This is the Rich Eisen Show.
Goats have home lives too. Live from the Rich Eisen Show Studio in Los Angeles. Rich Eisen. Hello Rich Eisen. Rich Eisen. Oh that's Susie Eisen's husband. The Rich Eisen Show. And now, sitting at for Rich, here's Brian Weber. Rolling into our number two of the program. Great to have you with us.
Hope you're having a wonderful start to your Thanksgiving. The phone number is 1-844-204-rich. 1-844-204-7424. In all candor, I don't take a ton of phone calls whenever I'm lucky enough to sit in for one of the most talented folks in our business because this is such a great platform and a magnificent opportunity. I'm not saying I don't need your phone calls.
It's not a heel turn. I'm better than you. I'm just being up front with you. I want to chime in.
Twitter is your best option. That's B.W. Weber.
Weber with two B's. Going to follow the same blueprint as we use for that provocative first hour of the program. Ton of NFL.
A lot more college to get to. Coming up in 40 minutes, we'll bring in our first guest. Talking more college football in addition to what I just addressed. When we say hello to Matt Fortuna. He'll take us on campus.
He does a phenomenal job for the athletic. Final hour of the program. Coming up at 2.40 Eastern Time. NFL conversation with my good friend, Nick Ferguson, who is a media personality in Denver where he played for the Broncos. The former NFL safety will help me get you fully lined up for the games coming up later today. In the nightcap, it's Minnesota and New England straight ahead.
New York football giants and the Cowboys. I will jump into that matchup in a couple moments. In 20 minutes, I'm going to talk about some soccer.
I'm going to do it in a accessible way. Although, as I love to read my resume as the fill-in guy, I've called college soccer now for nine years. So when you're flipping around, when you get to Pac-12 Network, if you can find it, I'm the loud guy working by himself really selling those Arizona Wildcat goals. But I love the beautiful game. I'm not crazy soccer fan trying to tell you what to watch. But even if I knew nothing about soccer, I would be aware it's Team USA and the UK tomorrow.
So I'm not going to get into the particulars of the matchup, but I want to have a general conversation about what's going on so far in the World Cup. Why this event is being played in the fall. Why it's in Qatar. Although 10 years ago, weren't we told it's Qatar? I realize it's an Arabic country. It's an English conversation.
And there's no hard Q or K sound. But we're going with Qatar. At least that's what the announcers on Fox are doing. Although, you know where it's at.
You've got to find Andreas Cantor if you're a real soccer fan. That's coming up in 20 minutes with the update from Detroit. Lions are playing much better football.
Now the pushback would be they could not be worse than they were, especially on defense to start the year. But the Lions have won three straight coming into this matchup against the 7-3 Bills. Detroit keeps it going to start the game.
We never talk fantasy football because nobody cares about your fantasy football team. But even I know Jamal Williams has been a touchdown machine. Had the three scores last week in the win over the Giants. Another rushing touchdown to start the scoring.
And this one with the Lions in front of the Bills. 7-0 two minutes to go in the first quarter. I'll keep you posted.
And a reminder, I want you to stay with me every step of the way. But later on when I'm done, if you're looking for the NFL coverage, you can listen to me. Listen to the NFL in the NFL app, on the Odyssey app, on westwoodonesports.com, via Westwood One Station streams, or by asking Alexa to open Westwood One Sports, sponsored by AutoZone. What makes AutoZone's America's number one battery destination because they offer free battery testing and charging and reliable replacement batteries.
And they've always got your battery solution. Get in the zone. AutoZone. So you're caught up on what's happening in Motown. Let's turn our attention to the game in Jerry's World. And I have been burned, not as a Cowboy fan, at an update from Detroit, touchdown Buffalo, Allen to McKenzie, Isaiah on the business end of that throw 19 yards, point after pending it's going to be Lions and Bills tied at 7. I'm not a Cowboy basher, nor am I a Cowboy hunk. I try to have a degree of objectivity.
And since I'm on team content, I'm looking for things to talk about. Cowboys are the gift that keep on giving. However you perceive Jerry Jones, he's a salesman. He understands the show in show business.
