Episode Description

Ty and Dan relive the excitement of the College Football Playoff games, as Georgia came from behind to survive Ohio State and TCU stunned Michigan to advance to the national championship. Plus, a look back at Joe Milton’s crazy arm strength, a Drew Pyne-less Notre Dame, Oregon’s win at the buzzer, Alabama’s dominance over Kansas State, and more.

Welcome back to The Solid Verbal, boys and girls. Happy 2023!
My name is Ty Hildenbrandt, that fine gentleman over there.
No longer, at least not now in the heart of the Midwest,
he is living high on the hog in Southern California ringing in the new year
in a more conducive weather situation.
Dan Rubenstein, sir. How goes it?
Not bad, Ty. I’m not going to tell you it’s great.
I got two sick little dudes. I’m down on some sleep,
but otherwise it’s nice to be in LA.
One of the little dudes is with Jodi with an I back in Chicagoland,
but I’m all right, Ty. I got what we have.
We’ve got live games happening as we speak
and we’ll recap those on a show later in the week,
I suppose. We have a lot of shows
and a lot of things happening later in this week to get to,
but come on, Ty. This is an especially fun part of the year.
I get to spend it with you and all the Verballers out there.
That’s pretty good. I am excited about the week ahead.
So, SolidVerbalLive.com.
Now we know who is playing in the College Football Playoff National Championship game
on Monday the 9th.
TCU, congratulations. You will be in LA.
Also, Georgia, congratulations. You will also be there.
If you are going to be passing through town, SolidVerbalLive.com.
SolidVerbalLive.com. That’s where you go get tickets to the live show
that Dan and I are going to do on Saturday night,
January the 7th, 8 p.m. Pacific time out there.
World famous Troubadour. The world famous Troubadour.
The name of the show is One True Champion.
You will find out more about that.
It is a goofy concept that you and I at this point,
I think are known for. It will be a ton of fun.
It will be great to meet the Verballerhood.
Again, whether you’re passing through town
because you’re rooting for one of the teams
or watching the game in person.
I don’t know whether you’re just going to be in LA
because you happen to be in LA.
Maybe you live there. SolidVerbalLive.com.
Get your tickets now. Come out and see us on Saturday night.
Yes. Yes. I just I can’t wait.
Like I’ve said, you’ve put together some pretty racy choreography
that you’re going to reveal to the world.
And I forgot about this, that when we previewed Georgia,
Georgia, excuse me, Georgia-Ohio State,
and TCU-Michigan in promoting the live show.
We said that we would apologize
if we got any of the picks wrong in person
so you can get apologies, right?
That we disrespected TCU collectively.

Listen, listen.
There’s a whole TCU narrative
as it relates to me that we have not even broached.
We have not even gone there. I didn’t want to jinx them.
I didn’t want to jinx them
because you can make a really strong case
that my affinity for TCU all these years
has been holding them back, Dan.
That’s true. I’m going to take credit for this
because that’s what I do.

You’re the cooler.

I’m the mush. I don’t know what I am,
but yeah, TCU makes it through.
We’re going to talk about the TCU win.
We’re going to talk about the Georgia win.
We’re going to talk about a bunch of other bowl games
here over the next 45 to 60 minutes or so.
Don’t forget to follow along on social media
if you have yet to do so. We’re, of course, on Twitter.
We’re on Facebook. We’re on Instagram.
We’re on TikTok. We’re on YouTube.
All the hot spots. Go on out, follow, subscribe,
tell your friends about The Solid Verbal, Dan.
Why did you just want to jump right into this thing?
Yeah, we did YouTube Insta reactions.
I think it was Facebook, Twitch, Twitter as well.
We did 20-25 minute insta-reactions
to each of the playoff games.
Now, with the benefit of hindsight,
let’s talk about it once more for the people.
Let’s do it.

[Hey, what happened?]

Why don’t we start with Georgia 42, Ohio State 41?
This was the second of two playoff semifinal games
played on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, Dan,
in the Peach Bowl, bit of a home game for Georgia.
And the theme, I guess the common thread between really
both the semifinal games.
We talked about this on the aforementioned playoff
insta-reactions that we posted on YouTube
late into the night on New Year’s Eve.
It really was a story of two favorites
being taken out of their games early.
And how they reacted to that scenario.
In the Georgia case, Georgia, over the course of 60 minutes,
found its footing, turned it over to Stetson Bennett
effectively to do what he can do or did do through the air.
And they relied on their veteran presence
to get the job done, to ultimately get them
over the top here 42-41 in a great game.
We had two awesome playoff games.
Georgia, of course, was the only of the two favorites
on New Year’s Eve to emerge victorious.
Michigan, no such luck.
We can talk about that game next.
But I felt very fortunate as a college football fan
that we had two really fun games to watch
that they weren’t blowouts like we’ve seen in years past.
Let’s unpack this Georgia-Ohio State game.
Because for a good long time, it felt like Ohio State had them,
Dan.
It felt to me like Ohio State had them until they didn’t.

