was talking about that Clemson game being what decides the Atlantic.

And even though they got ran in that game, let's not act like NC State hasn't deserved anything. Do you think NC State and or actually NC State's probably better question than you think NC State fans would prefer to see if they can only choose to see their football team or their basketball team for the whole season, I see network and they can only choose one. Which one do you think they would choose? Well, there's more games in basketball, so you probably would choose that. The better way to ask that question might be if you can only have one to go to the final for your football team or your basketball team, who might it be?

Well, it's not a fair way to word it in terms of with this contract, like being able to see them. Well, I don't know. The question you're asking is what do fans care about more football or basketball? And it's obvious it's basketball.

It just is. We're a college basketball state. We're fine with that. That doesn't mean we don't care about football. But do we care so much that we're going to threaten to leave a TV provider for not being able to pay extra for an ACC network package? I mean, we live in a world where people threaten to leave providers for being on hold for 20 minutes. So the answer is probably you don't do that. I haven't had a TV.

I haven't had that problem in six, seven years because of that very thing. I hate the people who angle, who every year call their TV provider, just say, hey, I'm thinking about leaving to see what kind of free stuff they'll get. Oh, here's stars for six months, please say everything. You want HBO?

It's the same. It's the same people who go to a movie theater and if they play some of the wrong trailers or it's a black screen for about two minutes before they play the trailers. Hey, this happened earlier and I didn't like it much. Well, I didn't really like that and like a free movie if I was okay with Jimmy Stewart. That's who it was. Jimmy Stewart.

Listen, listen here, say I wanted to watch the motion picture earlier today and uh, quite frankly you didn't let me do that because it was a black screen say for two minutes. Now if you don't let me get a free ticket, I'm going to get a lasso around your neck and bring it right down there. You want the moon?

Do you want the moon? How about a knuckle sandwich? We're looking ahead to ACC football season with ESPN college football writer David Hale next. This is the sports hub at AM 600 AM 920.

Now back to the drive with Josh Graham. I'm in the business of when somebody does you a favor, you do them a favor in return. David Hale, a first time visitor on the show from ESPN now with us on Twitter at one of the best Twitter handles you'll find a David Hale joint is his Twitter account. He said earlier today, in addition to lying out position by position where teams in the ACC stands, he said he was looking for somebody to put together an ACC media day bingo board. So we've been doing that a little bit during today's show and David, I just want to run a couple of these by you and you let me know whether or not this qualifies for the ACC media day bingo board. We're going to be in Charlotte Wednesday and Thursday. So I think this could be productive. Okay, excellent. I'm excited about this.

Okay, let's start with noon kickoffs. That's definitely going to be on the on the board. That's that's a Dave Doran.

I think that's coming up. Dave Doran. Trevor Lawrence's hair.

Oh, yeah. Because no one knows what to ask John Simpson that question will come up with John Simpson. Nick Saban Oh, you know, this will be the ultimate test of whether or not the ACC belongs on the stage with the SEC is whether or not they spend half the day talking about the SEC. I'm going to say no, no Nick Saban Wow, shocking AJ Dylan's legs. Oh, yeah, that's, you know, of course, the more interesting AJ Dylan topic, though, he is a big applesauce eater and his Twitter handle is AJ the sauce Dylan. And so I plan to only ask him applesauce related questions.

That's very smart. And lastly, 44 to 16 Yes, that'll be that'll be there. All right, let's start with with with Wake Forest here because I'm looking at a team Dave Clausen was joking with us in the spring that he will he will die of a heart attack the day that he's listed on a bull projection list in the preseason. And I expect I see Phil Steele has him ranks, the dekes ranked sixth in the Atlantic division. How do you feel about Wake Forest in terms of where they stand in the Atlantic? I do not get the Wake Forest hate this year. I've seen several predictions with them last in the Atlantic. I think Vegas has them at five and a half.

I don't get it. I really like Wake Forest this year. I look, I don't know, are there flaws on the roster, maybe a few things here and there that you would, you would like to see improved I mean, look, it's still Wake Forest. They're not recruiting Clemson recruiting classes, right?