Now that's to the detriment of the team when he medals in personnel matters because he also thinks he's a football man. And I know he played on that Arkansas national championship team a million years ago with Jimmy Johnson, but he's got no business being in the war room, as has been borne out by the Cowboys' utter lack of success, especially in the postseason since they won those Super Bowls with the triplets. Still, with the degree of objectivity, there is a lot to like about this year's edition of the Cowboys. Understanding the coach and Mike McCarthy, who treats every day apparently like it's Thanksgiving, Mike likes his stuffing and would seem, Mike is going to make a decision or two to burn this team in a high leverage situation when they get to the playoffs. Because we saw it last year.
I still can't believe that play call. Even I, from the couch, and we're undefeated from the living room, right? But I'm looking at the clock saying, wait a minute, you're going to run, Dak, what do you know? But that's why we love sports. So I'm not crowning anybody, nor should I because I have the microphone exactly where I want it right now.
And if I even move my head a little bit, turn my head and cough, the whole thing will come crashing down. But since I've given you the end of the Dallas story, let's continue on the road forward because this defense will beat you up. I don't buy the Micah Parsons, Lawrence Taylor comp because no one is Lawrence Taylor. Still, within the framework of the modern NFL, who flies around more defensively than Micah Parsons?
Mark Lawrence is an absolute ferocious defender as well. Dallas leads the league in sacks. Giants dealing with a ton of injuries on the offensive line. But if you're a Giants fan, here's where you have to be optimistic.
This team is already ahead of schedule. And Brian Dabel should be the leading contender for coach of the year in the NFC, unless you want to go with what's happening in Minnesota and Kevin O'Connell and Mike McDaniel doing a phenomenal job in Miami. The fact that the Giants have been so ridiculously, grossly inept over the last handful of years. The fact that they've had this kind of start is really a reflection of how Brian Dabel has been able to change the culture from the outset. I kept hearing in the offseason that, well remember, Dabel was a huge part of the evolution of Josh Allen. People forget just how wildly inaccurate Josh Allen was coming out of Wyoming where he could throw the football over a mountain like Uncle Rico, but had a lousy completion percentage. It's a credit to the hard work of Allen that he has gotten far more precise on that level. You rarely see the college to the NFL transition involve a major step forward with completion percentage.
Allen is the exception. It's a reflection of his commitment and the good coaching from Dabel. Dabel is doing all he can to mask the massive limitations of Daniel Jones. Giants have a decision to make also. You may recall that they elected not to pick up the rookie option, so Jones will be a free agent when we get to the offseason. There are different things they can do.
They can use a transition tag if they want to keep them. I'll wait until we get to the offseason when Rich takes off Memorial Day and I'm talking about, well, we're only six weeks away from the start of training camps, but the Giants problem today is Daniel Jones, because he has some mobility, and I give him credit, he hangs in the pocket, he wants to extend plays, could get annihilated today by the Cowboys ferocious front seven. Bears repeating, Dallas leads the NFL in sacks. Problem for the Cowboys is they're atrocious against the run.
In fact, I looked up this morning just to make sure that my mindset was accurate, number 26 in the league against the run. So this is as straightforward a matchup as you could ever come up with. The power of Saquon Barkley, who could not get much going against the Lions, and remember the Lions had one of the worst defenses we've ever seen to start the year, but let's say that could have been an anomaly. Saquon versus the Dallas run defense, the issue for the Giants is their offensive line has been battered by injuries. So this feels like an elimination game for the Giants. It's not must win on Thanksgiving, but there's a chance they could get throttled by the Cowboys today. And as the Giants now have the regression to the mean, if they fall to seven and four, maybe we're talking about them and that wildcard possibility with the extra wildcard in recent years. I don't think the Giants are a viable contender to make an impact in the postseason, but the fact that they're even in the conversation is a reflection of how far they've come. I'm Brian Weber, in for Rich Eisen.
The phone number is 1-844-204-RICH, 1-844-204-7424. Hit me up on Twitter, BWWeber, Weber with two B's in 30 minutes. We'll bring in our first guest, talking college football with Matt Fortuna of The Athletic. So based on how I see things playing out today, Dallas is in line to win handily. However, did you think they were going to blow that 14-point lead? Not the fact that Dallas gagged away the lead, but they were going to do it to a Packer team that had been anemic.