Yeah, so Ohio State, with the benefit of an offensive line
that I think came to play in an unexpectedly, to me,
I speak for myself, against this Georgia front,
which had been very good all year long, albeit losing
Nolan Smith at a midpoint of the season, certainly a loss
for Georgia and their ability to get to the quarterback.
And we saw that a Georgia team unable to get to CJ Stroud
was really struggling in the secondary.
Kelee Ringo was being picked on.
Marvin Harrison Jr. was getting loose.
And what you saw was CJ Stroud with time
to sit back in the pocket, let his receivers get open,
let those routes develop.
And they shredded Georgia early on.
They go up 21-7, spreading the ball around.
The run game is not really a factor for Ohio State
throughout this game.
And they had a very specific game plan.
And they certainly did enough.
If we had said, well, the final score was 42-41.
Correct.
You score 41 points against Georgia,
you should be in pretty good shape.
That should be enough points to beat this Georgia
team, an excellent team, but that should be enough.
And CJ Stroud was incredible.
He was making plays off-platform.
He was making plays with his legs,
which he’s not super excited to do most of the time.
But he was at 138% and a bummer to see him lose.
But I mean, the story is a team that I think
Kirby Smart said, you know, sometimes you win games
you deserve to lose.
And what Georgia was able to do, shifting their own game plan,
they were getting some plays on the ground.
They were having some success on the ground.
But we saw the early interception
from Stetson Bennett.
We saw some just out of sync moments
from this Georgia offense.
And now this is an offense, really,
Darnell Washington gets hurt, Ladd McConkie gets hurt.
And of course, on the other side,
Marvin Harrison Jr. and Cade Stover get hurt.
So you see these offenses adjusting on the fly.
And ultimately, it’s Georgia doing enough on defense,
turning touchdown opportunities into field goals
or missed field goals, as it were.
We have the fake punt timeout situation.
There’s all sorts of moments that decided this game.
But it really, to me, was both teams
adjusting and playing to the best of their ability
given the circumstances.
Hate that it came down to a missed field goal.
But I’m curious what moments stood out to you
throughout this game.
And I guess start early on.
Well, I mean, early on, it was really not so much
a moment as it was Georgia’s inability
to get pressure on CJ Stroud.
Part of the reason why he looked so good
is because it was literally pitching catch for him.
If you give CJ Stroud that kind of time,
especially with the weaponry he has out wide,
he’s going to complete passes.
They’re going to go to Marvin Harrison Jr.
They’re going to go to Emeka Egbuka.
This is just what this team is.
They’ve got so much out wide that Georgia,
that was not the formula to slow down Ohio State.
And so that just whole trend that we saw early
was such a significant thing to watch,
especially as it evolved throughout the course
of the game.
Second half, started to kind of find their footing
a little bit more.
Started to find a way to get a little bit more
pressure on CJ Stroud.
Still wasn’t great as compared to what
I thought we expected coming into this game on the Georgia
front.
But they were able to change things in a way.
Their defense had a little bit more success,
stopping Ohio State down the stretch.
Keep in mind, this is a team that Georgia,
defending champion, they were down 38-24
going into the fourth quarter.
Like a third of the way through the fourth quarter,
they were still trailing by two scores.
So that for me was a pretty big trend
that I thought was really significant.
And it really was a testament to how Georgia was able to adjust.
And figure out a way to see this thing through.
And then the trend in the second half
was really, I guess, getting away on some level
from what Georgia has done all year, which
was play, dare I say, the Michigan style of football.
Or maybe Michigan played the Georgia style of football
where, as opposed to wearing you down, as opposed to just
grinding you down with the rushing attack
and with the offensive line, they couldn’t really do that.
They had to play more of a quick strike offense.
And so the story for me in the second half
was Georgia adapting to the game in front of them,
finding a way to do it through the air,
and giving it to Stetson Bennett.
Talk about an entirely different perception
of Stetson Bennett.
What a difference a year makes, right?
We saw it, obviously, in key moments last season.
We still were skeptical going into that national championship
a year ago now against Alabama, what he did in the second half.
He, I think, very much proved to the world
that he belongs on that stage.
Again, we’ve seen Stetson Bennett come through time
and again this season.
But when push came to shove, big moment.
You’ve got to score.
You’ve got to rally.
You’ve got to pass in order to win.
In this case, he threw for almost 400 yards to win.
He was able to get the job done.
So Stetson Bennett has nothing left to prove.
Even if they lose to TCU, this is
a guy who has nothing left to prove on the college level.
It may be Stetson Bennett Chevrolet.
He may be putting you in a Kia Telluride
at some point in the next five years.
But he did it when he had to on the biggest stage in college
football.
One big one left.
We’ll talk about that one, obviously,
as the week progresses.
But the big pass to AD Mitchell, who himself
has had a bit of a rocky go of things here this season,
not catching a pass since week two,
catches the 10-yarder inside of a minute to put Georgia up.
An unbelievable throw and catch, by the way.
Great throw and catch.
The timing was great into the corner of the end zone.
Yeah, a great moment.
Great moment.
So good moment for him.
I was happy for AD Mitchell.
I was happy for Stetson Bennett as well
to get the dub in the way that they did.
And it sucks that it came down to a Noah Ruggles kick.
Noah Ruggles has been very, very good this year.
Yeah.
He’s been very good.
He’s been very reliable.
I know he’s dealing with a lot right now, given the fact
that he missed that kick.
It was a 50-yard kick.
That was not exactly a chip shot.
And a key moment, I know it was not even close to being
a conversion, but I’ll do credit to Ohio State
for playing an incredible game.
Ryan Day, I thought for the most part,
called a really solid game on offense.
But to be the chance, you got to beat him.
And Georgia was able to reach down deep within,
change the game plan as needed, and find a way
to win this one by one.
Yeah, do just enough to hang around and draft off
the opportunity truck, which, look, you go up by one light
and you stop Ohio State and force them into a long field
goal with not that much time.
You give yourself an opportunity to let it happen.
And they were fortunate that that kick
from a very good kicker was overkicked and wobbled
and hooked to the left.
But man, what an absolute classic.
And you can’t tell me that there weren’t two great quarterbacks
on the field.
I thought Stetson Bennett was full on great.
And I thought CJ Stroud was full on great.
Obviously, Stroud is going to command more attention
from the next level.
And it would be very easy if you’re an Ohio State fan
to say, look, Marvin Harrison Jr.
gets hurt.
That’s targeting right in the back of the end zone.
It didn’t seem like it to me.
It’d be very easy to say, look, we lose our two best receivers
from last year, Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson,
or obviously losing Jaxon Smith-Njigba essentially
all season long, and then losing Marvin Harrison.
If your offense is built around this collection
of unbelievable receivers, you live and die with that ability
to go to the next man up.
And Georgia has its own injuries.
Georgia, I’m sure, can point to calls
that they thought were unfair, that Ohio State was holding
the entire time or something, and that’s
the only reason they weren’t getting pressure.
But when push came to shove, couldn’t stop Stetson Bennett.
And when push came to shove, a cornerback
splits, and Arian Smith goes deep, right?
So there are those moments, there
are those opportunities for both of those teams.
And if it’s going to come down to those extremely
high leverage fourth and six, and Brock Bowers is somehow
able to keep his legs up from touching the sideline
to keep that drive going, you have to amass more moments.
And Georgia amassed more moments ever so slightly
to win this game.
And so I just came away so impressed by the slugfest
that was Georgia-Ohio State.
And I hope we get more of it in eight days
or whatever, seven days.
Well, look, don’t count out TCU.
TCU has been proving that all year,
and they proved it again on New Year’s Eve
by hanging 51 points on a very good Michigan defense.
51 to 45 was your final score as the Horned Frogs
are able to go through it.
This was an incredible game.
This is an incredible way to start out
the first of two playoff games on New Year’s Eve.
TCU jumped out to a very quick lead.
We saw a ton of action in the second half, 69 points in total.
Very nice, of course.
In the second half, just so much action
to try and get your head around here.
It was, I thought, a story of missed opportunities
for Michigan.
There’s really no way around it.
There were some questionable calls
that maybe we can go through.
There were questionable decisions, notably
inside the red zone for Michigan,
missed opportunities inside the red zone for Michigan.
If you’re a Michigan fan, I don’t
know how you come away from this feeling anything
other than we blew it.
We blew it.
We played a good team in TCU, a team that
had been very much overlooked.
But we blew it.
We had a chance to win.
We blew it for a variety of reasons.
Is that a fair assessment?

