College Football Preview Show 2023

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In this episode, Raymond is joined by Jerry Burum, Steve Flaig, Jimmy Fordham, and special guest Haley Hawkins for an in-depth discussion on the upcoming college football season.

On this episode of Not Your Father’s Data Center, Raymond Hawkins is joined by Jerry Burum, Steve Flaig, Jimmy Fordham, and special guest Haley Hawkins for an in-depth discussion on the upcoming college football season.

Discussion points include conference realignment, predictions for the upcoming college football season, who will win each major conference, and Heisman picks.

Read the full episode transcript below:

Raymond Hawkins: All right. Welcome to another edition of Not Your Father’s Data Centre. Not the best title today, since my daughter is on the show. This is your father’s data centre, Haley, but for the sake of having you on today, we are joined by Haley Calvin, my daughter, Auburn graduate Birmingham, Alabama resident, Jimmy Fordham, I think he went to Tuscaloosa Community College, got his associates and also in Birmingham, Alabama. Steve Flaig of Michigan State and I think is on his third doctorate from Michigan State and Jerry Burum. Jerry, did you go to college? I don’t remember. Jerry.

Jerry Burum: Kurt Warner’s, alma mater.

Raymond Hawkins: All right. Super Bowl Champ.

Jerry Burum: Northern Iowa.

Raymond Hawkins: Northern Iowa. Who can forget Northern Iowa. The home of champions. All right guys, so today we’re going to talk college football. Thank you all for jumping on. It’ll be fun to talk. My favourite time of the year, it’s coming again. Two more weeks. We’ll be at week zero and we’re get rolling. First subject, let’s just dive right in. What in the world is going on with conference realignment? I can’t keep it straight. Jimmy Fordham, what’s your thoughts on realignment in college football today?

Jimmy Fordham: Well, thanks for the opportunity to join you guys. Always fun to talk this topic. I used to go, when I’d go to Raymond’s office, we worked together for Sirius. I’d always go in there and leave a little message somewhere at his office for college football. It was typically real tight and I tried to make sure I hid it from him, but it was there.

Just see, but I would say the realignment is kind of disappointing because I think number one, it makes the record books go away and I liken it to LIV and golf because if you think about LIV, you take someone like Dustin Johnson, his now stats are pulled away from the statistics of the PGA tour, and I think that’s the same kind of thing that’s going to happen realignment. So USC goes to the Big Ten. They claim to win a conference title as they got this conference out, but no they don’t because they were at the PAC whatever. Now it’s the PAC four. I don’t see how you pull all that together. I think it’s all disappointing because it’s driven by greed, driven by the networks, right?

Raymond Hawkins: It is. I think one of the biggest concerns for me when I look at this is I get it, it’s TV money and it’s football, but when you realign these conferences, what happens to the lacrosse team? What happens to the swimming and diving team? What happens to cross country? They’ve all got to get on aeroplanes to go compete and it’s just making a complete mishmash of the rest of the sporting world. Haley, I know you had a thought on the numbering system, so Haley, conference realignment, for those of you who don’t know, Haley’s so passionate about college football. It’s hard to get her focus on her work and her studies, but Haley, your thoughts on realignment?

Haley Hawkins: No, my primary concern with realignment is whoever’s in charge, I should know, but I don’t, but whoever it is, we all just need to sit down in a room and we need to decide on a thematic direction for the names of the conferences. We have geography, we have adjective number, it’s too much. We need to decide are we going southeastern or are we going Big Ten, which actually has 14 teams. It’s messy and it needs to get cleaned up.

Jerry Burum: Haley, you can’t call out the Big Ten and not call out the SEC. We’re moving to Oklahoma and Texas. That is not the southeast.

Haley Hawkins: That’s fair.

Steve Flaig: Oklahoma and Texas, they’ll find out that that was probably the worst idea the two of them ever came up with since they’re going to pretty soon be just average whipping boys within the Southeastern Conference. To Haley’s point, I don’t think anybody, at least from a Big Ten standpoint, is looking forward to that big Oregon Rutgers rivalry. I think this is just an interim stage.

Raymond Hawkins: Steve, those two programmes have perennially hated each other. I mean, come on, Rutgers and Oregon, do they even know each other exist?

Steve Flaig: I don’t even think you find intermarriage, but I think it’s just going to be an interim step until you get to just basically one large super conference that has maybe four regions because this just isn’t sustainable, I don’t think. The other thing, if I feel sorry for anybody in this, it’s Oregon State and Washington State because they are like two gals sitting there waiting, all dressed up for the prom and their dates don’t show up.