Didn't see that coming. Did you think Dallas then would rebound to absolutely crush Minnesota last week? Well, I don't do a gambling show yet because I haven't been compensated for it, but even I paid attention to the fact Dallas was favored in that game. Dallas, a road favorite against the Minnesota team that was 8-1, and the nugget that popped up last week, the only other 8-1 teams in modern history, the folks who track gambling metrics, only other 8-1 teams that had been underdogs, both, there were only two of them, started backup quarterbacks. Minnesota would have had a better chance if they had gone to the bench as they did in the fourth quarter, hello Nick Mullins, because Kirk Cousins was a disaster. So I'm not going to hang an asterisk on the Dallas win. They shined in every phase of the game. But I can't give them that much credit because I have questions about Minnesota, and I'll give you all those details.
We're talking Minnesota, New England to start the final hour of the program. In terms of the hearing now for Dallas, I believe in the defense. I believe in Dak Prescott to a degree.
I don't think he's as good as his supporters believe. There's a reason why he was a later round pick, in part because he had the DUI arrest, although in fairness he was acquitted of the charge, but that was a red flag during the path to the draft. Dak is a frontline starter in this league. Not going to slot him.
You pick the number. He's a high end, not on that top tier, but a high end of the next bunch. But if you're in the top 8, 12, 14 quarterbacks in this league, you are legit because there's so much abysmal play under center. I have no issues with Dak. I'm a big Tony Pollard supporter. Now I understand he can't be at every down back, but if we're just thinking about versatility and yards from scrimmage and making defenses pay in a variety of ways, who's been more impactful than Pollard? Now, if we're talking about somebody who has not lived up to the contract, and that's not the case for Dak, it's Ezekiel Elliott. But that comes down to Jared Jones not knowing how to run his business because nobody should pay a running back in the modern NFL, especially one with all the wear and tear that Zeke had early in his career. But Dallas able to survive in advance when he was not there. I'm not saying the offense runs better without Zeke, but it certainly has more freedom and more latitude because when Zeke is available, there's pressure, I think, internally. And you can hear Jared saying, well, you got to feed Zeke, right?
He's got to get his touches and that just alters game flow. But I believe in Dallas to a degree. And I was here around this time of the year filling in for Rich during the holidays last year.
And I think I had a similar song to sing and then it all came crashing down in the postseason. And I think that's where we're headed again this year because I just don't believe in Mike McCarthy. He flat out sold Jerry a bill of goods about, yeah, I built this huge analytics lab in my barn next to my nacho machine. Mike McCarthy is not doing a supercomputer analysis prior to games.
Now, maybe they have number crunchers. Mike is not in there playing 12-dimensional chess. Clock management has been a thing he has butchered throughout his career, and I just don't trust him in a big situation. But as we look around the rest of the NFC, here are your current division winners. Tampa Bay at 5-5 because somebody's got to win the wretched NFC South. That means the Cowboys would potentially have a shot at going on the road to take on Tom Brady in the playoffs. Because remember, Tampa Bay will host a playoff game as division champs. San Francisco's the team we should all be talking much more about. And I understand all of the limitations of Jimmy Garoppolo. I get it. Obviously, we don't have to be critical of Garoppolo.
The people that matter far more than us made it clear by trading up to use a first-round pick to get Trey Lance that they did not believe in Garoppolo when they would not let Garoppolo into the offensive meetings this summer when they decided to go with Trey Lance. Hey Jimmy, all good. Enjoy your summer. We'll figure it out. If we get something in return for you, we'll trade you. Otherwise, hit the bricks, pal.
You'll be released. That's not me being facetious. That's effectively what John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan said. And then Lance gets hurt and everything changes. Garoppolo, if you watched him on Monday night, I know the numbers tell one story that he's quasi-efficient. And obviously having Christian McCaffrey changes everything. The eyeball test, while it can be a bailout just to defend what you believe to be true, when you watch Garoppolo, he just misses wide open receivers.
Beyond all the injuries he's had historically, to his credit, he's been upright this year. But there are reasons why the 49ers were ready to move on from Garoppolo, namely the Super Bowl against Kansas City when he had a wide open shot at a touchdown and couldn't connect. Or, go back to the NFC title game, that interception to seal the loss to the Rams, haven't even mentioned the reigning champs were an hour and 16 minutes into the program because they don't merit any analysis nor acknowledgement. It is absolutely embarrassing what has happened to the LA Rams. Now, I was never a Matthew Stafford believer.
And when he won last year, I gave him a degree of credit, but he had a lot of assistance. And remember, the Rams also got to the Super Bowl with Jared Freakin' Goff. So let's not put Stafford in the Hall of Fame. We've seen him regress in a huge way this year.