Sure, but also, you can blow a game
and have the other team still do plenty
to win the game themselves.
Yeah, and that’s an important disclaimer.
I don’t want to take anything away from what TCU did,
because TCU did enough to win.
And TCU also did enough to make it
very interesting down the stretch,
which they are prone to doing.
We’ve seen it all year.
But they put Michigan in a situation
where Michigan had high stakes on every play.
And Michigan was not able to execute,
not able to get the job done.
And that’s a credit to TCU.
But on the Michigan side, yeah, for sure, if you’re a fan,
like if I were a fan of Michigan, I’d be sick.
Because it was there.
It was there for them, and they couldn’t deliver.
Here’s what TCU did.
They won in every phase more often than Michigan
was winning in each of the phases of the game.
And that they couldn’t get to Max Duggan often enough
with their current defensive line,
and they needed to send more pressure,
opening up more wide swaths of the field
when that pressure didn’t get home,
or they were sending a blitz and opened up a lane
and Demercado gets loose, or whoever
gets to make a big play because of the risks Michigan needed
to take because certain aspects of their game on offense
and defense weren’t working as successfully
as they thought they would going into the game.
And that they couldn’t run the ball.
Now, no, Blake Corum is a difference maker.
Everybody’s hurt.
Everybody’s hurt at this point.
It’s unfortunate that Blake Corum’s not in the game.
Donovan Edwards, pretty good consolation prize
in the backfield.
And he’s been hurt too, obviously.
But he comes out and makes that big play right away.
I think they essentially opened the game with a 50,
60-yard run from Donovan Edwards.
So the opportunities you speak of are absolutely true,
especially in the red zone, running the horrific rendition
of the Philly Special, which I saw,
I think it was Kevin Clark joke about,
it’s called the Philly Special because it’s the only time it’s
worked since.
That was an intriguing play.
And we can point to the refs, what
I thought was a bad call when Michigan catches a touchdown
pass as the receiver was bobbling it at the one
and then had possession once he had crossed the goal line.
They had an opportunity at the one.
And they handed it to a converted fullback
and didn’t cradle the ball in his arms.
And so they have these opportunities
to make simple plays, and they don’t.
Now you have the two pick sixes from JJ McCarthy
that were both on him.
They were both bad reads, if not bad throws.
And that swings it.
That’s what, 37, 38 points for TCU instead of 51 or whatever.
So there were moments, there were opportunities,
and I credit Michigan on a certain level
for making the adjustment and really testing
TCU downfield in the second half as that game was going back
and forth constantly.
But it’s, to me, and we talked about this
in the instant reaction portion of the show,
it is very easy to talk about missed opportunities
for Michigan.
But what TCU did in controlling what it can control
was fill every run gap and have Dee Winters make play after play
and take Michigan out of its game long enough
to have Michigan struggle to figure out
when it was time to adjust and become a throwing team.
And because what Michigan wants to do
is slowly grind you down and pound
the ball over the course of the game,
pick at spots to go to, Colston Loveland, Schoonmaker.
And they were stubborn enough to think
that they could get away with certain things
on both sides of the ball because they underestimated
TCU, I think.
And what Max Duggan was able to do with his own mistakes,
with his own non-mistakes, I mean, the interception
or intercept, we had tip balls for Max Duggan that
weren’t on him necessarily.
But he made an incredible number of plays.
Quentin Johnston took advantages of opportunities.
Kendre Miller gets hurt.
And Demercado takes advantage of opportunities.
And they do enough to win.
I’m stunned.
Not because I thought Michigan going in
was bulletproof and unbeatable.
I’m stunned at the entirety of the TCU season and story.
I’m stunned at a team that struggled
to beat Kansas, that needed to beat Baylor at the very, very,
very last second on a fire drill field goal,
was able to get this done.
And I don’t care if you’re a TCU fan that says,
everybody doubted us.
Everybody had reason to doubt you.
You couldn’t pull away from mediocre teams.
And then you just came to play and walloped
an excellent Michigan defense.
It’s so damn surprising and impressive.
I don’t have the words.
But yes, you are right about opportunities.
But it’s the team who takes advantage and the team who
can’t quite do it.
That’s the difference in this matchup.
And so you want to talk about bad calls, that’s fine.
There were bad calls both ways.
And if you want to talk about bad calls
in a game in which you give up what you gave up,
it means you’re not paying attention to reality.
You’re a bystander to the reality of this game.
And I loved the experience not having a gun in this at all.
Just not having any sort of rooting interest
beyond just an excellent, entertaining 3 1/2 hours.
Well, the interesting thing on the Michigan side,
if we’re going to talk about Trent’s first half
versus Trent’s second half like we did in the first game,
you mentioned the rushing attack from Michigan.
The offense works at Michigan as well
as it has because of the threat, because
of the production on the ground.
That’s why it works.
Everything kind of pivots off that.
And we talked all season about what’s
going to happen if JJ McCarthy finds himself
in a spot where he can’t rely on that rushing attack.
He’s got to air it out.
We got some answers to that.
I thought JJ McCarthy, albeit had some moments,
was pretty good.
Was pretty good when he had to be down the stretch.
And he brought them to within a few plays
of maybe winning this game.
So I think JJ McCarthy, albeit in the loss,
had a pretty good game despite some of the mistakes.
Like, we got questions answered on the JJ McCarthy front
that I think are very encouraging moving forward.
He’s still a young quarterback.
He’s not a young quarterback.
He’s been a starter all season long.
And he’s a sophomore.
I don’t think that’s a good enough reason
to say they’re going to be back-breaking pick sixes
with a five-star who started all season long
and got time last year in big moments.
That’s the problem to me is Max Duggan’s certainly more cagey,
more of a veteran.
But it also, you’re totally right that Max Duggan
is a good quarterback.
Excuse me, that JJ McCarthy is a good quarterback.
But I’ve said this before.
We agree on this.
It’s not what are your first or not
what are your best five throws look like?
It’s what is your ninth best throw look like?
What is your sixth worst throw look like?
What does that meaty middle look like in the collection
of throws that you put on tape in a high, high leverage game?
And so that’s the problem to me, that Max Duggan
was better able to meet the moment every time he
had to throw a pass.
I mean, JJ McCarthy had a really good game here.
He had a really good game here, save for a couple moments,
that we could say he did show some youth.
He has not been in these situations before.
So he brought Michigan to a point
where they could have won but didn’t.
It isn’t all on him, but some of the mistakes are.
And it made it much, much harder for Michigan
to get back in this thing.
But where I wanted to go with that is the running game,
save for three big runs, really, on the Michigan side.
The 54 yarder to open up the game from Donovan Edwards.
JJ McCarthy had a long 40 yarder, 39 yarder, excuse me,
at another point in the game.
Roman Wilson also had a nice play
when he was handed the ball and went for a touchdown
on his only carry.
But outside of those three carries,
which went for 111 yards, this Michigan ground game
only went for about two yards carry, two yards carry.
So TCU very much bucked the trend
that we identified when we tried to preview this thing,
like a week ago.
The trend was that, well, TCU’s line
is going to get pushed around here.
Michigan’s done it to a bunch of teams, a bunch of teams.
And TCU, on paper, did not appear as if they’d
have any chance here.
They showed flashes with what they did against Texas.
But a lot of the flashes that they showed the season
were in the secondary.
We talked a lot this season about, oh, wow,
it looks like the secondary is playing
better than you might expect.
There were specific moments, specific games of season
where we called out the TCU secondary
for playing really good football.
But up front, flashes here and there.
But this wasn’t on paper, that they would
have this kind of an effort.
I don’t know if it was the 3-3-5.
I don’t know what it was from the TCU front
that got the job done.
But definitely, the trend, at least early,
and let’s be fair, throughout most of the game,
was TCU was able to stop that ground assault.
And they were able to do so by playing really, really
solid football up front.
In the second half, there was that play.
There was a very frenetic sequence of events
that we should probably mention here,
as Michigan is trying to go down.
They’re trying to drive the field.
They’re trying to win this thing.
There’s a play that still looked like an illegal forward pass
to me.
I have not gone through and really broken down the tape
on whether it was or wasn’t.
But there was a moment where it looked
as if there was a targeting foul that
could have extended the drive, targeting foul against TCU
that could have extended the drive for Michigan
to give them more of an opportunity, basically
a lifeline, because it was on fourth down.
That’s why it got as frenetic as it did in the first place.
They went back to the tape.
They checked it out.
The replay officials decided it wasn’t targeting.
Kind of looked like targeting to me.
But there were plenty of other calls
that were very dubious throughout the course
of the game, not the least of which
is what Michigan decided to do in the red zone.
If we’re talking about dubious calls,
we can also lump those in as well.
That was not the reason Michigan lost.
Michigan knew coming into this game.
Got to be way better in the red zone.
It’s not a new phenomenon for the Wolverines
to struggle in plus territory, to struggle inside the 40,
inside the 20, inside the 10.
That has been hampering them all year.
And with the added benefit of time,
they still overthought things.
In the two, three weeks, they had
to do so with that call early, with not just lining up
and giving it to Donovan Edwards or whoever in that moment.
I get you have a fullback, but just the inability
to execute in those huge moments.
By the way, as I digress as well,
how about the TCU offensive line?
The TCU offensive line, to me, was the real weakness
and the real opportunity for Michigan
to take advantage of the Frogs.
We’ve seen Max Duggan running for his life a lot this year
and making plays while doing so.
But that did not seem like the strength to me
of this TCU team, the offensive line.
And for them to hold the edge like they did,
and obvious passing downs, and opening up lanes when needed,
that caught me, I’ll speak for myself personally,
that caught me by surprise.
I thought that was going to be the opportunity.
And I guess that underscores something
we talked about earlier on in the season,
when we were sort of evaluating Michigan,
is saying, they look strong on defense,
they look like they’re improving
and forming an identity on offense,
but what does this defensive line look like
without special players in the way that David,
or excuse me, Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojobo
are and were last year, and were those difference makers
against Ohio State, less so against Georgia.
But that was a difference to me,
that when we talk about special players needed
and winter wonders needed,
when you get into late December, early January,
it’s the receivers who are special,
obviously quarterback goes without saying,
but it’s the receivers that are gravitational forces
that disrupt everything a defense wants to do,
and the edge rushers slash pass rush in general,
that if you don’t have special players there,
it’s going to change a lot against an excellent team.
I think Michigan has very good players there,
but we saw them have to adjust
because they couldn’t get home
in the way that last year’s ends could get home.
One sack in this game.
You compare that to the four that TCU had.
Again, something else that didn’t really jump out on paper
as a scenario that would play out in the semifinal.
But alas, congratulations to TCU.
Unbelievable. Unbelievable.
Unbelievable story.
The miracle run for Sonny Dykes, for Max Duggan,
for this group of guys who I’ve joked
and said many times over, I’ve been there a while.
The fact that they get to play in this game now
is pretty cool.
Now, we will talk in due time
about what they are up against on the Georgia front.
Vegas has them right now as about a 13 and a half point dog,
which feels right to me.
That said, would not want to bet on Georgia.
Just would not want to bet on Georgia,
not with the way that TCU has played all season.
There is definitely a bit of pixie dust and magic
that is taking hold in Fort Worth.
What did you say?
Line is like 13, 14 points?
Yeah, yeah.
So the idea of TCU, forget winning this game.
The idea of TCU, forget even making the playoff.
And obviously they don’t ultimately win the Big 12.
But having even a double digit win season,
say they only go 10 and two, 11 and one.
Incredible, right?
The idea now of TCU in the national championship game,
after the depths to which they fell last year,
especially on defense and bringing in a good coach
in Sonny Dykes, irrefutably a good coach
at his absolute worst.
Now we can say, we might be a really great coach.
Bringing in the staff he brings in,
bringing in the system he brings in,
losing his starting quarterback early on.
It bucks every trend that we’ve seen
with regard to what a playoff team is, right?
That a coach has to be there for a certain amount of time,
that a coach has to correct the errors
he made in hiring assistants
or getting two, three, four, five recruiting classes
under his belt to really get the buy-in
from the roster top to bottom.
It bucks everything we’ve seen in the playoff,
if not the BCS era.
And Gus Malzahn, he gets them to this game,
gets Auburn to this game in the BCS championship game.
And it was the 2013 season, I want to say,
and they lose to Florida State, but he had been there.
He was an offensive coordinator, familiar,
and obviously having a special talent
in Nick Marshall, whatever.
But in terms of a first year coach
with a team down as much as they were,
in this current system, beating number two Michigan,
I don’t want to say it’s an anomaly.
I just think TCU is that special to accomplish it.
It’s so crazy.
Well, there is a lot that we will unpack as we look forward
into that national championship game.
On the Michigan side, on the Ohio State side,
no doubt there’ll be plenty of hand-wringing there as well.
There have been all sorts of reports
that Jim Harbaugh may not be done looking to the NFL.
There is an opportunity, I think,
for him on a couple different fronts,
be it the Colts team that he used to play for,
the Broncos, obviously looking for a coach,
given the way that that season went.
Many folks who are more connected than you and I
in the coaching world seem to think
that those rumors hold a little bit of weight.
So we’ll see if that’s something that comes to fruition
that could obviously shape the future state
of Michigan football.
Ryan Day has also been rumored to the NFL, so.
I saw that Ryan Day did, he told, I think,
Kirk Herbstreit in leading up to the game
that he’s no longer gonna be calling plays for Ohio State.
So, which I think is smart.
I think he’s a really, really great offensive mind,
but at a certain point you have to delegate
and you have to sort of focus on as much big picture
as you can and not get bogged down at times.
It’s really tough.
It’s really tough to sort of manage a game
and manage the fine details of play-to-play offense.
But the Harbaugh thing is fascinating.
He said he would enthusiastically be back in 2023.
We rolled our eyes at that.
You and I, we rolled our eyes at that.
I rolled my eyes, I know I rolled my eyes at that.
I remember when that happened,
when he was enthusiastically back.
And I remember on one of our off-season podcasts
talking about it and being shouted down
from Michigan folks who either saw the YouTube video
or listened to the show and said, wow, come on.
He said he’s back, he’s in this for the long haul.
And it just felt to me like this is a guy,
I mean, he hasn’t left yet, right?
There’s an opportunity, I think, for him to leave
because he was pretty successful at the NFL level.
If he wants that opportunity,
it’s something that he could take.
But it just seems to me like if you’re a guy like Harbaugh
who has a long track record of not staying in one place
for too long of a time, that the NFL bug,
the opportunity to go back and maybe try to win
the Super Bowl was gonna be too much to ignore at some point
and even though we kind of put that to bed
before the start of the season
and had a great run with Michigan this year,
the opportunities are still there.
Whatever happened in that Vikings interview
is not keeping other teams away,
they are still gonna be interested
if they think they can help them win.
So we’ll find out.
There haven’t been reports that have included
from Harbaugh’s camp, quote, zero shot, right?
There haven’t been reports
that have included quotes like that.
So I hope Jim Harbaugh stays at Michigan.
I like Jim Harbaugh at Michigan.
It’s fun for me to watch.
It’s a good thing for the sport
to have Jim Harbaugh at Michigan
and have Michigan be competitive on this level.
But yeah, that’s sort of a reality
and can’t wait to see what Ohio State does moving forward.
I’m thrilled and hope that Penn State
and hopefully Wisconsin under Luke Fickell
and we get USC and UCLA shortly into the Big Ten,
but I am hopeful that the top of the Big Ten
gets to be even more competitive at the top.
That would be incredible.
That’d be a great story.
So much more to come on that front.
Again, we will be doing a rather ambitious preview episode.
Details to come, which will drop a little bit later
to the feed on Thursday.
Yes.
I believe that’s the plan, yes?
That is the plan.
Okay, so check your feeds a little bit later on Thursday.
Verballers.com will include as much of the bonus stuff
as we can, but a little bit of a different
recording schedule with us.
Excuse me, going to the West Coast.
Don’t forget, if you’re coming into town
for the game, solidverballive.com.
Come and see us, Dan.
Yes, we’re gonna do a Q&A though together, are we not?
You wanna do that Friday morning, Thursday morning?
We’ll figure something out, yeah.
What are we gonna do with something?
We’ll do a brew and A on verballers.com
because you’ll be in town,
so it’s always fun to do in-person shows like that together.
But yeah, can’t wait, cannot wait.

