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Backing The Pack? (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
September 28, 2023 7:23 pm

Backing The Pack? (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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September 28, 2023 7:23 pm

Packers will beat the Lions l Cameron Ward, Washington State QB l Would the Pac-12 have split up if Deion Sanders was at Colorado sooner?

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Shop in store or visit Ashley.com today. Live from the play show you're not overly ostentatious, studios of CBS Sports Radio here in beautiful New York City, sitting on top of the 10th floor of 345 Hudson Street. Welcome on in to a Thursday edition of the Zach Gelb show across all the great local CBS Sports Radio affiliates, Sirius XM, Channel 158, and that free Odyssey app. 855-212-4CBS is the number to jump on in. 855-212-4227. You can always get at me on Instagram where I'm straight flexing or via the good old cesspool of Twitter at Zach Gelb.

That's Z-A-C-H-G-E-L-B. Action packed show for you today coming up 20 minutes from now. The quarterback at Washington State with the Cougars.

They're ranked 16th in the country following their big victory up against Oregon State. Cam Ward will stop by. And then at 8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific, former Seahawks linebacker K.J.

Wright will join us. And we do kick off week four this evening with the big matchup with the Detroit Lions going to legendary Lambeau Field to square off against the Green Bay Packers. But first up, producing the extravaganza for the next four hours is no other than Hot Tay Kiki.

I don't know about that Hot Tay Kiki. So tonight, I'm fascinated to see what type of football game we get. I do believe it's going to be a close football game and I actually feel like the Green Bay Packers are going to win this game. But for both teams, this is a big moment in a isolated game where there's no other games going on. Everyone's watching Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video and you get Al Michaels and you get Kirk Herbstreet and the entire gang.

But you look at both these these football teams, the Lions and the Packers, I'm still evaluating and I'm still figuring out what they are going to be. I was really impressed in week one when the Lions go to Arrowhead. And even though Chris Jones isn't playing and Travis Kelce isn't playing, they needed to get the win. It didn't matter if they won by 30 or if they ended up winning by one point, which they did.

They just needed to win the game. But then the next week after that for the Detroit Lions, they're in a back and forth affair up against the Seattle Seahawks and they lost the game in overtime on their home turf. So last week was a big week for the Lions because I think on paper, even though I'm optimistic about the Falcons this year and think they're going to win the NFC South, last week was a big week for the Detroit Lions going up against Atlanta and they proved they were the better football team. But now you have Green Bay who you look at the Packers, they dominate the Bears week one, they win by 18.

Then they're up in the fourth quarter. Looks like they're cruising to a victory up against the Falcons. And then the Falcons scored 13 points in the fourth quarter and the Packers did nothing. And the Falcons win that game to come from behind and stun the Green Bay Packers. And last week was a week where we all started wondering what are the Packers, what are they going to do? And right out of the gate they're down 17-0 to the New Orleans Saints. And they had all these injuries and they're supposed to get Aaron Jones back tonight, supposed to get Christian Watson back tonight. We'll see what happens.

We know David Bakhtiar is now going to miss some time going on the injured reserve list. But you look at the game last week against the Saints with all the injuries, in the fourth quarter they showed up. The Green Bay Packers, Jordan Love rushing touchdown.

Then a great catch by Romeo Dobbs to go win the game and then you had the missed field goal and all that. And the Packers, stunning comeback, great come from behind victory, reversed the script from a week ago and they win 18-17. But tonight up against the Lions, I'm just curious what Packers team shows up because we saw a great Packers team up against the Bears but it's up against the Bears.

And then the last two weeks we've seen an up and down Packers team. And you take a look at the Detroit Lions, they are a team where this game there's more pressure on the Lions than the Packers. But for the Detroit Lions, like when I say that, it's not to just say oh there's pressure on the Lions. There's an enormous amount of pressure on the Detroit Lions tonight because if you start off this season where you're expected to win this division in the NFC North. And if you start off the year 2-2, it's going to feel underwhelming. It's going to feel as if the Lions are not teetering to being a bad team but maybe not meeting the expectations of the foregone conclusion that a lot of people had before the start of the season.