In fact, unfortunately, he just can't stay healthy. He's already been ruled out for the game coming up this weekend at Kansas City, which will knock when the Rams lose. The LA's record down to 3-8 being their fifth straight loss coming off a Super Bowl win because they're going with a fellow that you don't know much about, nor do I, and Bryce Perkins as the quarterback. But Garoppolo's pick in last year's NFC title game, to me, was an encapsulation of his career.
He can get you so far, not all the way. And he was on the cusp of going back to the Super Bowl. Still, this year, I think the Niners, to me, are the team to beat in the NFC. Understanding that Philadelphia at 9-1 has so much to appreciate.
I'm not bashing them in any way. I just think San Francisco with the combination of playmakers, playoff experience, and that defense is slightly better. Still, I'm not abandoning Dallas in any way. I believe in them. So, whether they can catch Philadelphia, and remember, they're only two games back in the loss column, or not, they'll be a playoff team if they have to settle for a wildcard, I just can see the situation happening.
I see dead people. In the football context, Dallas is dead man walking because when it matters the most, Mike McCarthy is going to come up small. I'm Ryan Weber in for Rich Isom. Coming up in 20 minutes, we'll talk college football, getting you set for the huge weekend across the country when we say hello to Matt Fortuna from The Athletic. Update from Detroit.
Nothing has changed. Bills and Lions tied at 7. Detroit with the first TD. Jamal Williams continues to light up the scoreboard. His 12th rushing touchdown of the year gave Detroit the 7-0 advantage.
And then Josh Allen hooked up with Isaiah McKenzie to tie the game. That's where they stand. 12 minutes to go in the first half.
I'll keep you posted. Up next, we're hitting the pitch. World Cup fever.
Catch it. Team USA against England tomorrow. Talk about that plus, does this fall event have the same appeal? Will you watch football during football season?
That's coming up. I'm Ryan Weber in for Rich. Hope you're having a great Thanksgiving. Thanks for spending part of it with us on the Rich Eisen Show.
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NetSuite.com slash RichPod. The World Tournament of Soccer happening in Qatar is finally here, and with all the weird kickoff times and all the other sports happening simultaneously, it can be kind of hard to keep up. So to make sure you're up to speed, be sure to listen to Qatar Kickaround for the daily wrap up of all the action from the tournament. From the group stage all the way to the final, Andy, Lars, and Peter are here for you with recaps and opinions of what happened that day in Qatar.
Everything can be found at TheKickaround.com, the Cumulus Podcast channel on YouTube, or wherever you listen. Brian Weber back with you, in for Rich. It's the Thanksgiving edition of the Rich Eisen Show. I would do my John Facenda voice, but I have a volleyball match tomorrow on television. I've got to rest the pipes. 1-8-4-4, 2-0-4, Rich.
That's the phone number. Hit me up on Twitter, B.W. Weber, Weber with two B's. Going to keep this block concise because coming up in 15 minutes we'll incorporate our first guest talking college football with Matt Fortuna of the Athletic. In the final hour we take you across the NFL with my good friend Nick Ferguson. The former NFL safety played for the Jets.
A lot to discuss with the M-E-S-S mess, mess, mess that is the Jets plus the Broncos and certainly drama. A quick update from Detroit. First of three games across the NFL today after the Lions jumped out to a rapid 7-0 lead on Jamal Williams' latest rushing touchdown. Josh Allen has countered passing touchdown to Isaiah McKenzie and Allen just ranted in.
He remains Buffalo's most reliable threat on the ground. Extra point good. It's the Bills on top of the Lions 14-7. 7 minutes left in the first half.
I'll keep you posted. I'm talking World Cup concisely. Better clock management than Mike McCarthy demonstrates as I reach over to pat myself on the back. And this is actually fairly shrewd.
Counter programming. Because if you are interested in the NFL there's a lot of ways you can be consuming that right now. I probably shouldn't even give you the score but I want to keep everybody involved.
When the world zigs there is a thought that you should zag. But it's not like this is some obscure friendly being played in Luxembourg. It's the World Cup after all. Now I could get sanctimonious and I love being that guy on the radio. Really getting into histrionics.
But it's a holiday I want to keep it light. Still is it not absurd that this wonderful spectacle of sport cared about by more people than anything else in all of sports? Countries that don't even give a thought to Super Bowl Sunday are immersed in everything happening in Qatar. Isn't it just ludicrous this is being played in the fall? Well the first step would be it's absurd it's being played in Qatar.
