Fact or Fiction: Alabama, Utah, Oklahoma, Georgia
National recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney tackle three topics daily and determine whether they believe the statements or not.
1. Oklahoma and not Georgia should be in the top four.
Farrell's take: FICTION. But this is close. Georgia's only loss was to a bad South Carolina team so far while Oklahoma has lost to a respectable 7-4 Kansas State team that has been ranked in the top 25. So why is this fiction? Because Georgia has better wins. Georgia has wins over Notre Dame, Florida and Auburn, three teams that have been consistently in the national top 25. Oklahoma? The Sooners have beaten Texas, but that win doesn't look so impressive now and they've beaten Baylor, a very good team. But Georgia's resume is stronger.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Neither Oklahoma nor Georgia should be in the top four as Utah deserves to be in that spot since it has the best loss – at USC without the Utes’ starting running back – and Utah has the best defense out of all these teams. Utah hasn’t lost since mid-September, the defense has given up only 14 offensive touchdowns all season in a conference that’s known for scoring and nine of its 10 wins this season have come by double digits, many being blowouts. Say what you want about the Pac-12 Conference, but those are impressive numbers and the Utes should be No. 4 right now.
2. Alabama will blow out Auburn with Mac Jones in charge.
Farrell's take: FACT. Mac Jones is a good quarterback, folks. He was ranked a four-star out of high school for a reason and he has a good command of the Alabama offense. He also has some ridiculous weapons and the offense will have some success against a very good Auburn team. I just don't see the Auburn offense having similar success against the Alabama defense and Bo NIx will be running for his life all game. Don't sleep on Jones, people.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Dating back to 2008, when Alabama wins the Iron Bowl it’s usually by blowout and when Auburn wins it’s usually been close. Alabama’s receivers are phenomenal and Auburn’s secondary is good but not great, and so the Crimson Tide should be able to throw it around pretty well. But Auburn’s front four is so dominant they’re going to get to Jones and pressure him into some bad throws. Auburn won’t score lots of points but I doubt that Alabama is going to run up and down the field. The Crimson Tide win by 10 but won’t blow out the Tigers.
3. Utah has the best defense in the country.
Farrell's take: FICTION. Utah is up there, don't get me wrong. The Utes give up an average of 10.9 points per game and that's impressive. However, the three teams that give up fewer points than the Utes have better defenses overall. Clemson is probably the best defense I've seen at this late stage of the season, followed by Ohio State and then Georgia. You can throw Auburn in there as well. Utah's defense is formidable and you probably can't name one player on it. But it's a big reason why the Utes are being considered for a playoff berth. I'd put them fourth or fifth in the country.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. I love Utah. It has dominated nearly every opponent defensively this season. Bradlee Anae is spectacular. The rest of the defense is terrific, the players fly to the football and they wrap up.
But I’m not going to side against Ohio State here. Defensive end Chase Young is a once-in-a-generation talent. The Buckeyes give up about 91 rushing yards per game and have allowed just 13 offensive touchdowns all season. And the Buckeyes’ first-team defense isn’t even on the field all game. Utah is fantastic but I side with Ohio State here.
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