Live from the play show yet 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, welcome, welcome 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 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. Loaded guest list today. Pat Kelsey going to join us coming up 20 minutes from now. His team, the College of Charleston is going back to the NCAA tournament. Second year there as their head coach. So we will connect with Pat Kelsey coming up 20 minutes from now. Mike Morrell who's done a great job at UNC Asheville.
They're going to the NCAA tournament. He's going to join us an hour. 20 from now. Dane Belton from the Giants will be in studio at 8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific. And then we will spin the QB Carousel wheel today. And I just have a feeling that at 9.20 p.m. Eastern, 6.20 p.m. Pacific it's going to land on the New England Patriots. So we'll travel to Foxborough and welcome in Tommy Curran. Does a great job covering the Patriots for a very long time. But first up, producing this extravaganza for the next four hours.
There's no other than Hate Kiki. We have a tweet from Lamar Jackson. That's where we start today's show off with. And I guess Lamar the agent is already starting because Lamar doesn't have representation. It's himself and his mother representing Lamar Jackson. I do think since this looks like it's heading down a contentious path, it would behoove Lamar Jackson to hire an agent, but he has not been willing to wave the white flag on that yet.
So Lamar kind of has to promote himself. And even if Lamar like just tweets out, Oh, the weather's nice today. It's going to be a story. Or, Oh, I had a great dinner tonight. It's going to be a story. I went to the bathroom. Number two.
It was smooth. That's going to be a story. So Hard Rock Sportsbook put out a tweet. QBs in NFL history with a 96 plus passer rating and 100 plus passing touchdowns in their first 61 starts. Lamar Jackson in all caps.
Patrick Mahomes, Dan Marino, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson. And right after that tweet or in that same tweet, it says, Lamar isn't a running QB. He's a great QB who can run. And that caller from Texas, Terry yesterday, probably is losing his mind after that tweet. And just that ridiculous phone call that we took yesterday has some people just think Lamar is still a running back is beyond me. The guy is what a unanimous MVP as a quarterback.
All right. The guy has been to the playoffs multiple times. He has a great win loss record. He's done a lot his first five years in the league, but there's still some people that just do not ever change their beliefs or just have crappy beliefs to begin with. So all Lamar did was quote tweet this and he wrote great company with a heart.
So here we go, Hickey. Lamar Jackson already starting to tell everyone like he needed to do this, that he is great. And that anyone that thinks the narrative part about this is he's not getting a fully guaranteed deal or he's not getting a contract because people question his quarterback skills. Well, if you question my quarterback skills, myself, Patrick Mahomes, Dan Marino, Aaron Rodgers, and oh, yeah, by the way, the man that just got a fully guaranteed deal in Deshaun Watson are the only six quarterbacks in NFL history or five quarterbacks in NFL history with a 96 plus pass passer rating, 96 plus passer rating, a hundred plus passing touchdowns in their first 61 starts. Does this really mean anything right now?
No, it doesn't. But that's where we kind of are as we wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. And I think we did learn something today, Hickey, that Lamar can't start talking to teams until Wednesday. It was my understanding that he could do so on Monday.
And that's what people were saying. He can't get involved in the legal tampering period. You got to wait until Wednesday when the new league year does start. What do you think is going to happen here? Like we are in the same line of thinking, Hickey, that Lamar Jackson is going to eventually get traded or he'll agree to a contract with the new team. And then maybe, maybe, maybe the price comes down or this has just been a giant bluff by the Ravens. They wanted him to go get the contract before they would accept it. And then they accept it.
But you keep on seeing these reports. This team's not interested. That team's not interested. This team's not interested.
That team's not interested. I think this is going to be a very slow moving process where Aaron Rodgers and I saw Diana Rossini's tweet today that there's optimism. And we'll see when this deal gets done. The exact tweet was, in the wake of an extensive in-person meeting between Aaron Rodgers and New York Jets brass, including owner Woody Johnson, there's optimism in the Jets organization that they are on the brink of landing the future Hall of Fame QB sources close to the situation until ESPN. That was at 7.35 a.m. Eastern time this morning.