But if you know anything about international soccer and you can come up with your jokes about it being boring or it being the first team 2-1 is going to win. More reliable than that is if there's corruption to be had soccer will find a way to maximize the money involved for everybody. Bad actors are rewarded. In this case it's the royal family in Qatar with the billions of petro dollars they have to spend. So they bought this World Cup. It's documented. That's factual.
I don't have to worry about a lawsuit. I'm not opining here. That's why it's being played in a country it has no business being connected to. Beyond the obvious variables like the heat. They couldn't play it in the summer because it's 125 degrees in Qatar in July and August. It's still damn hot in the fall.
That's why a lot of these games are being played at night. Now I would point out that that 125 degree number I mentioned far too hot for spectators far too hot for the best soccer players in the world to be on the field in those conditions. Somehow thousands of migrant workers who were imported from the Philippines and Pakistan and Africa they were subjected to those oppressive conditions to build those stadiums that you're watching if you're paying attention. And they got effectively slave labor out of those folks. If you want to watch a terrific summary of just how horrendous the work conditions were and thousands of people died. Again, not hyperbole. Thousands. This is documented.
Died building these stadiums. Check out Brian Gumbel's terrific show on HBO Real Sports. They had a feature on it a few years ago.
They've updated it. So I have a hard time and I'm not just being the moralizing fill-in guy. I'm Brian Weber in for Rich Eisen.
It's the Thanksgiving edition of the Rich Eisen show. But I do have a brain and I do have a moral compass and just as I have an issue with live golf being used to sport wash the horrendous injustices pulled off by Saudi Arabia, I have a real issue with what Qatar is doing as well. But the pushback would be we choose to watch these games and perhaps some of you can compartmentalize and divorce yourself of the reality of what's going on in Qatar and enjoy the game itself.
So if that's the case, you do you. I'm not telling you what to think. I'm not telling you what to watch. If you're going to watch the US and the UK, and I'll be watching tomorrow, I'll be on the radio, but I'll be looking out of the corner of my eye. I'll be multitasking.
The United States just has to come up with more creativity. Again, I told you I'm not going to break down the game. I'm not going to take you inside the six. That's my podcast with B web.
Get it wherever you listen to podcasts these days. If you watched any of the American draw against Wales that won one stalemate, remember United States had to lead into the 82nd minute. Even I, as just a informed observer who enjoys calling soccer because I get to yell when there's a goal, even I could just discern not nearly enough was going on with trying to create scoring chances. A lot of that just comes down to ball movement. Now the counter is United States has a roster that was better than Wales.
Everybody on the Wales side conceded that they were thrilled with the result in a draw. In contrast, United States does not have anywhere near the overall talent they're going to face from England tomorrow. What does that mean? Probably more of a possession style in plain English. They're going to milk the clock and hang out to the ball and try to maximize the handful of opportunities they have. If you keep the ball away from England, presumably they can't score. Although the way the United States was playing in their own end, there were far too many giveaways in that game against Wales, a match if you will, the other day as well. So it's a wonderful time to be a soccer fan. Remember, the United States didn't even qualify for the last World Cup. So I'm not trying to bash the U.S. I believe in America, as a wise man once said in a film. But I'm also someone who pays attention to sports for a living. And it hit me driving to work today and I was going through my thought process for this program.
Still no change in Detroit with the Bills in front of the Lions 14-7, now four minutes to go in the first half. I'm old enough to remember my generation in the late 1970s, early 1980s, believed that soccer was going to take over the United States and become the number one sport. I saw Pele play, this is how old I am, the great Pele play on his farewell tour when he played for the New York Cosmos in the old NASL. I was one of 70,000 people playing the role of, I believe in soccer, as a kid at Giant Stadium, 1977. We believed then that soccer was just that close to becoming the dominant sport. Here we are in 2022. Now the difference is technology finally has allowed soccer fans, or even casual folks just looking for something to watch, to appreciate all of the brilliance of international soccer.
That's where it's at. And I'll just, as somebody who works unusual hours, I'll have soccer on in the background because no timeouts, it flows. I love the ambient sound of an international soccer crowd. As I mentioned, I'll watch Univision or Telemundo.
