Brady Quinn Breaks Down College Football Dark Horses

Former Notre Dame QB Thinks Highly Of Irish, Wisconsin

Reiter Than You
August 29, 2018 - 9:44 am
Dec 2, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, Wisconsin Badgers running back Jonathan Taylor (23) gains yards in the fourth quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

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Former Notre Dame quarterback and college football analyst Brady Quinn joined Reiter Than You on Tuesday to discuss which under the radar teams could make some noise in the upcoming season.

The Wisconsin Badgers enter the new season as no. 4 in the AP preseason Top 25 poll after going 13-1 in 2017. Quinn sees a path for the Badgers based on their schedule and experience.

"I think Wisconsin could potentially," Quinn responded. "They've got a lot of guys returning, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Probably the best offensive line in college football. I don't care who you are, they're a well-coached team. They know their identity. They know who they are, they know who they're not and they know how to win. So, they've got an easy pass going to the Big Ten West -- even though it will be more difficult this year than in years past. Iowa and Northwestern are going to be more competitive than people think. Scott Frost and Nebraska -- I don't think they're just going to lay down. There's a number of teams that will be a little more difficult, but the Big Ten Championship Game -- (Wisconsin) could have a clear path."

His attention turned to his alma mater. The Fighting Irish are ranked 12th in the AP preseason Top 25 poll after posting a 10-3 record last year. A tough schedule begins with the Michigan Wolverines visiting South Bend on Saturday night.

"I think you look at Notre Dame," Quinn said. "If Notre Dame beats Michigan in Week 1, now granted, they've got a really tough schedule between Stanford, USC and Virginia Tech which is on the road in Blacksburg. Then in Syracuse, which won't be a layup and some others along the way. You look at that schedule. If they can win out and maybe even if they drop one, they can sneak in as the four seed. That's a team that can potentially do it based on how much experience they have on defense, based on some of the star power and some of the studs they have on the outside. It all comes down to Brandon Wimbush and how he will play."

Quinn also mentioned LSU and Auburn as talented teams that have done well in recruiting, but need to strong quarterback play to contend in the powerhouse SEC.

A big topic ahead of the new season is the two-quarterback system at Alabama. Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa are QB options for Nick Saban. Quinn thinks that the Crimson Tide should make a clear choice on its starter.

"Nick Saban is one of the best, if not maybe the best head college football coach of all-time," Quinn stated. "With the dynasty that he's really created right now in multiple eras -- going from the BCS now to the college football playoff and the way that they've been able to have so much success, it's ridiculous. I think he knows that when adversity strikes and it ultimately does, you look to your quarterback. That's one of the leaders of your team. The players in that locker room look to their quarterback. When you have two guys, sometimes you can end up having factions. People kind of break apart and all of a sudden it gets to be very clique-y in the locker room. That hurts team chemistry. I always feel like it's better when you have one guy that you go with come hell or high water. Based on how he performs, whether it's a good week or bad week, you're going to stick with him to help him grow through this. That's where Tua Tagovailoa probably is a better fit for previous national championship teams for Nick Saban. When you think about how he won a national championship with Jacob Coker, Greg McElroy -- the likes of more pocket passers, guys who aren't necessarily dual threat or more run-first quarterbacks."

The top-ranked Crimson Tide host the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday night.