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Should College Football Playoff Remain At 4? (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
November 8, 2022 7:05 pm

Should College Football Playoff Remain At 4? (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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November 8, 2022 7:05 pm

Should the College Football Playoff expand to 12 teams or remain at 4? l Calls on College Football Playoff expansion l Marcus Freeman, Notre Dame head football coach 

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Throughout the 60s and 70s, cops hunted down key figures of the Dixie Mafia, including its enigmatic ringleader, Kirksey Nix. I'm interested in making money.

I'm not interested in hurting people. 15 years into Kirksey's life sentence, the Dixie Mafia was practically folklore, but that would soon change. I'm Jed Lipinski. This is Gone South, a documentary podcast from C13 Originals, a Cadence 13 studio. Season two, the Dixie Mafia, available now on the Odyssey app on C13 Originals on C13. 70s, cops hunted down key figures of the Dixie Mafia, including its enigmatic ringleader, Kirksey Nix. I'm interested in making money.

I'm not interested in hurting people. Fifteen years into Kirksey's life sentence, the Dixie Mafia was practically folklore, but that would soon change. I'm Jed Lipinski. This is Gone South, a documentary podcast from C-13 Originals, a Cadence 13 studio. Season 2, The Dixie Mafia, available now on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. I gotta start things off with the college football playoff, as we will have new rankings coming out at approximately 60 minutes from now. My expectations, personally, here's what I think should happen, and then here's what I'll give you what will happen. My should, Georgia 1, Michigan 2, Ohio State 3, TCU 4, Tennessee 5, Oregon 6. We won't bore you to death after 6. We'll just give you the top six teams. What I think will happen, though, is that it will be Georgia 1, Ohio State 2, Michigan 3, TCU 4, Tennessee 5, and then Oregon 6. So where I differentiate, and the committee was so disrespectful to Michigan last week when they put the Wolverines at 5 in Ohio State 2, I think Michigan's better than Ohio State right now, but I do believe that the committee will finally elevate Michigan into the top four this week.

They'll put them at three, and they'll put Ohio State still sitting it at number two. So I don't think there's gonna be a lot to be irate about tonight, but really, the bigger topic of conversation that I wanna delve into right out of the gate with the college football playoff is the question that we get into each and every year. Should the college football playoff expand? Now remember, there's a new wrinkle here, because the report in September was it's expected in 2026 that the college football playoff format's gonna extend to 12 teams. I've been against expansion of the college football playoff, and here's why.

And you saw it picture perfect reason why they should not expand this past weekend. The regular season in college football, there's nothing like it. Every single game matters, and there's only so many Saturdays that you're able to sit on your couch, you make pigs in the blanket, chicken wings, nachos. You place all your bets, and you watch college football all of Saturday from noon Eastern all the way through the last Pac-12 game that probably ends at midnight or sometimes a little bit after midnight.

And honestly, the day gets even started before that. If you get rid of your honey-do-list kind of activities, sometimes you're watching college game day, you see Corso with the headgear, you see Pat McAfee go wild, or if you flip over to Fox, you have Matt Leinert, Reggie Bush, and so on and so on. So I love the pure emotion and the pure importance week in and week out of the college football season. And my big fear is when you go to 12, that it lessens the importance of the regular season. And I don't believe there's ever been a year in the college football playoff where anyone has ever said, wow, we need to see the 15, the first team that was left out, they need to be in the college football playoff and be irate about it.

Or the six team really got screwed. I don't remember there being a year where I've had a legitimate problem with the four teams that they selected. And the greatness that we saw last weekend, Bama losing to LSU, Clemson getting destroyed by Notre Dame. The pressure week in and week out of TCU to stay undefeated in the big 12, the Pac-12, who's gonna emerge between the one lost group of teams with Oregon, with UCLA, and USC. Those are storylines that have so much significance, Michigan, Ohio State, they're both undefeated, they're heading to a clash of the game Thanksgiving weekend.

And if you go to 12 teams, and if you expand the college football playoff, that Ohio State Michigan game, it always means something, but the loser's still gonna find a way in. Alabama, I've seen enough of Alabama this year. They're not good, they're not the Alabama that we have usually thought Alabama to be. If there's a 12 team college football playoff, Alabama already has two losses to Tennessee and LSU. They also played like crap against Texas when Quinn Ewers, the Texas quarterback got hurt.

