In this episode, Tyler Turner and guest Chris Courtney from the Whole Flock of Ducks recap the PAC-12 Championship Game.
Our Turner show presented by the sportscast, today’s date December 21 2020. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe in all our channels YouTube, Periscope and on iTunes. If you’re on iTunes, please leave us a review. It will help us out tremendously. Visit us at support cast dotnet also follow us on Twitter at sports cast one and check out our app the sports cast in the iOS App Store. Well today, we I’m covering today I’m going to be I normally cover big Tana cat patchwall but we’ll have a guest on specific to a conference we kind of just gonna focus on that one. So today without further ado I have on Chris Courtney. Um, he can go in he has a website called the whole flock of ducks caught me if I’m wrong, the whole block index.com he used to work for two verse seven sports and he is very definitely connected when it comes to Oregon and Oregon’s White Team. So so lucky day, we get to talk about them and they just won the PAC 12 title which I mean come on. That’s that’s what’s all about. So, Chris, how you doing today, man?
I’m great. Tyler. Thanks for thanks for having me on.
Yeah, no problem, man. So let’s just get right into it. On Friday night was the PAC 12 championship, UFC vs Oregon. Coming into the game, Oregon is obviously very unique scenario, this whole season has been in the PAC 12 probably has had the most unique of any conference in college football. Basically, it started off the week is supposed to be Washington versus USC. Because Washington won the division title because while Washington couldn’t play Oregon, for who the winner was gonna win the division but then they couldn’t play because Washington COVID outbreak. So then Washington was gonna play USC, but then Washington had to cancel because they still are and do not have enough student athletes for the game against USC. So then Oregon pops in and takes its place versus scuttle bottle online. I probably follow it too much. And I should probably should get a different hobby. And people are like annoyed. They’re like, why are they putting in the team that didn’t deserve it. Now, the whole time, I’m thinking in my head and usually typing on argue with people on Twitter. I’m like, Washington deserved it. They didn’t even play him the division game because they had COVID outbreaks, and no one deserve it. So how logically, and it was agreed upon by the Presidents to begin to do what they wanted to do. So I have no problem with it. And obviously, the actual happens and championship happens. And guess who wins or again, that’s probably everyone’s worst nightmare. And I personally, even though Oregon hadn’t looked good, I try to just look at things from a more just like, I guess holistic and I try to maybe more of a nap. instead of always from on like Robin last two games that are all that not look so good. This year, I was thinking more like Oregon always plays good when they play USC when they play Elisa under crystal ball, Washington, when they play in the bowl game, they have two weeks to prepare, they coming off two losses, they all of a sudden get this opportunity didn’t think they’re gonna have like, I think they’re gonna come on with it. I thought it said that just before? And both all they do. What did you What was your thoughts about the whole process? And more importantly, what were your thoughts about the game? And we go into the game specifically, but what was your your thoughts about the whole process? And then go into the game a little bit?
Yeah. Yeah. You know, in terms of the the build up to the game, I mean, I don’t think anybody it’s been hard to predict what’s going to happen from week to week, with COVID being what it is. So, you know, it’s, uh, you know, I think Oregon getting the opportunity, I don’t think anybody, at least on the Oregon side, but would ever argue that they necessarily deserved the opportunity. Then again, you know, you can make an argument that, you know, look, Oregon didn’t get the opportunity to play their way in to the to the game and it was, it just so happened that, you know, Oregon was was a healthier team in terms of the way that they were handling COVID Washington wasn’t able to go and that’s been, you know, look like those things have been, you know, have happened quite a bit this year, where you’ve seen example Have that taking place where a team just has to cancel and so, you know, I guess credit Oregon for, for taking care of COVID. And for kind of being on top of it like they were, I think crystal ball would probably be the Mario Chris ball would be the first one to tell you that the ducks would probably preferred to earn their way in, but this is kind of the hand they were dealt. I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault. I think Washington. I don’t think you know, contrary to what I believe a lot of duck fans were maybe saying on social media and elsewhere. I don’t think Washington was ever ducking Oregon I think, you know, this was as, as a, you know, harmful to their chances is, you know, as, as was anything else, you know, and I think that they were genuinely hoping to play that game didn’t work out that way. And I think they were hoping to get healthy and time for the PAC 12 championship. That wasn’t going to happen. And so, so kind of, you know, the Oregon fall, you know, falls into this spot. You know, on paper, you look at Oregon’s talent. I think they have underperformed the season On the whole, but kind of like you mentioned, you know, this team has had a tendency to kind of play up and down to the caliber of their competition, really since Mario Cristobal has ascended to head coach. I mean, you look at some of the losses that they have, that they have taken during his tenure, and some of them are pretty head scratching. I mean, you just point to the Oregon State and the Cal game this year is two examples where the ducks just got outplayed by the other team. And it wasn’t wasn’t a matter of not having enough talent or anything like that. I think that this is a very young team. It’s the youngest team in FBS right now. I think it’s a team that lacks leadership and I think it’s a team that when it gets down or when things aren’t going its way they lack confidence in themselves sometimes and we saw I think, some some elements of that in the USC game. But it’s been it’s been a weird, odd season for everybody and I you really can’t stress that enough. And so even though Oregon has all this talent, not having a normal offseason to kind of coal us not having you know, key leaders and key positions is a big thing you think about who that they had to replace that to replace Justin Herbert from a season ago had to replace six offensive line five, five starters. from a year ago, they had to replace Troy dye and bracing young and Lamar Winston three guys were starting linebackers last year they have to they lost jajuan, Holland and Thomas RAM and Brady Brees to opt outs before this season. Those are all guys that they expected back so look like Oregon’s got a lot of talent but they don’t have a lot of experience. And so when you when you kind of couple all these things together, it’s it makes sense why Oregon kind of has endured some struggles this year, even though they beat USC. I don’t think it’s necessarily a lock that they’re going to show up and play their best football against a really good Iowa State team at the festival. But it’s certainly you like kind of some of the some of the things that you’ve seen from the ducks in here in recent weeks, and particularly against USC in the PAC 12 championship game last Friday. Yeah, touch
on a little bit about the youth. So I looked it up so we have the youngest roster in the FBS we have is FPS a power five can’t remember. Um, I believe
it’s in fps. Yeah. Okay,
so I know it’s 79% of underclassmen so underclassmen being freshmen and sophomores. And there’s only 21% that are juniors and seniors I looked at in comparison to last year’s roster that was 38%, juniors and seniors to 62% underclassmen, so that is a dress. And I looked at most rosters and it seemed to be like USC for instance, was 37% this year, juniors and seniors so 21% that is a remarkably young looks like 30 to 40 less than normal and in so be at almost below 20% when it comes to having the amount of 20% meaning you only have 20% of upperclassmen on your roster. That is remarkable young, is even before the OPT outs we’d only been at 27%. So it would have actually been I know because we were kind of getting a lot of buzz and you know people are looking forward to the Ohio State game and I do think we would have been better obviously today so the best tackle in college football. You got Javon all the best Nichols in college football you got three year starter and tell them scram, you got the Rose Bowl MVP and Brady Brees. So you unquestionably lost for good players, but I do still think that if the season wouldn’t cut, let’s say, in a better universe COVID never happens. I do think we would have maybe been a little bit overrated going into this year. When I look at that how young we still would have been. And you know, the toddler show what is still had shock sorry. We still had growing pains. I think we were possibly A little bit overrated to go into the regular season anyways, um, and then, obviously, then we have the OPT outs, and then all the other stuff that’s happened with COVID that just, you know, obviously puts you at a disadvantage, especially when you’re younger team. So I do think really the youth is something that was not I mean, I I personally didn’t even take that into consideration enough. I didn’t know how much use we had. Yeah, I
think a lot of people were were in that same boat too. I know, I found myself in kind of a similar boat when, when assessing this team, kind of going into into this season. And we you know, we no one was really quite sure what the season was going to look like. But you think about the way that Oregon has been recruiting lately and the way that they’ve just been kind of developing a lot of their talent. I think a lot of people and then you juxtaposition that with just kind of the way the PAC 12 has been down in recent years. I think a lot of people expected Oregon to even though they they lost some some very critical key figures from this team that you know, from a rosebowl team last year, I think a lot of people kind of just expected them on talent alone, to be the failure in the PAC 12 into kind of for the season to play out. Honestly kind of the way that it ended up playing out with Oregon being conference championship. The conference champion, I don’t think people necessarily envision them you know, dropping games at Oregon State and the cow i think i think it’s most for the most part I think a lot of people expected kind of this result to be the result you know, in a normal circumstance in normal season. And you know it you throw in some of those non conference games which I think would have been a really exciting You know, when you think about North Dakota State coming to Austin and then you think the following week Ohio staying in Hawaii that’s a pretty great non conference schedule and non conference home slate at that so it would have been interesting to see how that played I don’t think Oregon wins that Ohio State game based on kind of what we’ve seen from from the ducks this season. It would have been a great atmosphere inside Autzen Stadium for that game but you know, we’ll never know but it’s uh you know, I think it for the most part though this the season kind of played out I think the way that you know a lot of people you know, maybe we’re we’re hypothesizing before the season again, some twists and turns along the way but in the end it kind of bear it out the way that a lot of people expected.