It is currently six minutes after six o'clock here on the East Coast. We still don't have anything. I've been saying by the end of the weekend, you will get a notification Aaron Rodgers has been traded to the New York Jets and that wraps up Aaron Rodgers run with the Green Bay Packers. But on the Lamar Jackson front, Hickey, I would actually be surprised at this point that if anything happens before the draft, with the way that the owners are basically working together or working on their own, however you want to phrase it, I think it's pretty clear what's going on. They don't want a fully guaranteed deal to be handed out again in back to back off seasons at the quarterback position. I think the team that is going to make the offer sheet, or maybe it could be several teams eventually, it's going to be a very meticulous process where the owners are going to want that price to come down. And Lamar, if he is asking for that fully guaranteed deal is eventually going to have to realize maybe I'm not going to get it.
And then you start to negotiate and see how high up you could negotiate that guaranteed deal. And quite frankly, I would think since Kyler Murray got $189.5 million and Kelvin Beauchamp, the former offensive lineman for the Cardinals is on 98.7 today out in Arizona, and he's saying Kyler Murray needs to mature, Kyler Murray needs to grow up, he needs to be an adult, Lamar has done a lot more in this league than Kyler Murray. I would think bare minimum hickey on any Lamar Jackson contract agreement, if you're not starting with $200 million guaranteed, I don't, assuming that this is going to be a five year deal, like if he wants fewer years, then just disregard these comments. But I'm operating under the belief if he wants a five year deal, you're going to have to give bare minimum $200 million guaranteed to Lamar Jackson. And I do think that process is going to take a while.
Absolutely. I mean, you would think like that has to be at least the starting price for what Lamar is looking for, just hearing all the reports and the contract negotiations he has turned down in the past. And also for Lamar, timing wise, once the draft comes and goes again, that's when teams get desperate.
Because we've talked now ad nauseam the last, let's say, month. All these teams, who could trade up, who can make these moves to get a quarterback? The reality is there's four quarterbacks in the draft in the first round, maybe even three that most teams love. So only three quarterbacks can go that teams feel great about. How many teams actually need them? We can make our goal at six, seven teams that could, in the just top ten alone, use a quarterback. So there's going to be at least three, four, five teams here, not getting the guy that won the draft. Now looking elsewhere of, well, what else do we do? And there's, again, one of the most talented quarterbacks sitting out there and, oh, now it should take some guaranteed money.
Like I said, I'm with you. It's going to take a while. It's going to take through the draft. But once the draft comes and goes, that's when the market, I think, is going to heat up and we're going to really get a bidding war going. And also, once the draft does happen, we will already know, we'll probably know by the end of this week where Rodgers is going. You will know at some point next week where Jimmy Garoppolo is signing. And then after that, it's just those four first-round quarterbacks that you would expect go in the first round. You know, of Bryce Young, of C.J.
Stroud, Will Leviss, and then also Anthony Richardson. Then there's going to be a pool of teams that are available that you look at their quarterback position and it's like, you don't want Lamar Jackson? When you could get him at the low price of two first-round picks? That to me, like we're in agreement here, is when the Lamar Jackson stuff is really going to pick up. Which makes it pretty much a two-month wait.
And then some. Because I don't know how quickly after the draft, that then is all of a sudden just going to go down. Because you also got to remember too, especially in the NFL and really all sports, deadlines make deals. Right now, the only deadline any team has to really kind of worry about or Lamar Jackson has to worry about is July 17th.
Which is the last day that you can give a player in the franchise tag an extension. So there's really also no rush for Lamar. There's no rush for another team.
Because what's the incentive? No one's right now throwing money towards Lamar. No one has to worry about, you know, we're going to lose it out on Lamar tomorrow. And if you're Lamar Jackson, again, you want teams to be desperate for you. That's how you get the biggest, you know, the highest bid. And right now, teams, once they miss out on that quarterback in the draft and miss out on Aaron Rodgers and I guess we're going to say miss out on Jimmy G if you want to even go that far. Then it's like they got nowhere else to go.