And they did not play well against Texas A&M, they probably should have lost the game if Jimbo Fisher had a damn clue how to call a play down by four points driving. But if you go to 12 teams, and that's inevitably gonna happen in 2026, if not sooner, but we know that the college football playoff committee moves like snails just covered in molasses, it does ruin the importance and gives you a lesser significance of the regular season that makes college football so great. And I don't wanna get in a spot where it's participation trophies, where a team has three losses, a team has two losses, and they get into a 12 team field. And that's why I love this 14 format so much, because we've never had a two loss team in the college football playoff. And this year, it is more wide open in years past, because you've had Clemson fall, you've had Alabama fall, Georgia's been the dominant team, you know they're gonna get in. You know the winner of the Big 10 championship game is going to get in. And whoever wins pretty much Michigan, Ohio State is what I'm saying. But after that, I'm really compelled to see can TCU run the table with Sonny Dykes and Max Duggan. I'm compelled to see who's gonna emerge out of the Pac-12. I would still anticipate that a one loss Tennessee team can get in, but I don't need to see more than that. And that's why today I asked this poll question, which college football playoff format would you prefer? Is it a 14 playoff or is it a 12 team playoff?

And I've already gotten the tweets. Because right now, everyone's screaming, well, what about six? What about eight?

That's not the discussion, folks. It's already going to happen in 2026, a 12 team playoff. So it's no more debating, should they go to six? Should they go to eight?

And I've said this for years. I'm against expansion, but if the college football playoffs were to expand, you would go to eight. And the way that I would structure it is the five power five conference champions get in, one group of five school, so like last year would have been your Cincinnati, you ended up getting it anyway. And then you have two wild card spots. Then you get more money available, and you could profit more off the sport. You could have an expanded field that would cater to everyone saying expand, expand, expand the college football playoff. But when you go to eight, it doesn't ruin the regular season in its entirety. Does it lessen the importance of some games? Yes, that's what happens when you expand. But a drastic jump to 12 is just too much.

And I know there's going to be a lot of people. I see the results in this poll question right now, 80.6% in the early returns of our poll question say they'd rather prefer a 12 team playoff than a 14 playoff. And that to me is mind boggling. That makes zero sense to me. Because why do you want to reward losing?

I don't get that. Why do we need to see Alabama in the college football playoff in a 12 team field when they've done nothing this regular season to impress you? Clemson plays in a weak ACC. They just got blown out by Notre Dame. Notre Dame who lost earlier in the year to Marshall. They lost to Stanford. And Notre Dame just embarrassed them. I don't need to see Clemson, one lost Clemson that probably will end up winning the ACC. They already clinched the spot in the ACC championship game. I need to see them in a 12 team college football playoff field.

That doesn't make sense to me. And I know people are going to tell me parody and you get more teams in. It's good for the sport. I don't think so because college football isn't broken.

And if it's not broken, you don't need to fix it. And I don't love the major league baseball that they add an extra playoff team. I don't love in the NFL that they've added an extra playoff team as well in both the AFC and the NFC. I thought six was perfect. I thought the five teams that get in from each American League and NL was perfect with the wild card game.

I didn't need more of it. I know why it's done from a revenue purpose and you get more teams that are in it throughout the season and in the professional ranks that discourages maybe tanking. But for college, I don't need to see two, three lost teams in the college football playoff. I got to see Ole Miss potentially this year in the college football playoff if it was the 12 teams.

I got to see whoever loses Ohio State Michigan in the college football playoff. Clemson backs their way in, Alabama backs their way in, no. And even with how open it is this year, there's really eight teams right now, it was still a month of the season left, that you're considering for the college football playoff.

And inevitably, the survival of the fittest will prevail. And whoever wins their games, if Michigan beats Ohio State, they'll get in, Ohio State's out, flip-flop the other way too. And then it comes down to who survives Big 12 and Pac 12. And if this is one of those years where there's a really strong fifth team, and let's say you have a one-loss Oregon that's left out, so be it. But just to cater to one of those rare scenarios where a one-loss Oregon gets left out of the top four doesn't mean we need to add teams 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 to the college football playoff.