I love the Spanish announcers and their passion. But it is interesting to me, as somebody at the age of 8 who thought that, and I played soccer like everybody else did because we were going to change the world. We were sports revolutionaries. I figured by now, I'm 52 years old, shouldn't soccer be bigger than the United States? And I realize it's big. But if we're just going through the usual suspects, and if you want to use the overall scoreboard of money, as most people do, shouldn't the MLS be a bigger deal? And I know all the reasons why it's not. Because the best players are still playing in Europe and making a great living there. And we can watch all those games now.
I get it. But just from a standpoint, because there is the inherent jingoism on a big word edition of the program. The patriotic notion, Team USA brings up the conversation point of why soccer hasn't taken the next step yet.
I think it's coming. If you just want to look down the road, the NFL has a crisis of participation. Any parents who have any sensibility will not let their kids play football because they want their kids to retain their brain and the functionality of that brain. So demographically, football is going to have a crisis in 5 to 10 years. That's why the NFL is pushing hard.
Watch those promos. Hey, get out there and play flag football. Soccer is going to blow past the NFL at some point, but as somebody, again, I'm just reveling in my fandom in 1977. Maybe it's because it's a holiday, I'm getting nostalgic.
Feels like soccer should have done even more here in the States by now. Approaching the two-minute warning. First half in Detroit, the Bills in front of the Lions 14-7, but Detroit is knocking on the door. A second and three coming up at the Buffalo Nine. I'll keep you posted. Up next, we're talking college football.
Could Ohio State still get into the playoffs even if they lose to Michigan? Coming up this weekend at the Horseshoe, looking forward to our conversation with Matt Fortuna of The Athletic. I'm Brian Weber, having a great time with you.
Hope you're enjoying your Thanksgiving. I'm in for Rich Eisen. It's The Rich Eisen Show. Influencer.
It's a word that gets tossed around a lot these days. There is a woman who went the distance, who broke ground as the first true influencer by living a remarkable life. Her name, Elizabeth Taylor. I'm Katy Perry. This is the story of the original influencer. This is Elizabeth I. Brian Weber back with you.
We appreciate you spending part of your Thanksgiving with us. I'm in for Rich Eisen. Rich Eisen Show. 1-844-204 Rich.
1-844-204-7424. You can hit me up on Twitter. That's B.W. Weber. Weber with two B's coming up in less than 20 minutes. We'll start the final hour of the program heading back to the NFL, getting you set for the Patriots and the Vikings in the nightcap of today's triple header. Now let's talk college football because there is a ton to discuss. I'm pleased to be joined by Matt Fortuna.
He covers college football for The Athletic. Matt, thanks so much for taking the time on a holiday. How are you? Doing well, Brian.
How are you? I'm doing well and I really appreciate you being available because I'm sure you have family commitments and as mentioned, there is so much going on across college football. I want to start with coaching news. So let's just back up to the other night when Lane Kiffin was at his very best. You saw the pushback for the report that he was already on his way to Auburn and I loved everything that he did there because that's Lane Kiffin being Lane Kiffin.
So what did you make of the exchange and how do you see things playing out with that vacancy being filled on the planes? Yeah, Brian, I thought it was quintessential Lane Kiffin, right? Like it's really funny. He has an answer for everything.
He has fun with everything. But at the end of the day, what did we really learn from it? Just that maybe that particular report wasn't true. And by all accounts, he's spoken to his team and says he has not accepted any job elsewhere. And again, that's great, but your season ends after tonight.
And if you were to accept a job elsewhere, you probably wouldn't do it until your season ends. So I don't think we got anything in the way of clarity in regards to Lane Kiffin's future. I believe him to be Auburn's top target. If you're asking me to make a prediction here, I'd say it's more likely than not that he ends up as Auburn's head coach. But we're talking about Auburn football and Lane Kiffin, two of the most unpredictable entities from an institutional standpoint, from a coaching standpoint, maybe in the history of college football.
So you got to expect the unexpected when you've got these kinds of personalities involved. But to me, from a football standpoint, from a recruiting standpoint, I think it just makes too much sense for that not to happen. If it's not Lane, who are the other names that you believe are really being considered by Auburn? We've heard the name of Hugh Freeze repeatedly.
Yeah, Hugh Freeze, I think, would be choice number two, for lack of a better term. I think when you look at the way he can recruit, the way he's coached up offenses, even the way he's had liberty of winning, at least until the last two weeks, pretty big here after losing Malik Willis, his quarterback, to the draft, has been impressive. Say what you want about the guy, and there's a lot to say about him, but he's the end coach. And as much as anyone else knows how to beat Nick Saban, he beat him in back-to-back years when he was at Ole Miss. So I would put him front and center there if Lane Kiffin's not available. And the other one, and this one will probably have a way to play it out, Cadillac Williams, interim head coach, I don't think he's a front runner right now, but he's certainly passionate about the place, cares about the place, will work harder than anyone to restore the greatness of Auburn, and has left quite an impression in three weeks so far, going two and one with a close loss at Mississippi State.