You're backed into a corner. That's what helps create the market for Lamar. And also, I would be annoyed at the Ravens at this standpoint.
And I know it's by design on this non-exclusive franchise tag. I would be annoyed if let's say it is $200 plus million guaranteed. And their last offer was $130 million guaranteed.
If they just go, yeah, we're actually just going to match it. At this rate, if Lamar agrees to terms with another team, I hope the Ravens say thanks but no thanks. And just take your two first round picks because this process, what annoys me about it is how people try to put Lamar down. Like anyone at this point that says the guy is just a running back, you're a moron, you don't watch football. Then the injury concerns the last two years, okay, that's fine. But the guy is so young, he's 26. So I don't even think that's really valid. What this is right now and the reason why he hasn't got a deal is because of the guaranteed money.
And I feel like, Kiki, this shouldn't be that complicated. And personally, if I was running an NFL team and I probably would not be popular with the other owners. If let's just say the Ravens are okay with giving him $200 million guaranteed, which I don't know if they are. But if the end deal is let's say $235 million over five years, that's $47 million a year.
And you could spread it out however you want. And we're talking about only $35 million of it not being guaranteed, fully guaranteed. In NFL circles, I know it's more of the purpose and the point. So no other agent could say, oh, well, this guy got a fully guaranteed deal.
That's back to back here. So now, you know, my guy's going to get it. But I just kind of hope. And if I was running a team that over like $35 million for a guy that's the face of your franchise, I give it to him and I would have no regrets about it. And if it doesn't work, it doesn't work.
But so far, I have no reason to believe that it's not going to work. Because when he showed me in the first five years in the league, you don't just win a Super Bowl right away. But when he showed me in the first five years of the league, when you haven't got him a number one wide receiver, is that, yeah, I ultimately do believe you could win a Super Bowl with Lamar Jackson. I know he hasn't had postseason success yet, but the way that he's played, I've seen a whole lot worse at the quarterback position during my time watching the NFL.
That's for me where it gets tough in terms of the money he wants, the guaranteed money he wants. There are red flags. It's legitimate. It's not just a Lamar Jackson problem or it's like he can't stay healthy. Recently, he relies on his legs a lot. And the postseason success, I think it's a big enough sample size where I'd be concerned.
Is it, though, really? Four games over three years. He's not played well in any of the four. Even the one game they won.
Very shaky against the Titans. And I use this analogy all the time, like Giannis Antetokounmpo. He won back-to-back MVPs and people were like, oh, he can't win a championship.
You can't win a championship with Giannis as your one. Now he's the best player in the league and he won a championship. It takes time in this sport. It took Peyton Manning a while to win a Super Bowl. It took John Elway until the end of his career, I know he ended up winning two, but to just win one Super Bowl. You don't just win Super Bowls and it's so easy. And also, you could question, have the Ravens put Lamar Jackson in the best position to succeed? Because on the offensive side of the ball, they haven't really surrounded him with much. They said, you're the offense.
So I think that's also fair to question the Ravens and quite frankly, we always give the Ravens a pass because they get the benefit of the doubt. It is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. Here's the poll question today, by the way. What do you get at Zach Gelb at CBS Sports Radio? The Jets starting QB next year should be?
How about this one? Lamar Jackson or Aaron Rodgers? Right now, 62.9%. Early returns. You think it's Lamar Jackson or Aaron Rodgers, Icky? And this is should, right? For not will, should.
Yes, we haven't got to that part of the show yet. I will say Lamar Jackson. It's Aaron Rodgers. Should and Lamar Jackson. 7.1% Lamar Jackson. I got some thoughts on who should be the Jets starting quarterback.
We'll get to those later on in the show. But next up, Pat Kelce going to join us. His basketball team going to the NCAA tournament. We will dance with Coach Pat Kelce next with the Zach Gelb show returns in five minutes. You're listening to the Zach Gelb show.
Hi, welcome back in. Zach Gelb show. Coast to Coast CBS Sports Radio. Pat Kelce is the head coach at the College of Charleston. And the Cougars are dancing to the NCAA tournament as CAA champs.