Jerry Burum: Hey Steve, think about this too. Think about the fact that Stanford who’s won 26 of the last 29 President’s Cups for best overall athletic performance across all the programmes has no home today, as we’re on this call, they have no home, shocking, which is ridiculous, and even the power conferences are now going to, and this is maybe to your point, the division titles don’t mean anything anymore because the conference title game is now going to be between the two highest rated teams in the conference. Why even have east and West or North and South or whatever you have, and maybe it becomes no conference, maybe it’s just a breakaway group of those top 20 schools and they’re the super conference and everybody else fights for table scraps.

Raymond Hawkins: So everybody except Haley’s old enough on the call to remember there was at one point, what was it? The CFA, the College Football Association. There were a few years back in maybe the nineties where the biggest programmes had their own TV deal. I’m going back 25 years. I think that’s where we’re headed. I think that we’re headed towards a clear football is handled different than all the other sports and I mean I can’t let Jerry make the comment about Texas and Oklahoma without being challenged just a little. They’re both southeast of somewhere and I’ll just give you a couple things that they’re southeast of. They’re southeast of Northern Iowa. They’re southeast of Southern Illinois. They are southeast of the Dakotas. I mean, I’m not picking on the Missouri Valley conference, but I’m saying they are south or east of something.

Jimmy Fordham: Well, and back to Steve’s point, Greg, if you believe Greg Sankey, who seemed to be a pretty honourable guy and kind of a leader in the whole playoffs situation, he said that they didn’t recruit Texas and Oklahoma, that Texas, Oklahoma came to us.

Raymond Hawkins: Came calling.

Jimmy Fordham: I think the one’s going to be interesting is going to be what happens to Notre Dame because if Florida State keeps running their mouth about what they’re going to do, which I think is a little unmerited, but whatever, who do they think they are? This is not Bobby Bowden’s FSU.

Raymond Hawkins: Yeah, I was just going to say it’s not the nineties anymore.

Jimmy Fordham: But if Notre Dame, which they haven’t been relative in anything in a long period of time, but they still demand such a huge market presence. Whoever gets Notre Dame, whether it’s the Big Ten, 12, 14, 18, whatever they are, that’s going to be a big deal. And if the ACC pulls it off, because they have every other conference, that solidifies them and they pick up somebody else. I don’t know. South Florida, Central Florida.

Raymond Hawkins: Yeah. When Jerry brought up Stanford, I immediately thought of Notre Dame as well, right. These iconic programmes that right now are in limbo. Very, very weird how it’s all going to go. I think that Steve’s comment’s right, I think eventually, although we may have conference names, we get back to where there are four super leagues or whatever we want to call them and those super leagues feed in and all the best football programmes land there. How we get there from here, I don’t think anyone guessed that Colorado would make the bolt or that the Pac-12 would have four teams. I didn’t think the Big 12 would survive, frankly, as I looked out, thought how things were going, I thought the Big 12 would be the casualty, not the Pac-12. I just think how we get from here to where we’re going is going to be weird, but I think we end up with four leagues, whatever they end up being called

Haley, you’ll have to break it to Jess. That one of them will not be Samford. That’s with an M. Samford with an M.

Haley Hawkins: Samford. Yeah. Birmingham

Jimmy Fordham: Now I do have a great story from that. My boys played at Stanford, both of them, and we went to Georgia Tech for one of the payday games and I was sitting in the parents section next to the student section and it was very classic. There was a sign that was on TV, said Samford, we thought it was Stanford. We want our money back. I thought that was clever what [inaudible].

Raymond Hawkins: Yes, yes. Very good, very good.

Jimmy Fordham: When I watched Johnson, basically one handed pushed my kid aside and grabbed a football with the other and is a man among children at that time.

Raymond Hawkins: Yeah, yeah. Well he was that way across the whole ACC. I’m certain he was that way against Samford.

Jimmy Fordham: And somewhat in the pros.

Raymond Hawkins: Yeah, for sure. For sure. Yeah, he worked out pretty good in the pros. We owe him for the catch rule. Right?

Jimmy Fordham: That’s true.

Raymond Hawkins: Because when he was, by the way, we got lots of ties here, a Georgia Tech guy, two Atlanta guys, Calvin Johnson when he was in Detroit for the Tigers, right? His one-handed catch fundamentally changed how we define a reception in the NFL, right?

Jerry Burum: Megatron.

Raymond Hawkins: All right, so conference realignment. I think the general tone of the group is, eh, we don’t like it. Is that a fair assessment?

Jerry Burum: Hate it.

Jimmy Fordham: I really like to see. I’m like you. I thought the Big 12 was going to go away. You hate to see the Pac-10 just, there’s nothing on the West coast that just all disappeared, right?

