He's amused Cam Newton. He's been insulted by Charles Barkley. He's interviewed Matthew McConaughey. And he's taken on Big Blue Nation. It's time for The Drive with Josh Graham.
Hello! It is a Monday Drive, WSJS, News Talk Sports for the Triad, where college football coaches have been warning anybody who would listen about today. For how long? Days? Weeks? Maybe even months?
They'd say some version of the same thing. When the Portal opens up at noon on Monday, December 5th, the college football landscape will change right beneath us. It's going to be crazy. And surely enough, you've got, what, a thousand players probably going to be in the Portal by the end of the day when only 1,900 or so entered all last offseason?
Nearly half the quarterbacks who started Week 1 in the ACC this year have jumped into the Portal today, including Devin Leary at NC State, which shouldn't really be all that surprising. Sounds like they were wanting to lean on the younger freshman MJ Morvis moving forward anyway, but it's still noteworthy. Almost everybody you see speaking about the topic today says that it's bad for the sport. But is it possible it's neither good nor bad?
Just different? In my business, we're tempted to pick a side and defend it aggressively. Defend it to the death.
Die on the hill. Something's either awesome, top-shelf awesome, or bottom-feeder-dweller-beneath-the-floor bad. Oh, it's just awful. It's just the worst. It's boring to be tepid. That's not entertaining.
But that's what I'm going to be today. Tepid on this topic. Because not everything new is bad. I love new music.
I don't just listen to the same bands that I liked in high school, even though I still really do like Coldplay. I like trying new restaurants and new breweries and bars. I think it's a good thing for a town or a city when you constantly see new construction signs around. It's a sign of something growing. Something evolving.
So with the portal, yes, it is free agency. Call it what it is. It is free agency finally arriving in college football.
But it's not bad for the sport. Everything's going to be okay. We need to be honest about it.
That's what we need to do first and foremost. NIL is what it is called. NIL is allowed for this.
And that is true. NIL has opened the door, but it's not NIL. NIL stands for name, image and likeness. The spirit of NIL is that it's supposed to be about marketing. It's supposed to be about commercials.
You can benefit off your name, image and likeness. I'm still waiting for those Jordan Addison commercials. Those Jordan Addison campaigns at USC. You know, I still haven't seen a lot of Caleb Love merch.
Caleb Love commercials or marketing opportunities down in Chapel Hill. So it's not really about name, image and likeness. This is pay for play under the guise of NIL. And here's how it works. Good players jump into the portal. And the reason they jump into the portal is to negotiate with other schools in order to make some money. The schools will come to players with their collectives, a word that you've probably heard a lot about over the last 12 to 16 months. And that's essentially putting together compensation package for players.
That's what this has become. It's pay for play. And if you're thinking this is going to just further the gap between the haves and the have nots, there's a chance you might be right.
But for me, I just think it's going to be the same thing that we've already seen. The money, there's not going to be more money. It feels like allocated to these schools because of pay for play. It just seems like the money that's already being funneled to the bigger programs are going to go to the players. So more players are going to get more money at those schools. And so on and so forth down the list.
It already is an arms race. And the same schools that have benefited from NIL mostly are the same schools that benefited in the system before as well. And a lot of it has to do with how much of a budget they have, how much money do they have, what types of facilities they have. So the money that normally goes to athletic departments to pay for facilities that they don't really need, such as smoothie bars or barber shops within the actual locker room, or locker rooms that far exceed what you even see in the NFL, I think now are just going to go to the collectives and go to the players directly.
And I don't think that's a bad thing. Players probably do deserve that money. I'd rather see the players make that money. More than I would see, I'd like to see another one of those bowling alleys at Alabama's football facility.
That's what I think is going to happen here. And most schools can afford it. They can. Rather than, look at these big facilities that Wake Forest has for football and basketball. Maybe you don't need to have the unbelievable facility and pour all the money into that when your past facilities were just fine. Maybe that goes instead to a collective that you can convince some of these top players to play at Wake Forest.
Free agency has arrived and everything's going to be all right. The one thing that needs to be adjusted, though, is a better college football calendar. Much like the early signing period, they should push this back. That would be what's best for the sport. Fans would enjoy it.
You can make it more of a spectacle. You know how July 1st works for Adrian Wojnarowski and the NBA? It should be, you've got Reese Davis, Kirk Herbstreet, among others, Kirk Herbstreet and others sitting around a desk like you did yesterday for the playoff announcement.
And when noon hits, you're trying to figure out who's going to go into the portal and where are they going and that entire deal. And you have it in January, the week after the college football playoff, and you push back the early signing to February. But having it right now, just like having the early signing in just a few weeks, what that does is it accelerates things so quickly where more and more coaches are being fired in September and October because they need to have their guy by the end of November so that they're ready for the transfer portal to open up and also ready for the early signing period so they can have a pretty good class to hit the ground running. They need to spread this thing out.
It's good for an entertainment and marketing perspective for the sport, but also good for the well-being of the coaches, too. On Twitter, at wsjsradio if you want in. Will Dalton is the executive producer of this show. We're taking your calls at 336-777-1600.
So now that we've lowered the temperature for college football fans, let's try to do the same for W.D., who's a Carolina basketball fan. You doing okay today? Yeah, I'll be all right. You're smiling. I am smiling. But I'm looking inside your eyes. The windows of the soul.