They are 31 and 3. They have the most wins in the country. And now joining us is their head coach in Pat Kelce. Coach, first off, congratulations going to the NCAA tournament again. We appreciate the time. How you doing? Hey Zach, I'm doing well. Thank you so much for having me on.
And thanks for saying that. We're really excited about the opportunity. So I just listed all the numbers there as we brought you in to be going to the tourney. The amount of wins that you guys had. Would you believe that before the start of the season? Like could you envision this success happening this year?
No, I'd be lying to you if I said I did. I thought we had a really good chance to be a good team. A really good team if everything went right. At the end of the day, here's the thing. We have a special group. You know, I've told somebody recently that hopefully I coach for a long, long time. But there's no way I'll ever coach a team like this one. The maturity, the toughness. We have veteran presence. But it's just such a buy-in from everybody. We play different. We play 9, 10 guys. And that takes a special group that needs to buy in to the power of the unit versus the individual. And it works.
It works with this group. And I'm really blessed to be their head coach. Well that's what stood out to me about your team. It's the depth.
It's the diversity. You have 6 guys that at least average 9 points a game. You just said how many guys you play. You just don't know who's going to show up night in and night out.
And that's a good thing to have this time of the year. Yeah. Do you know Ford, who's the coach at Stony Brook, who's a state of Ohio legend. He's the same age as me and he scored like 4,000 points and I scored like 400 points. But he said after our game in the first round of the tournament that, you know, Charleston's tough for a lot of reasons. But one, that they have 6 or 7 guys that could score 25, 30 points on a given night. And then the best player, I shouldn't say the best player, probably the most valuable player on our team averages 4.5 points a game. And that's a young man named Jalen Scott that just does everything else. He guards the best player on the other team.
He facilitates just kind of the glue that makes everything go and makes everything work. Having said that, he's not even the point guard. That's Ryan Larson, who is a grad transfer from Wofford, who is an extension of the coach on the floor, which all point guards are. And it just makes it such a luxury as a head coach to have those type of veteran guys on the floor, not to mention the Pat Robinsons and the Dalton Bolands, who are both D2 All-Americans. Oh, by the way, Jalen Scott, who I mentioned a second ago, was an NAIA transfer.
Many people have called us sort of the land of misfit toys. We have three Division II transfers, an NAIA transfer that all start. Bunch of international guys. We have a very interesting roster. You mentioned Ryan.
He had 23 in the conference clinching championship game, the CAA championship. You talk about him coming over. I know it's the nature of the sport right now, Coach Pat Kelsey, where you have transferring and that's just the nature of the beast. But you never know how guys are going to fit into your culture with all those different pieces that you're talking about. Why has this all kind of been able to blend together to have success, which seems to be so seamlessly? Well, I think that's the biggest challenge in the new era of college athletics, especially at a high level of Division I basketball and football, is the off-season is a lot of roster management. And then I think the magic that you have to try to work to build a team in a short amount of time is very important. And I think that starts with having a great staff, which I have. I wouldn't trade my staff for any in the country.
I don't care if it's Duke, UCLA, Boston Celtics. They're as good as I've ever been around at. The three big things that a staff has to focus on, and one is the overall development of your players, and that includes relationships, that includes discipline, that includes love, that includes all that. Second is recruiting.
Obviously it's not about the X's and O's, it's about the Jimmy's and the Joe's. And then the third, it's about your basketball system and their ability to teach and articulate our system to our players and sell it on a daily basis, and our guys do that as well as anybody in the country. Pat Kelsey, when did you realize that this group had something special in them? Well, I would probably say when we won the Charleston Classic. So you probably know the Charleston Classic is one of the premier November college basketball pre-conference tournaments. You have the Maui Classic, you've got the deal down in the Atlantis, you've got several other ones, but Charleston Classic is in that mix, and we're allowed to be in it once every four years. We've never won it. We've never been to the finals. And to beat Davidson in the first round, Colorado State in the second round, and then to beat Virginia Tech in the third round, it was a magical three days in what we call our city.