Raymond Hawkins: Yeah. All right, I got to make one. I do want to pile onto one thing Steve said. When Texas A&M joined the league, the league, I said to my Texas friends, I said, you guys don’t realise the Longhorns just became irrelevant. I think, I didn’t see the Mack Brown canning, but I mean they get rid of Mack Brown. A&M goes to the SEC. I think it’s fair to say Texas has been irrelevant for a decade, right? And to your point about Sankey saying they called, I think Texas is desperate to be relevant again and I think the way this is a move to try to do that.

Jerry Burum: Hailey, I didn’t meet you before today, but you have jumped to the top of my prayer list. I’m just saying, you’re younger than I am. I’ve known your dad longer. He doesn’t change. This is going to be your life.

Raymond Hawkins: Do we need a moment of silence for Hailey. You guys want to pray for her real quick or do we [inaudible]

Haley Hawkins: Everyone lay hands.

Jerry Burum: The SEC has been hot lately. Okay. Lately. The Big 12 was hot through the nineties. The SEC was lost for a while in the early two thousands. Now they caught the wave again with the evil Saban, whatever his name is over there.

Raymond Hawkins: Evil.

Haley Hawkins: Just one letter different.

Jerry Burum: So what we have to talk about conference champions now?

Raymond Hawkins: Yeah. Let’s go conference champions. I’m going to call them out by league for you and it’s hard to do it right? So let’s just do the ones that we at least can recognise. Who’s going to win the ACC? So right, it’s Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina, Pitt, Duke, Syracuse. The ACC, I just want you to give me who you think’s coming out of the ACC. Steve, we’re going to start with you. Who’s winning the ACC.

Steve Flaig: Florida State.

Raymond Hawkins: The Seminoles? All right, we’ve already made one comment about the Seminoles. We will go with that. Jerry, ACC who’s coming out of the southeast?

Jerry Burum: Clemson. Clemson with a [inaudible].

Raymond Hawkins: Clemson’s back with the new quarterback.

Jerry Burum: I was going to say, who cares who wins the ACC but I’ll go with Clemson.

Raymond Hawkins: You’ll go with Clemson. Hailey?

Haley Hawkins: I was also going to go with Clemson, but that’s primarily based on, that was the only team I knew of from the conference.

Raymond Hawkins: We do have family ties.

Haley Hawkins: Doesn’t hold much water.

Raymond Hawkins: Jimmy, ACC.

Jimmy Fordham: I got Clemson, Florida State’s going to be my overrated team at the end, so I’ll tell you why. But I think Clemson, they’ve got a quarterback issue, but I think [inaudible], they got a little depth and so I think Clemson will come out of there. I actually, yeah, I think the Clem.

Raymond Hawkins: All right, I’m going with Florida State. In spite of your tipping your hand for most overrated, I just look at Clemson and think the quarterback question’s too big.

Jimmy Fordham: Yeah, by the way, Florida State, they say their quarterbacks on the Heisman list, so they actually don’t have a quarterback issue there. That could be the key goal.

Raymond Hawkins: Just ask them.

Jimmy Fordham: Yeah, that’s true.

Jerry Burum: How widely is this podcast distributed?

Raymond Hawkins: There are dozens of listeners, Jerry.

Haley Hawkins: Tens of North Texan listeners.

Raymond Hawkins: So Jerry, by the way, this will be funny, this be good. We do meetings every week, right? Steve and I are on the marketing team together, and this is a few months back, maybe six months ago, Steve, we’re in the Monday meeting. Steve says, “Hey, we got to work on the track,” we track all the stuff that we distribute, all the content we produce, and Steve said, “Hey, we got to change the tracking tools we use.” And I said, “Well, what’s wrong with the tracking tools?” He goes, “Well there’s clearly a mistake.” And I said, “What’s that?” And he goes, “Raymond, it showed that the podcast had 17,000 downloads this past episode.”

And I’m like, “Yeah, that sounds about right.” He goes, “Oh no Raymond, there’s no way you’re getting that many downloads. We need new tools.” Even my own teammate just has no appreciation for the breadth of this audience. I mean, I’ve gotten emails from Korea, I’ve gotten emails from Belgium, I’ve gotten emails from South America. I mean they’re all dialled in listen to this football broadcast and Steve just said, “Yeah, the reportings wrong. There’s no way you got 17,000 downloads.” We know that’s the high watermark, Jerry.

Jerry Burum: Okay, all right.

Haley Hawkins: Well if Steve is anything, he’s honest.

Raymond Hawkins: That’s right Brutally. I think the way to phrase it is he speaks the truth and love.

Haley Hawkins: In love.

Raymond Hawkins: He does. All right, on to the Big 12. Can TCU repeat their incredible year last year? So we got TCU, you got to figure case dates in there. Of course where I’m at, everybody’s talking about Ewers and the Texas is going to be all world. Texas Tech might surprise some people Baylor. Let’s go Big 12. Steve, we let you hit lead offs. We’re going to let Haley hit lead off in the Big 12. Haley, who’s your Big 12 winner?