So where do you stand on this 8, 5, 5, 2, 1, 2, 4, CBS, 8, 5, 5, 2, 1, 2, 42, 27? If it's just between a four-team playoff and a 12-team playoff, which one would you prefer? And I would prefer 1,000% the current four-team model. There has never been a year where I've sat here and said, wow, we need to see more teams in. We need to see more losers that failed in the regular season get rewarded with the college football playoff berth. And to go from 4 to eventually 12 is too big of a jump, and I think is an awful, awful, awful decision.

Hickey, I know where you lie on this. You want as many teams, the more teams the merrier in your mind. You explained to me why if it's between 4 and 12, why you're on the side of 12 teams in the college football playoff.

You're talking about rewarding losing, which is a whole discussion in the first place, but what about rewarding winning? And you can argue easily, two of the hottest teams right now outside of Georgia are Oregon and LSU. And both are going to need help and or both get left out of the college playoff, despite the fact that both have gotten better over the course of a season, which is what you want to see. Well, don't lose the Florida State then. LSU lost the Florida State. Don't lose the Florida State. You'll be getting in the season. So we're going to punish them for winning on Labor Day weekend.

We're going to punish a team come December. They should not have lost the Florida State. I'm sorry, I don't buy that.

I don't buy that. I'm sorry. You don't think they should have lost the Florida State? You're going to punish Oregon for having a first time head coach, first time new quarterback playing in basically Georgia's backyard, losing to the defending national champs. And then now their season's over.

Now they can't get a shot at the playoff. Why is that? Did Tennessee?

Why is that? So let's say Tennessee gets in over Oregon. Let's just say if that's the way that it happens. Tennessee played Georgia a lot closer than Oregon did. Score wise. Yeah, but did they really?

They were never in the game. It was 49 to 3. If Tennessee, you had Oregon was 49 to 3 because there's no guarantee that Tennessee is going to make it. What if Tennessee gets left out? Now Tennessee loses to what's about to be the number one team in the country on the road and now their season's over?

I don't understand. So to cater to two teams, to cater to two teams, you want to go from four to 12 if that was the option. No, it's not two teams.

Yes, it is. That's what it is. It's catered into teams playing good football.

Like you're talking about the, like, why are you, let me ask you this question. Maybe it's easier to talk about it this way. Why are you prioritizing the regular season over the postseason? No other sport does that. You're prioritizing, for example, an Ohio State-Michigan end of the year. You want that to mean something, but you don't really care about the playoff meaning something. Because that's the beauty of college football. That doesn't really equate or make sense. It's those rivalries at the end of the year.

And 100% makes sense. We're going to punish Michigan or Ohio State, which everyone would agree are two of the best four teams in the country. They're going to play. You lose and the loser now is out, out, out of the, out of the playoff. That's it. Their season's over.

Yes. Yeah, no other sports. Win the games. Don't just go to 12 and then take away the importance of that.

That makes no sense to me. So let's, this team, you can't stand. Alabama this year, you've been saying they're fraudulent all throughout the year.

Right or wrong? Yeah, I know. Yeah. Okay, so now Alabama's going to get rewarded for having two losses if they win out. And even if they maybe suffer one more loss, because you know the committee's going to favor Alabama, they could have three losses and get in the college football playoff. Why the heck do I need to see Alabama with three losses in the college football playoff?

I've stunk this year for Alabama standards. Well, number one, I mean, if they stick, then they'll get limited in the first round. Okay. Then, then they're out early.

See you later. It doesn't matter. Like, I don't understand why you're looking at four teams and we're not going to allow the best team to compete for Italian. What's the big deal?

I don't understand. Like, every other sport, every other sport has multiple teams play that should make the playoffs every single year. I don't need to waste my time watching teams that did not prove their worth in the regular season. Where it's only four teams. We got to prioritize the regular season because God forbid, you know, the playoffs are not that important. It's the regular season. That's nonsense. I'm sure that's nonsense.

I want to see the best team competing for the title. You are the same guy that was not happy with the Phillies getting in with 87 wins. You were the same guy- I'm trying to say that. You were the same guy that- I'm the same guy that wished the Mets did better. That brought that up.

That brought that up. The Phillies get it. Last week during the playoffs, all they had 87 wins, they got in.

That's the same thing. I never spit on the Phillies for making the playoffs. New York, LA, that bitched about the Phillies getting in. That's what's going to happen when the 11th or 12th team gets in and they go on a run. It is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio.

You can chime on an 855-212-4CBS, 855-212-4227. Which college playoff playoff format would you prefer, 12 team or the 14? If you want to be like Hickey and be in the 80.6 percent, fine.