Here, one of the most magnificent cities on planet Earth, and it was just a rocking environment for three days. It energized the city, and it really gave a belief to everybody in this town and on our roster that we could be something special, and then it just took off from there. For me, and I know that you guys won 20 straight games at one point, but I like to see how a team overcomes adversity. You dropped back-to-back games, Hofstra and Drexel, and then that didn't really move you guys to go in the wrong direction.
You guys end up winning 10 straight to end out the year, and you take home that CAA championship. Yeah, throughout the course of the season, it's not if you're going to face adversity, it's when. You know, things were humming and rolling along, and you don't want to say it to your players.
You kind of do. You just let them know, like, adversity's coming. You're going to hit something, whether it's the course of a game through the course of the season.
We use a formula called E plus R equals O, ER events. Those are things that you can't control that just happen. What you can control is your R, and that's your response, how you respond to stuff.
By focusing on your R and controlling what you can control, you usually get the best outcomes. Our guys did a great job after we got punched in the mouth with a couple tough losses back-to-back, in responding in a really mature, professional way, and we used it as a catalyst to springboard us toward a championship. Are you at all a different coach from the coach that we saw at Winthrop when you had a great run?
Has anything changed really for you the last two years? Well, I think as you go through your career, you gain experience and you learn. I think when you're not learning, you're dying.
You're constantly trying to make adjustments as you go along. We play a similar style. Coach Prosser, my mentor, used to say this, and I think it applies to us.
The older I get, the faster I want to play. We never lose track. At the core of what we do and the success that we have, it always comes back to the players. It's about guys.
It's about dudes. We do a great job of identifying guys that fit in our culture and our system. Like I said, my staff does a great job of cultivating a team on a daily basis every single day. You had a good job at Winthrop, and now you've had a lot of success this year at the College of Charleston, your second year in. Was there at all any apprehension to go to the College of Charleston?
Or what made that the right fit for you when you said, OK, I'm going to leave something that's working to go try something else? Well, I'm so thankful for my time at Winthrop. It's a special place. It's a tradition-rich program. The city of Rock Hill is, I believe, one of the best places in the country to raise a family. And that's what we did for close to a decade. And the institution was so good to me. The city of Rock Hill was so good. And we'll look back on that as one of the greatest periods of our life.
My wife and I talk about it all the time. To have a challenge was exciting to us after being there for a decade. And at the end of the day, I just felt like what we could achieve and accomplish and build here in Charleston is to build this into one of the premier programs in the country. And why not? You have, like I said, just an extraordinary city to sell.
There's amazing resources here. I'm driving home right now over the Revenell Bridge, and I'm looking to my right, and I see the USS Yorktown retired aircraft carrier. I'm looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, to the beaches. And then you just have this world-class institution to sell in a city that is passionate about the Cougars.
Basketball is a big deal here. And there was a, you know, it was burning beneath. Coach, are you back with us? I am, man. I had it rolling. I was really feeling it. Like, I had my best stuff going, and I don't know where I cut off. So, I apologize.
No, it's all right. So, before we let you run, I've been so impressed by Dalton Bolen, just the story. They call him Psycho D, no offers coming out of high school, seventh year of eligibility. I read that he's super-glued a gash so he could go play in a football game to hide it from his parents.
And then, oh yeah, by the way, he had his eyelid ripped off, and he played with an eyepatch. Coach, I'm not usually one to ask, like, the question of just talk about your player, but in this case, talk about Dalton Bolen because I'm intrigued. He's amazing. He's amazing. He's, first of all, the toughest player that I've ever coached, and it's not close, and I've coached some really, really tough dudes. And you talk about all those things, about playing with an eyepatch on, and his screams, and his toughness, and he comes across as an MMA fighter. In fact, I think that's something that he wants to try as he moves forward.
But don't get it twisted. The kid is absolutely, positively brilliant. He was the number one Academic All-American in the country at the Division II level. He taught anatomy at his former school as an undergrad.