As for some of the other action, Dan,
maybe we can do a quick zoom-through
of some of the other bowl games
and talk about what jumped out to us.
We talked a lot about the Alabama-K-State game,
the Sugar Bowl matchup, because it was intriguing to us.
We were curious about, will Alabama care?
Early on, early on, Bama kind of didn’t care.
And the funny story, at least on this end,
is that I had a tweet drafted up
and I was gonna make the joke.
I almost hit send on the joke
that Alabama was playing like it opted out as a team.
Right.
Almost hit send.
And then?
And then I was like, you know what?
Let’s see what happens on this drive.
Let’s give it a minute, yeah.
Let’s see what happens on this drive.
Bama had the ball.
Next play, Jahmyr Gibbs catches like a 60-yard pass.
They go down, they score.
After that, they go on a 35-point run.
They put the game out of reach early in the third quarter.
Glad I did not hit send, thank you.
Good for you.
Thank you to whatever came to me in that moment
prevented me from hitting send.
Bryce Young, five touchdown passes,
decided to play in this game.
Didn’t look great early, looked a lot better later.
And the five touchdowns, I think,
were a bowl record and a school record in a bowl
for an Alabama quarterback.
Did he hit something like 15 yards per attempt?
Yeah.
He was absolutely lethal over the course of this game.
Figured it out outside that first quarter,
which wasn’t great, but Bama did Bama things.
Outside of a really long run for Deuce Vaughn,
an 88-yard touchdown run, which got everybody going on Twitter
and talking about what K-State might look like here
if they win the Sugar Bowl.
Outside of that, he had 45 yards and 21 carries,
pretty much completely bottled up by a very good Bama defense.
Two picks for Will Howard on the K-State side.
They were just outclassed.
Bama was the better team.
Bama was mostly at full strength here,
with a couple of notable exceptions,
and got the job done 45 to 20 in the Sugar Bowl.
Yeah, not much of a game after the first quarter.
Bama had way better players, faster players,
angrier players, stronger players.
K-State, still an incredible year, incredible story.
Will Howard stepping through or stepping forward
as a very good quarterback.
Great story.
Alabama’s better team, demonstrably so.
And they cared.
Verdict, care.
They definitely cared.