Haley Hawkins: You’re going to have to tell me who’s in the big 12?

Raymond Hawkins: Texas. Texas Christian, Kansas State, Texas Tech-

Jerry Burum: Oklahoma State, Oklahoma. Oklahoma State.

Raymond Hawkins: Oklahoma.

Haley Hawkins: Well not Texas Tech.

Raymond Hawkins: Definitely not Texas Tech.

Haley Hawkins: Well, I don’t know.

Raymond Hawkins: All right, we’re going to Jerry, Haley, you noodle on it, Jerry.

Jerry Burum: God, who am I going to go with? I’ll go with K State. I like that Coach. I like his defence.

Raymond Hawkins: Jerry’s on this, Jerry’s been reading my notes.

Jerry Burum: Really solid over the last several years.

Raymond Hawkins: Jimmy Big 12.

Jimmy Fordham: Well I think it’s Texas, Sarkisian has been recruiting well, he’s got some key players from other schools that are going to be beneficial. He doesn’t have a quarterback problem. Ewers ,if he can stay in the game. He almost beat Alabama last year and so at Texas, they’re in a Tuscaloosa this year. The real question is how fast does Manning play? But I go with Texas.

Raymond Hawkins: All right, Steve, Big 12.

Steve Flaig: Well, nobody gets less out of their talent than Texas, so it won’t be that.

Jerry Burum: I agree, by the way.

Raymond Hawkins: Yes, yes.

Steve Flaig: Actually I would have to go with K State.

Raymond Hawkins: [inaudible]. This is shaping up to be a two horse race. Haley, you want to weigh in?

Haley Hawkins: Well, I’m being fed answers by the much more qualified Calvin.

Raymond Hawkins: Does he want to make appearance on camera?

Haley Hawkins: He can.

Raymond Hawkins: Yeah, let’s get him at least on camera.

Haley Hawkins: On Blue Cross’s dollar. Come on.

Raymond Hawkins: We just want to know Big 12. Haley was stumped by the, who’s going to win the Big 12? You got two K State votes. It’s really one Anti Texas vote, one K State vote and one Texas vote. Where are you out on the Big 12?

Jess Calvin: I’m going to have a hot take here and say I think this is Texas’ year. I think they’re going to beat Bama second game of the season.

Raymond Hawkins: Oh my goodness.

Jess Calvin: They’re coming in the SEC next year hot.

Haley Hawkins: What’s happening.

Raymond Hawkins: Okay, I was going to say, sounds like Jess has spent too much time in the sun and he’s got to focus on his job, the chance. By the way, of our dozen listeners, like seven of them are in the state of Texas, so we do very extensive demographics.

Jess Calvin: I had to come in with a hot take. I couldn’t come in with-

Raymond Hawkins: The answer is K State.

Jess Calvin: Oklahoma or K State?

Raymond Hawkins: The answer is K State. All right, everybody. K State and Texas finishes behind TCU and Texas Tech because to quote a good friend of mine, “Nobody gets less out of their talent than Texas.”

Steve Flaig: I’ll tell you, with Chris running this place, it’s probably a good thing than I am retiring at the end of the year.

Raymond Hawkins: That’s right. That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. All right, let’s get onto the Big Ten, 14, 16. Let’s get onto the boys up north. Who is coming out of the Big Ten? The big two, little 12. Who’s coming out in honour of it being your home conference Steve, who do you like in the big tip?

Steve Flaig: Penn State.

Raymond Hawkins: Whoa.

Jerry Burum: Whoa.

Raymond Hawkins: Look at that. Nobody saw that coming.

Steve Flaig: Well, you figure, Ohio State doesn’t have a quarterback. Michigan really doesn’t have a coach. Though. I love that. I love that.

Raymond Hawkins: Shots fired. Shots fired. Keep going. Steve, you’re on a roll. No coach, no quarterback.

Steve Flaig: Yeah, I mean after that the drop off is dramatic. I mean, what’s it going to be Iowa scoring seven points a game. I don’t think so.

Raymond Hawkins: Yeah, Iowa’s not coming out, that’s for sure. Team Calvin, who do you got coming out of the Big Ten?

Haley Hawkins: Well, Iowa was hot on my trail as you’ll remember when I was coming out of high school.

Raymond Hawkins: Yeah, they were all over you early early on. They were recruiting you in the eighth grade.

Haley Hawkins: They wanted me.

Raymond Hawkins: That’s right.

Haley Hawkins: Hey, I am partial to Iowa, so I will not stand for any Iowa slander.

Raymond Hawkins: Yeah, no Iowa bashing there Steve.

Haley Hawkins: We’ll defer to Jess for our team selection.

Jess Calvin: This one’s a tricky one, but I’m going to go with Michigan this year. I think they can pull it off.