That this team was going to win the division and win the division with ease. And I look around and I see this NFC North, the Bears stink, the Vikings are 0-3 right now and it's tough for me to talk into an argument even though I was pro-Minnesota before the year that the Vikings are going to turn it around. Like sure they should beat Carolina this weekend but even if you do the weekend after that you're going up against Kansas City. So at best for the Vikings after October 15th where they have this stretch of Carolina, Kansas City and the Bears, like they should have two wins but they're going to have four losses. And it's not as if you have a soft landing spot after that 2-4 start because you then play the Niners and then also the Green Bay Packers. So for the most part this has turned into, until we're proven otherwise, a two team race in this division where it's the Green Bay Packers and it's the Detroit Lions. And if you're the Lions and you're a Lion fan you would think that if you didn't win the division this year it would be because of the fact that Minnesota won it. You would not have thought it would have been Green Bay. And I was someone in the summer, even though I didn't pick them to make the playoffs, I said don't be surprised if Green Bay does make the playoffs. Because Green Bay has talent. You look at that offensive side of the ball, when healthy, you got Christian Watson, you got Aaron Jones, you got Romeo Dobbs. And then defensively it's all been about the consistency but the last few years they have talented defensive players.

Up front with the big guy in Kenny Clark, friends of show, and then on the back end, which I hear Alexander. So tonight is a game where both teams can send a statement. The Lions can send a statement that they are the team to beat in the NFC North and that this is their year to go win that division crown. But the Packers as well, even if they just play a close competitive game, but if they lose 27 to 24 and Jordan Love plays well, I don't think people are slamming the Packers tomorrow. And maybe that's a moment where, I don't want to say it's a moral victory because they could definitely beat the Lions and I think they do beat the Lions tonight. But it could be one of those moments of, oh the Packers really through the first four games of the season have their bleep together and they really haven't been healthy.

But if the Packers win tonight, every show that breaks down this game tomorrow is going to be talking about what's the ceiling this year for the Green Bay Packers. And I do believe the Packers can make the postseason this year. I'm not saying that's the expectation, I'm not saying that it's a lock that they make the postseason. But with what I've seen through the first three games, it's tough to evaluate how great they can be, but I do see a team in a weak NFC that has more than enough of the quarterback continues to take the proper steps.

And if you do find some consistency, where this team can be a playoff team. And if you make the playoffs this year, you're ahead of where anyone thought you were supposed to be. And we've talked about this before Ryan, where for the Packers this year, I don't want to say that wins and losses are irrelevant. But the biggest thing for the Packers is at the end of the season you walk away saying, okay number 10 Jordan Love, not that he's Rogers, not that he's Favre after one year as a starting quarterback.

But he has the ability and you've seen enough where you could start to think, okay this is a guy that can be and there's a belief that he will be the franchise quarterback. So no doubt about it, there's more pressure on the Lions tonight and it's not even close. But I do feel as if a lot of people think the Lions are going to win this game. And I don't know, like everything when you look at it probably should suggest that the Lions win this game. But with how up and down this Packers team has been with the Packers also being at home and coming off the emotions of not showing up for the first three quarters at home last week.

And then having this great victory, I know some people say don't believe in momentum, things like that, I believe there's a carryover effect. And I do believe that you get a good start tonight from the Green Bay Packers and this has the feeling that it's going to be a 27-24 type of game. And something just tells me Love has the ball late, he drives, gets him down to the 20 yard line and the Packers kick a game winning 37-38 yard field goal. So I slightly lean the Packers tonight and this is a moment for both teams where the Packers could say, hey we're not going anywhere just because we lost Aaron Rodgers and for the Lions. It could really stamp through the first four weeks of the season that they're in the driver's seat to win the NFC North and then we could see where they're going to take it from there. Hickey, give me your thoughts on this game tonight between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers.

Let me ask you a question. Now I said this in week number one and a lot of people said it's too early for a must-win Lions at the Chiefs. What is below must-win in week four? I can't lose?

