The Talking Heads: Quin and Chase

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Allie Karthaus | Lead Graphic Designers

Quin Norris and Chase Glover

 Quin: This past weekend college football played host to an exciting game between #1 Clemson and #4 Notre Dame. In a thrilling seven point overtime victory the Fighting Irish captured their first victory against a number one team since the early 90’s when they defeated Bobby Bowden’s Florida State Seminoles. The Tigers still put up an impressive showing on the weekend though especially for not having Heisman candidate quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Chase what do you make of this performance by Notre Dame and what impacts do you think it will have on the playoff picture on the horizon?

Chase: I honestly do not think it affects it that much, I believe that either way that game does not matter to those two teams or the ACC. Those two teams will meet again in the ACC matchup, no matter what. At that point, that is where the game becomes huge and the playoff committee will have trouble. If Notre Dame wins twice (against a healthy Trevor Lawrence) then it knocks Clemson out of playoff contention for the first time since the playoffs started. However, if you flip the coin, if Clemson beats Notre Dame that would leave them at one game a piece which is the same as a 0-0 score. Does the committee allow both in? Do they put in Clemson over Notre Dame or vice versa? 

Quin: I agree that this win doesn’t leave the final say on the playoffs, but it helps paint a better picture. That picture is that it will be incredibly hard for a group of five teams to be in the playoffs. I say this because unless Clemson comes out and absolutely humiliates Notre Dame during the ACC championship that has now opened the door for two ACC and two SEC teams along with maybe a BIG 10 team fighting for that fourth spot. Do not forget the PAC-12 champion either. As far as Notre Dame’s work play in Saturday’s game I was not overly impressed. If I am supposed to believe that this team can compete for a national championship then why did they struggle to beat a national championship caliber team that did not have their starting quarterback. If you look back to LSU vs Alabama in 2019 the Tigers took advantage of an injured Tua Tagoviloa and defeated the Crimson Tide even though Tua played. In this scenario Notre Dame won in a less impressive fashion against even better odds than LSU. Not to take away from what the Fighting Irish did this weekend, but I warn against thinking that this victory signals a championship caliber team. Speaking of championship caliber teams, Chase, what did you make of Sunday Night Football’s primetime matchup between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

Chase: I will say it again like I said before on our podcast Quin, just because Tampa Bay has Tom Brady and Gronk and NOW Antonio Brown, does not mean they are Super Bowl Champion locks. They are a good team but not the best in the NFL and I would even go as far as saying they are not even in my Top-5 as far as NFL teams go. The Seahawks, Bills, Steelers, Titans, Chiefs, and even the -healthy- Saints are far better than Tampa Bay. Yes, Tom Brady is a Top-2 quarterback of all time and Gronk was one of the best tight-ends of all time, but this is similar to Kawhi Leonard leaving Toronto and going to the Clippers. Everyone expected the Clippers to win their first title with Leonard on their team but that did not happen, team chemistry and favoritism towards the star players left a sour taste in the mouth. The Media overplays the firepower on teams during off-seasons because on paper, this team should go 16-0 and win the Super Bowl without a close game in mind. However, as this blowout loss to the Saints has shown, that this is not always the case. This is not a Super Bowl team in Tampa Bay when they take the field. Their defense is average and the offense can show spurts of amazement but at the end of the day they are a bottom Top-10 or Top-15 offense in the league.

Quin: I do have to say that I was shocked with just how well the Saints played on Sunday night given their back and forth performances from week to week. When it comes to Tampa Bay I almost feel like the team took a shot with the addition of Antonio Brown. I feel like the Buccaneers already had a target on their back from building a super team, but the addition of Antonio Brown has now signaled to the league that the Bucs will add whoever they think can add talent to the roster despite the potential locker room issues they may bring. I would also note that the team seemed detached from the game on the offensive side of the ball and it makes me wonder how much of the detachment is due to the addition of Brown to the offense. I still expect this Tampa team to make a run at the playoffs, but after their performance on Sunday it makes me doubt this team’s ability come January. 

Chase: They definitely have a shot to do big things come playoff time but the acquisition of talent has become overbearing for the NFL and it seems to have become destructive. We will see if they can bounce back or not after that bad loss to their Division’s rival. In other big news, locally at UNA, head coach Chris Willis and the football program have opted out of playing for the Big South conference during their spring schedule. I am honestly not surprised after the conversations I have had with Coach Willis; this is a smart move and will help the program but what are your thoughts?

Quin: Like you I am not surprised by UNA’s decision to pull out of conference season play during the spring of 2021. Honestly, the only reason to play in the conference would be to win the conference championship which we can not do due to eligibility restraints. After the Lions play their road game against BYU on November 21 they will have completed eligibility for the 2020-21 season then allowing the team to be rested for the season in 2021. From top to bottom I think this was the best decision for the team to make and am looking forward to the progress they make in conference play after seeing them perform against tougher competition this season than the program has ever faced in terms of caliber of athlete and funding behind the programs. 

Chase: I think it is a great decision, playing a very tough primarily FBS schedule has done wonders for the program and definitely made them tougher. Small things need to be cleaned up but this will definitely leave them in a better position to compete next year in the Big South. The excitement surrounding the program is unmatched as the true fans know how good this team can be when they put the finishing touches to the puzzle. BYu will be a tough game to end on for the season as they are currently #8 in the country with a Top-5 Heisman candidate in Zach Wilson. However, this season has made major strides in who they are becoming and to potentially harm the progress the team has made by playing a spring season is not smart. Willis and Co. made a great decision on what to do with the spring and that is to get his players healthy but also ready to come next season when things find a little bit of a normalcy to them.

Quin: For sure I can not wait until the Lions are given that opportunity to play a normal conference schedule set up to see what they have to offer on a FCS stage. If you want to reach out to share your opinions you can reach us at [email protected] or [email protected] If you enjoy the banter in this column try giving our podcast The Talking Heads Podcast a listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and SoundCloud.