See sadness. Here's the best analogy I've got for Carolina. Imagine you've taken a long road trip for vacation. Let's say you drove all the way down to Florida rather than flying. And on the first hour of your trip back, you get pulled over by a cop who informs you that your tags are inspired and writes you a ticket. Then over the next 10 hours of this trip, roughly, depending on what part of Florida you're in, three or four more police officers pull you over for the same offense and tell you, you need to fix this.
And you tell them the same thing back. I'll fix it when I get home. That's what the last dozen days have been for Carolina basketball. They've had problems since that first loss in Portland to yesterday at Virginia Tech. But they just haven't had a chance to fix those issues because of the schedule. Hubert Davis finally has the time now to fix Carolina's problems. They haven't been able to practice during the four-game losing streak.
Think about it. Thanksgiving Day. They play at 10 a.m. local time in Portland. And that starts a run of playing three games in four days. After that, they fly straight to Bloomington. Don't even return home to Chapel Hill. After that, exams start and they're right on the road back to Blacksburg. That's five games in 11 days. Now, they've got a stretch of two games over 13 days. And the matchups aren't against top-15 ranked Indiana or a one-loss Virginia Tech or facing top-10 ranked Alabama.
No, no, no. You've got Georgia Tech at home Saturday. You've got the Citadel after that. It's a lot more favorable. It's a lot more opportunity to fix these problems and to do it at practice. And none of them, none of these losses they've had thus far are bad losses. Iowa State, kid got hot.
Iowa State's not a bad program. And that's a close game. Carolina could have won it. You lost it on a neutral site.
Big whoop. Indiana, they're legit. So is Alabama. And that was a four-overtime game. Virginia Tech, you didn't have Armando Bacott. Obviously, that matters.
Armando. And they fought back. The way that they fought, I thought was impressive. So they're not that far from being good. Here's Hubert Davis, who always seems to be a pretty optimistic guy. I told him also, I'm not panicked. I'm not any of that. I'm convinced. One, this is a good basketball team. And I'm convinced that we're going to be a great basketball team by the end of the season. So get healthy. And they will. And practice.
Fix some of these problems. And they're going to be just fine. They still have a good couple of non-conference opponents. And if they beat, their resume is going to be right where it needs to be in order to get a number one or number two seed. Ohio State and Michigan are ahead.
And they're already getting the benefit of the doubt from the net, which dropped for the first time today. There is only one four loss team that is ranked in the top 60 of the net. And that is North Carolina at number 39. Usually that's where one or two loss teams are at.
Carolina sits at number 39. It's going to be fine. Hubert Davis now has an opportunity to fix the problems.
And if you're, you know, just wondering if you are pessimistic that he can fix those problems, well, he fixed bigger problems a year ago. And we saw where that ended up. Usually on Mondays, we attach letter grades to NFL games. But now that we got all of our bowl matchups, college football playoff and ACC related, we will grade those instead in Graham's grades. And more specifically, the ones for the teams in the state of North Carolina next.
Because we normally attach NFL games to the grades, and we're not doing so this week, we're doing a special bowl edition of Graham's grades. How about a little bit of football now? We've got Monday Night Football tonight. Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner going to be on the call for an NFC South matchup. Saints, Buccaneers. If you're a Carolina Panthers fan, and you still want this team to make the playoffs, and you believe that's still a possibility, you need to be rooting for the New Orleans Saints to win on the road. If they do, both the Saints, actually, all three of these teams will have five wins.
The Saints, Bucks, and the Atlanta Falcons. And Atlanta is coming off a bad loss to Pittsburgh. They were beaten by Washington a week ago. Carolina, playing pretty good ball right now. Three and one in the NFC South.
They've got their coach that has them playing great ball. They're only sitting there at four wins. Things could get really interesting in the NFC South if New Orleans were to win tonight. If Tampa wins, they probably run away with the division. Because Atlanta, as I mentioned, not playing great ball right now. Tampa's starting to figure some stuff out.
And I do like the Buccaneers to win. Also, shout out to Grimsley, Reidsville, and Mount Airy. Mount Airy playing in a 1A championship. Grimsley playing in the 4A. And Reidsville in 3A.
Congratulations to all of them. Reidsville lost to Shelby. I think at the same point they were playing on Friday in regional final play last year, didn't get to the state championship game.
They're there now. Grimsley won its first state championship since the 60s in the spring of 2021. Remember, 2020 football season was pushed to the spring. They're trying to win their second in three years. It's going to be difficult for them.
They're going up against New Bern, I believe, from out east. And that should be a really good football game. Dave Pulaski will be calling that for us this week. And he also will be calling the Reidsville final as well. So we have two state championship games that we'll have on WSJS on Friday and on Saturday. Really exciting stuff.
They had their press conferences today at Bank of America Stadium. And should be a great week of football. Now let's get to Graham's Grades bowl edition. Every week is a test for your favorite sports teams.
We don't need no education. Who passed the test? If one of y'all says some silly ass name. Who dropped a ball? I don't know. Josh Graham has the answers.
I think you're very condescending and a know-it-all. Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone. Time for Graham's Grades. We've got five in-state teams that are playing in FBS bowls. We've got five letters to attach to those bowl games. For the first time ever, all four ACC Big Four teams in the state have made a bowl game, qualified for a bowl in the same season, East Carolina. Also, bowl eligible too.