I gotta have it? Gotta have it game, can't lose it game, whatever you want to frame that and maybe right below a must-win game here in week number four for the Lions, that's what this is for Detroit. Again, this is, a lot of people rightfully so, believing in this team.

Can I throw a different term at you? Sure. It would behoove you to win this game? It would do a lot, it would do the Lions very well, let's just say, if they won this game. You should be, or the team most people believe will win this division. You can't go into the Green Bay in week four against Jordan Love who's been up and down and win. And you beat them last year too. Not that it's over, but questions come about of your legitimacy. And you beat them last year too.

That's right. End of the season. If you don't beat that, well put it this way, if the Packers win tonight, how many takes will there be of revisionist history tomorrow? Where people will say, see, last year, end of season, the Packers should have sat down old man Rogers and they should have played the kid in Jordan Love. Imagine if that ends up happening tomorrow, if we're talking about a Packers victory and Jordan Love has like four touchdowns and no interceptions up against the Detroit Lions. Hey, Bart Winkler started yesterday, right, saying they should have played him in week 18.

He was the better option at quarterback and I think there are a lot of people looking back and maybe saying, you know what, Bart's right. Should have played Jordan Love last year, see you later Rogers, we got the real QB one here with us. I know you the way that I think I know you. You like the Lions tonight. You think the Lions win the game. I do.

Yes. Does it surprise you here or does your intent to go up? I know the gambling lines, we all try to interpret and be an expert in the gambling lines and we all think we know what we're talking about and we don't know what we're talking about.

That's why it's gambling. Did you look at the spread tonight? Just wondering, you have any idea what the spread is? I believe it's two, right? Two, two and a half. So it's Lions by two. Doesn't that seem low? Doesn't that seem to the average person you should hammer the Lions minus two tonight?

And that's another reason where if that spread was at like four and a half, it was at five, something like that. I'd be like, all right, well, maybe I end up laying the points and say Lions by a touchdown. But the fact that it's so low at two, it's daring you. It's screaming at you. Bet the Detroit Lions tonight.

And when it seems that obvious, usually you don't end up winning. That's why I'm going to take the points tonight and plus the two points with the Green Bay Packers. Alrighty. So I have 27-24. The Pack beat the Lions tonight. Watch, this will be a one-point game.

The Lions will end up winning a last-second field goal to win like 21-20, as if it was week one up against the Kansas City Chiefs. Let me just take care of a few housekeeping notes here on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. You may have been made aware that the great Damon Amendelara, who has been with this network ever since the inception, is leaving the network. And that will take place after tomorrow's show. Make sure you tune in to DA's final show from 6-10 a.m. Eastern on many of these same CBS Sports Radio affiliates, Sirius XM, Channel 158, and the free Odyssey app. So with DA leaving, Maggie and Perloff, who are on right before us, are moving to the morning drive show of 6-10 a.m. Eastern. Starting Monday on an interim basis. So that means, for now, I will be hosting the 3-6 p.m. Eastern show, noon to 3 p.m. Pacific.

Once again, that is not a permanent change. I don't know what they're going to do moving forward into the future. I would imagine that I'm a part of the mix and under consideration to take over that shift on a full-time basis, but on an interim basis, until I'm told otherwise, I will be hosting Monday through Friday on many of our same great local CBS Sports Radio affiliates, Sirius XM, Channel 158, and the free Odyssey app. Monday, starting Monday, from 3-6 p.m. Eastern, noon to 3 p.m. Pacific.

That's all the information that I have now. If you are not able to listen to me on that interim basis when I'm filling in on the time slot before, I apologize. There's nothing I can do about it.

This is where they just tell me where to work and I show up. And what we've built here from 6-10 p.m. Eastern, which to my knowledge right now isn't going away and who knows what the future has in store, it's something that I'm very appreciative of. And whether you have listened to me in the weekend overnights when I first got here, or when I've got here for this shift from 6-10 p.m. Eastern, no matter if you listen to me for a second or if you listen to me for all these years, I really do appreciate it, but there will be a little bit of a change on an interim basis until they tell me something else that I will be doing the show, the Zach Gelb show, starting Monday from 3-6 p.m. Eastern.

