A podcast that cares about every part of college football: the best teams and the worst, the good parts and the bad, the most popular things, and the things that should be popular. Every week, your hosts (and often an expert guest) take you through the nuts and bolts of the CFB landscape.
Steven Godfrey, Richard Johnson, and Alex Kirshner discuss the story surrounding sexual abuse at Michigan and how Bo Schembechler factors into the conversation. (Content warning: The opening segment of the show includes discussion of sexual abuse and its handling by college administrators and sports fans. It ends at the 31:14 mark of the show.) Much of that segment is about how we, as a college sports industry, build up coaches and then have trouble walking away from their legacies. Then the group discusses the soon-to-expand College Football Playoff, Richard defends the notion of Alabama losing multiple games, and we answer some good questions from listeners.
Old friend and 247Sports expert Bud Elliott joins Richard and Alex for a discussion of how the pandemic interrupted recruiting (hint: severely), what it will mean for the sport over the next few years, and how things are operating now that the longest dead period in recruiting history has ended. Plus, answers to audience questions on dormant rivalries, run blocking, "the Baylor offense," the Memphis Tigers, and the CFB road trip everyone should take. To subscribe to this show's Patreon and get bonus episodes and more, visit splitzoneduo.com.
Alex and guest Steven Godfrey go into detail on why a permanent spring FCS season is a bad idea. Then, Godfrey shares anonymous coach gossip on a bunch of unnamed Power 5 schools, and Alex attempts to match the gossip to a school based on the description. Then, answers to questions on how college football treats LGBTQ people, whether Colorado regrets leaving the Big 12 for the Pac-12, how the industry sees HBCU coaching jobs, and what Jim Harbaugh does all day.
Steven Godfrey joins the program this week for detailed discussions of three topics: 1) Week 1’s suite of big TV games, 2) the challenges facing new Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff, and 3) the almost literally unbelievable story, featuring previously unreported info, of the downfall of the University of South Carolina’s president.
May is the most boring month on the college football calendar. Why is it so quiet, and what's happening during this period of relative calm? Steven Godfrey joins the program to explain. Additionally, Alex and Godfrey talk about Presbyterian's hire of famed "never punt/always onside kick" high school coach Kevin Kelley, what it suggests about where the sport is moving, and whether the industry will overreact if non-philosophical factors lead Kelley to struggle in that job. Then a discussion of the two similar yet very different programs in the FCS Championship, plus answers to questions on NIL and Congress, what Mike Gundy's eventual exit might look like, Pat Fitzgerald, public vs. private football programs, and Buffalo's hire of Maurice Linguist.
Alex Kirshner, Richard Johnson, and Steven Godfrey discuss the 2020 census and how certain population shifts might affect college football in the long run, as has happened several times before. Plus a segment about Kansas' pick of Lance Leipold over Jeff Monken, why it happened, and what Buffalo should do next. Then answers to audience questions on TV deals, Maryland, Scot Loeffler, and what happens to Bama's booster culture whenever Nick Saban leaves.
Our friend Charles McDonald of USA TODAY and For The Win joins the show this week. If you haven’t followed the NFL Draft news cycle closely, or if you have, we hope you’ll like a college-oriented look at the players making up this year’s class. Plus answers to questions on the future of the draft, what Josh Allen’s pro success says about player evaluation, and how NFL facilities differ from college ones.
Richard and Alex explain how the same undercurrents that fueled a few European soccer clubs’ breakaway gambit might show up in college football realignment in the next few years. (There are a lot of similarities, and we’re not just speculating.) The FCS playoffs are starting, and for a change, North Dakota State is probably going to lose. Plus answers to audience questions on Kirk Ferentz, Georgia State, potential rules changes, and the true cost of a football scholarship.
Alex and Banner Society’s Steven Godfrey talk in detail about Mike Norvell’s project at Florida State, how the Noles are currently perceived in the coaching industry, and what needs to change for the program to get back to its mid-2010s stature. Then, a game where we match up vulnerable P5 teams against punchy G5 teams and pick some Week 1 results way ahead of time. Then: some of your questions, answered. Split Zone Duo’s Patreon is at splitzoneduo.com.
Banner Society’s Steven Godfrey joins Alex and Richard for a chat about the career of retiring Wisconsin AD (and former coach) Barry Alvarez: His impact on Wisconsin and why there won’t be many more administrators or coaches like him. Then, the group assesses how much #sources are willing to forgive about the 2020 seasons of Baylor, USF, Michigan State, New Mexico, Wazzu, Penn State, LSU, Houston, Rice, and FAU. Finally, answers to Patron questions on Baylor’s 2021 offense, USC’s outlook, and the jostling between the Sun Belt and Conference USA. This podcast’s new Patreon, with bonus episodes and more, is at splitzoneduo.com.