That's crazy. And here he is, just this player that just plays with so much energy with a chip on his shoulder because he's been told what he couldn't do. You know, his whole career, he wasn't recruited by anybody. He had to walk on at a Division II school, just kept showing up. Finally, they gave him a shot, became an All-American. Now here he is, the leading scorer on a team that's 31-3 going into the national tournament. Unbelievable story.
Hey, and guess what? He didn't score in our championship game. Yeah. Didn't score. And that goes back to, I think, what we pride ourselves on, and that's the power of the unit. It's about winning.
It's not about individuals. And he was the biggest cheerleader on the bench down the stretch when somebody went in and played for him in crucial minutes. How'd you guys find him? The portal. You know, the portal.
This time of year, man, you're hitting refresh every 15 minutes. You find out what prospects are in the portal, and then, you know, you've got to pour through a bunch of names in a short amount of time. We're big on metrics. I love Moneyball.
I love baseball. So we kind of see what guys fit from a numbers standpoint, and then they pass along to the next phase of the evaluation process. Then we want to know your intangibles. How tough? How competitive? Sport IQ?
You make people better? Are you adaptable? And are you about the ABCs? That's academics, basketball, and character.
And if you fit all those, you can put on a Charleston uniform. If you don't, we'll move along to the next one. Last thing I'll ask you, depending on whichever bracketologist you like, I've seen 12 or 13 seed for you guys. Would that disappoint you if you're only a 12 or a 13 seed with the year that you guys have had? I mean, it's out of our control at this point.
I call it the advantage of no choice. I, for sure as heck, think we're better than a 13 seed, but that's what they say we are. It is what it is. You know, tell us who we play and let's go. But we're good, man. It's hard to win 31 games at the Division I level. There's a reason why high major programs don't schedule home-in-homes with mid-majors and go into those gymnasiums because they're hard places to win and we've done it again and again and again and again.
Oh, by the way, we've done it with a stinking target on our back. You know, teams that are on the bubble aren't going into gyms with targets on their back. They're going in and people are going, oh, it's just another game. Like, all the marketing dollars for the opponents that we're playing are going into the Charleston game and the t-shirt game and a whiteout and a blackout and a checker night, whatever it is. And our guys just continue to win throughout the year.
So I think we deserve to be a very good seed and we'll see how it happens on Sunday. Last thing I'll ask you, Pat Kelsey, when you're walking off the court after that game, you win the CAA, just what's going through your mind? Just how thankful and blessed I am to be the head coach at a world-class university and work for a guy, Matt Roberts, my AD, that lets my children be a part of the journey, my son to be on the bench. Your son's a star. I've seen a lot of clips of your son recently.
That's what I hear. That knucklehead doesn't know how good he has his hand. Like, he's nine years old. His 10th birthday is on the 14th, coming up here in a couple days.
And, you know, just here's the thing, man, we just have such great kids on our team and they treat him like their little brother and they let him be in the locker room and they teach him a bunch of bad words and my wife's not happy about that. But they're just such great examples of how you work and how you go about your business and how you treat people and I'm blessed to have those guys as mentors for my son. Well, Coach, it's been a heck of a journey. We hope to see it continue well into March.
Thanks so much for doing this and good luck the rest of the way. We don't say, like, roll tide around here. We say our city. So can you give me an our city? Yeah. Our city!
That good? Let's go. There you go. Pat Kelsey joining us. Great stuff from the coach at the College of Charleston.
Really did enjoy that conversation. We'll take a break. We've got a top 10 coaches list in college football that is out.
We'll discuss it when we return. You're listening to The Zach Gelb Show. Zach Gelb Show, CBS Sports Radio. So Bruce Feldman, highly respected college football writer, put a list out today of the top 25 coaches in college football. So let's just do the top 10 and then we'll give some thoughts on that and then some thoughts outside of the top 10. In at number 10 is Lance Leipold, who had a great year, as we know, last year at Kansas and before that was at Buffalo. Kyle Whittingham, who I think is one of the more underrated coaches in the country, or actually now, Hickey, there's always a guy that gets called the most underrated coach or most underrated player in the country. And then everyone says that. Is he then really underrated?