Yeah, I think next year and next year when I look at it and I just put in one more math together I think next year destinations this year probably are better suited for next year. Because next year we will have our starting quarterback coming back we will have almost all our offensive line come back. We’re going to be bringing it back quite a few skill guys. We’re gonna be bringing back our best defensive end and probably the best defensive end in college football. We’re going to be having both our linebackers one was a five star notes to all the other online sales one more productive linebackers the conference, and then you’re one of the best quarters in the conference in Miquel. Right, so next year, when I look at it from like, more objective instead of I just think as a fan, you tend to be subjective, I just think it’s a struggle and probably more people struggle than others. I’ve really struggled. But like next year, is where we still have to go to Ohio State play Ohio State. So that’s that sucks me under Ohio State. So but other than that, I would say that next year is definitely where we will have the most talented roster in, in the conference, we will have a lot more experience coming back especially at key positions like you cannot really minimize having a new starting quarterback. Especially a four year starter that he’s replacing. And then and then all five of our offensive linemen had to be replaced. I mean, stuff like that is without springball I mean, so this when you really put it in in more context, you’re like, man, some of those expectations that we probably had might have been just a little ridiculous based upon just you know, like I said, new quarterback. Find your stars now offensive line, no spring ball,
It’s Yeah, I think it was just a little bit. I would say the only disappointment that I can really say that still to me was a little baffling was we did return almost most of our defensive line and most of the front seven guys and their play in the first couple games was a little confusing to me. Meaning the I just didn’t think they’re very physical maybe I will not Jordan Scott wasn’t playing as good as he did the other year on Austin value wasn’t playing as good as its way back to to Mesa funa. So I thought very play might have been the one area that I was kind of like Yeah, that maybe I don’t understand that question much. But every other I think we may be when you put into context what really was going on? And all the limitations with no spring ball, new quarterback, new offensive line? I think the rest, we look at it from that kind of prism, it makes a lot more sense. Where would you say about that?
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think when you certainly when you look at quarterback and offensive line, those are two positions that, you know, they take time to gel, but what’s funny, kind of when you look at this season is the offense started off, you know, pretty, you know, pretty in sync and looking pretty steady. For the most part, it was the defense that was that was kind of leaving a lot of people kind of scratch their heads. You know, I think a lot of people expected Oregon’s defense to kind of be not kind of I mean, I think a lot of people expect them to certainly be the best defense in the PAC 12. And, and potentially one of the best, you know, defenses in the entire country. And that’s even, you know, even when you lose, you know, someone like Javan Holland and Brady Brees and Thomas Graham to opt out OPT outs, you still think that this is a defense that is is going to be pretty dominant in the PAC 12. And, and they weren’t I mean, you bring up great point about kind of, especially Oregon’s run defense. I mean, they were getting gashed through the first, you know, three or four weeks of the season, you know, the UCLA game and the Oregon State game, those two games really stand out to me when I think about just how kind of exposed that group was, they didn’t play with a lot of push. There wasn’t a lot of physicality. They look, they just, they look slow. It was a, it was pretty revealing. It, it really kind of went, you know, when to show you, you know, the importance of an offseason and the importance of some of the guys that they lost to I think, you know, we we overlook kind of the leadership element of some of these things, too. And when you look at Troy dye and Javan Hollins, you know, those are two guys were two of the more vocal leaders talking throat Thomas Graham in there, too. And those are three guys who are some of the most vocal leaders on your on your entire team, and you’re going to lose Troy to graduation, but you don’t necessarily expect to lose john Holland and Thomas Graham, you know, when you when the calendar flips over to 2020. And so for them to lose those two guys, that’s, you know, those are important voices, kind of in the back end of Oregon’s defense, and they just weren’t there. And so there’s a lot of guys kind of being forced into new positions, forced into new leadership roles, then I think maybe now we’re just kind of seeing those guys kind of take to it a little bit. But, you know, in a normal season, we’re only we’re at the halfway mark, you know, right, this is really, six, seven weeks in, and teams drastically change. You know, anybody who follows college football knows it’s no team can, can look one way in September and be playing a completely different way, in November and into into bowl season. And so I think we’re just now kind of starting to see this team round into form a little bit. And it’s, in some ways, it’s, it’s kind of disappointing that, you know, we only only did to see this team kind of play one more game, but, but I think that’s just kind of the nature of this year, it’s been weird for everybody. And some, some teams are peaking earlier than others. Some people, some teams are peaking later than others. This is just kind of what you’re getting when, when you throw in COVID and, and the cancellation of games and just not really having a full deck to kind of be be playing with, you’re going to see a lot of this types of stuff, these types of things. And and I think we, we saw an example of a kind of its own special way with Oregon this season.
Yeah, me. Yeah, you’re exactly right. Because if you were to look at let’s look at a team like Oklahoma, were one and two, and they if they hadn’t won in triple overtime against Texas, there have been one in three. And then you hit them now they’re eight and two, they won the back as Pac 12. They won the big 12 arm and some either number six in the country. Some people believe that there probably would, should be the number 14. So yeah, you’re right. I mean, usually how a team looks so early in the season and even see our defense. The first four games like you said, particularly the UCLA versus an Oregon State game, they just didn’t didn’t look good. I mean, they were getting tossed around. They’re getting run on. But then you look at Cal and then USC. I think the first four games we had four sacks. Um, we had 16 tackles for loss. I don’t know what hurts but the last two games we’ve had seven sacks 13 tackles for loss. And just in general, look, physical people are flying around. And it’s unlike the teams. The defense I’ve seen the last two weeks is the defense I expected to that’s what the defense I thought we’re going to see. And actually the offense I thought the first four games Three and a half, that second half the Oregon State, they look very good. The first three and a half weeks sounds like Oh, man, job, done a miracle and I don’t even springball shock, shock, throw the ball all over the place, getting the ball down the field, the RPO. And then last, obviously, the last two and a half, I would say two and a half games really started at halftime of the Oregon State game, the offenses look probably, I don’t know, I thought the offense is gonna look good. Yeah, the offensive is is really not doing has not been very consistent last couple weeks. Now granted when you look at it. So Stanford’s defense was dealing with some stuff, because they had a lot of guys out with COVID. And then Washington State does not have a good defense. And UCLA has been a pretty consistent defense. And they even caused Oregon some trouble in that game. If you remember, they cause a lot of negative plays. And an Oregon State doesn’t have a good defense either. And then when you go to Cal and USC, those are two of the best defenses in the PAC 12. So there is a little bit of that going on meaning he is like, I mean, just roll Cox, no matter what talent he has out there, he can scheme a good defense together. And he can definitely cause disruption in the back end. And so there’s a little bit of that, that you have to take into consideration. And it maybe it is a regression, but remember, the other team has players too, that has coaches too. So they might have just run into some little better schemes that really took away some of the stuff that they were doing. And that maybe was just not shown in the first few games because those defenses just aren’t as good. Is I guess there’s a little bit of that. You don’t always jump to be like, Oh, man, this office is terrible. Now, you follow? messageboard Twitter and like, bench bench Tyler shock. And I’m like, I mean, I don’t know i i don’t think why would you bench if he won the job? He he’s he won Pac 12 title in this season? It is McCray. But I mean to jump to the conclusion to bench him I mean, I can’t I just think that’s a little hyperbolic. You just gotta care plays and I think it will be a good test. So let’s talk about I would say what do you what do you watch? Have you seen a lot of Iowa State? What do you think about them?