So let's get to it. A through F, starting with A. NC State. They go to the Duke's Mayo Bowl. That means it's going to be a well-attended, easy trip for NC State fans.
And who's their opponent? Put the University of Maryland. We get the Duke's Mayo Bowl doing what the ACC Big Ten Challenge refused to. And that's getting founding members of the league to play Maryland. All time, the series is 34 wins for the pack, 34 wins for the Terrapins.
This will split the difference. There's such rich history between these two. In basketball, the greatest ACC game of all time. Maybe the greatest college basketball game of all time. State, Maryland, and the Greensboro Coliseum, that literally changed the NCAA tournament, expanding it because of Maryland's loss in that game. And then in football, recent history, Phillip Rivers never beat Maryland. Russell Wilson did, just not in the game that mattered most, the 2010 game in College Park. If NC State beats Maryland in a game they were favored to win, they go to their first ever ACC championship.
They do not. Key third down play, I think it was Danny O'Brien playing quarterback. That's when I learned the TV announcers weren't lying when they said the yellow line was unofficial. Because it looked like on TV that he got over the line. But then when they measured it out, he was not over that line.
Or the other way around, it looked like he was short on TV. And then the ball was actually over the line, the game. In reality, Maryland upsets NC State. They do not go to the ACC championship that year. Just having those two teams play, it's going to be great. And it's an A for me.
B. North Carolina. They're playing in the Holiday Bowl. Who do they got? Oregon. It was announced by Oregon, Bo Nix expects to play in the game.
So you've got Drake May versus Bo Nix, two of the five or six best quarterbacks in all of college football, just going at it in a destination. I've been to Petco Park. I love the city of San Diego. Or San Diego.
No one knows the real origin, but they believe to be. You can finish that line if you please do. Great destination. Great trip for Carolina fans to make. And I think they're going to be rewarded with a really good game. This could be one of the more fun games in all of bowl season.
C. Wake Forest. They're playing in the Gasparilla Bowl. This is in Tampa.
That's fine. Last year they were in Florida. Jacksonville.
Now they're going to Tampa. The matchup's fine. They're playing Missouri.
Drinkwitz and Klassen are apparently friends. Mizzou. The reason this is a C is because, again, it's eh. You played in Florida last year, Wake, and you're playing Mizzou, who we know turned down an opportunity to play the border war against Kansas. That's what we really wanted to see for Missouri.
So it's meh. I anticipate a lot of points. Both secondaries are banged up. But it's a C for Wake. D. Duke. The Military Bowl. Annapolis in late December doesn't sound all that fun.
Just doesn't. And UCF had some guys jump in the portal today. And they've lost two of their last three games coming in. Just got blown out by Tulane.
It's just not. When I think bowl season, hey, we get to go somewhere cool. Where are we headed? I think San Diego. I think Florida. I think, hey, Orange Bowl and Miami. What I don't think is Annapolis, Maryland in late December. Love our military. I have family in Annapolis.
Don't get me wrong. I'm just saying, late December is probably not where I want to go. F. The only thing that could probably be worse than Annapolis in December.
Birmingham, Alabama. East Carolina to the Birmingham Bowl. And they've got Coastal Carolina who just saw their coach leave to go to Liberty.
Jamie Chadwell. His replacement, Tim Beck from NC State. State fans reacted to that is the Willy Wonka memo. Stop.
No. Please don't go. They're fine that he's gone. There is some history with this bowl for ECU. And it's actually interesting. Last year they were supposed to play in the military bowl against Boston College. Yeah.
That should have prepared you for this anecdote I was going to tell, W.D. Boston College. Yeah.
That's a pretty quick pull on your part. But the game got canceled due to COVID. So, they didn't play in that game and that was ECU's first bowl game since 2014. The last time ECU actually participated in a bowl, like the game got played, was 2014. Birmingham.
And now they're back in Birmingham. You know who's calling plays the last time ECU was in a bowl game? Some guy named Lincoln Riley.
So, fair to say it's been a while, but it's an F of a matchup. That's been Graham's Grades for this week. Looking at some transfer portal news. Six quarterbacks who started the year week one as an ACC starter. Starting quarterbacks have entered the portal today. And one of those quarterbacks replaces another of those six. Kadon Slovis or Keaton Slovis from Pittsburgh.
He is in the portal. Not going to be the Panthers quarterback next year. Phil Drakovic, who transfers out of Boston College, is now going to be the starting quarterback of Pitt. Boston College.
You were ready to go on that one there. Brendan Marks joins us now. And I didn't know there was going to be a coach in the ACC that entered the transfer portal too.
More on that in just a little bit. Brendan covers the ACC and covers specifically Duke and Carolina basketball, Tar Heel fans. There are some who have jumped off the deep end after four consecutive losses.
I'm not all that concerned. The analogy I made, Brendan, is like if you were going on a long road trip for vacation to Florida. And on the way back, an hour into a 12 hour drive, an officer pulled you over and said you got a ticket for expired plates.
And you got three more tickets on the drive home before you could ever address the problem. That's North Carolina who hasn't been able to practice amid having all these difficult games that they've played away from Chapel Hill. But let me put it to you.
You were there yesterday at Castle Coliseum. What's your level of concern for North Carolina? Yeah, I think I'm a little more concerned than you are. Definitely not panicking like Hubert Davis. You know, he said yesterday that he isn't panic. I'm not either. I don't think this is a team that, as some people think, is just going to keep losing games and lose 10 or 12 straight and finish under.500.