No, no. He's on the radar. He's well perfectly rated.
I think to the to the big time college football fan, the guy that's like in and out every Saturday, I would still say probably underrated. And also for Whittingham, he's never wanted to leave Utah. And he's talked about that before. And he's never left Utah since becoming the head coach. So it's like, OK, you should get a bigger job.
If you wanted a bigger job, he would absolutely get one. In at number eight, Brian Kelly. Seven, Lincoln Riley. Six, Ryan Day. Five, this one I'm shocked by.
I'm shocked this guy's in the top 10. But I'm so surprised that he's the fifth coach, according to Bruce Feldman. And that's James Franklin, who very rarely wins big games. Then at number four, Jim Harbaugh. Three, Dabo Sweeney.
Two, Kirby Smart. One, Nick Saban. So, Hickey, I always tout you as the most knowledgeable person when it comes to college football. And you watch probably the most college football out of anyone on this network.
Now, sometimes the Penn State propaganda that you spew just bogs down your intelligent level. But with that being said, give me your top 10 coaches in college football right now. Ten to one or one to ten? Let's go ten to one.
Just give me the coach and I'll tell you if I have a reaction or not. Number 10, Kyle Whittingham. OK, he's he's on my top 10 list. Number nine, James Franklin. I would not put him in front of Kyle Whittingham, but OK. OK. Number eight, Brian Kelly of now LSU. Definitely in the top 10.
And we had this conversation, I want to say, about a month ago. We were like, oh, the two best coaches in college football are Nick Saban and also Kirby Smart. If we were looking for a third for the next five years, because like right now, I think everyone would say it's still Dabo Sweeney. But I don't love what I've seen out of Dabo the last two years. And we'll see what Cade Clubnick does.
Khadija Uilunga-Lilay did not work out. But I would say for the next five years, I have the most optimism into taking that third spot would be Brian Kelly. So that's fine with me.
All righty. Number seven, Ryan Day of Ohio State. Yeah, he's in the top 10.
His stock, though, is falling a little bit, but it won't fall out of the top 10. He's got to start beating Michigan again. That he does.
That he does. Number six, Luke Fickle. Yeah, he's got to be in the top 10. I was surprised, by the way, that Feldman did not have him in his top 10. The guy took Cincinnati to the college football playoff.
He did. Now, I think the only one that's out of the top 10 that I don't have that he has in there is Lance Leipold. And I'm assuming it's a little bit of a recency bias, considering what he's done with Kansas. And obviously you're kind of grading on a curve because Kansas has been helpless for forever. And they got to a bowl game.
They were 6-0, nationally ranked, actual people caring about the team. That's why I'm assuming Fickle got the bump for Leipold for 2023. But you had Fickle in front of James Franklin. It makes no sense to take Fickle out of the top 10 and for him to put Franklin in at number five.
I mean, yeah, I don't disagree. I think Franklin's top 10 coach. I think number five is too high. He's a top 20 coach. But I would love to know 10 coaches you got that are higher than Franklin. That's for sure. I'll give them to you.
But go ahead. Number five, Dabo Sweeney. Ooh, so you dropped Dabo a significant amount. He's still a top five coach.
But yeah, the last two years, he has to show that he can do it again. For years we had the conversation of, is it Saban or Dabo? And now it's been, is it Saban or is it Kirby Smart? That's right. Times have changed.
Times have certainly changed. And Dabo right now sitting there at number five. Lincoln Riley in at number four. Jim Harbaugh at number three. Whoa! You hate Michigan.
I do. He's been extremely critical of Jim Harbaugh. And the last two years, I know he hasn't won a college football playoff game, but really had a respectable performance in either because the game this year against TCU, there was a lot of mistakes made by his team, even though the score was close. But wow, I am shocked by you. I got to give credit where credit is due. I honestly, when you were going through this list, I was ready to pounce on you. And I was ready to just say, wow, like, you know, of course you put Franklin in top 10, but you don't put Harbaugh in there.
And you kept on going. I'm like, is he really going to put Harbaugh here at his top three? And you did it.
