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Danny Kannell, CBS Sports HQ CFB Analyst

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
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December 21, 2023 4:27 pm

Danny Kannell, CBS Sports HQ CFB Analyst

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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December 21, 2023 4:27 pm

CBS Sports HQ CFB Analyst joins Zach

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So you can get the right answers and products right when you need them. Call, click Grainger.com or just stop by. Grainger, for the ones who get it done. Alrighty, rocking and rolling. Now we're number two of our radio program. It is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. Coming up an hour from now, Kaitlyn DeBoer, the head football coach of the Washington Huskies, will join us. But first up, former NFL and college quarterback and someone when you hear Florida State, you think of him. And that, of course, is Danny Connell, CBS Sports HQ, also Sirius XM.

And make sure you check out BetOnline for updated college football championship and bowl game lines. Danny Connell, I always appreciate the time. How are you? I'm great, Zach.

What's going on, man? It's great to be on with you again. I think the last time I talked to you, I was sitting outside the shoe before Ohio State, Penn State. But it's good to be back on, man.

Well, I appreciate you coming on. Let me start you off with Florida State because I haven't talked to you since they were left out of the college football playoff. I know that you wanted them in, but you tell me why they should have got in over, let's say, an Alabama or Texas, whoever you wanted to leave out.

I think it's pretty simple. They won every game, right? I mean, it's just undefeated in a power five conference, which wins against LSU by a greater margin than Alabama beat LSU. They beat LSU on a neutral field. Bama beat them in their own backyard. They've got a win over Clemson who finished eight and four. They've got a win over Florida on the road with a backup quarterback and an ACC championship game over a top 15 Louisville team.

Like the resume to me stacks up. Here's the problem I have with it, Zach, is just and the committee was pretty forthright, right? First of all, the invitational, we'll call it, it's not really a playoff, is designed to basically exclude a worthy candidate. And that's what Florida State is. And unfortunately for my alma mater, it's the most egregious example of somebody being wronged that should have had an opportunity. It's not the first time, but it sure is the most egregious with a power five team running the table. And the committee said we didn't think they were as competitive without Jordan Travis. We didn't think they could compete for a national championship. And I would strongly push back against that. There is a laundry list of teams in college and the NFL that have won with backup quarterbacks.

When you get other areas of the team, you know, that play better, just like Florida State's defense did. So I think it's garbage. I think it's a team sport, the greatest team sport we made. I think the committee made a mistake, but there's really no wrong answer for them because of the way this thing is designed.

Well, let me just ask you this, then, and I know this is not the way that it works. You have to based off what you did, not what you're going to project in the future. But let's say they put Florida State in over Alabama and it was Michigan going up against Florida State in a few weeks in the Rose Bowl. How do you think that game would have played out? Florida State probably would have been a 13 point underdog. But I think Florida State actually stacks up pretty well against Michigan because their offense hasn't been lighting up people either. You know, like I think it would have been a defensive, lower scoring game might have not been the most compelling TV product. But in that type of situation, I think Florida State could have gone toe to toe with them. And I think they might have been able to have that defense, you know, rally shut down Michigan's offense, which did struggle against Iowa's defense, which is a great top tier defense. But so is Florida State.

So I think they could have gone toe to toe with them. But I guarantee you, Zach, that's the conversation that unfolded in the committee room was, you know, well, how do you think this game plays out? And the minute I started to get nervous was when Florida State was playing the ACC championship game and the offense looked putrid.

I mean, there's no other way around it. Offense looked atrocious with a third string quarterback. And it was the whole night. It wasn't like, oh, halftime they got it going.

It was down to the wire. The offense never looked good. And I think the committee members were thinking about the matchups and the TV product. And are we really going to send that team to compete for a national championship? Which the problem I have with that is, did anybody watch Alabama versus Auburn one week before they beat Georgia?

Like you could get that version of Bama against Michigan and it could be ugly for them, too. But the committee made the decision. It's what we got to go by. And it's just a tough pill to swallow.

It's always going to be. I'll tell you, those players I feel gutted for on Florida State because they'll be sitting around in 20, 30 years at their reunion saying, I can't believe we didn't get a chance. And they felt robbed and I think deservedly so.

And I'm going to preface what I'm going to say next to Andy Connell, where when I say it, I know it kind of doesn't make sense. But I keep on saying it like I do think Florida State got screwed. But on the other hand, I can't really disagree with what the committee did because any of the four teams in the playoff this year can win it.