Yeah, no, I’ve seen a little bit of Iowa State this season. You know, I happened to watch a good portion of the first game of the season versus Louisiana was you know, oddly enough was one of the few games that they lost this year and did not look very did not look very good but look I mean I was state is that is a really well coached team. Look at Matt Campbell and kind of what he has done there it’s it’s no secret that he is one of the kind of the hotter names amongst the college coaching ranks right now and for good reason. I mean the way that though he has kind of transformed that program over the last several years is has been really really impressive and I don’t think you can you can knock that I don’t think you can take that away from from what Iowa State has done. I think you look at the talent comparison between the two teams I think Oregon far kind of outmatches them there but I mean look they you know I would say is competed to the nail with the Oklahoma’s in the Texas in the Oklahoma state’s in that conference. You know really since Matt Campbell kind of came on board and so I think any any Oregon fan or any fan or you know casual fan that takes a look at this Fiesta Bowl game and kind of expects Oregon to to come in and dominate. I think that they’ve kind of got the wrong idea because I think you really look at this team you take a closer look at kind of the way that they play. They’ve got a really sound defense. Brock Purdy is you know, one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the country, Brees Hall might be one of the best running backs in the country. They’ve got some talent, they’ve got some some guys who can who can play and the ducks are going to have their hands full and you kind of alluded to it a little bit. I think defensively you know, we see Oregon kind of coming into its own a little bit. This will be an enormous challenge. Taking on breece Hall and Brock Purdy and kind of I was state’s offense and kind of some of the things that they can do offensively. But I’m you know, I if I’m a you know, an Oregon fan, I’m looking at this at this team and in coming into this game. The biggest question that I have is that quarterback and we talked about a little bit with Tyler shock and I know you know, he has not played up to up to kind of a satisfactory standard here the last couple of weeks I mean, the second half in the in the cow game was was by far his worst kind of stretch of play this season. And then you know, transitioning into into the UFC game. I thought And I think a lot of people thought you know he’s he’s got two weeks to kind of prepare and kind of like regroup a little bit and he looked as bad as as he’s looked this entire season and he’s a first year starter he’s going to have ups and downs but I think when you get to this this stage in the season with you know, kind of the stakes and what’s on the line you can’t afford to have that or you see you saw how one dimensional Oregon was particularly in the second half of that game and I think they only attempted to pass things Tyler shuck only attempted three passes in the second half and that doesn’t speak that isn’t you know, come to you know, come off to me is that as a coaching staff that is got a lot of confidence in Tyler shuck. You look at his body language didn’t look like he had a lot of confidence in himself. This is a guy who has been touted as somebody who carries himself with a little bit more swagger and has a little bit more outspoken kind of compared to Justin Herbert obviously, we know what kind of talent Justin Herbert was, but Tyler shuck was was more of kind of your, I guess, classic quarterback type and in in way that he kind of rallies people rallies, his teammates, and I know that he’s well respected in that locker room. But he’s he’s playing worse football now than he was when he you know, the started the season was making his first starts, you know, as a college quarterback for starts on the road, kind of going through the the growing pains that a young quarterback would go through, he’s, he’s regressed. And you know, I don’t think it’s any secret. I don’t think it’s any small thing that Anthony Brown saw his very first action of the season against USC, and I know that, you know, we’re gonna wanted to get more packages in for him and added a little bit of a different wrinkle in terms of some of the short yardage and the redzone formations, but there’s a reason why he’s playing in these games. If Tyler shuck I think had the full competence of the coaching staff,
I think we would see him throughout the duration of this of these games. But I think that’s I think it’s legitimately waning at this point. And at the very end of the USC game, it was Anthony Brown out there who was kind of managing things and I know that they wanted to keep things on the ground and run the ball but even when you know the few times Anthony Brown was having to make a pass you saw with just a little bit more confidence there and a little bit more competence just in terms of his ability to kind of execute the often so you know, I’m personally I’m of the opinion that they need to strongly consider you know, starting Anthony Brown in this game and I know that Tyler shucks a young quarterback and he’s going through some some ups and downs right now but the way that he looked at the end of the the USC game, and the way that Oregon’s offense was so predictable at the end you really got the feeling that if the game was another five minutes you know, then another five minutes left to go in the fourth quarter and things were kind of going downhill the way that they were there’s I don’t think there’s any guarantee that we’re gonna hold on and wins that game I think their offense was B was becoming very very predictable and I think you know when you go into a game against a really well coached team like I was state against you know a defense like they have that is performed quite well this year. I think you’re you’re potentially you know, you asked him to kind of have a repeat of the second half that we saw against USC for Tyler shock if he is in fact kind of your starter going into this game I think they really need to strongly consider rolling with Anthony Brown to start the festival
but you make an interesting point my only my only kickback to that would be is Anthony Brown is a he’s a fifth year senior obviously you don’t lose eligibility but is he a guy that maybe just decides to go to professional whether it be trying to make in the NFL or or get in the CFL or arena league? Or he’s a guy that maybe because he didn’t start he doesn’t know a situation maybe he even tries to move on somewhere else to know a place where he can exactly go in and start if you don’t start Tyler shuck it are you at that point almost kind of conceding that you don’t know if he’s that guy and obviously you’re dealing with the psyche of a young person that’s 21 years old and it do and and then you just there is a risk and then at that point then in going into next year you’re going to have he doesn’t know if he’s for sugar to battle it gets the job he all of a sudden doesn’t get the job he didn’t transfers out and then you’re dealing with probably I’m my assumption would be for some reason that it’d be Ty Thompson, who’s one of the top rated quarterbacks five star by rivals top 50 guy would probably be the guy that beats him out on that. That’s my opinion, but it could be Jay Butterfield but um, I just said do you think it is worth because obviously you want to win the game. You I’d love to be back to back you know Not just Pac 12 champions, but knew your six games and it’s and you’re pretty much the face of the PAC 12. And you’re, there’s only two of you playing balls and you’re playing the big one is, is it more? Would you just just throw this out there out there? Would you more Would you rather say I’m hanging with you, I know you haven’t played your best, but you are starting quarterback, I want you to continue to be our starting quarterback, I’m giving you the chance to say hey, you know, I’ve had my bumps in the road, but I’m gonna let you go out there. And then obviously, if all of a sudden first series those interception, then at that point, you’re like, you’re gonna have to say, hey, I want to win this game. I understand that. But if you go in there, and he’s not the starter, I just there’s a trickle down effect in every move that you make can have effects in the future. Is it worth it? Because Andy brown might not be there anymore.
There’s no yes. Yeah, I don’t think there’s any, any guarantee that that Anthony Brown will necessarily stick around for next season. And I think these next, you know, these next few weeks will be will be pretty important just in terms of kind of determining some of these things kind of moving forward, obviously, in terms of determining the starter for this game. But also just you know, in terms of who gets the opportunity, and vampy brown gets an opportunity to start this game and play and performs well or you know, maybe similarly maybe we see both Tyler shucking and Anthony Brown in this game, and maybe the both perform at a similar level, and maybe that’s enough of it, but this to, for him to stick around. At this point, I don’t think you can nessus like, only you necessarily be worried about the future Tyler shucks future because, you know, you’ve got you’ve got an opportunity here to win, you know, a second straight new year six bowl game, you know, you’re coming off Pac 12 championship, which, by the way, you know, Anthony Brown played a pretty integral role in, in, in pulling off that win. And so I think you have to, I think you have to entertain the idea of, for sure, you know, adding even more to Anthony Browns plate in this game. I think he showed you enough where he deserves that opportunity to play. But, you know, you also run the risk, you know, you mentioned the fact you know, do you do you run, you know, potentially, you know, impacting the psyche of Tyler shuck if he doesn’t get the start in this game, but in my only counter to that would be the ruin, you know, does he potentially get his psyche even more kind of stepped on and, and kind of like beaten down if he if he goes out and we see kind of a repeat of of the second half against USC where he looks very uncomfortable making going through his progressions where he is very skittish in the pocket, where he doesn’t, you know, he doesn’t really know where to go with the football. I mean, we saw on one of the last series that he was in the game, he got pressured, and it was, you know, deep in deep in Oregon’s own territory. And, you know, he’s thrown off his back but nearly threw an interception and does not look like a player who is composed right now. And, and I don’t know, if it’s, you know, obviously you got to play to, to kind of regain some of that confidence. But this has been this has been a slow but sure kind of decline. For Tyler shuck over the past several weeks. And there, it really had there hasn’t been anything that would demonstrate or signal signal to anybody that this is this is turning around at least anytime soon. And so yeah, you know, I think Mario Cristobal is somebody who is always you know, he’s kind of based things, more or less on a meritocracy. I know that Tyler shuck again, he’s a well respected player, he seems like he seems like a really good teammate, a really good kid. Um, I don’t think anybody you know, is rooting against him or anything like that. I think everyone wants to see him succeed. But if you’re not getting the job done, you’re just not getting the job done. And you’ve got a guy and Anthony Brown, who’s seasoned. He’s, you know, in the limited action that he has played this season. I think he has shown you that he’s capable. He seems to be a composed player. And I think that that can provide a little bit of a spark for an offense that quite frankly, needs the spark right now. I mean, they have gone into the tank. These especially the last two games that they’ve had. They just don’t look like they’ve got a lot of life right now. And a lot of punch. Travis dies is doing his thing. We saw Shawn dollars emerge a little bit, but the receivers just they’ve been a non factor. They really have been a non factor these last few weeks, and I think a lot of it has to do with the play of the quarterback. You got to make a change. I really do feel like there has to be there has to be a change here in terms of at least the number of reps that Tyler shuck is doing In practice and kind of what we see from him in games, maybe it’s a, it is kind of a, you know, a dual partnership there during during the festival, but I think you have to incorporate, at the very least you have to incorporate Anthony Brown a little bit more into the game
plan. So you usually get from what you’ve seen, there’s enough hesitation that if Tyler Chuck was out there, we definitely would not unless he drastically has a deep dive into the invention over the next couple weeks. You don’t think you’d see a guy that probably would come out there and be able to win the game versus Iowa State?