That's all the information that I have right now. If it becomes permanent, clearly we will let you know. But once again, for people that just tune in from 6-10 p.m. Eastern, can't thank you enough for doing so for all these years and we'll see wherever the next chapter may be, whatever the next chapter has in store, where it does lead us. So I'll say that again for the 3000th time, just to make it abundantly clear, starting on Monday from 3-6 p.m. Eastern, I will be hosting what used to be the Maggie and Perloff shift, it will be the Zach Gelb show on an interim basis.

Alrighty, there's the line to everyone right there out of the gate. Now we can move on with some sports and continue that. Cam Ward is going to join us on the other side. The quarterback of the 16th ranked Washington State Cougars will join us on the other side. Zach Gelb show right here, CBS Sports Radio.

You're listening to the Zach Gelb show. We continue the Zach Gelb show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. The Washington State Cougars are up to number 16th in the country, following their big victory up against Oregon State. They're now 4-0, undefeated to start the 2023 season. And now joining us is their quarterback who has an incredible story in Cam Ward, who has nearly 1,400 passing yards this season and 13 passing touchdowns. And he's kind enough to join us on CBS Sports Radio. Let me also add no interceptions as well.

So big numbers there for the Washington State Cougars quarterback. Cam, appreciate the time as always. Congrats on the victory.

Thanks for doing this. And how you been? I've been good. You know, appreciate you having me.

Yeah, thanks so much for coming on. So coming off that four passing touchdown performance, then you also had a rushing touchdown as well up against Oregon State. I know the victory is the most important part, but what do you think you guys proved to the college football world with that big victory on Saturday evening? I think we proved a lot, not only to out there, but to ourselves, that we can compete with some of the best teams in the country, especially after coming out with a win like we did versus a top 20 team at the time at Oregon State who has a great defense, a great offense, who's well-dipped with team. You know, I think it proves a lot to this locker room that, you know, we're ready to go toe-to-toe with anybody. I'm just wondering, in this offseason, because last year was your first year playing FBS football coming over from an FCS school, you had a good season individually last year. I'm just wondering, what did you really work on this offseason to get off to the great start that you are for this 2023 campaign? Really, the biggest thing for me was, you know, just footwork and chemistry with my receivers.

You know, we've added three new viable pieces at receivers in Isaiah Hamilton, Josh Kelly, Kyle Williams. Those guys, they show up every day. They get better each and every day.

They push me each and every day. And just myself, personally, just the footwork part of it, it just allows me to just be more on time with those guys, along with Lincoln Victor, who made plays for us. So, you know, we're definitely seeing the benefits of what our hard work has shown, but we've just got to keep one of those do it each and every day. When everything is clicking for Cam Ward, and you're at your best, what type of quarterback do you think you could be in college football and then also moving forward after your college days? I think I'd be one of the best quarterbacks in college football, especially with the guys that I have around me, the guys who make plays with me.

I feel like, you know, you put me in a situation like I am right now, you know, you're going to see all the attributes come out. And, you know, I feel like the thing that separates me from other college quarterbacks is that I know how to lead a team, you know, from a couple different ways. And through four games of the season, you're undefeated, right? You're in the top 20.

The Pac-12 is loaded this year. You have 16 total touchdowns to your name. Do you feel like you could take that step this year and throw yourself into the Heisman Trophy conversation? I for sure do. But, you know, I'm more of a, you know, live my life day in and day out, try to go through like every day.

But, you know, if that was the case, I was able to get to New York by the end of the season, that would be a blessing for sure. But I just know if I take care and do my job each and every Saturday, my teammates, they show up and we all play for each other, I feel like everyone will get what they want. Who are some QBs that are playing right now on Sundays that you kind of admire and that you look at and you try to model your game after? My biggest quarterback that I like watching is Pat Mahomes. You know, he's from Texas. I like to watch a lot of his policy when he was at Texas Tech at the time. Another quarterback was Aaron Rodgers, who's not playing right now. But just the way that he's calm in the pocket, the way they create outside the pocket, his footwork is exceptional. I love watching Tua right now.