Everything is built building there. But you look across the board at the depth chart, you gotta like quarterback, right? I mean, they got two young guys who both played pretty well last year, you'd think both are going to make progress this year. They've got running backs, I think probably as good a running back depth chart as there is outside of Clemson in the ACC. They're pretty good on the O-line again, if they stay healthy. They're pretty good at receiver again, I know they lost some guys, but they also signed probably two of their top guys in the recruiting class this year were early enrollee wide receivers. The defense was a problem last year, but they also made a change of coordinator. I thought it improved as the year went along. They've got some legitimate NFL types and guys like Carlos Basim and Sang Bassi, I mean, these guys are not just kind of get run over types of guys, it's about building that system I think a little bit.

So I get if there's some questions on defense, but I don't think it's, I think it's a work in progress that is trending in the right direction. So add all of this up, where's Wake Forest? To me, it's at least a six win team. I could easily see this being an eight win team and if everything clicks into place where they get lucky in some games and everybody develops and they don't get hurt, I don't see any reason they can't be like this year's Syracuse. I don't know, maybe I'm just absurdly optimistic on them because I certainly seem to be the outlier but I like them.

I do too. I think this is a team that can win eight games because you look at, they have a strong returning starter in literally every position group as you were kind of noting with the two quarterbacks and Justin Huron back from injury on the O-line and Boogie Bassam and Sternad and in the secondary, Kobe Davis back into Singh Bassey, Cade Carney at running backstage. I mean, down the list, you have somebody coming back who was productive for you last year. I don't know how many teams can say that in the ACC, but when you look at the middle of the pack, really everybody not named Clemson in the ACC. How much better do you believe the middle of the league has gotten when you have Virginia returning a couple of Bryce's. Bryce Perkins at quarterback, Bryce Hall is probably going to be a first round draft pick. The aforementioned AJ Dillon at Boston College back along with Anthony Brown and Virginia Tech in Miami probably going to be back in the fray after down years last year.

I think better than last year. Last year was as bad a year I think for the ACC as you could have. The thing in this sort of place, the discussion about Wake Forest that you were just mentioning in that there's really not an area that you look at Wake Forest and say, boy, they're bad here. There may not be necessarily an elite level anywhere either, but you look at the rest of the middle of the pack in the ACC, whether it's quarterback at Miami or the ground game for Virginia or offensive line at Florida State, the defensive line at Boston College, the secondary at Virginia Tech, everybody's got this sort of gaping chasm somewhere on their depth chart. I think all of those teams have a lot of talent elsewhere, so somebody and perhaps two or three somebodies is going to find answers where that big black hole is right now. Those teams are going to be in a position that if they do answer those big, big looming questions, a couple of teams are going to be certainly top 25. I think, look, people wrote off Syracuse as like, that's not a good team. They finished top 15 last year. I don't know who that team is this year or if there might be two or three of them this year.

I would probably lean towards there's more. Somebody is going to fill that role this year. And you remember David Hale's with us here, college football reporter, a David Hale joint on Twitter. How wide do you believe that gap between Clemson and whoever you view the second best team in the ACC to be? And do you remember the gap being this wide? No, this is as wide in the time that I've been around the league. So certainly since like the Jimbo Fisher, Dabo Swinney era started in the 2010 range, this is as wide a gap at the top as I can remember.

And you know, it's really just not close, it's not close. And probably the bigger concern is that it's not close and it might be growing the way that things are kind of going because you're starting way back for a team like Louisville or a team like, you know, Syracuse, Wake Forest, these types of teams that might challenge them on a year in and year out basis or occasionally aren't probably doing it year in and year out because they just can't recruit at that level. Florida State is just a train wreck on the offensive side of the football. And what happens if this year doesn't work out either and they've got to start all over maybe with a different coaching staff?

Certainly BC, I mean, look, they're not recruiting at Clemson level. They get guys from time to time and they've been consistently in that seven win range. I just don't see anybody in the next couple of years realistically closing that gap with Clemson and the way that Clemson's recruiting, I mean, it feels like autopilot. They lost all four of their defensive line starters to the NFL, all three of them were taking the first round, the other one, the third round.

