On the latest College Football Enquirer, Dan Wetzel, Pete Thamel and SI's Pat Forde discuss the three coaches in most dire need of a win during Week 1, including Texas' Steve Sarkisian, Houston's Dana Holgorsen and Georgia's Kirby Smart.
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DAN WETZEL: What program or coach really needs to win this weekend? And with the caveat that it's week 1. But things could spiral quickly, and we're here to stomp on them when they don't. Pat, you get the first pick of the draft, the Sacramento Kings Memorial spot.
PAT FORDE: Thank you, thank you. With the first pick, I select Texas. Not because Sark needs it, but Texas needs it. There's a lot of ego at stake! You've just pulled one of the biggest power moves in the history of college sports. And your first game is not an easy one. It's Louisiana Lafayette, bringing back a lot of good players from a good team. But you are Texas. You're starting a new era. You have just blustered your way and barged your way into SEC membership starting whenever. You better come out and win that game, because you are going to be the laughingstock of college football if you do not.
PETE THAMEL: I am going to stay in the state. There is sort of a dueling necessity of wins here. But I am going to go with Dana Holgorsen at Houston. You have a two years losing record, no Bowls. They fired two coaches. Last year they fired, both have made Bowls in their two years and they fired them. And there is a necessity you can't overstate of Houston needing to beat Texas Tech, I think it's at NRG Stadium, to show off for the Big 12.
Like Houston needs to be hot right now. They have the metrics, they have the markets, they have the recruiting base, et cetera. They need a win to say, hey, look at us. Remember us under Tom Harmon? Remember us in the top 25? And I. like it would be really interesting if Tech goes in there and wins, what happens at Houston. The buyout is big for an [? AAC ?] school, it's $5 million bucks. But that would be a really bad sign for Dana Holgorsen there. Now there's a lot of optimism out of Houston, they have a lot of talent. Doug Belk, new DC, they really feel good about where they are. But whew! That, and then we could snake draft Matt Wells in the next round too.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: All right, I'm going to go with Kirby Smart. Not that they can, they can lose to Clemson and still make the playoff, the schedule, because they don't play A&M, and they don't play Bama, is wide open for Georgia. But this is also kind of the, other than the cocktail party and what's that going to entail, this is the game until the SEC title game. So they can come back and still be fine and win.
But this is the team. They've got the best team. They have a ton of talent. I looked at the 24/7 talent, you know, conglomerate, cumulative talent they've got. And I don't really like the way 24/7 comes up with five stars, because you can have two, everyone can rate a guy a four star. They make him a five, which makes no sense. Like, every NFL team has a second round grade on a guy. You don't pick him 15th in the draft. It's a terrible pick, so it doesn't work. But it's indicative of something. They've got 19 five stars on their roster going to that.
They've got the veteran quarterback. They've got everything but, as Sully notes, the wide receivers. But still, I think they're going to have some talent. They've got an incredible defensive front. Yes, it's Clemson, but everyone's talking national championship, can Kirby Smart win the big one. This is a guy who's 10 and 6 against the top 10 in his career. Three of those losses are to Bama, which maybe you can excuse. One was to a great LSU team.
This will be depressing if Georgia doesn't win this game. It's not over, but man, could Georgia use this game, and then they can spend the whole year probably blowing everybody else out and sitting there going, we're the big dogs here. Everyone's just kind of chasing us. We're the force. Otherwise, they're fighting their way back in, and they've just pulled the, you go into those final, you still go into late in the year with all the doubts of, is this team good enough. So I'm taking Georgia.