As some people are saying in my DMs. But to me, I do think there is a serious issue with this team. And to me, it's the one thing offensively that's sort of tying everything together or preventing it from all taking off together. And that's three point shooting. This is an offense that is designed to create open looks for three point shooters and to create dribble penetration for guards. That's why Hubert Davis went away from playing the secondary break. It's why he wanted to play more of a stretch four instead of two conventional bigs.
Look at the last season that Roy Williams was head coach. You had those quartet of bigs who were always cycling through. There was no space inside. And so Caleb Love and R.J. Davis and whoever else, they had no space to get to the basket. And defense could basically just sag off them. Last year you saw when guys are hitting threes, only Armando Bacot is in there.
All of a sudden there's a lot more room. This year what's happening is because North Carolina is one of the worst three point shooting teams in the country. They're not even shooting 30 percent as a team right now. Defenses are sagging off them anyways. Which means that when UNC is in ball screens, they can hard hedge those ball screens. And they don't have to worry about the ball finding its way back to an open shooter because those open shooters are probably not going to make the shot. And so what you're seeing again is defenses are sagging off UNC. There's nowhere for the guards to go inside. They're not hitting shots from the outside.
And everything just looks stagnant and kind of gross. And so to me, is that something that can be reversed? Absolutely.
R.J. Davis and Caleb Love have shown that they are better shooters than what they are currently hitting right now. But until that issue resolves itself, I do think that it's going to be a tough couple of weeks for North Carolina. Yeah. New W.D.
had that in the cooker. We have this relationship now where it's just eye contact. He's like a wide receiver and I'm a quarterback at the line and he just saw me say nine route, hot route, down the field, let's go.
Brendan Marks is on Twitter at Brendan R. Marks. The first net ranking drop today. And I see some good for the ACC. Heck, North Carolina is 39th. And they're the only team with four losses ranked in the top 60. So getting some favorable treatment. Now, the road games that they've played and some of the competition they've had certainly helps in that. But on the other end of the spectrum, Louisville, out of 363 teams, 360 first, according to the net. All you could do is laugh at this point at how bad that's been.
What's your read on it from a conference wide perspective, the net today? Yeah. Well, also, you know, the Louisville thing to me is just for all the UNC fans who are, you know, bemoaning their team and who are wondering, you know, how bad can we be? That's how bad you can be.
So, you know, take that with a little bit of a grain of salt. You know, it is not quite as dire a situation as last year, obviously, when it was basically, you know, Duke and everybody else. But certainly you look at it and there are going to be not a ton of opportunities for teams to sort of develop those Q1 and Q2 wins in the ACC.
Again, there's going to be more. Like, it's not as bad as last year where your only opportunity to really rise in terms of the net was to beat Duke. Preferably to beat Duke and Cameron, as a couple of teams did. This year, you've got Virginia. You've got, you know, Duke, obviously.
You've still got Carolina to some extent. I think they'll get up there. I think Virginia Tech is a really good team.
I think they're going to continue to ascend to the net. You know, they didn't play particularly well yesterday against North Carolina and still won that game. When they start hitting three-point shots, I think the Hokies are going to be something special, too. So, I think the ACC is in an okay spot. And that sort of reflects, I think, where the conference is overall. Where, you know, Virginia is obviously sort of the torchbearer right now. Duke is shortly thereafter.
And then you've got a couple of teams that are trying to figure it out. Miami, Virginia Tech, North Carolina. Notre Dame, even, if you want to throw them in there. Clemson, as we have talked about, Josh, looks like it could be interesting. So, I think the ACC is in a better spot than it was last year. But obviously, you know, it needs to not get to the point where your only opportunities to rise up are against Virginia and against Duke.
Because we get to that situation, and as we saw, that's going to end up hurting the league come March. While I was at the ACC football championship on Saturday, you and W.D. were watching Duke. Who was Duke playing on Saturday?
W.D., it doesn't really come to mind. Boston College. Yeah, that's who they were playing. Is Duke... You pointed out something in a story last week that I thought was really smart. Talking about the way that Duke played big and how scary Duke can be when they really do embrace the size advantage that they have. Is Duke playing this way out of necessity right now while they wait for Whitehead and Proctor and Lively to develop? Or do you expect that you might see a different version of the Devils come January?
I think you might see a slightly modified version, but this is the way Duke's going to play. Like, this is a gigantic team. They are the sixth biggest team in college basketball per 10-pump. You know, in Kyle Filippowski, you know, he is technically labeled as a center, I think. He's not. He's not a center at all. He's a four. He's a seven-foot-four man and, you know, I've heard a number of coaches, assistant coaches who have watched him, who have seen him in person.
Obviously, out in Portland a lot, got an opportunity to do so for the first time. NBA scouts. Like, he is, you know, one of the biggest mismatches in college basketball right now because when you take Duke's centers, and it's... Be it Derek Lively, who I think is starting to come on, be it Ryan Young, who's one of the best offensive rebounders in the country. Those guys are going to sort of handle more of the conventional interior duties.
