CBS play-by-play man Brad Nessler talks with The Post’s Justin Terranova about the SEC championship, Alabama’s fall and the best team in college football.
Q: What is Ed Orgeron like behind the scenes?
A: Don’t let the gravelly voice that everyone imitates fool you. He’s smart like a fox, I am telling ya. The biggest thing for him is he lets his coaches coach and he is the guy in the building that is the emotional leader of that building. You hear him walk in and he starts clapping his hands and it’s infectious with the kids. They are all-in, man. He’s the heart and soul of that team.
Q: What has been the difference with Jake Fromm this season?
A: I don’t blame him for this. He doesn’t trust his receivers right now and at this point of the season you should be able to. He’s having to hold the ball too long, waiting for guys to get open instead of throwing them open. Jake is a very smart kid and he does everything on timing . . . I do think this whole Justin Fields thing [Georgia transfer starring at Ohio State] is in the back of his head. I’d now be surprised if he went in the draft this year.
Q: Do you remember a game quite like last week’s Iron Bowl?
A: It’s unbelievable. It was just big play after big play, 98-yard kickoff returns, 100-yard interception returns. You forget that Alabama was sloppy with 13 penalties with everything that happened. I don’t know if I’ve had a game with that many lead changes. I am sure I have, just not in recent memory. Those are fun to do, when the game comes to you and you don’t have to materialize anything to make it exciting.
Q: Is it weird not having Alabama involved in the playoff conversation?
A: It’s incredible. It’s been that kind of season where everyone has just kind of come up to their level. Everyone’s been waiting for LSU, Auburn to come up their level in the SEC West and maybe we are finally seeing it. I don’t think it’s a huge falloff. They don’t have the kind of defense they’ve had in the past. A lot of that was do to injuries, with Dylan Moses going down early. I don’t think it’s this big end-of-the-world thing that is going on in Tuscaloosa.
Q: Who is the best team right now?
A: Ohio State looks like they are the most well-rounded team because of their defense with Chase Young and those guys. If you just looked at offensive numbers, you could say LSU or even Clemson could be No. 1. The fact that Ohio State has blown everyone’s doors off, they deserve to be where they are at. I know Dabo [Swinney] is starting to feel disrespected.