He's bombing right now. Just the different varieties of routes that his receivers run. So, you know, I like watching a lot of different quarterbacks, but those are the top three for sure. I think your story is fascinating as the quarterback of the Washington State Cougars, Cam Ward, is here with us. You're in incarnate word, which is an FCS school. You were there for two years. You put up big numbers and won a bunch of accolades, and now you're with Washington State. Take me through your recruiting process going back to high school and how you did wind up at an FCS school.

It was hard in high school, for sure. I came out a zero-start recruit. I attended a lot of camps, whether it was a D3, D2, JUCO. If you were at the camp, I just wanted to, you know, put myself in the best position and try and get an offer from somewhere. My dad was e-mailing a lot of colleges.

We would never hear back from them. So eventually UIW had DME on Twitter, and they wanted me to come to the camp. So I went there, balled out, but they didn't offer me until like six months later towards the end of my senior year.

That ended up being my only offer to FCS school. So I took it and ran with it and was able to create some relationships with teammates that would last a lifetime. Coach Morris, Coach Leslie, those were really my two first quarterback coaches besides Coach Steve Van Meter.

So those guys that showed me along the way, you know, he'll forever be with me. Ended up hitting the transfer portal after two seasons at UIW. What we did there was exceptional. We were the first 10-win team at UIW my last season there. So to be able to do that, win a conference championship, I still had the ring with me to this day. I carried it with me everywhere. And so ended up heading here in Washington State with Coach Morris.

It was one of the best decisions that I made. You know, the bond that I created with the team when I first got here, it was crazy because we knew each other from since we grew up. So, you know, the relationships that you get here in Pullman, you know, it's not like anything else while I've been. And the coaching staff here, the coaching staff here, they're very giving, I would say. We always go to, well, right now we go to Coach Arbuckle's house. We always have been over there.

Other position groups do it a lot. And so, you know, just the lessons that I've learned already here at Washington State, they'll be with me forever. When you were a zero star recruit, it's got to be frustrating because you have to know what you're capable of to some extent. But did you like truly know that everything that you've gone on to accomplish now that you had that in you?

Yes, for sure. I say I wake up and tell myself that I'm one of the greatest, you know, college quarterbacks right now. I tell that to myself every day. But when I was in high school, I would go up against the four stars, the five stars, the ones that are in Texas. And I just always felt that I was better than those guys. But, you know, I never got the looks that, you know, I wanted due to the offense that I played in high school, which was a winning team.

But, you know, everything has more reason, though. And, you know, if I had to go back and do it over again, I would. I know that you're related, Cam Ward, the quarterback of the Washington State Cougars are up to 16th in the country undefeated. They're off this weekend. But you're related to Quinnen Jammer and then also Quandre Diggs. How have they been resources for you in kind of your football journey?

They've been great resources for me. Quandre has probably been the most resource for me, for sure. Text him really every week, every other week, or just text him today. But, you know, when we talk about – when I talk to him, we don't talk about football the majority of the time. We just talk about life, you know, what he feels like can get me to the next level. When we talk about football and really just how he's doing, you know, when he comes down back to our hometown, he always has crossfish balls at his mom's house who lives one minute away from my mom. So, you know, it's always good times when I'm with them.

You know, some days I'm just trying to get to his level. The Pac-12 is loaded this year. And I know it's coming to a close and who knows what's going to be the future of Washington State football in terms of a conference. But going into last week, it seemed like everyone was talking about Oregon State. Did you guys kind of sense that disrespect? Did you feel like you were disrespected leading up to that game?

Not really, in my opinion. I mean, we don't really get into the immediate side of things. We really just tend to control what we control. And that's playing football, you know, just showing up every day to go to work. You know, we do those things.

We're sure everything in the future will take care of itself. Last thing that I'll ask you before we let you run, your head football coach, Jake Dickert, what can you tell me about him? I know he was the interim in 2021, then got the head coaching job last season. How's your relationship been with him and what type of football coach is he? That's the guy that you want to play for. Especially for me, he's the guy who tells me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear.