If that were to happen, I don't think it would be a top choice, and I don't think it would happen before the weekend. I think you've got to at least see how he fares in his first Iron Bowl as a head coach. But hey, if they play Alabama close, I mean, I could think of a lot worse candidates than that guy to bring Auburn back. I'm Brian Weber, in for Rich Eisen, Thanksgiving edition of the Rich Eisen Show, talking college football with Matt Fortuna of The Athletic. Matt, there's always been buzz surrounding Deion Sanders, wherever he's gone, as a player, now a coach, and he's had success, as you know, at Jackson State. What do you make of his name coming up at Colorado? I work for the Pac-12 Network.
I'm based in Southern California. Their AD, Rick George, certainly has some unconventional approaches. I could see interest from CU's point of view.
How about Deion the Boulder? Yeah, you need to look at the state of that program right now, and the way they're playing this year. That's easily the worst Power Five program in the country. It's not one of the worst programs, period, around the country.
It's been an uphill climb there the last couple years. I would imagine Deion Sanders would have better options, if not this year, than in the short term, than to go to Colorado, because I just think that's a really hard job. We talked about Lane Kiffin.
He's in the state of Mississippi right now. If Lane Kiffin were to leave, or if Mike Leach were to retire, I think that would be a pretty simple call for either athletic director of those two SEC schools in state to go to Jackson State and get Deion Sanders. I thought early season, mid-season, when Seth Latrell's future looked shaky in North Texas, I thought that one made a lot of sense for Deion, just because Dallas area, he still has a place there. He obviously knows the area extremely well. I have my doubts about the guy. I think a lot of people have their doubts about the guy when he took over at Jackson State, but all the guys done is win and recruit well and say and do the right thing so far.
I think he's left quite an impression on a lot of very important decision makers at the Power Five level. I don't know if Colorado is ultimately the job for him, but I think he's going to get in the mix with some other openings here, probably this year, and maybe even land one. It's going to be fascinating to see how things play out of Colorado. I think Arizona State is a great opening as well. So many more dominoes to fall, plus Nebraska is still looking for a head coach.
Talking college football with Matt Fortuna of The Athletic. Matt, I love the current system with four teams because I find the debate about who's number five to be phenomenal. I understand when we go to 12, it's going to have more access for more teams, more money, but given the current setup, let's just go through some what-if scenarios. Do you buy the notion that if USC comes up with another quality win over ranked Notre Dame this weekend, then defeats probably Oregon, it looks like, in the Pac-12 title game? If USC runs the table, do you think they're definitely in the playoff? I think they will be. Look, the committee threw us for a loop this past Tuesday by ranking a 2-loss LCU team.
What did you make of that? I don't want to be a West Coast hunk, but I thought it was more SEC bias. You already established yourself as not a West Coast hunk because you said you like the four-team system, and I think everyone in the Pac-12 wants to go to 12 to actually have a chance to make this thing every year.
I'm in the storytelling business like you, and I think four is more interesting. I think 12 is more interesting because I think there will be more games we're paying attention to right now. Hey, since we're having a conversation, wouldn't we lose what we saw last week with the importance of those wild finishes with TCU and Michigan? Wouldn't what happened last Saturday be less resonant in a 12-team field?
If you look at it through that lens, yes. If you look at it through the lens of, oh my god, Navy just knocked UCF out of the New Year's 6 piece, or excuse me, New Year's 6, the basketball playoff piece. I think what you lose in terms of the consequences of Blue Bloods losing in the regular season, you gain through other games that get overlooked at this point of the year, becoming huge games that ultimately have national title implications. I think a team from the AAC is ultimately going to win it all.