Tennessee wins 31-14 over Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
They played this one on December 30th, so Friday evening.
A frustrating game to watch, I’d say, if you’re a Clemson fan.
Yeah, I’d say so.
Clemson got the ball seven times in the first half.
They got inside Tennessee territory all seven times.
They got to the Vols 25 on four trips.
All told, they came away with three points.
Three points, just a lot of missed opportunities
for Clemson here, Dan.
I was kind of transfixed by Joe Milton’s arm strength.
You know I love a quarterback who throws every pass
at 500 miles an hour.
I’m in on Joe Milton.
Every pass, I was absolutely transfixed
at how far he can throw the ball just by a wrist flip.
Yeah.
Little wrist flip.
He was good in this game, but the story, the prevailing,
I think, theme of this game, outside of the fact
that Tennessee looked pretty good,
was the fact that Clemson probably
would have won this game if not for all the missed
opportunities.
There were just so many of them.
I’d probably be a bicycle if I had wheels,
so good for Clemson.
I am, I truly, and I don’t know if Joe Milton fits this
to a T, because I think he’s a little bit different,
but the archetype of the big bomber, right,
that like you go back to ASU, like Rudy Carpenter and Sam
Keller, were just like, it’s not going to move around a ton.
And Joe Milton can move a little bit, for sure.
And you saw how Michigan used him.
And his ability to run pales in comparison
to his ability to bomb it.
And it’s a perfect place for him.
And you can see why Josh Heupel turned to him initially
before Hendon Hooker took over when Milton got hurt,
because his potential for just, as you said,
flipping his wrist and it ending up 71 yards downfield.
If he’s accurate and continues to look like in the moments
that he was accurate in the back of the end zone
for a touchdown for Tennessee, that the ceiling is quite high.
It’s going to be more of an accuracy thing and more
of the throttling back when you need to throttle back
on a key third and seven, and you
don’t want to decapitate a receiver wearing
the same color uniform you’re wearing.
So yes, it was an incredibly frustrating game
if you’re a Clemson fan.
I don’t think they have special receivers.
I think Will Shipley can be pretty special.
And it’s Cade Klubnik’s essentially first game starting,
even though he took over in the ACC Championship game.
So he throws a couple picks.
And he struggles at times to look downfield and connect.
But no, story to me is Tennessee,
which had kind of every reason not to care,
opening up as number one in the college football playoff
rankings, losing Hendon Hooker, losing the way they did
to Georgia, have every right to be demoralized.
And for them to come out and really lock in.
And I thought the defensive game plan of just
get after Cade Klubnick and see what happens,
I thought that was super sound.
So the Tennessee offseason hype machine, oh,
is it greased and ready to roll tight?
Oh, it’s ready, baby.
Yeah.
It’s great.
It was good to see Tennessee play as well as they did.
I thought Tennessee looked really solid in this game.
And they gave Clemson opportunities.
Tennessee’s defense has not been a shut down defense
all season.
They’ve been good against the run at times.
They’ve had their moments.
But it’s not like a great defense
that we thought was going to take Clemson.
If they can get a secondary together,
a full and complete secondary, there’s something there, man.
It’s the Oklahoma thing from years past,
just marginal improvement.
Marginal improvement defensively makes them much more of a force.
Ascend to average.
Ascend to average, thank you.
Big win for Tennessee in the Orange Bowl.
Let’s zoom through some of the other games.