When I came here on my visit, it was only me, Coach Dickert, a couple of the recruiting assistants, and Coach Moore. So, you know, I got a chance to, you know, spend time with him, got a chance to meet his family, see what his kids were like. So, you know, playing for Coach Dickert, he's for sure one of the best head coaches I've played for, simply because he always keeps it real with his players. He always tells what we need to hear. And, you know, he's a real caring person.

Coach Dickert is not like any other coach in the country. And to be able to play for him, you know, it just means a lot. And, you know, he's the big reason why I am the man and person that I am today. Well, I really enjoyed the time today. Awesome story that you have, Cam Moore. Thanks so much for doing it. And good luck the rest of the way and good health. Yes, sir. Thank you.

I appreciate it. We got it once again when Cam Ward from the Washington State football team was joining us. With how successful the Pac-12 has been this year, and it's not just Coach Prime, but with Coach Prime being there, the Pac-12 becomes more of a must-watch event week in and week out.

And with the presence of Coach Prime, you also have other great stories. Like Michael Penix Jr., who would have thought Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix, with what they did at Indiana and Auburn, were going to be these star quarterbacks at Washington and Oregon. And not only star quarterbacks, in the Heisman conversation. And then talking about the Heisman, you have the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and the presumed number one overall pick in the draft coming up in April in Caleb Williams. And oh yeah, by the way, the team that has won back-to-back Pac-12 championships in Utah hasn't had Cam rising through the first four weeks of the season, and they're 4-0. And you see a story like Cam Ward from zero stars to FCS, you know, FBS dominating college football, 13 touchdowns, no interceptions, had four touchdowns over the weekend through the air, and then one on the ground. Oregon State with D.J.

Whelan-Golay in at 19. You just keep on going through the top 25, and you go through these schools. And last week, what, it was eight teams that were in the top 25 from the Pac-12? I just wonder where this offseason, it was so up and down on what was going to happen with the future of the Pac-12.

And we knew, right, that you had UCLA and you had USC going to the Big Ten. But with all the other schools that were there and the uncertainty of what was going to happen, you know, who's going to join the Big 12, who's going to move to another conference, I wonder, Hickey, if Coach Prime was doing what he's doing so far this year, last year for Colorado, if that would have got an attractive enough TV deal done or streaming rights deal done for the remaining schools of the Pac-12 instead of seeing everyone else moving on through the multiple conferences that we have seen the changes transpire. If this hype train of Coach Prime happened last year at this time, do we have a difference in the way that the dominoes did fall with the resistance that the Big Ten had for a while in adding Washington, in adding Oregon, and then eventually the Big 12 scooping up, you know, pretty much all those other schools? Would that have changed things where there was a while where the deal wasn't going to get done, then it was going to get done, and it just kept on going back and forth where no one really had a damn clue with the reports? Does Coach Prime, if he was there last year, let's say left Jackson State a year earlier to go to Colorado, would it have changed the direction of college football at all?

No, I don't think so. I don't think TV networks are making deals based on one guy, and there's no guarantee Dion will stay at Colorado past this season. I think he will, but if you're a TV network making a five or ten year deal, you have no idea if he's staying there one year, two years, and if you're going to bank a deal on one guy being there and bringing in, let's say, most of your eyeballs and he leaves, well then you're SOL. If you're a TV network, you just waste a lot of money and you're not going to put a lot of stock in one guy. So let me answer this question two ways.

For the most part, I do agree with you. I don't think it really changes it, but if one guy is going to save the remaining teams, with how many eyeballs have already been brought in, and then also with the attention from other networks coming to his campus to talk about the program and hype up the games and do all that stuff. Yes, you could be right where Coach Prime leaves after two years or leaves after this year. I think he'll stay at Colorado for two seasons. I do before taking a bigger job in college football. But you almost wonder, and who knows how long the streaming deal would have done, but if it would have been like a five year deal or something like that, would that have been the risk that they would have been willing to take, even if Dion's not there for the entirety of those five years?