This is a special episode to mark the launch of our Patreon page (splitzoneduo.com) where we'll place bonus episodes at least twice a month, as well as offer other perks related to the show. HBCU Gameday founder and reporter Steven Gaither joins Richard for a talk about Deion Sanders, Jackson State, and the Black college football landscape more broadly.
Listeners of the Shutdown Fullcast and Split Zone Duo raised more than $15,000 for Texas mutual aid organizations charities during February's ice storms. To celebrate, here's a crossover episode in which a Texas expert of great repute quizzes the two shows' hosts and featured guests on important Texan facts.
Banner Society reporter Steven Godfrey joins Richard Johnson and Alex Kirshner for in-depth check-ins on the Kansas AD and coach searches (they're different things), Vanderbilt's new administration under Clark Lea, Fresno State's chances at a big jump in 2021, and how the transfer market and conversations about "experience" will look different going forward.
The Nebraska-Oklahoma kerfuffle is the perfect offseason CFB story, but does it also say anything about how business is done in the sport today? Plus, Nebraska, USC, Miami, Mississippi State, Maryland, and Syracuse all make scheduling mistakes. And to finish, an extended discussion of Mike Aresco’s comments about the Group of 5 and what *really* has to happen for the AAC to get a fair shake in the Playoff landscape. Our promo code for 20% off your first order at Homefield Apparel is SZD.
Alex, Richard, and Banner Society's Steven Godfrey talk about the disgraceful mismanagement of Les Miles at two universities, LSU and Kansas. Then, a discussion of what Kansas does next and Texas's mental gymnastics in hanging onto "The Eyes of Texas."
Wait until you find out which extremely dislikable coach has to play North Dakota State one week after the Bison lost their 39-game winning streak. Plus, an extended conversation about Longhorns boosters' racist backing of "The Eyes of Texas," how long it might take UT to get out of this self-made mess, and some answers to listener questions.
Richard, Alex, and Banner Society’s Steven Godfrey talk through UCF’s hire of Gus Malzahn: Why UCF might’ve done it, how the fit looks, and why 2021 might be a reset year. Then, a big-picture preview of the FCS season. What’s good, what’s weird, and what won’t matter about the spring season? And by how many points will North Dakota State win the national title game? Then we answer some questions.
Banner Society’s Steven Godfrey joins the show to talk recruiting nuts and bolts, from McDonald’s bags to poker chips. Why the transition away from signing high school recruits toward taking more transfers? How do players actually get paid? Plus other detailed discussions on coaches hopping between the NFL and CFB, what makes a “good recruiter,” and which Texan FCS school could win an FBS conference championship first.
Yes, college football video games are coming back. Here’s how it’ll work, what still needs to happen, and what an eventual EA Sports College Football game might look like. Plus, we answer a bunch of your #AskSZD questions with guest Steven Godfrey. Topics include: the best job in college football, impending FBS/FCS realignment, why the Saints hate LSU, what a Kirby Smart hot seat looks like, and what the next Pac-12 commissioner needs to do to get the house in order.
Alex and Richard are joined by Banner Society's Steven Godfrey to talk about the Vols hiring a coach. While Josh Heupel got the gig, it's not for lack of trying on Danny White's part to get other guys. Also, we finish conference reviews including: the Big 12's soft center, and what the hell the Sun Belt can do to overtake the AAC.
Richard and Alex go in depth on Tennessee’s expedient dismissal of Jeremy Pruitt, which feels like a deeply cynical move. Then, season reviews for five FBS conferences: the ACC, Conference USA, the Pac-12, the Mountain West, and the MAC.
A dive into how Bama took Ohio State to the woodshed, a discussion of the 2020 Tide’s place in history, how the program’s 2017 recruiting class helped change college football, and how Nick Saban has set himself even further apart. (Sorry, Bear.)
Alex, Richard, and Banner Society’s Steven Godfrey preview the Playoff National Championship between Ohio State and Alabama, and plot out what Ohio State needs to do to pull an upset. Then: What is Marshall doing? (It’s incredibly West Virginia.) Dan Mullen to the Jets? Bad idea. Urban Meyer to the Jaguars. Also a bad idea. Plus, let’s read some anonymous DMs from coaches.
Alex, Richard, and Banner Society's Steven Godfrey go over Texas's decision to fire Tom Herman and immediately replace him with Steve Sarkisian. Why now? (Spoiler: There's still a lot we don't know.) Why Sarkisian? And why might he do better at Texas than he did at USC? Plus a quick discussion of Alabama-Notre Dame and a longer talk about how Ohio State mashed Clemson to punch a ticket to the title game.