Speaking of missed opportunities on offense,
Iowa 21, Kentucky 0.
Well, sure.
Well, sure.
You’re going to say, well, yes, you shut out
a team by three touchdowns, not converting a single third down
with your third string quarterback.
That’s a weird thing.
But win your clunkers, Ty, as we like to say.
Win your clunkers.
This game was about as terrible as expected.
The point spread, well, the over-under was 31 and 1.5.
So Vegas knew.
We all knew.
I confidently bet the under in this game.
I knew what we were going to do.
It wasn’t even close.
Never in doubt.
Never in doubt.
The tweet of the day was from our friend Rodger Sherman,
who said that Iowa winning, despite going 0 for 11
on third downs, might be the crowning achievement
in the Kirk Ferentz era.
And congratulations to any and all members of the staff.
You deserve a raise.
Yeah.
How many games they win this year?
How many games?
Iowa won without completing a third down attempt.
They won eight games with what I consider
to be the worst power five offense because of how good
their defense is and how many opportunities
and leads the defense can give the offense.
To win eight games with the relative worst power five
offense, Roger nailed it.
Yes, what an achievement.
This is Kirk Ferentz on Chopped trying
to put together a good team, by any count, a good season,
with a very, very obvious thing that just is going to make
that hard to do on the offense.
Yeah, it’s going on Chopped and saying,
here are Doritos and candle wax.
Make a Thanksgiving turkey.
And he kind of did.
He kind of did.
What can we say?
It wasn’t pretty, but kind of did it.
Kentucky, by the way, was dreadful on offense.
Just two of 18 on third downs, which
means two for 29 on third downs in this football game.
Ty, it’s darkest before the dawn.
And here come Liam Cohen and Devin Leary
to turn things around in Lexington,
which they probably will.
We’ll see.

All right, some other games here that
will zoom-through: Notre Dame 45, South Carolina 38.
You watch this game at all?
I just zoomed through it very quickly after the fact.
I was traveling during this game.
This game was fun as hell.
It was fun as hell.
Good.
Notre Dame was down 14.
They won, despite South Carolina scoring
on two interception returns, two pick sixes,
and then on another trick play on special teams.
Tyler Buchner got the start for Notre Dame,
was very consequential, let’s say, in this football game.
There were 11 touchdowns, 11 touchdowns in total.
He accounted in some way, shape, or form for seven of them.
Seven of them.
Two went the other way, but five went for his team.
Three touchdowns through the air, two on the ground.
Showcased his legs a little bit.
Consequential, to say the least, a good game to watch,
even if you didn’t have a dog in the fight.
I was maximally entertained in this football game,
to say the least.
I wish Notre Dame would have, well, I always
wish for more on the Notre Dame front, because I’m biased.
So no, they’re down, what, two defensive linemen, Foskey
and somebody else, Notre Dame?
Well, I mean, Foskey is a big one, obviously.
Yeah, of course.
And so the fact that they would give up points is not,
that did not come as a surprise to me.
But they adjusted well.
They were getting after Spencer Rattler after South Carolina
looked strong early.
That is correct.
So I thought, all told, a really good showing for Notre Dame.
I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to see an offense that
was not entirely dependent on Michael Mayer.
Michael Mayer wasn’t even in this game.
No.
But that is the way that they played the season,
because they had to, right?
Drew Pyne only had eyes for Michael Mayer.
And then everything else was pretty much a handoff
to Audric Estime or Logan Diggs or somebody else.
That was the way that they played this entire season,
because Bob
So do you think it’s a much cleaner win,
like it’s a 28-14 win, if Michael Mayer and Drew Pyne
start this game?
I have no idea, because there’s a lot
not to like about Notre Dame’s offense from this year.
But it didn’t seem like Drew Pyne had many three
interception games.
No.
No, because they learned that they had to play
very conservatively with them.
Yeah.
They learned that they had to play very conservatively.
And they adjusted as best they could.
And I thought, obviously turned in a pretty good showing
this season, albeit limited on offense.
A lot of pickleball stuff, right?
So it was very refreshing as a fan to not have to watch that.
And I thought Tyler Buchner was good.
There were definite moments of rust.
The pick sixes were great.
That being said, if Sam Hartman
Full field.
Full field, right?
If Sam Hartman decides he wants to come to South Bend
and play next season, ready to take him aboard.
Ready to take him aboard.
Should we pull like a heart clip,
like the famed lady band for all Sam Hartman
moments for Notre Dame, or wait till the ink is dried?
We got to wait for the ink to be dried.
Because things change very quickly in college football,
as you know.
That’s true.
Tyler Buchner looked good all things considered.
Would have loved to have Sam Hartman next year.
I don’t think Tyler Buchner is the guy that’s
going to get them to the next level.
And this is coming from somebody who was
very high on Tyler Buckner.
But I felt better watching this game.
I just don’t think he’s a guy.
I’ll take Sam Hartman.
OK.
Good day for Notre Dame.
And I don’t think anybody decommitted from Notre Dame
during the game.
No.
That’s another win.
Yeah.
Nice way to finish out the season.
Nice story, I suppose, for Tyler Buchner,
who had to recuperate from that injury all season long
and gets the W despite some less than stellar play at moments.
But yeah, good for Notre Dame to finish out and get better
over the course of a bowl game and win.
Yeah.