Yeah, I, I don’t have a lot of confidence in that’s just me, you know, sitting here observing, you know, what we see on game days. I’m obviously not there during practice. And it’s, you know, it’s, it’s easy to say, you know, it’s easy to call for the easiest thing to do is call for backup when the starters and isn’t playing well. But I just think that the way that we have seen kind of Tyler schuck regress and the way that his confidence level has has, has really kind of dipped here in the last in the last few weeks. I just it’s all the all the your markings of a player who who needs to kind of take a step back. He just to me, he seems like he’s kind of cooked mentally. And I don’t think that I don’t think it’s necessarily a thing where he can’t come back from it. I certainly think he I do think he’s got the physical talent, I think he’s got the tools to be a really really quality starting quarterback in the PAC 12. But I think right now it’s it’s the stuff between the ears that is that is kind of getting in his way and is kind of serving as some of these optical obstacles for him. And I think that you know, maybe maybe it is an opportunity for him to kind of, alright, let’s take a step back. Let’s let’s see what this other guy can do. Let’s try to get you know everything as far as like you know what Tyler Chuck needs to work on. Let’s try to get that addressed and squared away in practice and see if we see more improvement there. And if you know if some of the issues continue then you roll with Anthony Brown if we see marked improvement over these next, you know a couple of weeks leading up to the festival then he goes Tyler shot you know I think it’s I think you gotta you got to keep an open mind at that position right now if you’re Oregon because you’re just not getting enough out of the quarterback position to be a viable long term threat and at least a viable threat in my opinion against the team like Iowa State who’s they’ve got the quarterback you know, they’ve got kind of these components in place where so this is a team that will take take advantage of you if you are not kind of on top of your game coming into this game. This is the biggest game in program history for Iowa State Yeah. So this is they’re going to be geared up for this game and I think you need to you need to match it. You need to be able to match match it and make some tough decisions if you’re Mario Cristobal and that might involve benching Tyler shock
i don’t know i i’m probably going to go a little bit off in a red herring here but I always was thinking because I was thinking about how Tyler’s check him like man, the first couple weeks I was seeing how he was playing a little comfortable and he was a playmaker. I mean, the Washington State game the RPO probably 70 plus yards running and again similar to that even against Stanford and and UCLA the he played perfectly fine it was offensive line at times that problem with the twisting and stopping by UCLA defense and then it was started with the Oregon State game but then I kind of went back and I thought of Herbert and I thought I heard his junior year and and you remember when he went out he had he you know obviously was playing well early and then he went out and that Washington State game had a stinker and then Arizona was was not a good game and and even the rest of the year it kind of regressed and and even like last year, Herbert like he had the poor game against Arizona State and then actually the next week he probably even had a worse game against Oregon State. They just were able to win it um I don’t know I want to crystal ball. But the one common denominator because you’ll be obviously Joe Morehead is the offensive coordinator now and then before that was Marcus Arroyo and logical white to blame a royal and I do think certain play calls I in the way he used Herbert but is there something about those in there is some things and I love Mario but I if you you probably have you ever heard my podcast maggot went back and listened to last week I i for the longest time if I do most the time I don’t have gas and I just go on with myself and I would often do my monologues. And I was like, if I will often because at that point you’re hearing some smoke about is Auburn going to hire Mario crystal ball is he the head candidate? You’d go into message boards if people really wanted Morrow, and I actually made the argument on my podcast I also made the argument on different podcasts for actually as sec podcasts. I said, I don’t think you want Mario. And one of my arguments is, does is there kind of a, like, a role? How do I phrase this? Does morial kind of pressure it into this? You really push the culture? And I think it’s a good part of everything he does. But does he have kind of this ball of because he’s pretty conservative in his nature, you even see how he plans the games, does he have this kind of pressure on the quarterback like, Don’t put your us in a position we can’t lose turn over bounces? Or is there there’s kind of while I’m not in the building with Mario crystal ball, but how I could see even how he seems to be in his nature is you’re the quarterback, you can’t make mistakes you you’re not bigger than the team you have to play within the team. And could all of a sudden, when a guy like Herbert did it or in the place of show, they all of a sudden make a couple mistakes. And all of a sudden that pressure that psyche starts getting to their psyche, and they’re like, oh man, I’m, I’m, I’m being an obstacle to the team success. I’m doing the one thing I’m not and that’s making mistakes and putting us in bad positions. And could you all of a sudden be seeing this kind of trickle down effect. And this is an assumption on me. But it did happen with Herbert as a junior, it did happen with Herbert as a senior and now it’s all of a sudden happening to Tyler shock. And I saw Herbert and you see till this day, what a freakin dowel That guy is and you even saw in college at times when he let it go, how good he was. And then I saw Tyler shuck the first three weeks making plays with legs thrown make it a drop and dimes down the field of Devin Williams Johnny Johnson. And then all of a sudden this guy looks a cane playing quarterback trying to a certain extent be honest with you, like you said, Yeah. Is it something that murgh crystal ball is doing? It gets in the psyche of the of his quarterbacks it’s causing this? Is it is that is that too far fetched? where I’m going? Yeah,
I mean, look, I think Mario has his, you know, he has his style of coaching and kind of his his expectations and they are extremely high. I don’t think it’s really too dissimilar though to from a lot of coaches kind of at that level. I think with with herber I think you I think these are two two different situations when I look at it you know, I think with the with the Herbert situation last year, I think Oregon was reluctant to kind of let him go and we didn’t really see it until kind of the the end of the season when he started run the ball a lot more a lot more athletic than I think a lot of people give him credit for, excuse me, but I think we saw last year though they didn’t want to risk getting hurt injured and risk and opportunity to win the PAC 12 championship and risk and opportunity to play for Roseville. So I think you saw some some more kind of conservative play calling or play calling that kept Justin Herbert out of harm’s way. Also think that marks Arroyo is decidedly average as a as a play caller. So I think that that didn’t really do a Justin Herbert any favors and let’s look at it. This fact too, is the fact that Justin Herbert, you know, he he did not have the luxury of playing an offense that was you know, filled with playmakers. You know, like Marcus Mariota did or Dennis Dix in some of these, you know, former Oregon grades at quarterback who, who really had a lot of advantages with some of the talent that was surrounding them. Justin Herbert never had that, you know, he he the closest thing that he ever had, you know, closest he was ever to that was when he was a freshman. You know, he had guys like Darren Carrington and the like that you know, we’re very brown I believe, Royce Freeman Lincoln, he loses some guys that you know, are playing in the NFL or or have had had chances to play in the NFL. He really did not have that, you know, later in his career. I think Oregon is still trying to kind of get back to that point. You know, we talked about recruiting classes, but I think they are getting closer to that especially with the the recruiting class that they just signed. I think Tyler shuck is is kind of the beneficiary in some ways of having a guy like Joe Morehead in and I know that it hasn’t been a normal offseason. But there’s been opportunities for him to kind of make plays in this offense and you’ve seen the potential that this offense has the explosive potential that this offense has kind of compared to what you know Herbert was dealing with and yeah, Mario might be a little bit demanding but I think this is you know, you didn’t you don’t hire Joe Morehead least in my opinion, you don’t hire George Joe Morehead some Mario Chris ball can kind of stand in the way of, of whatever is going on going on and off and look, you know, I think Mario Chris volley certainly has his hand On the off, you know, as far as what goes on the offensive line, I’m sure he has some input on the offensive gameplan. Yeah, the other day. This is this is Joe Moore heads, baby. And I think that, you know, what we saw at Tyler shuck at the beginning of the season was encouraging and it kind of spoke to kind of the, the talent that he has. I think he, honestly, I think he showed a lot more talent than a lot of people were expecting of him, especially athletically. I don’t know if anybody expected him to be as much of a threat running the football as he was. I think this is this is a, this is a confidence thing with him. I never saw Justin Herbert necessarily lose confidence in his ability, he might have not been put in the best positions to kind of have these kind of explosive games offensively. But, you know, I think you were if you were to stick Justin Herbert in this offense, I think, you know, in Joe, more heads offense, I think you would, you would see a much more dynamic player than we saw last year at Herbert shuck has been given these opportunities, and he has performed well at times. But you were seeing this steady decline that I think is is very concerning. And to me, it speaks to kind of his confidence level right now and where it’s at, I think he’s, he’s making mistakes that, you know, he shouldn’t be making kind of continually I mean, especially when you look at his throws over the middle of the field. And I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but they his percentages go down drastically and the frequency of turnovers goes up dramatically. And so these are things that I think these are Tyler shucks specific things. I don’t think it’s it’s necessarily anything you can attribute to Mario crystal ball meddling with the offense or putting too much pressure on his quarterbacks. I think Mario Cristobal knows that he’s got a he’s got a good offensive coordinator and Joe Morehead. And it’s, it’s wise to let Joe Morehead do his thing.