You hand out participation trophies and you will reward losing. You want to join in on the 19.4 percent of a 14 college playoff. Marcus Freeman going to join us coming up at 6.40 p.m. Eastern. Blake Corum, the Heisman hopeful for Michigan, going to join us in hour number two and then Dwight Freeney on the disaster that are his Indianapolis Colts. The Listening You Love is on the Free Odyssey app, your trusted local radio stations, coverage of your favorite teams, live news from your hometown and millions of podcasts on demand. Best of all, you can completely customize your listening experience, follow topics you care about, like leagues and teams, pause or rewind your local sports and news and add shows to your queue to catch up later. There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today.

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You're listening to the Zach Gelb Show. Zach Gelb Show, CBS Sports Radio, if it's between four or twelve teams for the college football playoff, which one would you prefer, I love, love, love, love, love the current format of four teams. It makes the regular season so important and it makes you actually have to prove something throughout the entire year instead of like a Clemson team losing an Notre Dame when Clemson's not that good this year and still getting rewarded Alabama with two losses, getting rewarded if it was a 12 team playoff, same could be said for LSU.

I get it. I thought they just beat Alabama. But earlier in the year, they were crap against Florida State. I don't need to reward losing.

We do too much rewarding of losing in this society and I don't want to tolerate it anymore. So I don't want to see an Ole Miss team get in this year or an Alabama team get in if the college football playoff were expanded to 12 teams and think about it, how you're going to have Thanksgiving weekend, Ohio State, Michigan win and you're basically in, in that case, who cares who wins that game, both would get in, in a 12 team format. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate the 12 team format and I've never seen a year of college football where I've thought since going to four teams, wow, we really need to see more teams. Let's get to the calls 855-212-4CBS 855-212-4227, Rich in Chicago.

First up on the Zach Gelb Show, Rich, what say you? Hey Zach, I can tell you before I explain the why, we're in the minority. I'm with you, I'm a lot older than you and I go back in the 70s and I was actually played college football in the 70s and it was a mythical national champion where the writers voted on you. I kind of liked to have the other playoffs, but given the choice, which is a bad choice, four versus 12, we're in the minority. You're going to have overwhelming people tell you they need 12, I'm with you, you don't. And let me give you an analogy, the reason there's a 64 team field in the NCAA basketball, there's 330 Division I basketball teams, there's only 131 football teams.

So why do you need to expand it? Because I got to tell you, the colleges have bowl games as consolation prizes for the guys who aren't in the top 8 to 12. I'm a big component of 8, I think if you go 8 deep, and I've been an advocate of this for two years, I couldn't believe they went to 12, it just waters things down. I'm 100% with you Rich, and here's what it is, a lot of people they root for programs that they're just simply not good enough. Like Hickey, you look at Penn State, he's a big Penn State fan, they already have two losses if this was a 12 team format, Penn State would still have a chance to get in.

I've seen Penn State enough this year, I've seen Penn State in a game where they were close against Ohio State, then get blown out towards the end, and then Michigan, they just ran right through them like a hot knife through butter, I don't need to see Penn State getting an opportunity to be in the college football playoff, it is a waste of time. And also, player safety, is it player safety, a big topic of conversation, now we need more games? Stop, it has nothing to do with player safety, that's always baloney whenever they use player safety, it's all about money, and that's why it's going to 12 teams. To go from 4 to 12 makes zero sense, if you are going to make the jump, and I'm not dumb, I know that it's around money, go to 8, don't order down the product with 12. Let's go to Todd in Syracuse next up on the Zach Gelb Show.

Todd, go ahead. Hey Zach, I've got to disagree with you like the first caller just said, man, I'm going to say that 12 will be better. Well the first caller agreed with me, he didn't disagree with me. I'm sorry, disagree with you, sorry about that.

When he said the minority piece, you and him are going to be in the minority, because I'm with Hickey on this one. I think that to have 12 teams will be better, because sports are built off of that late run, right? Are you hot at the end of the season, and can you carry that momentum into the playoffs and through the playoffs? Look at the Rams last year, right?

That's a great example, Tampa a few years ago did the same thing, that's what sports all about, man, you've got to give Hickey some love on this one. No, I don't, you could have one loss and still find a way to salvage your season, but once you drop two games like LSU, I don't need to see you in the college football playoff. Let's go to Charles in Charlotte, North Carolina, next up on the Zach Gelb Show.