Some other games here, we had Pitt 37, UCLA 35.
Man.
No Zach Charbonnet.
No Zach Charbonnet.
DTR did not look great.
A lot of mistakes for UCLA 5 turnovers.
The combination of the turnovers with just some weird special
teams plays as well for UCLA, too much to overcome.
Pitt gets the dub here 37-35, Dan.
Lot of special teams miscues.
Lot of kick miscues for UCLA.
Pitt did a really nice job.
Pitt was without a number of key players themselves.
And they did a really nice job of stopping UCLA on the ground,
obviously confusing DTR, who has been turnover
prone these past few weeks.
Kind of disappointing.
Five years with Chip Kelly.
Five years in the system and didn’t really
finish it on a high note.
But yeah, at least it wasn’t a 3-0 Sun Bowl.
And you get a feisty, fiery Pat Narduzzi comeback
win into the off season.
And a Nick Patti W, all things I was not expecting.
I thought this was a nice setup for UCLA
even without Zach Charbonnet.
But good for Pitt for coming back in this game
and being nails in the face of what looked to be defeat.
Minnesota wins over Syracuse 28-20 Mo Ibrahim
with a strong performance here.
It’s really been the story all year.
He set a school record for rushing attempts
and finished with the fifth most rushing
touchdowns in Big Ten history.
So good for him.
Oh, by the way, also Minnesota’s all-time leading rusher.
Minnesota’s all-time leading rusher.
I think it was Reddit College Football who
mentioned that there are six or seven teams who’ve
won at least nine games the past four or five
seasons or something like that.
And it’s like Clemson, Alabama, all these.
And then Minnesota.
So Ski-u-Mah!
Ski-u-mah.
Florida State 35-32.
Fun game, actually, despite being like a 10-point line
in favor of Florida State.
Almost 1,100 total yards.
We had four lead changes in the second half.
A big day passing for Jordan Travis who will be back.
I love this game.
Yeah.
Great game.
418 yards for him.
A really nice grab for Johnny Wilson
who had a long touchdown pass, long touchdown reception.
One 58 yarder.
The Florida State defensive front
was solid, at least in the passing game.
They had something like six sacks.
And the Sooners, man, the Sooners put up much more
of a fight than I thought.
They led early.
They led at the start of the fourth quarter.
They were down something like four offensive linemen.
And they still rushed for 250-some-odd yards
and three touchdowns.
So a lot more fight from Oklahoma than expected here.
And what amounted to a very good football game?
I liked Oklahoma turning to and getting a lot
from its youth on offense.
I thought Dillon Gabriel was really, really good.
He was confident.
He was making plays on and off platform.
He was going downfield successfully.
I thought he had a really good game against the Florida State
defense that has been inconsistent this year.
But a really nice back and forth game for both of these teams.
Oklahoma did actually a pretty good job against.
I think Trey Benson didn’t really
get going on the ground for Florida State.
It was much more Jordan Travis who
will be firmly entrenched in the Heisman conversation next year.
Speaking of the Tennessee hype train,
Florida State has to be really good next year.
They absolutely have to be.
I’m not positive on who is back at every single position,
what their depth chart looks like.
I saw that they’ve just got a big,
what the Virginia, the heralded Virginia corner just committed
to Florida State, I believe, to fortify that secondary.
Florida State should be in a very, very good place
next season.
And for them to pull out this game was impressive.
Oklahoma, as you mentioned, fought really hard
and made plays on both sides of the ball.
But yeah, it was Johnny Wilson getting loose.
It was the offense ultimately being a little bit too much
for a sooner defense.
Still has a ways to go, but I had a good time
watching this game.
Washington beat Texas in the Alamo Bowl.
Looks a little bit closer than it was.
So the final was 27-20.
But Texas scored 10 points later on.
They weren’t able to recover an onside kick.
Washington ends up winning the game.
They could not run without Bijan Robinson or Roschon Johnson.
No.
And Quinn Ewers threw the ball close to 50 times.
Sarc said after the game, that was basically
the game plan all along.
They knew they were going to have to do that.
And it’s not like he was bad.
The real issue was really just the Texas defense.
Washington had a lot of success, particularly
in extending drives.
They were 11 of 20 on third downs.
They had the ball for about 11 and a half more minutes
than Texas did.
And they had a bunch of long drives, five possessions
of 10 plays or more for the Huskies.
So you take that all in tandem with a pretty good game
for Michael Penix, who finds ways to make plays, 27-20.
The Huskies win a big season in year number one.
11 and 2.
Big season in year one for Kalen DeBoer.
Big season for looking back at the last guy.
It’s like, ooh, that doesn’t reflect well on Gary Patterson.
Doesn’t reflect well on Jimmy Lake.
No.
Michael Penix was not the starting quarterback
for Washington last year.
But 11 and 2, year one.
How many double-digit win teams did the Pac-12 finish with?
And I think UCLA would have made six.
So they’re going to have five.
USC, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Oregon State.
And if UCLA doesn’t blow the pit game,
I mean, that’s just sort of what UCLA does, though.
They would have had six double-digit win teams.
So good for Washington.
I think Penix, it was a lot of shorter stuff.
They weren’t really testing the Texas defense deep.
A lot of shorter stuff.
But it was accurate.
It was pinpoint from Washington.
They had the long run from the Virginia transfer
at running back Wayne Taulapapa, I believe.
Just crazy impressive from Washington
to come out and play like they did.
Even when the defense wasn’t there all season long,
another team that drafted very closely
behind the opportunity truck and just got it done.

Oregon 28, North Carolina 27.
Yeah.
A touchdown pass with 19 seconds left to Chase Coda.
Fourth down.
Fourth down gets the dub for Bo Nix, gets a W for Oregon.
I guess this game featured a little bit more defense
than either of us expected.
Sweet interception, by the way, by Power Echols, I believe.
The freak one?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
For North Carolina, it bounced off of one player
and then toes of another.
And Power Echols was able to get the INT there.
But an impressive win here, I thought, for Oregon.
Yeah, impressive win.
They came out and ran all over North Carolina.
Not unexpected given Oregon’s strength.
Bucky Irving, I think, might have
been the MVP in this game.
I don’t know if the holiday bull gives out an MVP.
But he ran really well, especially early on.
Bo Nix looked a little bit tentative at times physically.
And Oregon, without it, Kenny Dillingham
leaves to take the ASU job.
Not really going downfield in the passing game.
All that much.
And when they did, it actually worked really, really well.
So a nice game from Oregon down its best edge rusher,
down its best linebacker.
And Noah Sewell and Justin Flowe had opted out.
And the rotation guys came to play.
They sent a lot of pressure at Drake Maye.
Who, by the way, Drake Maye is so good.
And probably should play for somebody else.
He is so, so, so, so, so, so good.
And it is a little bit of a bummer
that North Carolina doesn’t seem like they’re
going to fix things in a big, important playoff-ish way
anytime soon.
But Oregon did a good job making him think a little bit
and getting the ball out of his hands quickly.
So yeah, a nice day for Oregon and a nice finish
for the season as Dan Lanning recruits really well.
And they head into the offseason in a positive fashion.
Let’s do a zoom-through, Dan.
Let’s do it.

