Fact or Fiction: Big 12, Alabama's injuries, Texas-Oklahoma State
National recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney tackle three topics daily and determine whether they believe the statements or not.
MORE FACT OR FICTION: Jim Harbaugh, Kirby Smith, Notre Dame vs. Georgia
1. The Big 12, as Mike Gundy said, is the best conference in the country.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. I'm not a big fan of the SEC this year top to bottom but at the top it is the best conference with Alabama, Georgia and LSU. I'd follow that with the Big Ten with Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and Penn State all being excellent teams, and then I'd put in the Big 12. Gundy points to bowl games as the barometer of success for the conference and that's not a bad point, but I just think there are more top teams in the SEC and Big Ten.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. If you’re going to claim the Big 12 is the best, then you should have a national champion in the last decade, and the last Big 12 team to win it all was Texas in 2005. Come on.
The SEC is still the best conference in football even if it’s super top-heavy this season, but I would listen to an argument that the Big 12 is second-best this year. Oklahoma is unstoppable, Texas is pretty good (except losing to LSU doesn’t help its case) and I really think at least the Oklahoma State offense is pretty impressive. But the Big 12 is not the best conference in college football, even if Kansas can go to Boston College and whoop the Eagles.
2. Injuries will catch up with Alabama.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. First the linebackers and now LaBryan Ray on the defensive line, things are getting thin at Alabama on defense. And it doesn't help that five-star freshman Antonio Alfano is not a factor and heading to the transfer portal.
However, Alabama has so much talent on defense that others will step up and continue to lead them to the playoff. Freshman Justin Eboigbe will be his replacement and he's coming off his own injury, but something about the way Alabama preps their players to be ready to take on a bigger role makes me think the injuries aren't an issue.
Gorney’s take: FACT. We like to think Alabama is invincible but as we learned in the national championship game last season, the Crimson Tide are just a bunch of college football players, too. The injuries on defense are becoming pretty concerning in the front seven but it probably won’t hurt them much in the coming weeks. Playing at Texas A&M could be tricky but Alabama’s offense is too good. The LSU game could get really exciting because the Tigers finally are using their firepower to stay with the Crimson Tide. And then who knows with the SEC championship presumably against Georgia or in the playoff. Guys have to get back healthy or it could be a major issue.
3. Texas is on upset alert.
Farrell’s take: FACT. I like Oklahoma State and especially like its running back Chuba Hubbard and main receiver Tylan Wallace. They can put up points on Texas and it will come down to how the defense plays. Gundy owns Texas in recent years especially in Austin, so this will be a hard game for the Longhorns. I still think Tom Herman and his team pull out a win but this will be a close one.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. I have an issue calling this an upset. Oklahoma State has beaten Texas the last five times the two teams have played in Austin and the Cowboys have won seven of the last 10 matchups overall. Texas is an improved team, but I love the trio of quarterback Spencer Sanders, Hubbard and Wallace plus some other pieces as well. Oklahoma State is getting 5.5 points in this game and the Cowboys can definitely win outright or cover.