But you’re just not you’re just not seeing kind of Tyler shuck. Hold up the end. And I know that he’s trying and I don’t think anyone says that, you know, would ever say that he’s not given his best effort. I think it’s just when you when you see some of these mistakes occur. You see this kind of snowball effect and it’s kind of been slowly but surely snowballing for Tyler shuck. I mean, you just look at look at his outings, you know, from from game one to, you know, through the PAC 12 championship game. It’s been it’s been a pretty steady regression that we have seen. So. So I don’t know. It’ll it’s, it’ll be interesting to see. I’m very curious, I thought going into the USC game, honestly, you know, I thought that it was a make or break game for Tyler shuck, just in terms of kind of getting some of the detractors off his back, because they came out in full force, I think after that cow game. And he just didn’t do much to kind of dissuade anybody from that position. So yeah, man,
I don’t know if you, I don’t take their word for everything. But pro football focus, I think does a pretty good job on grading a player and he’s at I believe he’s at number 11, three to grade a quarterback in the back wall. So that kind of is a testament of how he’s just not really playing very good. And I know statistically, I think he’s second and passing his eyes, passer rating. But yeah, like he said, he probably has the best offensive coordinator in the conference, along with play with some of the best offensive towel in the conference. So I mean, that could also add to better statistics, and really what his plays been so yeah. So if you were to say it is kind of projecting the future, if you had to put a gun deer proverbial head, what do you think you’ll be the quarterback in 2021? Do you think you’ll get this turned around? You have faith in it? Or is it one of those situations where because never tie a tie? Thompson? I don’t know. I don’t know if you’re out there, Arizona enough. You hit up any of his games. But I’ve saw him play they do those live streams, I think I’ve saw him play pretty much every game. And that’s good. Because one of the bad guys also played elite 11. He was the best quarterback there. He’s big, he’s fast. He’s athletic. He’s really competitive. And I would not want to be a quarterback that doesn’t fit because that could come in, he could start and with talent that Oregon’s bringing in, you know? He could probably be pretty successful even as a freshman quarterback. So yeah,
yeah. Do you think Yeah, it’ll be it’ll be interesting. I think, you know, it’s, again, this ballgame will be pretty telling I think as far as what we see. You know, if I had to if I had to make a prediction, I would, I would say that you know, going into 2021 I think you’re gonna see open quarterback competition. And I think it’s, it’s likely that it’s probably between Tyler shuck, Jay Butterfield, Ty Thompson, and maybe Anthony Brown depending on what you know what his decision is after after the season comes to an end. I think that you see an open quarterback competition and maybe, you know, maybe it’s one of those things where Tyler chages needs an offseason, you know, he just he just needs to get get to the offseason needs to kind of hit the reset button a little bit needs to not be necessarily dealing with COVID. To the degree that, you know, he was dealing with COVID. You know, I think the team in general, I think there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of guys on that team who are probably really struggling with COVID right now, I think that we can’t, under you know, underestimate that impact too. I think it’s, you know, this, you know, these last several months, I think, have had a had a really kind of dramatic impact on a lot of different people in different ways. And so, you know, I think it’s a win win discount the fact that this has been a really trying year mentally for Tyler shuck. So, you know, I think it’s possible that maybe he just needs he just needs an offseason and kind of to get everything kind of reset, and, you know, going in with kind of a fresh mind fresh eyes, and kind of attacking this thing next year. And and look, we mean, I think like I’ve said before, I think he’s, I think he’s got the talent, I don’t think there’s any any doubt in my mind that he can play at a very high level in the PAC 12 I think he just needs to overcome kind of whatever he is battling, whether it’s lack of confidence, or maybe he’s just, you know, just maybe not seeing the field writers or kind of understanding the offense the way that he needs to understand it. You know, maybe that’s you just need some of that time to kind of get to that point. We see guys kind of progress and develop so I don’t I wouldn’t say you know yet to stick a fork in Tyler shuck, but I think as it stands right now, I think you have to give you brought in, you know, Anthony Brown for a reason Unless, you know, we’re not seeing something in practice. Where you know, where he is, he’s, you know, head and shoulders below. Were Tyler shock is in a practice setting that I think you have to you, you have to bring him on and you have to give him a chance to play and maybe you bring in Tyler shock to, to you know, save the day if that if that you know, if Andy brown gets started and kind of falters against it, I will state maybe you bring in Tyler shocking given offered an opportunity to win it. He’s gonna have to prove it on the field. And and that, you know, well that’s kind of what it boils down to. But it’s the practice field or in a game setting. He’s gonna have to he’s gonna have to prove it and that I think right now he’s just not going to done it just not getting it done. And it’s, it’s fixable, but I think that you have to go with somebody who’s in a little bit better replace kind of mentally heading into this game and kind of moving forward to Anthony Brown really shows out and he decided to come want to come back to Oregon next year. I know Ty Thompson has been getting a lot of hype and I’m, I’m right there with you. I think he’s got all the tools to be a great at Oregon when he gets his opportunity. I think Jay Butterfield is got similar talent, as well. But I think Anthony Brown is somebody that has some experience has kind of been there done that. And he you got to kind of see what you got in him. And I think depending on how he plays I could see there there being a pretty open quarterback competition going in 2021 I don’t think it’s it’s Tyler shucks job. I don’t think it’s anyone’s job regardless of what we see in the festival unless Tyler Shaquille has a career day and you know, throws for over 400 yards and is just looking, you know, sharp as a razor. I don’t I don’t think that I don’t think we’re going to have any sort of solution as far as what Oregon’s quarterback situation is, like, heading into next season.
Yeah, yeah. Like, that’s kind of what I’m where I’m at. I mean, once again, I’m interested. I’m liking the directory. I. Yeah. So so it caught like a couple different points. So you you bet you, I know, mostly talks, but you can’t watch what was the PAC 12? What was your overall thoughts of the conference? Um, who did you impress you didn’t impress to? And who, obviously most of the teams other than Oregon and Colorado, Colorado, please taxes now mobile? Who are you looking at in the future as being a team that can be a contender in the PAC 12? And can be up there at the top?
Yeah. Well, you know, I, you kind of touched on some of them. I think, you know, Colorado showed a lot this season. Obviously, USC had a had a good year. But you know, two teams, two programs that I think, you know, really, that people kind of that are paying attention to the PAC 12. And, and I say that because I know the PAC 12 hasn’t really done a whole lot off of field to to kind of generate that buzz and some of that notoriety, but I think two programs that I’m going to be very, very curious to kind of monitor here over the next year are UCLA and Arizona State. I think Arizona State just didn’t really get the opportunity to kind of show out and play, kind of due to COVID, to a lot of the expectations that, that were had like that a lot of people have been heading into the season. I think Jaden Daniels is a tremendous quarterback, you see some of the skilled talent that they have, you see kind of what they’ve been doing in terms of recruiting on both sides of the ball. I think defensively, they’ve got some really intriguing players there. I’m very interested to see kind of what Arizona State does, over the course of the next year. Again, they didn’t get their opportunity necessarily to really show what they are capable of this season. But I think that’s a team that you really got to keep a close eye on UCLA, I know that chip has kind of run into some resistance there. I know that there was some unfounded rumors that he was, you know, perhaps going to be replaced as the head coach, I think that would be the wrong move. Right now if you’re UCLA, I think he is just kind of starting to to kind of get his foothold in LA and and really have instill his culture there. The improvement that that team made last year to this year I think is is substantial, they probably should have beat USC they you can make a great argument that they should be Oregon you know, they’ve they’ve got some some players there, they’ve got a scheme there that I think is adaptable to the talent that they’re bringing in that I expect them to be a team that is at least at the very least to tough out in the PAC 12 South here over the next couple of seasons. I think USC You know, that’s gonna be really interesting situation to kind of keep an eye on as well. I mean, the Keaton slovis. As long as he’s there, I think USC is going to be competitive, but they’re going to be losing on Ross St. Brown, they’re going to be losing. Tyler Vaughn’s Drake, London is a great talent, you know, that they’re they’re going to find receivers. But they, they haven’t really got it done in terms of addressing needs along the offensive line. I think defensively, they have some players there, obviously, talent. Vanga is a is a sublime talent. And I think he’s going to be somebody that that we see playing on, on Sundays here real soon. But I think that that’s defensively, that is an area I kind of worry about a little bit with USC, they just don’t have the caliber of players. They haven’t been recruiting the caliber of players that we’re used to seeing on that side of ball USC. So that’s the team that that I’m kind of interested in to see as well. Washington, you know, looking at the north, I think Washington is going to be interesting, they haven’t really had this success, at least this past cycle, recruiting that I think a lot of people thought that Jimmy lake was going to have. But they’ve you know, they’ve have been traditionally strong on defense, maybe they get some momentum going on offense with some of the guys that they have there. I really like kukuku actually really likes some of the running backs that they had this year. So we’ll see if they can kind of keep the ball moving there. Stanford is going to is always going to be kind of a tough team to play. As long as David Shaw is there, they’re going to be a competitive team, Oregon State.