Ohio wins in overtime on a 46-yard field goal.
Well, that sent it to overtime.
Yes.
And then they end up getting a touchdown pass.
CJ Harris, Tyler Foster, 10 yards out.
Bobcats win 30 to 27 in overtime.
Maryland, 16 to 12 over NC State.
The points were in short supply.
The mayo on top of Mike Locksley’s head was not.
He wore the big hat, which was awesome.
Took the hat off, because apparently he
thought they were done pouring mayo on him.
They were not.
He said afterwards, the mayo hopefully
will be, quote, good for my complexion.
My guess is it won’t be, but nonetheless, this
was sort of the moment of bowl season to some extent.
The mayo bath, which is kind of disgusting.
I watched it with family.
They were repulsed, but the Duke’s Mayo Bowl champion
gets such a prize, Maryland 16-12 over NC State.
Came away impressed with Maryland’s defense.
I mean, it was Ben Finley, NC State, so great assault.
But with all the changes NC State
has this year on offense, injuries, coaches leaving,
whatever, good for Maryland for tightening up
on defense in this one.
All right, we also had Texas Tech 42-25 over Ole Miss.
Eight turnovers in this game, Dan.
A combined 13 attempts on fourth downs.
Also before the game, Joey McGuire shown the money.
Yeah.
Got a little bit of a contract extension.
42-25 over Ole Miss.
Nice win for Tech.
Good way to close out their season.
We had Arkansas 55-53 over Kansas.
This is a crazy game.
Kansas trailed 38-13 midway through the third quarter.
They ripped off 25 straight.
They sent it to overtime with 41 seconds left.
The game had over 1,200 yards.
Both defenses, I think to that point, brought their A game.
Sort of who these defenses are.
The Hogs win when Kansas sort of tried a Philly special
or something.
It was Philly special-ish.
Yeah.
They got a little too cute in overtime.
They handed it off to Jason Bean.
Tried to throw, I don’t know, it didn’t work.
Jalon Daniels, 544 and five touchdowns in a losing effort.
I don’t take a lot of stock or whatever in Arkansas
and in bowl games.
And what is or isn’t working in bowl games.
First of all, that Ole Miss game escalated quickly.
Oh, yeah.
A lot of fourth down attempts for Ole Miss and Lane Kiffin,
which I’m in favor of.
But you got to have a plan, you got to execute.
And then the turnovers obviously were disastrous.
Jaxson Dart with the interceptions and a fumble.
And Ole Miss just let it slip away, literally
and figuratively.
Good for Texas Tech and Tyler Shough
with an all-purpose performance with his arms and legs.
Arkansas smashed Kansas on the ground.
But it’s not necessarily the indication
of where Arkansas, now without Barry Odom, is on defense.
But if you take that in totality with the rest of the season,
Arkansas needs a lot on defense to get back
to that 8-9 win-type program place.
That’s all.
Duke wins game number nine this season
in the bowl win over UCF 30-13.
So congrats to Mike Elko.
Full-on good coach.
Full-on good coach.
Congrats to Riley Leonard, who had an incredible first season
under Mike Elko.
Big things to come for him, we hope.
Wisconsin.
Wisconsin won 24-17 over Oklahoma State.
This game was not as close as the final score would indicate.
Also, Luke Fickell kind of, sort of did coach this game
after all.
Hanging around.
Jim Leonhard is ultimately the guy.
But Luke Fickell hanging around.
Hanging around with the headset on.
Doing the halftime interviews.
Definitely playing more of an active role than expected.
I think we joked in the preview episode that we did.
Well, he’s going to coach.
Well, we don’t know how much.
He probably won’t be down on the field.
It’ll be one of those booth things.
No, no.
He was down on the field.
He was down on the field.
Meanwhile, Mike Gundy put a bow on his 7-6 season
by bristling when asked by a reporter
whether or not staff changes were needed.
So interesting tale of two coaching situations
between Wisconsin and Oklahoma State.
24-17 was your final score there as Wisconsin wins.
We had East Carolina beating Coastal Carolina 53-29.
Grayson McCall did play.
Did play despite being in the transfer portal.
We missed that one.
But he hurt his head.
He left the game.
And since, he has now withdrawn his name
from the transfer portal.
Grayson McCall presumably will be back with Coastal Carolina
next season.
Yep.
We had Memphis winning over Utah State.
We had a very close game between Buffalo and Georgia Southern.
23-21, Buffalo gets the dub there.
New Mexico State wins.
I inaccurately put here on my note sheet
that they won by a score of 224-19.
I believe it was just 24.
Is that not true?
Not true.
Although they did rush for 240.
That’s pretty good.
So nice effort for New Mexico State.
Middle Tennessee ekes one out over San Diego State.
Came from behind to win the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve.
The box score, the funny box score stat line here
that I sent to you earlier, is that Middle Tennessee
officially, officially because of college football rules
and how they attribute rushing yards on sacks,
officially Middle Tennessee finished with negative 66 yards
on the ground.
That’ll happen.
Yeah, been there.
Who among us?
Wake Forest beats Mizzou by a 27-17 score,
perhaps the final action for Sam Hartman.
As a Demon Deacon, we will see there have been rumors, right?
Yeah, A.T. Perry had a great game.
Yeah.
A.T. Perry had a great game.
We’ll have the catches.
Houston beats Louisiana despite trailing 13-0 midway
through the second quarter.
And last but certainly not least, Air Force 30, Baylor 15.
Did you look at the stats?
Did you watch this game at all?
I did watch the game because I was
very keen on saying Baylor was ready to pack it up,
pack it in.
And that Air Force with this moment against a P5 Conference
Champion from last year was in, I think now with this win,
Air Force has double digit wins for this generation of seniors.
Double digit wins each non-COVID year of their time
for the Falcons.
And so I did watch this game because I
had a lot of emotion invested in my Air Force pick.
I should have gone with Air Force.
You talked me into it, and I said,
I’ll just stick to my pick.
Predictably, Air Force ran for 276.
We saw that one coming a mile away.
Only needed to throw the ball seven times.
He was four for, Haaziq Daniels was four for seven in this game.
They had the ball for 40 minutes.
They were never not in control of this football game.
And you know how it works, right?
You know the drill.
When you’re playing a team that controls
the football for that much of the game,
you’ve got a limited number of possessions.
Take that under.
Limited number of possessions.
So you got to be efficient or you’re going to lose.
Air Force held Baylor to 230 yards in all of 11.
Very Iowa-ish on third down for the Bears.
And so it was no surprise.
It should come as no surprise that they
lost this game in the manner that they did, 32-15.
The coldest bowl game ever?
Is that what I saw?
13 degrees on the field, negative 4 wind
chill in Fort Worth.
Yeah.
Wild.
Doesn’t sound fun to, you play whatever.
You’re getting your blood pump and whatever.
Doesn’t sound fun to be in road J seat 33 for this game.
That does it.
I think that covers most of the bowl action
that we had not previously recapped.
We’ve got a long offseason if there
was some sort of blind spot tie in some December 18 bowl game.
So far, I had a good time.
Here’s the way this thing works, Dan.
Yes.
I am flying out to California on Wednesday morning.
I will be in town for all weekend.
We’re doing our live show on the seventh.
We’re doing something else.
You want to give your flight number so people can track?
No.
OK.
We’re doing something else to preview the championship game.
And that’ll drop later on on Thursday.
We will also do our typical Q&A episode,
which patrons at Verballers.com will be able to hear
at some point this week.
We have to figure out exactly when we’re going to do that.
But we will put that out there on Patreon
and across social media so that people
can tune in if they want to.
But Verballers.com is where you go to sign up.
People are signing up just as we’re recording this show,
which is always fun to see.
And you’re coughing over there?
Are you sick?
I’m coughing.
You all right?
Yeah, man.
I’m all right.
I’m going to be good.
I’ve had a rough year, man.
No, I haven’t.
It’s been one day.
I’m great.
Rough 367 days.
Yeah, it’s true.
So hopefully you all heal up there by the time
I get a chance to make my way to California.
Love it.
Can’t wait to see you.
Can’t wait to have you.
SolidVerbalLive.com is where you go get your tickets now.
Yes.
We’ll be back.
Oh, this show is going to be so good.
We’ll be back in a few days.
We’re going to talk through all things National Championship
before we put the bow on a great season by doing our show.
One true champion.
One true champion.
At the Troubadour.
That’s Saturday night.
The National Championship game is Monday, January 9th,
Saturday evening, Saturday night, the 7th of January,
SolidVerbalLive.com.
If you’re a Georgia fan coming in,
if you’re a TCU fan coming in, if you’re just a human coming
in from, I don’t know, Saskatoon, from Taipei,
wherever, SolidVerbalLive.com.
Yeah.
For that guy over there, my good friend, Dan Rubenstein,
in sunny Southern California, from my self-titled brand
over here in Eastern PA, at least for the moment,
we’ll talk to you all soon.
In the meantime, stay solid.
Peace.

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