I mean, I can't argue. Look, the guys being Ohio State two times in a row, he's reinvented his entire offense. He's reinvented the way Michigan has, you know, even just approached the game itself.
And the guys won. Like I said, two straight college playoff appearances, two straight Big Ten titles. You backed it up by even maybe a more dominant win over Ohio State on the road in the horseshoe this year, compared to how you beat them last year at home. This is not a fluke. Jim Harbaugh is legit. All their offense is coming back.
Gallia credit or credit is due. Harbaugh has really turned his tenure around there at Michigan. Number two, Kirby Smart.
And I am with Bruce Feldman. Still to me, number one for at least one more year going to 2023 is still Nick Saban. Okay. I'm going to give you my top 10.
I will go one to 10, though. I'm going to give you my coach. You just once again say where you put your coaches to see how much we differentiated. We're both in agreement. It's still Nick Saban for me.
I know it's Kirby Smart. You look at him. He's great. He's phenomenal. Just after like two years of not winning a national championship, I can't all of a sudden, even though Kirby Smart has started to finally beat Nick Saban, I can't just push him out of the way. So I'll put Nick Saban in at one.
Kirby Smart, he's right there. He's not even two. He's like really like 1A. But on this list, he's two. For me, three, it's still Dabo, even though I've been really critical of Dabo Sweeny. But it's just the same success that he's had. If he once again doesn't get back to the college football playoff this year, then he'll drop down that list.
But the two national championships do loom large. So you had Nick and Kirby one and two. What was your Dabo ranking? Five. Five.
OK. I had Harbaugh at four. I put Lincoln, you had Harbaugh at three. I put Lincoln Riley at five. Where did you put Lincoln? Four.
OK, so not that far off. Brian Kelly in at six for me. Your ranking for Brian Kelly? Eight. Then I had Luke Fickle in at seven. And I'm very curious to see how Luke Fickle does at Wisconsin.
That was a home run higher for them, as you would agree. Luke Fickle was nine? Six. Six. I have Ryan Day in at eight. The tough part for me about Ryan Day is just the last two years, how much of an ass-whooping it's been up against Michigan.
And I wonder if there's a mental block there. And you've had at times, or both times, probably more talented teams. And you got embarrassed. Number nine, or excuse me, eight was Ryan Day, nine, Kyle Whittingham. And then in at number ten, and I know a lot of people could say, OK, Josh Heiple, I just got to see more sustained success out of Josh Heiple. But I'm going to go with an SEC coach. And I just love the job that Mark Stoops has done at Kentucky. I know this year was not a great year, but the fact that he could go toe to toe with Calipari and say, yeah, this isn't just a basketball school. And like the university supports him when we all know it's a basketball school is crazy to me. And I actually respect that he stayed at Kentucky because he could get a much bigger job than that.
And it's also the conference that he plays in. So I put Stoops in at ten. So those are my top ten coaches. Now, outside of the top ten, and I know we're up against it. Bruce Feldman ended up going fickle eleven, Dave Closson twelve, Chris Kleiman thirteen, Chip Kelly fourteen, Matt Rule fifteen, Kaelin DeBoer sixteen, Jimbo Fisher.
Look at the mightiest falling. Last year he was seven, this year he's seventeen and he's on the hot seat. He put Stoops at eighteen, Hugh Freeze at nineteen and Sonny Dykes in at twenty.
That's another thing. Sonny Dykes is also like another guy with what he just did. It's tough to leave him out of the top ten, but you got to see more sustained success. I was waiting for you to say, Sonny, I was interested where he was because he's been around, right? He's not a one year guy, but it's like you had a tremendous years in the national title game.
But it's like you're right. It's like kind of like you got a balance, a sustained success versus just a one year wonder. And then just to wrap this up real quickly, Mike Norvell twenty one, Josh Hypel twenty two, Kirk Ferens twenty three, Brett Bielma twenty four. And then Troy Calhoun at Air Force Inn at twenty five. That was Bruce Feldman's list. No Mike Gundy there? I was surprised by that. Zach Gelb Show, CBS Sports Radio.
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