Charles, what's happening? Hey Zach, I appreciate the time, and fortunately I am an LSU fan, but that's not why I was calling. I want to discuss about why. I think it should be. I'm not as in favor of the 12, but I thought you were advocating the four teams, and I have been for the last few years in favor of eight teams, and I don't think that will get in, but I think the whole purpose of this, isn't it, to decide who is the best team in college football at the end of the year, isn't that what the whole purpose is? Yeah, and therefore you need to prove that throughout the regular season. And here's the thing, here's the thing, I don't think if you have a three loss team get in, then all of a sudden they're going to magically turn it around.

I really don't. You're not going to have a three loss. Yes, you'll win a 12 team format, you will.

No, I agree. I'm not a four, the 12, but I'm certainly against the four. I've always been for the eight, because- Well, Charles, when has there ever been a year that you've said, wow, I need more teams because the four teams that got in, that's not the right four teams and more teams need to get in. Okay, let's say LSU goes on a run, and I have suspect, and I'm a huge LSU fan, they went out and they beat Georgia in a three point game in the SEC championship. I could argue with you because, I mean, you're deciding things, but I could decide that Tennessee, Georgia, and LSU are the three best teams of the four, if we're going with four right now, and that they should be in. Because they, I think the going to eight also helps that the ACC and the Big Ten aren't as good as the SEC if you're an SEC homer like myself, and often the ACC isn't whether you're- Oh, we're not. You're making the argument for one team like LSU. So if you're telling me you want to go to eight, okay, I could live with that. If you want to expand it in a minimal way, okay, but to 12, that's still rewarding too many teams that there's not enough conversations why we need to see an argument while we need to see them in the college football playoff.

And that's my biggest problem. For one team, LSU, like say in a situation like this year, then we need to see all those other teams get in that quite frankly, just don't belong. I'm not for that. Michael in North Carolina, next up on the Zach Gelb Show.

Michael, go ahead. Hey, yeah, I was just saying, I would go with six at the most for the playoffs. I wouldn't go any higher than that because that's the cream of the crop.

And sometimes some teams at the end of the season, they have an injury or some, or some flu captains they lose, doesn't mean they're not an elite team. So you want to go to six is what you're saying. Yeah, six at the most. Okay, but that's not what the reality is because they've already said in 2026, if not sooner, they're going to 12.

So we could sit here until I'm blue in the face and argue, go to six, go to eight, okay, I'll even wave the white flag. If it's in terms of expansion, that's inevitably going to happen and you want to move it in a small minuscule way to six or eight, I could live with that. But to go to 12, I don't need to see the top 12 teams in the country because most of the years, teams six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12 are a snooze fest. That's just what the situation is. And I really do think that because of Alabama's dominance, there's a perception, oh, well, there's so many teams that just can't get in for starters because two SEC teams always get in, there has never been a year where you legitimately had a gripe about the four teams that are in, but let's then just move that all the way up and augment it to 12 teams.

That makes zero sense to me, but 80.6% of the people right now said they'd rather see a 12 team playoff than a 14 playoff as that's at 19.4%. Zach Gelb shows CBS Sports Radio, Marcus Freeman, the head football coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is going to join us coming up on the other side. Is there something really absurd that skews you out? Getting a paper cut on my eyeball. A fear you can't shake.

I'm going to leak ocular fluid and my cheeks is going to go into my mouth and I will perish. Whatever scares you, I want to talk about it. Join me, Larry Mullins, on my new podcast, Your Weirdest Fears. Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast from. The listening you love is on the free Odyssey app, your trusted local radio stations, coverage of your favorite teams, live news from your hometown and millions of podcasts on demand. Best of all, you can completely customize your listening experience, follow topics you care about, like leagues and teams, pause or rewind your local sports and news and add shows to your queue to catch up later. There's a lot to listen to.

So get started and download the free Odyssey app today. Throughout the 60s and 70s, cops hunted down key figures of the Dixie Mafia, including its enigmatic ringleader, Kirksey Nix. I'm interested in making money, I'm not interested in hurting people. 15 years into Kirksey's life sentence, the Dixie Mafia was practically folklore, but that would soon change. I'm Jed Lipinski. This is Gone South, a documentary podcast from C-13 Originals, a Cadence 13 studio. Season two, the Dixie Mafia. Available now on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. You're listening to the Zach Gelb Show.