I don't know if they're going to take a huge step back on the defensive line, they've got a bunch of five stars ready to step in. So this is sort of where Clemson's at. And I think you can certainly make the case on a one year basis for any number of other teams in the middle of the pack that somebody's going to step up and challenge them, somebody's going to be a top 10, 15 team. I think that will be true, but I don't know that there's anybody that's got a foundation built the way that Clemson does where they're going to do it year in and year out.

And again, it feels like the gap is widening, not narrowing. You mentioned how if things go south this year for Florida State, maybe they go in a different direction with the new coach. A lot of people would say it's only year two, but at FSU, that's not a program that you should ever really lose back to back seasons, have losing years back to back seasons, especially with the talent even Willie Taggart's had in the last two seasons. If we're talking about 14, 15, 16 million dollar buyout, do you view Willie Taggart still being in trouble if he doesn't go to a bowl game or win seven games this year? So there's a lot of factors at play there.

The first and foremost being money. Florida State does not have the money to throw around that people might think. They're certainly not in the LSU, USC type of arena where you just say, this guy's not working out for me. The fans are angry. I don't care what we're paying them. We're getting rid of him. But are they in the Louisville and North Carolina range where Louisville, I think, threw 14 million and North Carolina 12 million last year? Honestly, I think in year two, I don't know whether they'll do it or not. But here's the other side of that, is that as bad as things were left by Jimbo Fisher, and I think Willie has that going for him, and the administration is pinning a lot of this on Jimbo right now, I think that coaching staff just looked confused and out of sorts and over their heads way too often last year, and he already blew up a good portion of that coaching staff and brought in what is, I think, as controversial an assistant coaching hire as you can make in Kendall Briles.

And people are getting behind it now because Florida State is desperate for offensive answers. But if those don't come this year, if the offense struggles just like it did last year, you're saying you just brought in a guy with immense off-field issues to fix an offense that he didn't fix. And so to me, Willie is walking himself out further and further on a limb that at some point, if they don't get, I don't know what the answer is, six wins, seven wins, eight wins, that limb's gonna break. So look, I think if he wins a reasonable number of games this year and peg that number where you will, the inclination will be for them to keep him. But if they go five and seven again this year, the pressure is on for them to figure something out because, again, there's nothing about what they did last year that gives you a lot of hope that he has answers. On Twitter, at a David Hale joint, kind enough to spend some time with us is David Hale.

I got a couple more here for our bingo board ACC kickoff later on this week. How do you feel about hashtag WeDoThis? I'm not a WeDoThis guy, but it's going to be out there. People are going to have to say it. I think their contract's really obligated to say it now.

In fact, I may be too, actually, so hashtag WeDoThis. That's really good. Yeah, so there we go. How about, hmm, there's a lot of good ones that we're getting here. How about just Fine Bomb? Yeah, Fine Bomb's definitely going to come up. He's already back to the ACC for Trevor Lawrence not being there. So yeah, Fine Bomb's name will come up.

And how about denying links between football and CTE? Let's just say that Larry Fedora will be on an island somewhere in Italy, relaxing with the money that he earned by denying us links. We're going to have some fun later this week. Where are you going to be during this entire week of football media days? Are you going to be at any of them? I will be in Charlotte, so you'll see me there at ACC media days, how much work I'm doing.

Depends to be seeing, we'll see about that. But I'll cozy up next to some coaches and try to push some buttons so that we fill out our bingo cards. Heck yeah. And also applesauce with A.J. Dillon. We'll look forward to that.

Applesauce with A.J. Dillon. All right, David, thanks for doing this. It's good to hear from you. Pleasure. You got it. That's David Hale again on Twitter. It is one of the best Twitter handles you will find. David Hale, done some great work for ESPN over the years. He's on Twitter Des at a David Hale joint.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-09 07:49:49 / 2023-02-09 08:14:45 / 25

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