And we've not been able to say that each and every year when you look at these four teams. Ultimately, I think what it came down to was Alabama. We all knew they weren't keeping out a one loss SEC champion. And because Texas beat Alabama back in week two by Tenen Tuscaloosa, you needed to put Texas in and that ultimately cost Florida State, in my opinion. Oh, agreed. I think you're spot on. And like for Florida State fans that are upset or mad at her carb street, they're mad.

Bill Hancock, they're mad at everybody because they got left off. Be mad at the system. And that's one thing I have remained true. Like I have not been OK with the system since day one. I thought it was better. The four team was better than the BCS, just like the BCS.

Just like I think the 12 team will be better than the four team. But it's an imperfect system. It was designed to create controversy. We were sold that that's good.

The debate. You know, the fact that somebody is going to be on the cusp and somebody is going to be left out is a good thing. And I have maintained the whole time, probably most vocally when twenty seventeen, when you see a group of five team got left out that was undefeated. Yet they had multiple wins against power five programs.

I said, hold on, this feels wrong. And ironically, that year, Bama back toward their way and didn't win their division, but ended up winning the national championship. And UCF beat the team that beat Alabama in Auburn. So there's always been a team that's been left out. Just like I said, unfortunately, the last year of its existence, it happened to be Florida State. And the good news is next year, I think we'll get a better playoff, which hopefully will get everyone that's deserving will get left in.

Let me flip it on you. Do you because I was having this conversation the other night, Zach, if it was the 12 team playoff this year. Do you think Florida State would have been given the four? Like, do you think that because you still could have had Alabama and you have Georgia and you've got everybody in. Do you think they would have rewarded Florida State going undefeated?

Yeah. What do you think they would have? Yeah, I think they would have. It was that they could because look at this. You're telling me Florida State's not better than Alabama, but then they're better than Georgia. Don't get me wrong. I think Georgia is better than Florida State.

But even in the argument of four, it didn't really make sense. And it was OK. We know we have to find Bama landing spot, but it doesn't really matter where we put the landing spot of Georgia. So let's put Florida State in front of Georgia. Right. I think so, too.

I think you're spot on with that one. So I think that's how it would have unfolded. And, you know, if you truly went with the best teams, I'm using air quotes like if because we were talking lines before who'd been favored. The four probably should have been in any order. Michigan, Ohio State, Bama and Georgia. Like those are the four biggest powerhouses, best teams in the country.

If you went by rosters, four and five star makeup. But at some point you do have to honor what unfolded on the field. And that's where I think Florida State got the raw deal because they kind of ignored that. The only one I disagree with out of those four is Ohio State. And I was someone all throughout the year that I thought Ohio State was overrated. I thought they were lucky to beat Notre Dame. McCord should have thrown that pick. And then Marcus Freeman didn't have enough guys on the field at the end of the game. And ultimately, you saw it up against Michigan. You know, it shows you why Michigan's better than Notre Dame. They find the way to make those interceptions when McCord is giving you the football. I thought the quarterback for Ohio State was what's going to derail their season and made them just a good team, not a great team.

Yeah. And I guess good news, if you're a Buckeye fan, Kyle McCord is now a Syracuse member of the Syracuse Orange. So they're going to be looking for a new quarterback.

Yes and no. But I thought they would land like D.J. Ungolay or Cam Ward. I don't even know who's going to be playing quarterback for them next year. They may be begging for McCord to come back to Ohio State next year.

Yeah. And it might be a one game audition for Devin Brown, the freshman who played a little bit this past year, got hurt. You know, he's expected to play in this bowl game and maybe that's what they make their decision. If he balls out, they're like, we're good. We've got some young signees that we've got. And if he struggles, I wouldn't be surprised that they're in the market because some of these quarterbacks haven't made their decision yet. They're kind of waiting and holding out for bigger paydays. And that could be a school that gets a little desperate after the bowl game and says, hey, we'll do whatever it takes.

The other thing I want to bring up, Danny Connell, because I could see it now. Like, I don't fault Jared verse for skipping the bowl game. You know, it's like this bowl game. It really means nothing when you had college football playoff aspirations and it's so deflating with that feeling. But I could like Georgia if they if they destroy Florida State. I don't think that should be justifying the argument of the committee on why they left them out to.

Oh, but it will be used. It'll be 100 percent state Florida State's in a no win situation because if they beat Georgia and there are two touchdown underdog. That line probably can move up as the more Florida State players opt out. People are going to say, oh, but Georgia wasn't trying because it was it was national championship or bus for them. Exactly. And if Florida State gets beat, then they're going to say, see, you didn't belong. They really are in a no win situation. And Mike Norvell, he spoke for the first time on signing day yesterday.