You know, I don’t I don’t know how they how they do it. As far as being competitive weekend and week out. You know, they’re gonna lose your mark Jefferson. And that’s going to be a huge loss for them. But Jonathan Smith has done, I think, a really good job. They’re kind of piecemealing together a team that is that is competitive each and every week, that he can do some things on offense that has shown some things on defense. They’re not, you know, consistent enough, I think, to kind of break through. But I think they’re a team to continue to keep an eye on because I think that Jonathan Smith gets it as far as like how to recruit to Corvallis and how to, you know, how to manage, you know, some of the expectations there and I don’t think anybody necessarily thinks that Oregon State is going to be a perennial Pac 12 North contender, but I think that he’s going to have them, you know, it better equipped to kind of be in those games here. Over the next few seasons. I think he he really is probably the best fit Oregon State could have kind of hoped for in a head coach. So that’s the team that I’m really kind of interested in looking at two I think Oregon State is, is. I don’t think a lot of people were saying that. But I think that their team that you really do need to kind of keep an eye on because they I think they are least moving in a positive direction. There
are some good thoughts. I would probably the issue right now with Pac 12. So there’s a lot of different narratives out there. A lot of late Larry Scott, people want it and he’s Doctor commissioner and, and you know, obviously they have not been involved in the cost of roleplay. I think it’s four years now since they last witnesses Washington last minute. But at the end of the day, we just look at the roster talent. They’re just not on the level of some of the other conferences and it’s really the top of top tier, you know, obviously, it’s not just the FCC as great as these great FCC as a lot of like not great teams. But you have Alabama you have LSU, you have Florida, you have Georgia, and then you have Oklahoman in the big 12. You have Clemson in the ACC, of course, our game over they see this year. That’s the one spirit hurting them is the patchwall is the team that did get the talent was USC. But the problem was USC, I just don’t think they’re well coached team. I don’t think clay Allen’s a great coach. I don’t think I did just start I mean, they have not played to this is a team that the two 417 talent composite the top five roster every year until this year, this year, there were 10, which is still great. And so at a sick, there was a lack of talent for the other teams. And then the one team that did have that talent that could compete at a higher level just was not a well coached team. I don’t the problem with a lot of these other teams and I think there is some great coaches i think i think john smith is a terrific coach. I think Kyle winningham is one of the best coaches in college football. And he his ability to use the best use his talent to develop his talent. You give Tom winning a couple years with you and you can have a year like they had last year which if they beat Oregon, they were going to be the college football playoff arm you have a great coach in David Shaw, who’s who’s obviously won several Pac 12 North titles and been up in the PAC 12 titles. But the big issue is is talent the only team now that I think has that tap will have the talent place. And I and I will have the coaches in place. You have Joe Morehead, you have Andy abalos. It really is Oregon, Oregon. And you can say I’m a fan. Sure, yes, I am a fan. But I also would be very realistic. If they’re not good enough, we’ll get we’ll beat up. We I want I need that actual needs Oregon, to play up to what they are going to have on the roster, they are going to have a roster that can complete for college football playoffs, they are going to have the players that can win not only win the PAC 12. But that could possibly go to college football playoff. And that can compete in a reasonable way. I mean, it’s tough to say that they’re going to beat Alabama, it’s tough to say that it’d be to Iowa State and Clemson because these guys have double digit five stars in the roster. And this year was 30 plus top 100 players in the roster. But if the patch walls I think for the inter get become relevant on the national stage, you have to be a fan of Oregon right now. If you don’t have to have fat, you really do have to be a fan of Oregon because the rest of the teams just won’t have the talent. And and I hate to and so I when I look at the PAC 12 That’s it, I just like Oregon, you have what’s in place. If one backs back Pac 12 you can win not only that to have every single year, but you need to win every single game. And we need you to be what your talents going to be. And we need the Oregon Ducks to be the standard bearer for the PAC 12 so that people that love bagging on the PAC 12 like laughing at the PAC 12 unlike taking shots at the PAC 12 and I’m not I was not a West Coast guy. I’m here in a duck fan when I lived on the West Coast lived on Los Angeles. But I’m actually in the Midwest, uh, but I loved it. I grew up with the big 10 and the PAC 12 playing for the Rose Bowl. I grew up during the you know, during the Pete Carroll years, and uscb were the best teams. So to see the PAC 12 where it’s been last couple years and not be relevant in here at all the media members, whether it be Paul fine Bob on the ESPN or athletic Suleyman down Bruce Feldman and AF on sports and all the other mediums that cover because of tax wealth, now of actual this Pac 12 that in the obviously they got crap for starting the latest to the COVID, which I thought was unfair, maybe maybe you can predict how that was going to be. But if you’re a casual fan, if you want them to get back to national relevance, I’m sorry, you have to root for organ because the other teams aren’t going to have the talent.
Right? Washington is not going to have the talent. Stanford doesn’t have the talent. USC probably has the talent, but are you really going to trust what they have been? I mean, they have to have a coaching change to even remotely like they just just don’t have the culture there. They they they I mean, they should be tissue dominated the last five, six years. They should have won every single year. And they’ve won zero Pac 12 titles. I mean, if they want one, like three years ago, but, um, it’s Oregon, and Oregon is the team that could be the standard bearer of the backhauls. Um, and I guess as an Oregon fan, you want to be that way. But even if you’re just a fan of the PAC 12 Actually, I’ve heard I was listening to it. I think it’s hot harbor run and mind cough. I might be saying the names wrong. It’s a they’re an NFL podcast. They actually said that today. They’re like, aren’t they they’re actually they’re taught, they’re tough talking. Um, they’re I think they’re on the west coast, but they’re like, referencing there. They went off into some subjects to start with NFL and then they went off, like so what do you do with Pac 12. And there was, one guy said, He’s like, I saw a lot people were mad that USC had to play in the PAC 12 title game and USC was not just crowned the PAC 12 He’s like, they should be happy that they had to play Oregon that Oregon beat them because at the end of the day, Oregon is the only team that really will go out there and be physical and has the ability to play with other teams is like if I were to dispatch Walton, I would want someone to go out and play Alabama or Ohio State, you’d be Oregon, because you know that they’re gonna least go out there and they’re gonna hit you in the mouth. He’s like, do a cease. I’m not gonna sit he’s like through soft This is. And I’m like, that’s true. I mean, you don’t want UFC winning right now. They would go in and barriss themselves against Iowa State. Also think so. I’m so sorry to go off as kind of a long spiel there. But it I’m an Oregon fan. I’m here in Oregon fan. So we might come across as as bias. But to just put it, frankly, they were the PAC 12 needs Oregon to be good.
Yeah, yeah, they need Yeah, I think the PAC 12 needs Oregon to be good. They need you know, quite quite honestly, they need they need USC to be good too. And they need they need there needs to be probably a change. Eventually at the top there, as far as you know, the next coach that they bring in and somebody who really understands the importance of I think all college coaches understand the importance of recruiting but kind of backs it up on the recruiting trail, I mean, you’re not going to find a more dog recruiter than Mario Cristobal anywhere in the country. And but for him to for Mario, first of all come into southern California, and just be taking players out of out of USC backyard, year after year, and coupling that with a really strong presence nationally on the recruiting scene. That’s going to be it’s tough to tough to contend with. And I think USC you know, if if you’re looking for kind of another team to emerge, that other team probably has to be USC, they have to have a coach that comes in there and you know, doesn’t doesn’t let the Mario crystal balls of the world and frankly, other coaches from outside the PAC 12 footprint, come in and raid California. I mean, USC should be attracting the best players in the state of California, year after year, really the best players on the west coast. I mean, they should be at that level. And right now Oregon is the is the school that is attracting that talent, organism, one that is capitalizing on all that talent with what they do on the field. And they’re kind of leaving leaving USC a little bit in the dust. I mean, the fact that USC finished dead last in the PAC 12 and recruiting, not this, you know, not the 21 2021 recruiting cycle, but the 2020 recruiting cycle that should never ever, ever, ever, ever happen. And so, when you see things like that occurring at USC, it feels like it’s just a matter of time. And you know, I’ve said this all elsewhere. But you know, Clay Helton has gotten really, really good at, you know, being a survivalist and holding on to his job. And I think you know, I mean look like he he is he’s done just enough on the field to kind of at least stay in the good graces of the individuals who are making decisions in LA for the Trojans. But I think that time is probably nearing its end, if we’re all being honest. It’s probably gone all along a lot longer than a lot of people expected. But I think that time is kind of nearing its end and then it’s then the question becomes, what does UFC do next in terms of who they hire is one of those things that they can pull overmeyer out of out of retirement and get him to kind of come in, I think that would be something that really, really shakes up the PAC 12. If you’ve got a guy like Urban Meyer, who comes into that program who has the recruiting chops that he has who certainly has the Kind of the rings in the in the hardware to back up the reputation that he has, then I think you’re seeing, you know, you’re you should be prepared to see it a little bit different team at it, you know, from USC, and I think you should, you should be prepared to see a different team are a different kind of caliber of play coming out of the PAC 12. Because then you got work and you’ve got USC, not saying they have to hire Urban Meyer, but I’m just saying somebody, somebody of that caliber, or just below who understands the importance of Southern California and really dedicates themselves to, you know, keeping the best talent in Southern California and on the west coast, you know, on the west coast and in that in that Pac 12 footprint, I think that’s what’s gonna, what you’re going to need to see if you want to see the PAC 12 kind of emerge as a relevant conference, once again,
see you You would say that for Pac 12, they wouldn’t just deed Oregon and possibly need both,
I think maybe I really do think that they need both, and it probably comes at the detriment of org. I mean, it’s at least one of those programs in but I think probably having at least two programs there it gets, gets people focused in a little bit more on what’s going on with Pac 12. And lo You know, we’ve seen what Clemson has done in the ACC I mean, they essentially run that conference, and they have a pretty clear path to the playoff each and every year. And this year, in May made the playoffs is a little bit different with with Notre Dame playing, you know, all s are all ACC games, but you look across the country in the best conferences that you know, that are the conferences that have kind of the most cachet when it comes to the college football playoff. It is the SEC it is the big 10 and it is the big 12 the ACC has had you know, they’ve, they’ve been pretty deep here in recent years as well. So it’s the PAC 12 that is kind of lacking that right now. And I think you need to see, start to see kind of some of that, that, you know, that depth reveal itself in the conference, because the PAC 12 you know, traditionally It has been a pretty deep conference, and it’s been a conference that’s that’s had a lot of really strong teams, you know, and probably has been overlooked nationally, more than than they should should have been. But in recent seasons, it just it hasn’t been there, you know, the, the, you know, the cows of the world and Stanford’s of the world Washington’s of the world. They haven’t really been kind of those strong programs, they haven’t been performing on the field, the way that you would expect. You know, you look at Washington, you know, they before what kind of Oregon emerged here, at least over the last couple of seasons. You know, they were probably the standard bearer in the conference, but even then it’s you know, they made one college football playoff appearance. And, you know, we’re being fairly soundly by by Alabama, and just haven’t really heard from them since then. And you know, they haven’t won on the big stage in terms of like a big bowl game or anything like that. So it’s, it’s hard for for people to be, you know, continually buying into Washington, when you see them rise up. And then you know, just as quickly as they come they go. And so having having a program that is kind of remains at the top and is, again, Oregon has been doing it recently. But I think you know, you need to you need to see a USC emerge, if you want to see the PAC 12, kind of, again, regain some of the relevancy that I think it used to have, you’re going to need to see, you know, more than just one team kind of dominate this conference, you need to see a few other teams kind of emerge and be players kind of on the national stage.