It's just something that keeps on crossing my mind. Yes, it is very risky to hitch your wagon to one name, but if you're going to hitch your wagon to one name, there's no better name to hitch your wagon to if you're not an SEC school. If you're not a Big Ten school, then Coach Prime with what he's done, because through the first four weeks of the college football season, there's been no bigger story than Colorado, no story that we've talked about more on national landscape than the Colorado Buffaloes.

And it's a shame because just past Colorado, there's so many other teams that are playing great. You highlighted before in the intro, but how many teams are captivating or interesting or just flat out really good this year that make that conference, I would say the most watchable so far without a doubt going forward here, and it's a shame that that good publicity is coming in their final year. And I'll give you credit, and I say this all the time, I think hickey pound for pound in terms of college football knowledge here at the network between all the host, all the producers, he's the most knowledgeable about college football. Now, it does not mean he always gets the correct analysis and he tells you the right things and he tells you like Florida State's going to be a bunch of frauds things that he said that I vehemently disagreed with.

But hickey is the most well researched and well informed college football mind here and watches probably the most college football out of anybody at the network. And before the year, you said the Pac 12 was the best conference in college football. And through the first four weeks, I don't see out the end of the year, how we're not talking about it this way. Now, the only but I would give you is, let's just say, and it may not be the best from I'm talking about top to bottom the conference I'm going to mention. But if the big 10 has, let's say, an undefeated Michigan going into the Michigan Ohio State game, and then Ohio State is either undefeated only has one loss. And that one loss is the Penn State like if you're going into that final week of the season where Michigan and Ohio State and Penn State combined could potentially only have one loss. The top heaviness of the big 10 and you would have three teams you would think in the top five or at least the top seven. That may be enough where because of how deep the Pac 12 is the Pac 12 eventually at some point will beat up on one another. And that's why I hope the committee looks at the Pac 12 a little differently this year, which I don't know if they will. And if you have a two loss Pac 12 conference champion, well, I would put a two loss Pac 12 conference champion in the college football playoff this year and we've never had a team with two losses get into the college football playoff. I hope common sense prevails. You never know with this committee.

You don't. So I really, I mean, it's more of a hope than a confident statement, but I do hope that common sense prevails in the sense that when you see how deep the conference is, especially when you get to October, November, some of these games on the schedule where, yeah, you can have a two loss conference champ and still have them be one of the best teams in the country just because the gauntlet they go through where you're facing three or four teams in the top 15. If you lose some, you lose so much, that should still be enough to get you in bare minimum, at least one team. But it's going to be a hell of a ride. Give me a lot of chaos. And here's the best part about the Pac 12. You still believe USC is the best team in the Pac 12 and they're going to win the Pac 12, right? That's been your take.

Yes, sir. I could like realistically argue that USC is the fourth or fifth best team in the Pac 12. Like I could that shows you how great the Pac 12 is where Hickey could watch something and he could say USC is the best team in the Pac 12. And I could make a case that Oregon's better than USC, Washington, my pick to win the Pac 12 is better than USC. And, you know, I could say Utah is better than USC as well and even maybe make the case for Washington State.

Now, I'm not saying that's the case I'm making. The only thing that I'm willing to say right now is I believe Washington and Oregon are better than USC. And then we'll see, is Utah better than USC? Is Washington State better than USC? But that's what makes this Pac 12 so crazy.

And you know what? I don't know what the Cougs will end up being at the end of the season, but whoever won this Washington State, Oregon State matchup was going to turn into that team that it's weird to call them a dark horse because they're ranked 16th and 19th in the country. But if we pull most of the people around the world right now who wins the Pac 12, you're probably going to say either one of these four schools, Washington, USC, Oregon, or Utah.

But like, Colorado will always be the story because of Coach Prime. I don't think Colorado's win the Pac 12, but if you're looking for a dark horse to win the Pac 12, it could end up being the Washington State Cougars. And it's kind of crazy and shows you how good the Pac 12 is this year, Hickey, that a dark horse could be the 16th best team in the country right now.