Oh, me too. And he said he said this is the hardest two weeks he's ever faced as a coach. And I believe him because he's been trying to keep guys morale up, trying to keep guys wanting to play. And when you know, when the committee says to you, you're not good enough, we don't think you can compete for a national championship. Well, then why should we compete for anything if you don't think we're any good?

And I think that's probably the mindset that the players have. Why should I stick around and play in a meaningless bowl game? Which I do think the bowl system itself is broken because of the college football calendar. And I think the only solution is to move bowl games to week zero. You know, and if it's a playoff game, make it in post post regular season, post championship weekend, any other bowl game. I think the only solution is put at week zero.

Otherwise, we're going to see these opt outs continue. Four hundred plus players. Zach have opted out or transfer portaled out or opted out to prepare for the NFL draft. Four hundred players. That is a massive problem for college football. I mean, and that's all I do is prepare for these games.

I can't even tell you who's playing half the positions at different teams. Like tonight's the Boca Bowl. I'm actually going to the game.

I'm in South Florida. I've been there once. My owl's lost in the Boca Bowl. I've been there. It's a good stadium.

Right. It's a great little bowl. It's great. It's fun. Syracuse is playing South Florida. Yeah.

Half of both. And these are two teams that are six and six. You know, like they're like sometimes you think that's a reward. They get to come to South Florida. Both teams have like double digit players have entered the transfer portal. So you're getting kind of who's playing. I don't know.

And who wants to be there is the question we keep asking. I want to put them in week zero. So, you know, they matter like they could impact your chance to make the playoff and make your chance to win a conference championship. So I think that's the only solution. So what you're saying is you move it to week zero and then have that game count for the next season schedule like like on their record. Is that what you're saying? Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So in it like just and then the only the only hiccup in that one is like balls are a reward for a successful season.

That's what I've always been told. But the players are telling you they don't care. They're saying it's not a reward.

I don't even play in the game. So if you are, you know, seven, if you get six wins, then then you would set the schedule for the following season. Week zero would be your reward.

You come to not be a lot hotter in Boca and August, but you would come to Boca for a few days and week zero is growing exponentially. Like I remember the first week zero was like two games. Then it went to five. Then the TV networks are like, oh, wait, we can put games here. Now it's like 15. Make it the bowl, you know, kind of bowl weekend week zero.

It's kind of empty and then it matters and you'll have full participation. It's an interesting idea because I do think in a 14 format, these bowl games are irrelevant. Now, when we go to 12, they're even going to become more relevant.

Now, let me be clear. Danny can now I hate going to 12 like six or eight. I'm fine with going to 12. I think it takes away what makes college football better than so many other sports is every regular season game matters.

And we talked about those soft landing spots. Now you could go be an SEC team or a Big Ten team. You lose two, three games like Ohio State, Michigan, whoever loses. They're still going to find a way to get into the playoff and it takes away from those great regular season games.

I totally hear your argument. I think eight was the perfect number. Twelve kind of came out of nowhere, right? I mean, that was the and it's going to get worse. They're going to go from twelve only north of that in the in the future.

Probably you're probably right. I hope they get to a place where we can do away with committees like don't select them. Just come up with a true playoff where its division when you're like, like the NFL model where minor league NFL.

Let's do it. I do think there are some protections like the buy for the top four teams like those losses could hurt you where you lose a buy to get healthy or you get to either host a home game. You know, if you're seeding five through eight and then you'd have to go on the road.

So there will be some penalty. I think what's really going to be weird are the rematches that take place. Like we already see Ohio State, Michigan final game of the regular season.

They're doing away with divisions in the Big Ten. You could see a rematch of that game a week later. And if they're undefeated the first time, you could see a meet again. Like that to me is probably the biggest issue that I'm kind of worried about. Hopefully they can fix the bracket so that they don't face again. But if they both win, you can't really prevent that from happening.

But I all it's more of a wait and see for me. But I totally understand what you're thinking. I still believe that there's enough teams at one hundred and thirty. And, you know, the reality is that only 40 can get to the playoffs, not win, get to the playoffs. I think I still think only about 12 can actually win the national championship. But I do think that the hope that it brings those 40 programs will bring added value to the regular season deeper.

Like the month of November will mean that much more because teams are still in the playoff race. What do you hope happens with Florida State, whether it's realistic or not, moving forward with their search to potentially join a new conference? I wish they could salvage the ACC. I mean, my freshman year at Florida State was the first year in the conference. But it just seems unsustainable, you know, untenable.

All the reasons that Florida State is laid out are valid. I am I'll say this full disclosure. I'm tired of all the talk and the meetings and the saber rattling and the threats. Just bring some action. You know, if you're going to if you're going to get out, start the legal process, sue the league, which I think that's what this meeting tomorrow is going to be about.