As it is here, just saying for I guess for the conference, what I’m looking at it I guess the only reason the only kickback I’d have is like even um, yeah, so I see what you’re saying for the conference. And I actually would agree from your argument that you’re making my guess if I’m looking at it from because obviously the ACC is really not any good except for Clemson. And actually, that was not Clemson’s conference that was Florida state’s for for for right I don’t know how long and then all of a sudden Clemson comes along just takes over big twelves obviously Oklahoma’s conference they won their sixth straight title and my believe Ohio State won their fourth and fifth and don’t and it technically right now, none of those schools have an adversary. So that’s where when I was kind of looking at from that, I guess, isn’t in like Oregon becomes Oklahoma, Clemson and Ohio State.
But let’s go somewhere. Yeah,
but we’ll go with you nicked up at 12 you are you if for? I guess for you say all the PAC 12 solid in a sense, like in particular, I guess it could, we could start off by just listening One really good team. But if you want to look at it more as a no adversary with a good conference as a whole, yeah, then you would probably need a good USC because that what makes the SEC so good is you don’t just have Bama yet LSU do what they did your Georgia made, you know the national title few years ago. I mean, Florida has had teams that are good enough and even probably be good enough this year. It’s what makes it so good is there really is about five. I mean, Texas a&m almost stuck in the playoffs this year. So you really do really have five, six teams that are honestly really pretty good. Whereas most of the other conferences, honestly, when you when I’m just thinking about right now is a really good conference. But the SEC.
Yeah, take Yeah.
Take Clemson out of ACC take Oklahoma out of the big 12 take, um, Ohio State the big 10 are those conferences?
Right? Yeah, you’re seeing kind of a consolidation of a lot of talent in some of these programs. You know, you look at Clemson, you look at Ohio State, you know, look at Georgia, Alabama, LSU. These are all teams that are among the top teams in the recruiting rankings year after year. And I know, I think we’re seeing we’re seeing that being a it’s, it’s been repeated over time for a while, but I think we’re seeing even more kind of like, more emphasis on some of these programs really, like kind of cornering the market on some of the premier talent in the country. It’s, and they’re doing a really good job with, you know, retaining that talent and developing it. So I think it’s, you know, I don’t think there’s anything significant in terms of a, you know, a landscape change occurring in college football right now, I think I do think that there is like, a cyclical element to it. Taking place, and we’re just kind of we are in sec is always going to be strong, I don’t think anyone’s gonna argue that in terms of some what you’re seeing from the other conferences, and those other conferences have traditionally been up and down. There’s been seasons when the big 10 has been super deep, and you’ve got Michigan and Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, you know, Penn State, you’ve got these teams that are really showing now you’ve got the big 12 in Oklahoma State. It wasn’t that long ago, Oklahoma State was putting up numbers and challenging for BCS games and things like that. Texas has been has been kind of the USC of the 12 if you want to make that comparison, but that’s a team that’s always got talent, you know, you’re seeing what I was saying 13 seemed like Kansas State has done. So, you know, look, I think some of this is a little bit cyclical, I think right now, the PAC 12 just is not, has not been kind of performing up to snuff. And I think it really, if you want to trace it back anywhere, it goes back to kind of recruiting and you know, your I think what you’re seeing is Mario crystal ball at Oregon, and reason why Oregon is kind of emerging as, as this power and they’ve been in power for a while, but really even more so than than they have, you know, kind of traditionally is the fact that they are getting it done on the recruiting trail, they are out recruiting everybody within the within the PAC 12 footprint right now. And there’s no one that is even really close to them on a consistent basis. USC maybe is the closest team but even then, it’s like I mentioned that, you know, we you when you have Mario Cristobal being able to go into schools like modern day, some of those schools, St. JOHN Bosco and taking some of the best talent that those schools produce, which are, you know, these are, you know, national prospects, you know, with offers from all over the country, when you see a guy like that, from Oregon, from Eugene, Oregon, taking some of your best players and that’s, that’s a big deal. And that doesn’t happen very often, it rarely has rarely happened in the history of the PAC 12. So there needs to be there needs to be kind of that a little bit of an awakening at least is in terms of an approach to recruiting, that starts to kind of shift the conversation to one where it isn’t so much predicated on what the PAC 12 isn’t doing. But it’s more predicated on look at look at all the all the changes, look at the different approach that, you know, the schools are taking to kind of the recruiting process, because at this point, Oregon is kind of running away with that with that title. And until somebody kind of puts their foot down. And again, it probably has to be USC. I don’t really see that, you know, slowing down anytime soon, especially when you have somebody who is tireless as Mario chrismole is, you know, at the helm at Oregon with, you know, the Nike influence and kind of the marketing, the marketing power that the university has. You’re going to continue seeing or in kind of at the top of that top of those rankings for the foreseeable future.
Yeah, I agree with you. We’re probably going to wrap up in the capacity. One quick question. What did you think about the extension for Mara crystal ball? And did you? Were you happy, excited? Where did you agree with it? Were you are you still waiting to see what’s your thoughts on that extension? Yeah, no, I think it was, you
know, I think was a long time coming. Honestly, I know that, you know, there was a lot of reports that they had had something worked out, they were on the verge of announcing something kind of pre COVID. And then with, with COVID, kind of taking the attention off, you know, sports and just really just, you know, commanding everybody’s attention, just terms of day to day life. I think that the university realized probably wasn’t the right time to to be announcing a new lucrative deal for for the football coach. And so I think things got put on backburner a little bit. I don’t think there was, I think some people you know, within the fan base, and we’re a little bit restless and kind of wondering, when is this going to happen? really like to get some something done because they don’t want to see Mario crystal ball go. So I think the fact that it got done with I think was was a comforting thing for a lot of duck fans. I think it was the right move. I think that you know, honestly, I I was expecting them to them to kind of have a little bit bigger of a contract. And they had, but I think it sounds It sounds like you know, look like Marcus balls is seems to be very, very happy in Eugene. I think he understands what he has at Oregon. He’s being paid, I think, commensurate with what he has proven thus far. And I think you know, if you see it work and continue to, to perform at a high level, the kind of level that I think a lot of people are expecting and then base based on some of what we’ve talked about in terms of recruiting, you’re probably going to see that deal get renegotiated and I think you would see him, you know, be even earning even more money kind of annually than what he’s already making. So I think it was it was a it was a solid deal. I think. I don’t think Mario Criswell really had any ever, as you know, serious intention of leaving Oregon for Auburn or another job. If anything, I think his his agent is a smart agent, and was using that as kind of leverage to get a deal done with Oregon as soon as possible. I think they did that. And I think, you know, I think if you’re an Oregon fan, I think you have to be very, very pleased with what the university is kind of parting ways with financially. I don’t think, again, none of this is is a lot of this, I think is being funded by private donations in terms of you know, what Mario chrismole salary is, so it’s, it’s not that much of a strain on the university as far as what I can gather, but you know, this is this is a pretty friendly deal for the for the university. And I think it’s a it’s a pretty solid deal if you’re Mario Cristobal. When you look at the grand scheme of things, what you’ve accomplished so far, I think that you understand that you’ve got a pretty great thing going on at Oregon, and there’s gonna be opportunities to make even more money at Oregon. Should should he continue backing it up on the field?
Yeah, just to comment on that. I agree. There was you know, a lot of scuttle bottle and debt, you know, Auburn Auburn result in and, and he he’s gonna leave and I was watching on board like, Oh, we can pay more. And, and all I’m thinking is, you’re not the best job in your state. You have to play Alabama, LSU and Georgia every single year. And if you lose to them, you’re going to get fired a couple years. Gene Chizik got fired two years after he won that title. Tommy Tuberville is 13 No. And had the number three team in the country was fired two years later, Gus malzahn was three and five, he led them to the national title game five years ago, he had them in the top five here like three years ago, he got fired. I’m like, that just does not sound appealing. He can be he can be at Oregon, where basically his only other real competition on a consistent basis to be the top program is USC. And he can make good money. And he and he if he has a couple bad years or has years maybe he doesn’t, you know even like this year, maybe he’s not in the college football playoff or not in the top 10 he’s not having to worry about being on the hot seat. You just think about it from the all those different aspects like I don’t care if they can offer you an upfront $8 million a year for you know, $32 million contract four years, you’re gonna get fired in two years if you don’t live up to expectations, like I just said, does not seem like an appealing job to me. And clearly, quickly, you saw the the movement with his contract and, and that’s kind of what I was thinking it was just funny to see some of the narratives online like, oh, but Auburn’s in the sec and he they can pay him more. I’m like, Yeah, he could go over there. You’re fired within a year or two Who knows? It just it just dissolved or something about that does not sound appealing at all and you’ve seen on if you follow the Auburn, Billy Napier turned it down, he said it Louisiana. Bill Clark turned it down. He stayed at Alabama Birmingham, Steve Sarkeesian turned it down. He’d rather be the offensive coordinator under Nick Saban. I’m like the job’s really not that appealing. Yes, you can look at something more than justice in the sec. So yeah, just a quick comment on now on. Yeah, well, ma’am. So I guess before we go, because I love we’re going to talk probably again, before the festival. What do you got? What do you got in the festival? Iowa State? Maybe last year? So who do you got to win the national title? They were his festival? Who do you have taken in those games? versus daughter named Clemson? I’ll say?