Absolutely dark horse. No one talked to all of them before the season, unranked to start the year. Like you said, there's so much star power, so many big time quarterback names, I should say, that Washington State, it's very easy to overlook a team like that. And so far, they passed their first test of being in the Beavers and a nice win over Wisconsin earlier this year, too. But you're right, they didn't get the love because they don't have right now a Caleb Williams or Michael Penick Jr. or didn't really do it last year that had you believing coming back this year. Oh, they have one of the best teams in the country.

And now you're starting to see it on the field that they are just another force. And again, a team that not a lot of people were talking about now enters the fray and adds, again, another layer and another challenge in an already gauntlet of a conference. So last week, heading into last week, there was eight teams in the top 25 from the Pac 12. This week, I think it went down to six because you had UCLA and Colorado fall out of the top 25 in the AP poll. At the end of the season, how many top 25 teams do you think there will be from the Pac 12? I'll say six. So your six would be USC, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and then who would be Washington State and Oregon State? Yes.

Okay. They're going to get enough wins to bump themselves back up, kind of like the SEC in past years when they would be so deep. Even if you're eight and four, I think you get the benefit of that out. Yeah, you're probably right. I think it's a fair number. And the next two weeks for UCLA, they could... You know what's weird?

Well, you know what? I could see why UCLA fell out of the top 25. Because your three wins were Coastal Carolina, San Diego State, North Carolina Central, then you play Utah and you only put up seven points and you lose 14 to seven over the weekend. But UCLA, I'll be curious how many losses they have at the end of the year. These next two weeks are going to be telling you if they could split Washington State, Oregon State, you take that in a second, then after that you have Stanford.

Okay, you play Colorado, then you have good landing spots in Arizona, Arizona State before playing USC, and then you have California at the end of the season. When you look at Chip Kelly's squad, the UCLA Bruins, how many losses when you go through that schedule? Right now they have one up against Utah. Do you think they have at the end of the season?

I will say four. I think they're eight and four, which still I would say is a solid record so far for that year. And I'm assuming you have those three losses, Washington State, Oregon State, and USC?

Yes. So that's with no upsets. No upsets.

That's with no upsets. And you probably think that's what the Pac-12 is known for. I'm not saying we don't talk about UCLA, but UCLA is not a big time talked about school this year, especially when you're thrown into this gauntlet of the Pac-12. I think one of the biggest problems for the Pac-12 in this college football playoff era is whenever you identify that team because of how good this conference has been, and this year you just take it to a different level, they trip up and they lose a game that you shouldn't lose. And maybe that ends up happening where a Washington State or Oregon State or USC, they lose to a UCLA after being one of those hot teams, and then that ends up screwing this conference. That's why you also look at the end of the season for some of these schedules. I think I made this point when you look at Washington.

They were my pick. But then you see Washington with the Huskies at the end of the season. Their final four games are USC, Utah, Oregon State, and Washington State.

You're going to have to be maybe perfect in those four games. And if you lose one, then you could be on the outside looking in, or maybe it comes back where you get your redemption in the Pac-12 championship game. And even for USC at the end of the season, they play, well, October 14th is not that far away, they play Notre Dame, Utah, then you have California, then you end the year with Washington State, Oregon, and UCLA. This is going to be the final three or four weeks of the season in college football, you're going to have to look who gets the good landing spot. And it may be Oregon. Oregon's final four games, you play California, USC, Arizona State, and Oregon State. And the week before California, you play Utah.

So it's like you look at it, it's like eventually one of these schools are going to trip up. Like from October 14th, I'm listening to this gauntlet for Oregon. Washington, Washington State, Utah, California, USC, Arizona State, Oregon State. So even if you beat Washington, Washington State, and Utah, you still have to play USC and Oregon State. This is going to be wild, Hickey. The Pac-12 is the best conference this year in college football. Cannot wait.

It's going to be so much fun. Zach Yelp shows CBS Sports Radio. We'll take a break when we come on back. Five questions, five answers. We do this segment every Monday and Friday, but since I'm off tomorrow, we will do it on a Thursday. A little Onside's Offside.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-28 20:34:37 / 2023-09-28 20:52:15 / 18

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