Be it Lively in pick-and-roll situations or be it Young just as a post-up guy. What Filippowski does is when you bring that five-man out, you've basically got a seven-foot driver. And so he's drawing fouls right now to top 100 right nationally and, like, as he should be. Like, Duke should be playing through him because he's their best and biggest mismatch. So when Whitehead gets up to full strength, obviously I think they're going to incorporate more drives with him. And they're also going to be able to park Filippowski in the corner a little bit more and allow him to shoot. But I think that, you know, continuing to play inside, owning the offensive glass. Duke right now is, you know, the number two offensive rebounding team in the country. That's not going to change when these guys get back to full strength. Like, that is the formula for this team.
If you can add Tyrese Proctor as a shooter, if you can add Whitehead as a driver, great. But Duke is going to have to dominate the rim and dominate the glass on both sides of the ball this year. And if they don't, then they're going to lose. And if they do, they're going to win.
And that's sort of what we've seen play out through the first ten or so games of the season. Duke faces Iowa tomorrow in New York City. We'll have the game right here on WSJS. Brendan Marks, continue the great work.
And I'm sure I'll run into you at a game sometime soon. Yes, absolutely. Hope so, brother.
Take care. There he goes. Brendan Marks on Twitter. That's on Twitter at Brendan R Marks. Now what I promised on the ACC coaching portal. Scott Satterfield is no longer Louisville's coach.
How great is this? It's a rivalry from back when. Louisville getting set to play Cincinnati. Oh, this is going to be a great game. It's already juicy. Well, that matchup just got even more juicier at Fenway.
Here's what's great about the layout, too. They're going to share a sideline. Like they're going to be on the same side. There's going to be two benches on the same side. So Scott Satterfield can maybe coach both teams on the same sideline.
I don't know. See how we can figure that one out. And frankly, Scott Satterfield understandably grabbed the escape latch today.
I think it was understandable. Some say, oh, he was always trying to get out of town because two years ago he interviewed at South Carolina. But South Carolina is a better job in the SEC than Louisville is. Louisville fans won't want to hear that, but look what your administration's been over the last few years. It's bad.
It's been a disaster. How about we just go last 12 months? On the same day you lose your AD and university president that hired you, Scott Satterfield? Yeah, I'd be looking out.
I'd be looking to get out, too. They didn't hire the AD until July. And they didn't hire the new university president until last week. So he's gone a year without people to answer to during a time where things are so all over the place with NIL and what you might be able to do. Synergy is a word you hear.
Alignment is a word you hear. There's none of that at Louisville. And he wasn't offered an extension after they lost to Kentucky.
It's been a rollercoaster season. Started 2-3, lost to Boston College. That's a pretty bad loss to have if you're Scott Satterfield. Boston College?
Important year. And then you win, what, four in a row? Beat Wake Forest win their top ten in the country? Beat them badly? You lose two of your last three, including to your rival, and you got a new boss? He's not giving you an extension?
Yeah, it's good to look elsewhere. And he did. And Louisville's going to be fine. It's obvious who they're going to hire. This was Jeff Brom just this morning talking about the Louisville opportunity.
Purdue's head coach. Well, to be quite honest with you, I know no more than you guys do. And I was in some meetings this morning and got some text about Twitter. So I found out on Twitter what was going on in the college world. But other than that, you know, I know no more information.
Yeah, awkward situation. Note what he didn't say. Oh, yeah, I'm not going to take that job and I'm going to remain at Purdue. He almost took the job last time. He went to Louisville. He coached at Louisville for a handful of years. Jeff Brom, if I had to guess, he's going to be the next coach with the Cardinals. And that's the way that Louisville fans wanted it when they hired Scott Satterfield anyway.
You're on the drive with Josh Graham, WSJS. This is when it falls apart for USC. What does the Pac-12 do?
Pees down their leg at the last second every time they have a chance to make the play. They have forced 24 turnovers this year and have only turned it over four times. Utah seems like the team that could really mess that up. Given the way K-State runs the ball, I think they take it to TCU. Deuce bought in the clear. Can he make a bad miss?
And it's easy. Touchdown, Kansas State. K-State going to win the Big 12 championship in an upset. They're getting two and a half. I like K-State to win outright. Kansas State outlasts TCU and they're Big 12 champions for the first time in a decade. When things go poorly for me, I take it in the teeth and we do it in a public way.
Sarah McLaughlin, clown suits, you name it. But when things go well, we spike the football in your face. That's what we do. Well, in your face if you doubt me. Don't do that.
Trust the process. Because on the season, see we went 4-2 against the spread in our picks this weekend. Haven't had a losing week in about two months now. 52-44-1. Pretty good season.
Not done yet. Still got some NFL regular season, NFL playoffs, and bowl season. But only one losing season since we did this in our first year. This is our fifth football season. So we got a pretty good track record now.
And the Graham Crackers, this quartet of listeners who are devoted to this show. They invited me to be a part of a football pool with them. Where I just give them my picks to college football games throughout the year. And we did it for championship games. And there are 10 games from over the weekend. And I believe outright I was 10-0, 9-1 against the spread. So, we've been on fire of late. Now, after I say all of that, where things have been going well.
Let me give some opinions that you're bound to hate and critically acclaimed. Our top 10 list that we've got for ACC basketball after we just watched some conference games from over the weekend. We don't do all 15 teams.
No. If you want to see those rankings, I'll have them up on social media later at Josh Graham Radio. We just do the top 10 in this segment for time purposes, for brevity.
So how about you get to the point then, Graham? Okay. Number 10. NC State is the number 10 team. They lost to Pittsburgh at home on Friday night. Still sit at 7-2 though.