I think they're going to approve that. They're going to start to sue their way out of the ACC. The Big Ten or SEC is where you want to be. Those are the those are the super conferences.

They hold the keys to the future of college football. I think the SEC is clearly a better fit regionally rivalry wise. We already play Florida. We've already played LSU like there's been some natural rivalries just regionally. The Big Ten feels a little bit clunky.

It doesn't feel like the best fit. But if the SEC says we're good, we already have the Florida Gators in the state. Sign me up to play Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, Washington. But that's where the future of college football is headed are these two super conferences. And if Florida State wants to stay, you know, where I think they belong at the upper echelon, they need to find a spot in one of these leagues.

And I think a big misconception that people have, Danny Cannell, last thing I'll bring up to you. And yeah, Florida State's a big enough brand to be in the Big Ten or the SEC. But I think a lot of people believe that the Big Ten and the SEC are going to keep on just adding a lot of schools. Like that's the exclusive part of college football and college sports, the Big Ten and the SEC. And when I look around teams that aren't in the Big Ten and the SEC, there's not a lot of attractive brands that are still remaining, especially in college football.

Right. And that's the leverage that Florida State is trying to use between those two leagues. Because Clemson and Florida State and Notre Dame. Notre Dame is the golden goose, right? And that feels like the Big Ten. That just needs to happen. But outside of Notre Dame, it feels like Florida State and Clemson, two best brands available.

I do think they're somewhat attached to the hip. So if Florida State can push their way out, I do think there's probably some deal with those two together. And then it's, you know, all right, you go to the SEC, you really want to let us go to the Big Ten? Like these two valuable playoff worthy teams, you're going to let them go to Fox, which is a, you know, there's a competitive nature there. And ultimately when it's all said and done, I don't know what Greg Sankey and the SEC will decide to do, but I think they bring too much value where you would turn them down.

But then it gets really crowded. You know, I still think I am worried about this because I think when these current TV deals that start next year, so in about six years, like 2030, we lost like Pac-12 Washington State, Oregon State kind of died right there. The Pac-12 was blown up. Washington State, Oregon State left out. I do wonder if there's another cycle where some of the bottom dwellers in the Big Ten and the SEC are left behind to make room for Florida State, Clemson, maybe Miami, maybe some other programs in the ACC that are better brands than some of the bottom dwellers in the SEC and Big Ten.

I'm just curious. I hate that it's going to happen, but I feel like it will. Do you think Miami is still attractive to either the Big Ten or the SEC? Are they still an attractive brand? I think Florida, the state of Florida is attractive to the Big Ten. And I think academically Miami is probably more attractive than Florida State. I think, and I think they're probably a better fit, but that doesn't, I mean, Florida State is trying to do things academically perception wise, like become an AAU school so that they are perceived stronger academically. Hey, I think they're the Harvard of the South. I think it's a great school, but the reality is they're not one of the top schools ranking wise. So they're trying to change that perception so that they bring more value to the Big Ten because that seems to be a priority for them even more so than football.

You can check out BetOnline for updated college football championship and bowl game lines. Danny Connell, before we let you run, I have to ask you about Colorado. What do you think the future is for Coach Prime?

How do you think we'll be talking about them a year from now? Do you mean Colorado, the ninety ninth ranked recruiting class of twenty twenty four? I mean, that was pretty astounding.

I was shocking. Like, I'm a little bit concerned about him, but Deion Sanders has made it clear. I'm going to do this to the portal, you know, and they're getting veteran players. It's a unique, you know, tactic to take. But as long as you've got your door and they brought in four offensive linemen, they're still waiting on the fifth.

The kid who kind of switched and flipped his commitment, who was on just two weeks ago on one with Skip Bayless, you know, professing his commitment to Colorado. Now it's up in the air. If they can shore him up and they can protect your door and they're in the Big 12, which will be easier, not easy, easier to win than the Pac 12. I think they should be better. And I think it's good. I think it's a great story for college football. I also think there's a high like there's it's just it's going to be one of those boom or bust situations.

And this year you saw both of it. I think next year could be the same if they can keep it on track and keep their eyes focused, not get distracted by game day and big noon kickoff and celebrities. They could make a run for the Big 12 championship. But if they face adversity and they start to get distracted and you see infighting and they're worried about talking and putting out Instagram videos and hype videos, then I could see them being six and six. So like there's a wide gap of what they possibly could be. But I guarantee you this.

Everybody's going to be watching just like last year. He is Danny Connell. Danny, always great to catch up with you. Thanks for the time. You got it, Zach. Have a great holiday season.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-21 18:28:19 / 2023-12-21 18:38:24 / 10

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