That's what I'm talking about. It is the Zach Gelb Show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. Over the weekend, what a scene it was for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

They had a matchup against at the time number four, Clemson, and they blew them out by a final score of 35 to 14. We'll head out to the guest line right now and welcome in the first year head football coach of Notre Dame, and that of course is Marcus Freeman. Coach, congratulations on the win.

Appreciate the time. How are you? I'm doing great, Zach. Thanks for having me. Well, I appreciate you coming on.

I mean this in the most positive and polite way possible. I love maniacs, and I thought there was nothing better from your victory than your special teams coordinator, Brian Mason flailing his arms, the headset falling off his face after you guys had that six block punt of this year. Oh, he might be the definition of maniac. You know, I've known Coach Mason for a long time. We coached together at Kent State probably 10 or 11 years ago when I was a linebackers coach and he was the beep at the G.A. and to see his progression and his enhancement in terms of what he's done and to block five points in the last four games has been incredible and they continue to find a way to get it done and he's done a great job. And clearly that's been a consistent unit for you guys, but going back to last year I saw a tweet from Matt Zenitz that there was only two teams last year that had six block punts all throughout the nation and he was one of the special teams coordinator, the special teams coordinator at Cincinnati, one of the two units that were able to do that. His consistency is really something.

Yeah, he's done a great job and it starts with a belief in the scheme and belief in what we're doing and it's not magic. It's not like we're tricking anybody, but it's the execution of what we're doing and the ability to beat the one-on-one blocks that you have to beat and to at the end of the day get the job done and they keep doing it and doing it. There's usually never a perfect way to win, but for you guys it felt like that was the way on Saturday night because you got really contributions from all three phases. We talked about the block punt, you had two interceptions on defense and then your offense runs for over 250 plus yards. That's got to be a perfect win, right?

Yeah, whenever you can get the win, it's a perfect win. And listen, I didn't think going into the game, you know, if you would have said exactly how the game was going to go, it would have been a victory, but I don't know if that's how I drew it up, but, you know, it was a beautiful display of execution and belief in what the game plan was and, you know, our offense really did a great job of controlling the tempo of the game. Coach Reese, our offensive coordinator, and Drew Pine, our quarterback, really ran that show and defensively to limit that offense to 90 yards rushing was a huge, a huge accomplishment and then special teams, you know, not only the block punts, but the ability to down a couple of punts inside the 10 and to really win the battlefield position. You know, it really was a three phase execution and it was really good to see Notre Dame's head coach Marcus Freeman here with us on the Zach Gelb show.

We all know, coach, how iconic the brand is of Notre Dame, the stadium as well. When you see that scene unfold afterwards with all the students rushing the field and all the fans coming to celebrate with you guys, what's going through your mind through all that craziness and what was it just a state of euphoria for you guys? Well, they had said with probably about a minute left, one of the police officers that told me said, hey, I think they're going to rush the field and he was like, just stay by me and I wanted to enjoy it and we went and did the post game interview and I could feel it kind of just caving in a little bit and I remember telling the police officers, hey, let's just enjoy the school, singing the alma mater and about 10 seconds later, I said, okay, I get it. We got to get out of here.

We found a way to get out of there, but man, what a moment and something that I think in the moment you don't appreciate as much as you do now, but that will be a night that I'll never forget. What does that win mean for your program and year one for you? I think it's just a belief in terms of what we're doing, a belief in who this new direction of Notre Dame football is about and we got a really good football team that hasn't always played well and that comes from the top down. But the belief in terms of how good we can be should be there and I hope that's what our players in this program get out of there is that, listen, we've got a long way to go. We're right in the middle of two mountains, but we're not the mountain that isn't good enough and we're not the mountain that's the best team in the country.

We're right in the middle and we need to keep our head down and continue to work, but where this place can go is still upwards and there's great places to continue to rise to. You said the new Notre Dame football. How do you define what you expect that to eventually be? You know, I hope it's a team that continues to reach its full potential. It has new leadership, Notre Dame football and the University of Notre Dame is special no matter who's at the top of the leadership. But with me being a new head coach, we had to really create a new foundation and you can't just change head coaches and think you're going to pick up right where Coach Kelly left this program. He really did an unbelievable job of building this place to where it needed to be and so I had to come in and really kind of do it my way and that meant we had to take some losses and really kind of figure some things out and it starts with me trying to figure out what exactly is it going to take for us to have success this year. Every year it's going to change based off the talent and who you have in your program, but the foundation of being tough and the foundation of playing with extremely hard effort and really being a truly three-phase team is something that I believe in and that's really going to take for us to reach our full potential.