Yeah, yeah, I think as far as the college football playoff goes, I mean, no one has really seemed to be able to kind of match what Alabama is bringing to the table week in and week out. So I think they’re probably my favorite to win the national championship. I think we get another Alabama Clemson rematch. If that happens, I think that will be you know, I know people are getting tired of seeing that game year after year. But I think we’re gonna see it. And you know, if those two teams kind of collide, I think that I think you’re gonna see a great game again. I wouldn’t anticipate Alabama kind of coming out on top there. But, um, you know, I think we, you know, we got a little bit of a reminder, I think this past weekend as far as how good Clemson is when when Trevor Lawrence is in the lineup and when he’s playing. And so I think, I think that game is much closer than I think maybe some people might expect coming into the game and I don’t think anyone would ever expect to blow out or even like a double digit victory for Alabama, but I think I think this game is going to be very, very competitive if that’s what we see for the national championship. That’s my pick. I still I think we’ll go with Alabama to win that game. I just think that the the firepower that they possess on offense is is hard to match right now with the way that they’re playing. But if anybody can do it, it’s Clemson but i think i would give Alabama the slight nod there. As far as festival goes, You know, I think it really is going to boil down to the play quarterback for Oregon, I think we know what I was state is bringing I think they’re going to be they have been a team that’s been pretty consistent throughout the season, you know, save for kind of that first game of the year I think that they’ve they have more or less kind of maintained their level of play throughout the year. So that’s I think you kind of know what you’re going to get if you’re an Oregon fan facing I will say thank you you don’t really know what you’re going to get out of the quarterback position for the ducks and so I think if if they get some steady play from the quarterback position and they’re able to kind of continue to to make plays on offense or excuse on defense like they’ve been doing these these last couple of outings that I think you you see Oregon with the talent advantage potentially coming out on top. I think if you know if I have to make a prediction right now I would probably probably give the slight edge to Iowa State I just think there’s fewer question marks there. They got a really strong running game and that’s been an area where we’re going to struggled this season. If you’re looking for a score, I see something along the lines of 2421 in favor of Iowa State I think it’s a close game I think one of the better games of the bowl season but at this point I just I have too many questions about Oregon’s quarterback situation that kind of give them the nod in this game.
That’s it now Who did you pick I work for I’m sorry. Oregon, Oregon vs USC
I picked USC in that game oh I could be going to hear all my all my predictions but um you know but you know, I think that the defense for Oregon showed me something against USC so i i’m i’m a little bit more inclined to probably pick Oregon and festival but I think again, you know, with with Oregon’s the uncertainty of the quarterback position for the ducks right now. And you really don’t want to see that going into a game against Iowa State where they’ve got a very, very sound defense. And they’ve got a quarterback on the other end who’s who’s, you know, playing at a very, very high level right now one of the better quarterbacks in the country. And when you got that type of advantage, or you’ve got that type of stability I guess coming into a game like this one in you know, I would say it’s gonna be fired up, I think that you have to give them credit for that and that’s that’s kind of where I’m I’m shaken out on on this one I think it’s a close game again, but I think I would say kind of has the edge in this game.
Have my quick predictions, um, call me a big time guy. I actually think and they’ve only played six games and I don’t think they’ve looked great this year. But they have won the Best quarterbacks college football and they fought like hell to get the season the season got postponed. I you know, Justin fields and the crystal Ave and Jamison waves Garrett Wilson, all that talent they have and that offensive side of the ball. When they come back to play Clemson they lost last year and this is one of the main reasons they fought to get back. I think they’re gonna go out and they’re gonna beat Clemson. And I actually think they’re gonna beat Alabama as
And I think it’s going to be one of those things that you know, people are picking Alabama, people think it’s Alabama versus Clemson and Ohio State is sitting there saying we have bigger dogs in our side of the ball and we can go out there and we can play and it would be such a COVID year to have an eight male champion and you know the narrative alpha will be that they played less games and they get beaten down and and and that’s all good and dandy. But yeah, I think Ohio State wins a national title so that’s your product or your that prediction replaces. All right. I just I just think i think that i just think they have the talent and then I think because they were able to get in and they fought so hard just to adversity and been or kind of been downplayed. I’ve just, I think they end up winning at all when it comes to Iowa State. This one’s tough for me. My heart wants to say Oregon. I loved what I saw the last game and how they just mean the physicality that those guys playing fast get after it. It was the best that I’ve seen Oregon play. I liked how that team blocks culture. You you. You’ve stated several times I completely agree to play a Tyler shuck is a little worrisome. He has not gotten better, he’s gotten worse. his confidence isn’t good. Will he be the one plane Won’t he be I will state also once a very interesting defense say 335 the odd front arm they they move in with the three three safeties and they move the safety in the box. They do some things that a quarterback that is not confident in his abilities that Campbell knows how to utilize. Maybe he doesn’t have the talent, but he schemes around it by putting kind of these funny different fronts and funny pressures and safety blitzes, and it even brings a corner drop safety over the quarter. He doesn’t schematic things that are very, it’s one of the better, better coaches in that regard in how we utilize what he has on the offensive side. He’s kind of on the defensive side, he doesn’t seem the offense, he runs a unique offense. He says this three times out there and that that Kohler is one of the better Titans in the game. And so he knows he doesn’t have these five star wide receivers. He knows he doesn’t have five star DB so he knows how to just cause this confusion and whatnot and when you have a quarterback that doesn’t seem very confident what he’s looking at this confusion going on back there I don’t know if that’s the best game to get you your confidence back. Even like you know you saw what California did. Wilcox is his ability to to cause a lot of different looks in the back end you saw Herbert struggle with it when he played against Cal so I don’t know if the same time I think the details played very well. I could rock pretty turns all over. You saw still the back big 12 championship fair chance possibly take the lead and he he did one of the most stupid plays ever on third down he’s slowly through a 500 ball up in and Wednesday in and he tends to do that. I’ve seen him do it a couple other games this year. So I’m doing it Louisiana made some really boneheaded place that put them in a hole in that game. Um, and you saw the defense they played very well they forced three turnovers. It was in when he had his good games as a defensive coordinator. It’s getting after the pass rusher of doing it be able to cause confusion back there forcing turnovers and pretty will turn the ball over. And so if he turns the ball over in Oregon force turnovers and puts himself in the plus advantage in that way they I mean, they saw they did he’s been USC based on that premise alone. So I don’t know it’s a hard game for me to pick up. I’m an Oregon. I’m gonna say first couple turnovers And I think they, whether they’re able to utilize it and take advantage of those and, and that’s where we’re gonna go. I called my heart a little bit. I’m not feeling super confident this one, but when I’m on the fence, I always go with my heart. And if it’s like a struggle so long
ago, not a bad strategy,
I don’t even know what to pick for a score. Yeah, I am really interested to see this game because Yeah, what’s Tyler sharp gonna be? How good you know how good a coach is? Campbell? How difficult is that for, for Oregon to be able to scheme against the AI is to me, this is fun. And it’s the last game of the year. It’s been a crazy year. And we’re pretty much representative of the PAC 12. So, I’m, I’m beyond excited for the game. So
yeah, it should be it should be a good game. I’m expecting it to be certainly one of the closer more competitively kind of matched games during bowl season. I think both teams are gonna be really motivated to play well. And, again, that means it’s a festival and for for Iowa State. This is this is might as well be the national championship game for them. So that’s, uh, you know, that’s, I don’t think you can discount that. I think Oregon to me, I think, you know, beating USC, I think they’ve got a kind of new lease on life, if you will, in terms of their outlook on on the season and kind of what they can what they can accomplish this year. I think you see two really motivated teams in Glendale, kind of going head to head there and we’ll see what happens. I think it it is is about as coin flip a game as you’re gonna find.
I agree with you, man. I did. Well, thanks for coming on today, man to our podcast talking duck soccer Pac 12.
I could do this any time. So it was fun. I’m looking forward to the festival called the playoff season in general. And this year we go Fingers crossed a little bit. We just every time you’re like are they gonna pass the test? Is it going to happen? And it’s it’s it’s a daily thing. You already seen some teams not able to practice because of COVID outbreak. So hopefully the game happens. And hopefully it is as good as we think it’s going to be. I did, Chris, thanks for coming on today. And you have a wonderful night.
Yeah, you too, Tyler. Thanks for having me. on, man.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Santiago Leon is the Founder and CEO of the Sports Cast. He covers NFL, NBA, and world soccer. He’s also founder of sleon productions, which he specializes in technology and serves clients with solutions to make their business grow.