Raymond Hawkins: All right, hail to the victors. Hail to the victors. Fordham, who you got coming out of the frozen north?

Jimmy Fordham: I’m going to Ohio State because this is a two horse race between Ohio State and Michigan. Michigan does have a quarterback coming back. They’ve got one of the best rushers in the nation with Corum, but Ohio State, that quarterback’s been there. It’s interesting. Georgia, Ohio State and Alabama are top four teams in AP Poll, all have new quarterbacks, but I think Ohio State, Marvin Harrison. They got too much talent. All they got to do is give it to them. I’m going to Ohio State.

Raymond Hawkins: Ohio State, all right Jerry, who for those of you who missed it earlier, graduated from northern Iowa, not in the Big Ten, but close.

Jerry Burum: Born in Nebraska.

Raymond Hawkins: Born in Nebraska.

Jerry Burum: Born in Nebraska. Big Rent fan. I haven’t met Steve before until today and I were already like BFF because I, like Woody Hayes. I can’t even say the name of that school.

Raymond Hawkins: Exactly right. That school up north.

Jerry Burum: Think of anything that I would ever cheer for Tiddly Winks or not. I could never cheer for that school up north. And we got married in Ohio. We had our kids in Ohio. Buckeyes.

Raymond Hawkins: All right, go Buckeyes. All right.

Jerry Burum: The defence will actually show up against Michigan this year.

Raymond Hawkins: All right. I didn’t think we’d get a Woody Hayes reference into this preview show, but since we have, since that door has been opened, I am going to tell one Woody Hayes story. I went to high school in Ohio, the Ohio State Fair, and I’m walking through the Ohio State Fair just to date myself a little and they have a T-shirt in one of the game things that you can win. And I win the T-shirt and I put it on and I walk around the fair and for the rest of the time I’m at the fair. I got people stopping me just falling over laughing. The T-shirt said Woody Hayes, 232 wins. 71 losses, nine ties and one knockout.

Jimmy Fordham: One knockout.

Jerry Burum: Wow.

Raymond Hawkins: That was a good one. I wish I still had that T-shirt because people fall over laughing at that one. Haley, Jess, you guys will have to look up why Woody Hayes’s T-shirt said one knockout. All right, so I’m going to give you your Big Ten winner. We’ve got two Ohio States. We got two Ohio States and two Michigans. Is that where we are?

Steve Flaig: Penn State?

Jerry Burum: No. Penn State, no,

Raymond Hawkins: Penn State. Ohio State and two Michigans. All right. There’s too much running back.

Jerry Burum: Two Ohio states.

Raymond Hawkins: Two Ohio states. One Penn State.

Jerry Burum: One Penn State from the person who’s been out in the sun too long.

Raymond Hawkins: That’s right. That’s fair, that’s fair. All right. I don’t want to cause a kerfuffle, but there’s too much running back talent in Ann Arbour. I’m going with the guys in maize and blue.

Jerry Burum: Those words never come out of Steve or my mouth either.

Raymond Hawkins: I know. That’s why I didn’t use their, but I just went maize and blue. How do we pick the Pac-12? I mean, what are they doing? Are they playing as a league this year? I hate to say that I don’t know.

Steve Flaig: This is the last year.

Raymond Hawkins: We’ll go Pac-12. Team Calvin, we’ll let you guys hit lead off out west. Who do you like coming out of the Pac-12?

Jess Calvin: This is an easy one. Has to be USC.

Raymond Hawkins: Oh, okay. Forget you Washington. Forget you Oregon. All right. USC. I think we know who Team Calvin’s Heisman pick is. Jerry, who do you like out of the Pac-12?

Jerry Burum: We talk about getting the least out of the talent from Texas. Right? Steve and USC, I can’t remember the last time they beat Utah. All right.

Steve Flaig: Yep.

Jerry Burum: In a half [inaudible] with the Heisman Trophy on the line. And…

Raymond Hawkins: Jerry, the last time they beat Utah is when it was illegal to pay players.

Jerry Burum: Oh, that’s right. That’s right.

Raymond Hawkins: That’s the last time.

Jerry Burum: That was the last year. Reggie Bush was there.

Raymond Hawkins: Reggie Bush. That’s right. ’04. You got it.

Jerry Burum: All right. I’m going to go with Oregon.

Raymond Hawkins: Oregon.

Jerry Burum: They’re the team this year.

Raymond Hawkins: Okay. Jerry’s reading my notes again. Jimmy Pac-12.

Jimmy Fordham: USC. You got the reigning Heisman trophy winner. I think they’ve already given it to him for this year, haven’t they?

Raymond Hawkins: I heard he was already [inaudible] a finalist. Yeah, he’s a finalist already. I think he’s in New York this weekend. Steve Pac-12.