Marcus Freeman here with us. We've been talking about your team overcoming adversity. Why did your group not succumb to the public pressure where everyone was writing you off after that martial loss and also the loss against Stanford? Well, I told them this road to where we want to go isn't going to be as smooth as we ever expected. And I don't think any great accomplishment is as smooth as you expected on the front end.

And when we view, you know, when I think sometimes when you daydream and see a national championship or you daydream and see yourself making a lot of money one day, you don't really think about the pain and the suffering you have to go through. And that's what I kept telling them, like we're on this bumpy road and we have to continue to decrease the size of these bumps. We can't lose to a martial, you can't lose to a Stanford, but there's never going to be perfection in how do we decrease those small bumps is through very intentional hard work and having a sense of urgency to get these things fixed. And I told them, don't don't lose faith in what we're doing, but we have to fix this process, not just trust it, but fix it. And that's what has really happened from our coaches onto our players, that sense of urgency to correct our mistakes, to really be accountable for every action we have is really turned into some great results. Coach Marcus Freeman, nine games in to this season, your first year as a coach at Notre Dame being the head honcho, what have you learned about yourself? That every day you got to learn and that's what I've learned about myself is that there's no book to leading a program, especially a program like this football program at Notre Dame.

But you know what? If you continue to stay grounded, who you are, and for me, that's because my parents the hard work and the, you know, really the selflessness to really put others in front of yourself, things will fall into place, right? But things don't happen just because you show up, it's got to be intentional work and it's not easy. And so one thing I'll realize that it's not easy, but with great people around you and great, great players, great young men, we can accomplish some great things. I did say that your special teams coordinator, Coach Mason, is a maniac. I would say that you're a machine because I saw your postgame press conference the other day, Coach, and you watch film right after the game, you had to go back and watch the game against Clemson, like enjoy it a little bit, you know, taking the moment a little coach, come on, you can wait the next day. There's nothing more satisfying for me than to be able to get in my office and turn on a little film and be able to watch and correct those mistakes because that's how I sleep, right? I always address the issues and I'm a guy routine and my routine is to right away come and watch the film and that's what I did no matter if it's after a Stanford loss or after a Clemson win.

That's what I'm going to do. Would that be the same case if you win a national championship at Notre Dame? Would you be watching film that night or would you maybe then take it a day? I might give it a couple hours, but I'm not going to sleep without watching that film, but I want to make sure I celebrate a little bit longer after a national championship. Coach Marcus Freeman here with us. When it comes to college football playoff expansion, where do you lie on that issue? You know, the more opportunities that we give teams, the better.

And I'm always a proponent of giving the opportunity more teams now and how to do it and how to implement it. That's, that's not my, you know, expertise, Jack Swarbrick, our athletic director and those commissioners of the conferences. I'm sure the president still figure it out, but I'm always a proponent for more opportunities for more teams to have a chance to win it. The only thing that concerns me a little bit is if it takes away from the importance of the regular season, because these games really do mean everything. And that's the only thing that I don't want to take away and lessen the importance of the regular season.

I couldn't agree with you more. And I don't think it has to do that. I don't think that you just because you expand the teams that make it into the playoffs, that it has to make the regular season less important. I don't think this isn't the NFL and again, I don't want to discredit the NFL because every game I believe is important to them too. But I truly believe that, you know, with the teams that you're playing out of conference for certain teams that are in conferences, not like us, but you know, the teams that you play out of conferences matter. You know, every game is going to matter, especially in college football.

I don't think that'll ever change. Do you feel like Notre Dame is going to be moving towards the direction of finally joining a conference full-time for football? You know, I think as long as we don't put our football program at a disadvantage for not being in a conference, we'll stay independent. And that's where this program was created from, was being independent. And back many, many years ago, when we started football here at Notre Dame, we made money and we made our reputation of playing teams coast-to-coast, not in a conference, but really just trying to go and beat the best teams in the country.

And I think those values still are intact to this day. And so as long as we're not hurting our football program in terms of financially or making the college football playoffs, then I think our higher-ups will continue to stay independent. On the way out with Marcus Freeman, the head football coach at Notre Dame off a big victory against Clemson.