Steven Godfrey, Richard Johnson, and Alex Kirshner preview the College Football Playoff semifinals and have an extended discussion about Notre Dame's place in the sport in 2020. Then, a dive into Auburn's hire of Bryan Harsin and the strong power move made by athletic director Allen Greene, trying (and failing) to figure out a good reason for Arizona's Jedd Fisch hire, and evaluating whether ULM should continue trying to play FBS football after hiring Terry Bowden. Finally: Answering some audience questions on defensive scheming, Pitt's future, the effect of coming transfer rules, and why expanded conference schedules aren't here to stay.
Banner Society's Steven Godfrey joins the show to talk about the wild coaching search that's unfolded at Auburn, and what it says about how business is done in college football today. Which "warring factions" make these decisions, and where will Auburn end up? Let's go behind the curtain, and then rank bowl games on a scale from "watchable" to "not watchable."
The 2020 Playoff might be the starkest example yet of the selection committee's outright dismissal of teams from outside the Power 5. This is a reaction show to the unveiling of the New Year's Six, including quick thoughts on the games, who got screwed worst, and who has the most to gain and lose over the next three weeks.
Banner Society reporter Steven Godfrey joins Alex and Richard for a long talk about coaching situations at: Auburn, Auburn, Auburn, Virginia Tech, Arizona, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Troy, ULM, Tennessee, Michigan, and Auburn. Plus: Is coaching a meritocracy? And quick breakdowns of the conference championship games.
A 30-ish-minute run through the weekend in CFB. Florida had a lot of chances not to lose to LSU because a guy threw a shoe. College football in LA might be back. You don’t have to pretend this Army-Navy Game was good. Georgia’s offense might have it figured out at long last. UNC’s definitely has. Western Michigan almost produced the wildest ending in decades. Kevin Sumlin left Arizona no choice, and now keep an eye on San Jose State’s and Nevada’s coaches. Butch Jones makes sense at Arkansas State. Georgia Tech is really taking a while, and 2021 will be a #FireGus year at Auburn.
Pro Football Focus’s Seth Galina joins the show and talks in depth about the strengths and weaknesses of every team left in the Playoff discussion (plus Cincinnati, which should be). Why Texas is only Texas because they say they’re Texas, and a deeper dive into Coastal Carolina’s unique spin on the triple option.
Alex, Richard, and Banner Society’s Steven Godfrey go in depth on that awesome BYU-Coastal game, then go through the rest of the weekend in college football. Discussions include Texas A&M, Bo Nix, Florida’s run game, Mizzou, LSU’s epic fall from grace, DeVonta Smith, Justin Fuente, Clemson’s defense, Scott Satterfield’s incredible botching of his situation, Wisconsin’s brutal offense, Texas Tech’s brutal everything, Colorado, the South Alabama coaching job that should open soon, FAU’s misery, and how Bowling Green might really be FBS’ worst team.
Banner Society’s Steven Godfrey joins Richard and Alex to talk about the coaching industry: the reported new hire at Southern Miss, the new opening at Vanderbilt, and a long discussion about how preconceptions about the hiring pool systemically harm coaches of color. Then, an exploration of UTSA’s exciting turnaround and why the Roadrunners are a model for other programs to emulate. Plus a testing menu for the weekend.
Richard and Alex chat with Banner Society’s Steven Godfrey about college football’s Diet Rivalry Week. Why Notre Dame isn’t just winning games, and how the Irish flexed their muscles against UNC. How Alabama outclassed Auburn. Why the Egg Bowl won’t change much. What’s different about 2020 Iowa State. Sarah Fuller made history *and* did her job. Oregon State is building the right way. Buffalo is a blast. Bowling Green and UMass very much are not. And *it* finally happened to Northwestern.
Banner Society's Steven Godfrey joins Alex and Richard for a discussion about the Egg Bowl and its many political implications. The group discusses the Iron Bowl and can't land on whether Alabama will destroy Auburn or the Tigers will make it messy. (Could be both!) Then: detailed breakdowns of a week of media sniping between BYU/Washington and Clemson/FSU, some Q&A, and a tasting menu for the weekend. Happy Thanksgiving.
Alex, Richard, and their three co-creators of “The Sinful Seven: Sci-Fi Western Legends of the NCAA” (Spencer Hall, Jason Kirk, and Tyson Whiting) take questions from readers and talk about self-publishing a college football book in three months, as well as what they learned about CFB history. (Bear Bryant comes up a lot.) You can buy the ebook at sinfulseven.com for $1 or whatever you want to pay, with 20% of the profits going to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund through the end of the year. Available for any e-reader.
It's about time for Oklahoma State to fire Mike Gundy, per Alex Kirshner. From here on out, teams have to play their way into this podcast. In this 30ish-minute sprint through the weekend, SZD covers Indiana, Ohio State, Northwestern, Cincinnati, Auburn, Rutgers, Georgia, Mississippi State, the FSU/Clemson cancelation debacle, "Bedlam," USC, Nevada, Kent State, and uh what is Virginia Tech doing?