No. 55 in the net rankings that dropped today. Not bad for the pack. Good wins against Dayton and Butler in the Bahamas at the battle for Atlantis. Now, they need to close out their route of conference strong. Obviously, you can't lose to Coppin State tomorrow. Beating Furman, beating Jerry Stackhouse in Vanderbilt. Got to take care of business in those games to make that out of conference schedule look a little bit better. This looks like a team bound for the bubble.
No. 9. Team that beat NC State in Raleigh, Pittsburgh. Nice start for Jeff Caple, or at least a really nice week. Won by 30 on the road against Chris Collins in Northwestern and then blitzed NC State in the second half. Won both those games on the road. Pittsburgh right now. They're at 5-3. And they also could use a win against Vandy and Jerry Stackhouse. That's going to be a game played in Nashville. If Pitt gets that, just a sneaky team in the ACC and an important year for Coach Caple. No.
8. North Carolina Tar Heels. They're 5-4.
Games have to mean something, right? Oh, Josh, but in the net, they're 39th. There are not seven teams better than North Carolina. And from a talent perspective, obviously you're right. But are all five teams, or make it four teams in the college football playoff, better than Alabama? From a talent perspective, talking about football?
No. Alabama would be favored against a couple of the teams in that playoff. But the games have to mean something. And in the five wins, Carolina hasn't even looked great. Just one of them, they looked like the number one team in the country, and that was the James Madison game. They're 5-4. Now, will they stay at that spot? I'd venture to say no.
But they have to prove it eventually. And you've got non-conference games where you can do that. Ohio State and Michigan. But until I see that, I can't rate North Carolina over some of these teams that look a little more polished. No.
7. Wake Forest. Wake? They just looked worn out in the second half against Clemson. They were in Little John Coliseum.
Yeah! Right after they played Tuesday night at Wisconsin, 9 o'clock tip, got back at 3 in the morning on Wednesday morning. The next day, they're on a bus to go back on the road to Clemson.
It looked it. And even with the loss, they're a 7-2 basketball team. Probably should be 8-1. They've got LSU coming up in Atlanta.
Rutgers is a road game in Piscataway. They're 30th in the net. That's a really big opportunity for Wake Forest. They got that road win in Wisconsin, of course.
So the Deacs, even though they're 83rd or 86th in these net rankings, they have great opportunity to climb. No. 6. Clemson. Wake head-to-head. Now they're 7-2.
Also, they won their ACC Big Ten Challenge game in multiple overtimes against Penn State. P.J. Hall, he's back. And he looks like a first-team all-ACC player. Hitting threes now. Boy, he is a load. Apparently a great kid, too. Very coachable.
Easy guy to root for. Clemson at No. 6. No.
5. I have Notre Dame here. We saw the highs and lows of the Irish last week. We were waiting for Notre Dame to get an impressive win.
What did they do? They beat Michigan State and handled them. Beat a ranked Michigan State team and it wasn't even all that close. Then their next time out, they're at home against Syracuse and they lose to a 3-4 Orange team.
We've seen the highs and lows. They're 6-2. They know who they are.
These are older players. I'm confident that Notre Dame is a team that's going to still make the NCAA tournament. They don't have the greatest resume, but that Michigan State win is probably going to carry them a great deal. Notre Dame at 5. No.
4. The Miami Hurricanes. They're 8-1. They beat Rutgers, who again, pretty high up in the net right now. They went to Louisville, who is not high up in the net right now.
361 out of 363. But took care of a team the way you're supposed to, even on the road. They beat them by 27 points yesterday in the Yum Center. Miami's only loss was to Maryland. Maryland's ranked in the top 15 right now. So an 8-1 Miami team probably should be ranked in the top 25.
But they are among the top vote getters of those who are not ranked currently. No. 3. I've got Duke here. The Devils. They beat Boston College on Saturday. Lee, anything stand out to you from this game?
You were there. Martin Mitchell. He was shooting the ball really well from the corner.
It takes him a million years for the ball to come out of his hand. It does. It looks like he's loading up like a cannon. Yeah. Loading up one of those, what do they call those, that you put a rock in? Slingshot? Yeah. Well, yeah, one of the bigger ones that you... Catapult.
Yeah. He's loading a catapult when he's putting up those three-point shots. But he is easily my favorite player on Duke. He and Ryan Young, who looks like he's about to school some lawyers in a pickup league five years from now. Lively threw some good ones down, too.
Oh, yeah. Very explosive. That guy is going to be playing in the league. Duke, they're fine playing big. We'll see if they develop into something else, if Proctor starts knocking down shots consistently Tariq Whitehead continues to get his legs beneath him. But this is one of the three best teams in the ACC.
Number two. Got Virginia Tech over Duke right now. Obviously Duke's upside and their ceilings higher, but they're 8-1 and they're humming. Their only losses to College of Charleston by a couple of points on the road in a true road environment.
They don't have a lot to figure out. That's why Brendan Marks was right when he joined us a short while ago, and he was there yesterday. Virginia Tech didn't even play its best game yesterday. But they've got Duke. If it's Sean Padula's night to carry Virginia Tech, he can. If it's Hunter Couture, I didn't know Hunter Couture had that in him, the dunk that he had to open scoring yesterday.
Dear Lord. And then Justin Mutts. He's back and he's dropping 27. This is a really, really good hockey basketball team. Number one. Syracuse. No, Virginia is the number one team.