Steve Flaig: Washington.

Raymond Hawkins: Washington. All right. I’m glad it wasn’t, I’m glad it wasn’t a straight USC leaver.

Steve Flaig: No, they’ve got a quarterback. I think Michael Penix started in Indiana-

Raymond Hawkins: Penix is good.

Steve Flaig: I think he’s been in college for eight years, so he’s due.

Raymond Hawkins: He’s an 11th year senior. That’s correct. I looked it up before the show. All right, so I’m grateful that it wasn’t a straight USC ticket. I’m going with not only I’m going to preview my Heisman winner. Not only am I going with the Oregon Ducks to win the Pac-12 Bo Nix to win the Heisman, Caleb Williams does not go back to back. By the way, we can skip my Heisman vote now because I’ve already put it in.

Jimmy Fordham: Yeah, but one question on your Heisman vote, what about this? Think about this for a minute. What if Nix had stayed at his Alma, is legacy state Auburn and was coached by Hugh Freeze, where would he be?

Raymond Hawkins: Where would he be? He’d be in pretty good shape.

Jimmy Fordham: He’d be real good shape.

Raymond Hawkins: Well think about since the kid that he beat out is now a quarterback for the Titans because he was coached by Hugh Freeze, people forget. Right? Malik Willis got beat out by Bo Nix. Lost his starting job to him and he ended up being an NFL draught pick and starting for the Titans. All right, the only conference that matters, I mean, I know I shouldn’t put it that way, but… So let’s get to the SEC and figure out who’s coming out of the Southeastern Conference.

Jerry Burum: The only conference that matters to you.

Raymond Hawkins: That’s fair. That’s right. My mic broke up. Jerry, [inaudible]. Thank you Jerry.

Jerry Burum: You’re welcome.

Raymond Hawkins: Thank you Jerry. That’s good. All right, because of Jerry’s assistance, we’re going to let him lead off with the Southeastern Conference. Who’s coming out of the SEC as the conference champion in Atlanta here the first week of December.

Jerry Burum: Georgia.

Raymond Hawkins: Again.

Jerry Burum: You know with the defence that they have. They’ve got the question of quarterback, but the defence is just too good.

Raymond Hawkins: I mean, how do you replace a guy like Stetson Bennett? I mean.

Jerry Burum: Well who was Stetson Bennett before he was Stetson Bennett, right? He did get taken in the fourth round, but [inaudible]

Raymond Hawkins: How do you replace a five foot 10 walk on? I mean, how do you do it?

Jerry Burum: He fit the system. He fit the system. Brock Bowers is a stun. Right?

Raymond Hawkins: Yeah. All you got to do is just put it in the air and Brock Bowers grabs it. He’s unbelievable. I tell you the Napa Valley is known for its tight end pipeline. It’s just, it’s a pipeline of talent out of the Napa Valley. I don’t know if they do anything else up in that part of California, but they make tight ends.

Jerry Burum: Nick Saban and the team, they’re so awesome. They’ve lost that much and that’s all they needed to lose for someone to slide in.

Raymond Hawkins: That’s all Kirby needed. All right, team Calvin, Southeastern conference. Jess, I know we saw the AU on your chest earlier. Don’t let that influence you. Don’t let where your wife graduated from school influence you. Don’t let where your father-in-law graduated influence you. You feel free to pick whoever you want in the SEC.

Haley Hawkins: I was, I mean, I might never be welcome home again. But I was also going to say Georgia.

Raymond Hawkins: Hold on. Let me make sure if I can turn off. I think I can turn off these credit cards remote. Hold on. I think…

Haley Hawkins: Dad, no, listen. Listen. I think you’ll be proud of, I had a whole speech prepared. Here’s why. As much as I love Auburn, I bleed orange and blue, named after building on campus. I’ll forever be a tiger. From being raised by you. I know that one year with a new first season with a new coach, there hasn’t been enough time to completely turn the tide so it can’t be Auburn.

Raymond Hawkins: That’s fair.

Haley Hawkins: There’s not enough. What’s the word? Depth? Is that the word?

Raymond Hawkins: That’s it. That’s it. That’s right. We are not deep enough for sure.

Haley Hawkins: I know we are taking a positive, but not, this is not our year. At least not to win the conference now to win the Iron Bowl? I feel confident. I feel ready. I feel excited. Yeah, we will be there. I will be on the field again. It’ll be great.

Raymond Hawkins: Yeah, we can win the Iron Bowl, but we may not win the whole thing. All right, so you got a Georgia, a Alabama. We will let Jimmy go last. Steve, who’s coming out of the southeastern conference,

Steve Flaig: I mean they’ve got to find a quarterback, but I still think that it would probably be Georgia. If there is a dark horse though, it would be LSU.