I just want to hit you up on a few of your players, Benjamin Morrison with the two picks. So what a moment that was, got to touch down as well for the freshmen. Yeah, he's special. You know, comes from an unbelievable family, you know, and I got a chance to meet a sister who's a gymnast at Michigan and he has another sister that was a gymnast at Washington. I don't think he's the best athlete in the family. His father was an NFL football player.

Mother really runs the show. What a great young man that works his tail off. And you know what I love about Ben Morrison is that you can get, he might get a pass called on him or get a penalty called against him and he's able to really just move on to the next play and never have his confidence shaken. And you know what, I think at that position playing corner, you have to have that mentality. And that's what I think is really the most important part of your team.

We've been talking about this all throughout this great conversation. You have guys that have overcome a lot of adversity just in this season. And one of those guys is your quarterback in Drew Pine. What has he showed you? What has he proved to you this year, Coach?

You know, I think that the ability to not let praise and criticism truly affect the way you work, you know, and as I tell him that, you know, praise can't make you and criticism can't break you. And you know, you have to be able to understand your job is to run the show on offense. You cannot listen outside noise and really execute and every day and every week look at yourself and say, how can I get better and the consistency that he brings every day to our football program is a real reason for why he's been so successful. And the last thing I'll ask you, Coach Marcus Freeman, we all know how great your tight end is in Michael Mayer and there's really nothing probably new you could tell us about him. But let's say I was an NFL GM and I believe Michael's gonna be making a lot of big plays on Sunday.

You saw the great run block the other night, then the touchdown catch as well. What would you tell an NFL GM if they asked you, why should I draft Michael Mayer with a big pick? Because he checks every box, you know, and that's the one thing about Michael Mayer is that, you know, I have a saying that God is fair. And with him, I don't know, he's got a couple extra boxes checked that some of us normal people don't have checked and what an unbelievable humble person, the best and hardest worker we have and unbelievable football talent and a model citizen.

So he will he will check every box for any NFL program. Well, coach, really do appreciate the time congratulations on the win and good luck coming up against Navy. We thank you so much. Thanks. I appreciate you. There you go. The head football coach at Notre Dame in Marcus Freeman joining us on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. What a wonderful conversation.

Hickey just one thing I want to touch on. He says as long as it doesn't put Notre Dame at a disadvantage, they're going to remain an independent, not shocking to me. The question just becomes, what is college football going to look like in five, 10 years from now?

And will they be able to remain an independent in this new format? Because we keep on thinking it's good to truncate into three power conferences, but you hear reports that some have been disputed that the Pac-12 is close to adding a team or two. We know what the big 12 has added as well. You just really wonder what the sports going to look like 10 years from now. And that to me is a fascinating part of the conversation of what the sport is physically going to look like when you see the big programs like a Texas and Oklahoma join the SEC. When you see a UCLA and also a USC surprisingly depart for the Big 10, I think that the Big 12 added some teams, but how many of those teams are going to jump to a different conference given the opportunity SEC or the Big 10? Same could be said if any of those teams, the ACC start to figure out what's the best interest for themselves and whatever remains right now of the Pac-12. So it's very compelling to me to see how much longer Notre Dame can remain independent.

We know how much TV money they get, but how much longer they can remain independent before they see so many teams move and just form the super conference. The listening you love is on the free Odyssey app. Your trusted local radio stations, coverage of your favorite teams, live news from your hometown and millions of podcasts on demand. Best of all, you can completely customize your listening experience.

Follow topics you care about like leagues and teams, pause or rewind your local sports and news and add shows to your queue to catch up later. There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today. The listening you love is on the free Odyssey app. Your trusted local radio stations, coverage of your favorite teams, live news from your hometown and millions of podcasts on demand. Best of all, you can completely customize your listening experience. Follow topics you care about like leagues and teams, pause or rewind your local sports and news and add shows to your queue to catch up later. There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today. The listening you love is on the free Odyssey app. Your trusted local radio stations, coverage of your favorite teams, live news from your hometown and millions of podcasts on demand. Best of all, you can completely customize your listening experience. Follow topics you care about like leagues and teams, pause or rewind your local sports and news and add shows to your queue to catch up later. There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-09 12:26:01 / 2022-11-09 12:37:43 / 12

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