They're number nine in the net, which astounds me. 7-0 team. Part of me really wants, I don't know if Texas plays this week. This is why I was rooting for Creighton to knock off Texas last week. We need Texas to lose sometime in the next week, so not this Saturday, but next Saturday. We get number one Houston at number two Virginia inside JPJ on December 17th.
That's something that I would really like to see happen. That's been critically acclaimed for this week. Been looking forward to this conversation with Andrea Adelson of ESPN today because everywhere I've seen the day, Andrea, it's negative. It's a negative tone about what's happening in college football. It's weird to say, oh, it's NIL with the transfer portal because this isn't really NIL. NIL is about marketing.
It's about commercials. It's, you know, pay for play under the guise of NIL that's leading to all these guys going into the portal and compensation packages from collectives and company. And every coach I've talked to, and it seems like everybody who's had an opinion on this says it's bad for college football. But if I'm to play devil's advocate on this today, I feel like that this is just not all that much changes in terms of the power structure of college football because of NIL. The same teams that succeeded with the last structure is going to succeed with this as well. And it just seems like to me more of the money from boosters is going to go towards collectives rather than smoothie bars or bowling alleys at Alabama's football facilities. And that's just what this is going to become.
But I'll put it to you. How bad is it today that you got, say, six of the quarterbacks who started the season on ACC teams entering the transfer portal? And I would say don't you think all six of those players should have entered the transfer portal, quite honestly?
I have no qualms about any of these guys getting in the portal if they're looking for a better opportunity for themselves because from the beginning of time, coaches have looked for better opportunities for themselves. And that has just been accepted. But now when players have this opportunity, the world's about to fall apart.
And so to me, that is a complete double standard that we are operating under. And players should be allowed to move teams within the rules. And yeah, there's an NIL component to this, but guess what? Players have been paid before NIL, weren't they, Josh? No, no. I know.
It's crazy for me to even say that out loud. But the fact is that, yeah, the NIL is a part of this. Having a portal where players can now go in and play immediately is a part of this. But college football, college football coaches, college football teams have found ways to adapt with different rules over time. And I do agree with your larger point, though.
I don't necessarily see the power structure changing because NIL and the transfer portal exist right now. The teams that have the most money with their collectives are the same teams that were paying players in different ways over the years. Allegedly. Right? Allegedly. I'm sorry. Allegedly.
Allegedly. So I don't really think that anything's going to change because quite honestly, players are just getting now a tiny bit of an opportunity. I'm still calling it tiny when you consider how much money schools are getting from their television contracts and in various other ways. You know, whatever percentage a player is making off of, NIL continues to pale in comparison to what a coach and athletic department make on an annual basis.
So good for them. It's about time they have these opportunities to be able to cash in because college football has made money off their backs for far too long. Two quick hitters, two coaches I want to ask you about briefly, starting with the one in the ACC that is no longer in the ACC, Scott Satterfield becoming Cincinnati's coach.
Yes. Well, I think it was only slightly surprising to see that news this morning because we thought that he had saved his job this season to return to Louisville after he started the year on the hot seat. But obviously, since he flirted with South Carolina several years ago, the fan base has never really been warm and fuzzy around him and he would have no doubt entered next season on the hot seat, even though he saved his job this year. So when you look at the decision that he made, I think it's a win-win for both parties, right? I mean, Louisville's fan base has been itching for somebody else, cough, cough, Jeff Brom. And now he has an opportunity to kind of free himself of that and start fresh at a program that has had a lot of success, that's making its transition to the Big 12, and that's going to have opportunities to continue the program growth.
So I don't really see this as a net loss for Louisville, especially if they're able to go out and get Jeff Brom and bring him home. Andrea Adelson with us from ESPN on Twitter at aadelsonesbn. What most interests you about the Deion Sanders experience in Boulder?
Well, I wrote about this. We had a little roundtable discussion about why Colorado was out. Think about how much they have gotten in the way of headlines, name recognition, and publicity over the last four days compared to what they have gotten over the last, let's just say, four years. You can't really put a number on it, because how many people are now talking about Colorado, which has been one of the worst programs in the Pac-12 in recent history, but does have a winning tradition, a winning path? And so now you bring in a coach that gives you instant credibility on the recruiting trail, because he has that name recognition.
And you bring in somebody who is going to get people to talk about your program. To me, I understand why their athletic director went out and did this. And when you look at the results on the field at Jackson State, Deion has put together a winner there in a short period of time. And it's not as if Colorado was the only school that was reaching out and talking to him. So the other part about this, too, that Deion mentioned during his press conference is, Colorado has been the best program in the entire country when it comes to hiring minority coaches. He's their third black head coach in a row.
And no other program, at least on the Power Five level, can say that. And so he saw this as an opportunity to continue to help elevate minority coaches, which continues to be a topic that we've all talked about. Coach doesn't hire this cycle. And so I just think if you're looking at it from his perspective, he has an opportunity to bring a program back to the types of success that they had. He has an opportunity to bring attention to the plight of minority coaches who are looking for opportunities.
And obviously, Colorado has a chance to get some much needed publicity and find a way in a reconfigured Pac-12 to potentially get themselves in a position to be far more competitive than they have been. Andrea Adelson with us here. You and I sat and listened to Dabo Swinney in the postgame press conference after their ACC championship on Saturday. And all I could think about with Cade Klubnick sitting next to him was the last time I saw Dabo face to face, which was in Winston-Salem. And he walked into that postgame press conference wielding a flamethrower at your colleague, David Hale, and all the other reporters that may or may not have criticized DJ Uwe Unga the Lay for having a subpar year last year.