Raymond Hawkins: Ooh, I saw the LSU call coming. Okay.

Jess Calvin: Steve, I like where you’re going. That was my answer.

Steve Flaig: Yeah.

Raymond Hawkins: Yeah. All right. Fordham.

Jimmy Fordham: You got a bunch of [inaudible] here where they use on your chest.

Raymond Hawkins: What?

Jimmy Fordham: What [inaudible] I mean the bias [inaudible].

Haley Hawkins: Well, Jess’ master’s degree came from Alabama.

Raymond Hawkins: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t don’t know why you would think there’s any bias on this programme.

Jimmy Fordham: It is completely absurd. I think Georgia, they have the easiest schedule that you could possibly have. By the way, strict to schedule wise, one through six is all the SEC.

Raymond Hawkins: That’s right.

Jimmy Fordham: Florida having the toughest. Alabama is number six, but the reason why you got Florida and South Carolina and Kentucky all having ship, they got to play Georgia, right? So Georgia, they got easiest path there and I think they will beat Tennessee and they’ll be there. I do like the LSU pick. Obviously Alabama’s got LSU in Tuscaloosa. They should have won that game last year. I think it’ll come down between Alabama and LSU and getting into conference championship and Georgia’s got that, but I don’t think they’re going three feet. Just preview.

Raymond Hawkins: All right, so I’m going to make two SEC predictions, one with my heart. I start every year and I expect Auburn to go 13-0, and I think there’s a chance, I look at the schedule. I don’t know that it’s too far of a stretch to see us going 13-0 this year. And of course if we go 13-0 we’re ripping right through Atlanta. But if for some reason that doesn’t happen, I mean the small chance that we don’t go 13 and 0, I think Georgia’s defence, as Jerry said, is just too much. I just think that in this league and at the highest levels in the best games, Georgia’s defence is just so incredible. And I think Jerry pointed it out, there’s just a little notch down. There’s too many question marks of the quarterback room in Alabama to overcome it. And I don’t think the quarterback room matters at Georgia because that defence is so good. I agree with you. I don’t think day three peaks, I think that’s hard to stay at that level, but I think Georgia wins the league for sure.

Jimmy Fordham: By the way, Alabama’s got more defensive players on American team than Georgia does on defence. Just for the record.

Raymond Hawkins: Right now, I’m with you McKinstry is unbelievable. He’s probably the best quarter in the country for sure.

Jimmy Fordham: The Dallas Turners edge rusher. Just for the record, they got more players on the defensive side than Georgia does as all Americans preseason. While you’re all calling out defence, I think that’s why Alabama’s going to have a good year because they’re going to have a great defence.

Raymond Hawkins: For sure. All right, should we pick the Missouri Valley conference Jerry, just for you?

Jerry Burum: No.

Raymond Hawkins: No? I’m willing to weigh in. I mean, I think Illinois state’s looking good this year.

Jerry Burum: No, I think we’re dropping back to one double A.

Raymond Hawkins: All right, I am going to make one prediction. I do think South Dakota State runs away with it again this year [inaudible].

Jerry Burum: Which is odd because North Dakota State has owned that and-

Raymond Hawkins: Yeah, they have.

Jimmy Fordham: Well, speaking of Texas and all the Texas listeners you got out there, I think you missed one-

Raymond Hawkins: Seven of them.

Jimmy Fordham: The AAC and the UTSA roadrunners go to Knoxville to play Tennessee. Could there be a repeat of a non-power five knockout Tennessee? So

Raymond Hawkins: Knocking off Tennessee.

Jimmy Fordham: They’re the only top five non-power five.

Raymond Hawkins: Look at somebody doing their research. I mean, Fordham didn’t just roll out of bed to get on this show today. That’s somebody digging deep, getting pearls out of Birmingham. Look at that. He’s getting pearls out of Birmingham.

Jerry Burum: Got the worksheet.

Raymond Hawkins: He’s got worksheet. That’s right. He’s doing his homework. All right, so we’re going to wrap up with the Heisman. Lots of hype. We could talk about whether this trophy really does name the best player in the country or the most popular or the one that’s most on TV, or is it just a quarterback award. I think all those are fair comments, but it is the award. It gets the recognition. Let’s go through and think about. For those of you who need a little primer, I’ll give you the top 10 odds on according to Vegas for the Heisman. I’ll start at number 10. Drew Allar out of Penn State, their quarterback that’s replacing their seven year starter, he’s a 2000 to 1. Jayden Daniels, the LSU quarterback, 2000 to 1. Cade Klubnik, the Clemson, who’s replacing Uiagaelei, he’s 1800 to 1.

