ThePostGame recently caught up with the 1984 Heisman Trophy winner. Flutie is currently working as a college football analyst for NBC Sports and touring on behalf of the Capital One Cup, an NCAA Division I athletic award given annually to the top men's and women's college athletics program.
ThePostGame: Is there any particular bowl matchup that you're looking forward to?
DOUG FLUTIE: I think, for me, obviously the national championship game. But I love watching Johnny Manziel play, so the Texas A&M-Oklahoma game should be a lot of fun. The fact that they're playing at the Cotton Bowl, it's Texas A&M and Oklahoma, it's a throwback to what the old Cotton Bowl was back in the days of the Southwest Conference. That's going to be fun for me to keep an eye on.
TPG: It seems like there are a couple of teams in the Capital One Cup standings that can make some noise in bowl season. Wisconsin, Stanford, Florida State are all in the top 10. Do you see any big shakeups coming?
FLUTIE: The national championship for both levels, FCS and FBS, is 60 points. The national championship game is going to pull a lot of weight. The gaining of the 60 points and the emphasis on championships in general is huge, especially for football.
Florida in the past has been dominant across the board in their program. They're the defending champions, until they’re unseated, every Florida win is huge. And they're playing in the Sugar Bowl.
TPG: You've got to be happy to see a Boston College alum leading one of the best teams in the NFL. It seems like with so many top tier teams in the league he doesn't get as much attention as some of the other guys. When you watch Matt Ryan play, what stands out to you about him?
FLUTIE: No. 1 he’s a classy kid. Since his Boston College days he's done everything the right way. When he went to Atlanta, he was exactly what they needed after the whole Michael Vick thing. So whether he was successful on the field or not, he was the right guy.
And now, with the way things have gone for him and the way he plays. He's a traditional quarterback, he's standing in there, throwing the football, taking his reads. I'll put him in with the elite. He's going to be looked back at as a Peyton Manning or a Tom Brady before he's through.
And it's good to see that they can carry the torch for the guys who can still stand in there and throw. [It's like], "Hey, this is the way this game is played, people. Not this running around stuff that all you athletic guys like to do." I've admired him since his BC days. His rookie year he made throws and did some things ... right away you knew he was going to be successful.
I'm very happy for him. I think he's just gonna have a phenomenal career. He's going to get himself a Super Bowl ring at some point, hopefully it's this year.
TPG: You've done a lot of work on concussion awareness. How far do you think the NFL has come in the last five years, and how much progress is there to be made?
FLUTIE: There's a lot of room for progress for sure. I don't know how much progress has actually been made. I know that the helmets have been restructured. Something about a lighter helmet scares me, and these ones that look like motorcycle racecar helmets pop off all the time. But I don't know.
They are putting money towards it, and I don't know whether it's legitimate or whether it's to appease the lawsuits and everything else. The fact that they pull players out but then you get guys that have concussions and hide it from the team so they can play the next week, and the team says "We're going to clear a guy" when it used to be an eight-day rule where you have to sit a game out. So I don't know how much progress has been made, I know there's a lot more attention being given to it.
I don’t know that there's a lot you can do about concussions, other than sit people out and not let them play.
TPG: We couldn’t let you go without asking about your band, Flutie Brothers Band. Are you guys still jamming, or are you on break?
FLUTIE: Usually during the fall we're on break, we don't do a lot throughout this time of year. Usually we do some stuff at the Super Bowl and then in the spring we do a lot of playing. We still get together and we're getting ready to start booking dates again in January.
It's just a fun release. We all have a blast doing it -- you don't get beat up and you don't lose.
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