In fact, I think we have that sound right now. This was Dabo. We'll play this and then react to it knowing what we know now. This was Dabo after the overtime win against Wake Forest back in September. After four games, if you don't recognize this kid's special ability, then you're blind.
And you just want something else to write about. This kid's special. So hopefully everybody can tear up all them articles that you've written, you know, or take some ownership for him at this point because this kid deserves it. He's a winner. He is the unquestioned leader on this team. And I would never as the head coach, you know, stand up for something like that if I didn't see it every day. Now, to be fair, the Georgia Tech game happened. We saw Cade Klubnick come in and he looked pretty good. But DJ had that game in hand. He was going to continue to be the starter. We get that. The Wake Forest game he played well enough that when Cade came in against Syracuse, we understood you go back to DJ. That's fine. Then the Notre Dame game happens and he still decides to go back to DJ, which in retrospect to me, Andrea, seems like something that Dabo himself should take ownership for, considering what we now know was at stake with the poor South Carolina performance he had, eight of twenty nine, what that might have meant for Clemson if Cade played and Clemson won that game.
How how bad is it? How far are you willing to go in saying Dabo needs to own up to not making this change until the ACC championship? Well, I think he needs to own up to the fact that he mismanaged the situation the entire season and it cost Clemson a spot in the playoffs. I think it's that simple because when you started to listen to him in the postgame press conference after the ACC championship game, there was a lot of mental gymnastics going on with some of the explanations he was trying to provide. He was defensive.
Yes. I mean, he did point to the Notre Dame game as a game where they, quote, thought maybe Cade would have an opportunity to, quote, take the job. And it didn't happen yet. So maybe he'd be ready for Notre Dame. Then why wasn't he ready for South Carolina? And then why was your plan to start him on the or to play him on the third series in the ACC championship game no matter what D.J.
did? If he was ready, shouldn't he have started the ACC championship game? So was he ready or was he not ready? Was he unable to seize it?
Was he able to seize it? I don't know. I don't understand why they kept going back and forth on this all season long. It is apparent now that they were waiting for Cade to take this stuff through practice for them to get some sort of clear message, clear sign that, OK, we're ready to go with Cade now. If that's the case, why are you out there in the media blasting everybody for reporting on what was clear when you watched D.J. play?
D.J. had more receptions than touchdowns a year ago. Are we supposed to praise him for that? Is that supposed to be something where we should not be critical? Right? That's what I don't understand about him ripping on the media.
Nobody was mean, negative, unnecessarily nasty. We just said there are questions about D.J. And what is this going to look like moving forward?
And everybody who wrote that ended up being validated based on what we saw, not only against South Carolina, but in the ACC championship game. And now, Davos all excited because the future looks bright. Well, I mean, what happened to D.J. being the future of your program? Suddenly now, we're OK with Cade being the future of the program? Every single week, after every game, you're defending D.J.?
So, I don't quite understand why he took the approach that he did, headed into this season, when now, in hindsight, it seems fairly clear that this is ultimately the outcome that everybody there wanted. And now, Clemson will play Tennessee in the Orange Bowl, whose new sponsor, it's actually breaking news in the last 15, 20 minutes, is Shane Beamer. It's not the Capital One Orange Bowl anymore, it's the Orange Bowl presented by Shane Beamer, who sent Tennessee and Clemson to this game, rather than into the college football playoff.
You can use that. Andrea Adelson is here from ESPN. Just got to know on the way out, you know, the World Cup is going on during football season, when I know you're really busy. Argentina, with Lionel Messi scoring on Saturday, got through. Brazil, I'm sure you were keeping an eye on them.
They were winners today. But actually, you tell me how dialed in you've been on the World Cup. So, Argentina is where my mother and father are from. So, I am always dialed into the World Cup because, as a child, that's just what we did. We always watched the World Cup. And I'll never forget, I can't remember if I've said this on the show before, in 86, when Argentina won the World Cup with Diego Maradona having this watch party at my house, my grandfather, who's no longer with us, but was the biggest sports fan. I mean, probably bigger than my dad, who's the biggest sports fan, wrapped in this giant Argentina flag in front of our television set, living and dying with every single play in that game. And the way that he cried, and everybody was so excited when Argentina won that. We're trying to recreate those moments, Josh. And I'm just hoping now, with Messi in his last World Cup, that Argentina is able to win it, and that Messi is able to put this cherry on top of what has already been the greatest career for any soccer player who has ever lived.
I hope that he gets it. And so, yes, I have been dialed in. I brought my Argentina jersey with me on Saturday, watching in my hotel room. I watched USA. I watched Team USA in the morning with Cam Gorby, who works at Miami. We went out to a pub, and we watched USA at 10 a.m. And then I watched Argentina at 2.
And the text messages with my family, yeah, they kept me going. So, yes, I'm very dialed in. And Friday at 2 o'clock, I will be in front of the television saying, vamos Argentina. If they win the World Cup, I need to see you in play or see you on ACCPM wrapped in the Argentina flag.
We'll see if that happens. But Andrea Adelson, you're the best. It was good to see you Saturday. And thanks for making the time, as always. It was great to see you, too, Josh. Take care.
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