Quinn Ewers. Is that how we say it Steve? Ewers the Texas quarterback. He’s 1600 to 1. Vandegriff at Georgia. He’s 1600 to 1. Travis at Florida States, 1200 to 1. Bo Nix, 1200 to 1. Penix 1200. Drake Maye out of North Carolina, 10 to 1. And Caleb 4 to 1. Caleb right out of the gate is a 4 to 1 favourite. But I think it’s interesting you go through the list. Every single one of them is a quarterback. Certainly want to tip our hats to the guys that don’t play quarterback, but those are the guys that are going to get in the race. Steve, let’s start with you. You can give us your Heisman finalists and your Heisman winner. So give us three names and then who’s your winner?

Steve Flaig: Well to start, the best player in college football is Brock Bowers.

Raymond Hawkins: Yes, there you go.

Steve Flaig: It’ll be a quarterback deal. I think you’ll see Williams there. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jayden Daniels is there, but I think your Heisman Trophy winner is going to be Drake Maye.

Raymond Hawkins: Drake Maye. All right. Haley, you want to give us your three finalists or do you want to let your hubby do it?

Haley Hawkins: I’m going to kick that one over to Jess.

Jess Calvin: Well, I think Drake Maye’s there. I think Caleb Williams has to be there. I don’t think he wins it. When’s the last time a back-to-back Heisman?

Jerry Burum: Archie Gryphon.

Raymond Hawkins: There’s only been one. It’s Archie Gryphon and he went to Ohio State.

Jess Calvin: And then I think Bo Nix is in there too, but I think Drake wins it.

Raymond Hawkins: All right. Drake wins it and not the singer. You’re talking about the quarterback in North Carolina.

Jess Calvin: Not the singer.

Raymond Hawkins: Got it.

Haley Hawkins: Not to be confused-

Jess Calvin: The North Carolina quarterback.

Raymond Hawkins: Just want to make sure. Just want to make sure. Okay. Jerry, love to hear your three finalists and who’s winning the Heisman here in the fall?

Jerry Burum: I think the Heisman voters are a little bit like the baseball Hall of fame guys. I don’t think the Heisman voters want back to back Heisman winners. I think Caleb Williams will be in New York City. I just don’t think he’s going to win. I think Drake may win, but I was with Steve there. I think Brock Bowers. He is my Heisman Trophy winner.

Raymond Hawkins: There you go. All right. Brock Bowers. All right, Jimmy, your three finalists and your winner.

Jimmy Fordham: Well, does Bo Nix getting a big billboard in Times Square, does that mean that they’re going to be pushing him this year?

Raymond Hawkins:        Is it a jinx? I mean, it might work against him.

Jimmy Fordham: Yeah, I know. Could. I think the finalists are Caleb Williams, Bo Nix. I put three people down that could potentially be there if there are nine quarterbacks. Bowers clearly, I think is there. I agree with you guys a hundred percent. I think Corum with the Michigan [inaudible].

Jerry Burum: Could be.

Jimmy Fordham: Could be there. I think Nix is going to really, I think he’s set to have a big year, but Caleb Williams is going to win it. We’ll have a back-to-back winner this year. He’s the best player. He’s already got all the hype. They’ve already given it to him.

Raymond Hawkins: Wow. Well, I’m in agreement that Caleb’s there. My ticket’s going to look a lot like Jerry’s ticket. I don’t think you can keep Brock Bowers out of New York. I think Caleb Williams is there because of all the publicity and he plays in LA and he’s the reigning winner and they got nothing on their schedule and he’s going to have crazy numbers. I think Penix is probably a better quarterback. I think Bo Nix gets there because of their offence and I think he puts up ridiculous numbers. And I think Brock Bower’s there and I think Bo Nix wins it because I think his numbers will be better and they don’t like back-to-back winners and I kind of want to see him win. Just because I can talk about how bad a head coach Gus Malzahn is, I just need another plank on the anti Gus Malzahn soundtrack.

Jerry Burum: I think you’re still paying him too, aren’t you?

Jess Calvin: How many more years are we paying him?

Raymond Hawkins: Jerry, it’s down to 27 million. That’s all we owe him now. It’s Whiling down Jerry.

Jess Calvin: We’re probably still paying Gene Chizik.

Jimmy Fordham: He’s still got his place at Lake Martin and he’s still a member of Willow Point. You see him at the play of the member guest with Hugh Freeze, by the way.

Raymond Hawkins: Well, did he? There you go.

Jerry Burum: Wow.

Raymond Hawkins: I hope none of it rubbed off on Hugh. Hey, he is a heck of an offensive coordinator. We’re done. We’re wrapping up. We’ve crowned the Heisman winner.

Jerry Burum: Haley, you’re still right at the top of that prayer list. Okay.

Haley Hawkins: I appreciate it. I need it.

Jerry Burum: Go Huskers.

Raymond Hawkins: That’s right. That’s right. Let’s go Big Red.