I do not. I think we'll have the same kind of champions, small group of champions that we're always having. But I think the kind of egalitarian nature of an expanded playoff and the number of games that would take on greater meaning this late in the season, I think that would be good for the overall health of the sport. I would add, you know, with the idea of on-campus games, at least for the first round, you know, go back to week two, right? You saw Appalachian State beat Texas A&M, you saw Marshall beat Notre Dame, you saw Georgia Southern win at Nebraska. You know, none of those three teams are playoff contenders, so to speak, right now, but the idea of something like that happen at 12-5 offset on a power fives home field with a championship stakes at play, I think the idea of that in college football is awesome, and I think even with those early season upsets I just mentioned, those kind of games will become bigger talking points throughout the course of the year because you're comparing non-conference resumes when ultimately trying to determine who would get that group of five spot in the 12-team playoff. Yeah, I was surprised LSU was ranked ahead. I mean, look, LSU has Texas A&M who isn't that good at all, really, and has number one Georgia, probably undefeated Georgia, the SEC title game, and look, if LSU were to win out, and I think that's a big if, I don't think they're going to beat Georgia, they're going to get in. I think the SEC champion gets in whether they have five losses because that's the nature of the business, but yeah, they will have three wins over teams that were top ten at the time. Ole Miss was undefeated when they played them, Alabama was top ten, and obviously Georgia looks far away like the best team in the country right now. So in that regard, it makes me a little skeptical if I am USC because you need two teams in front of you to lose, and I think Georgia's getting in no matter what, so you take out the loser of the Michigan-Ohio State game, and then you've basically got to root for either TCU to lose or Georgia to win out and beat LSU. But look, I thought USC, as crazy as it sounds for a Blue Blood located in L.A., they've been kind of under the radar this year, and they've been really, really good. I think they've got the Heisman winner under center, Caleb Williams, they just beat a really good UCLA team last week, and look, they're basically a top-15 or a team, whoever they play in the Pac-12 title game is probably going to be in the top-15. You have three straight top-20 wins with your season on the line. I mean, that is a great finish, that's a great resume builder, and oh, by the way, this is just Lincoln Riley's first year there. Imagine how good they're going to be when he actually gets a chance to build this program up.
Hey, Matt, got about a minute left. If it comes down to one loss Clemson as the ACC champion versus two loss Alabama, how do you see it play out? I think that would be Clemson. I mean, I understand the kind of anxiety that would give ACC fans and all of the SEC bias that tends to be at play here, but the committee doesn't have a whole lot of rules to go off. The one hard and fast rule they do have is conference championships matter. That's essentially an equalizer tiebreaker, and when you're comparing resumes, you've got a one loss conference champion against a two loss non-conference champion. I think that ultimately goes Clemson way, and they're a dark horse in all of this.
As weak as they look against their name, if they went out and a few breaks go their way ahead of them, they could backdoor their way into this thing, as crazy as that sounds. Matt, I am a subscriber to The Athletic. I've enjoyed your work for years and really enjoyed our first conversation. Thanks so much for the analysis. Have a great holiday.
I do a lot of work between Christmas and January 1. I hope we can reconnect then. Always good to catch up with another New Yorker on the show of another New Yorker, so I appreciate it.
We run the world. Thank you, Matt. Have a great Thanksgiving. Thanks, Brian.
Happy Thanksgiving. Matt Fortuna, and he's right about the 12 team playoff, and it's a reality. I'm the old guy yelling at the clouds, but I think my argument had a degree of validity to it. Last week was amazing because of the parameters. Scarcity drives interest.
It's marketing 101. My man, you've got to get butts in seats. But we know where it's going, and I'll have to adjust moving forward. While we were having that terrific conversation, touchdown Lions. Jared Goff just threw a touchdown pass. Bills and Lions tied at 14. Less than a minute to go in the first half as Buffalo's trying to get in the field goal range. Great start to the triple header. For once, a watchable game in Detroit on Thanksgiving. This could be the best year ever.
Well, at least we have a watchable game in Detroit, which is rarely the case on Thanksgiving. We keep moving at a rapid pace. Still, I'll carve out time for interaction on Twitter. It's B.W. Weber, Weber with two B's. Just one more guest coming up in the final hour of the program. We'll take you across the NFL with Nick Ferguson, the former NFL safety play for the Jets and Broncos. A lot to discuss there. We're talking New England and Minnesota to kick off the final hour. Coming up, I'm Brian Weber in for Rich Eisen.
Thanksgiving edition of the Rich Eisen Show. To do with how much money you accumulated, but it wasn't about how to spend it. It was more about how to get it. But OK, so once you get it, what do you do with it? In our culture, everybody tells you how to save, but nobody teaches you how to spend it. Something you should know wherever you listen.
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