Fact or Fiction: Can Alabama win with Jones? Is Clemson peaking?
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. Alabama is done without Tua Tagovailoa
Farrell's take: FICTION. It will take some help to get to the playoff, but Alabama certainly isn't done with the loss of their superstar quarterback. Mac Jones is a capable backup and they should still beat Auburn in the Iron Bowl after they destroy Western Carolina. Tua Tagovailoa is a great talent and obviously one of the nation's best passers and it's a shame to see such a serious injury to occur, but people don't give the Alabama team roster enough credit and overlook Jones.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Jones was rated as the ninth-best pro-style quarterback in the 2017 class for a reason - because he can play - and he’s been in the Alabama system for a few years, so he knows the offense and knows the expectations. With the best receiving corps in the country, Alabama is more than capable of winning a national title with Jones at quarterback. The question becomes if the Crimson Tide can someone sneak in the top four over a team that won their division and their conference. Not sure it happens, but Alabama is good enough to beat anybody.
2. Clemson is peaking at the right time
Farrell's take: FACT. Not only is Clemson peaking, but they are using the constant chatter about their weak schedule as fuel and that makes them very dangerous. They made a good Wake Forest team look silly, they will annihilate South Carolina after a bye week and God help whoever wins the ACC Coastal.
This Clemson team is just starting to get rolling on offense and the defense has been very good all season long. Alabama was my pick to win the national title this season but that's unlikely to happen now. So it's time to jump on the Clemson bandwagon once again.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Clemson doesn’t play any real competition, but I still believe this might be the best team in the country because it is dominant and has elite players at every position. The offense was really impressive against Wake Forest and the Tigers have scored more than 50 points in four-straight games. I am also really impressed with how the defense is playing as they allowed just 105 total yards to Wake Forest and made quarterback Jamie Newman hate life all afternoon. The Demon Deacons played without their best receivers, but Clemson would have probably blown them out anyway. Ohio State and Clemson might be the two most complete teams in the country.
3. Baylor choked against Oklahoma
Farrell's take: FICTION. Many are saying Baylor blew it when it allowed Oklahoma to come back from a 25-point deficit on Saturday night to end their perfect season, but I see it the other way around. This was a great job by the Oklahoma coaching staff to make adjustments and by Jalen Hurts to will his team to victory. Baylor scored at will but barely had the ball in the second half as Oklahoma dominated the play clock and the defensive adjustments made by Oklahoma after the half were impressive.
I knew when people were tweeting about the game being over in the first half that there was too much time left to give up on a potent Sooners offense, but it was really the defensive adjustments that allowed that to happen. That's right, the OU defense won this one for the Sooners in many ways. And Baylor just had no solution.
Gorney’s take: FACT. This was a 31-10 game at halftime. Baylor was up two touchdowns going to the fourth quarter. Oklahoma made the right adjustments because Lincoln Riley is a fantastic coach and Alex Grinch got his defense to wake up after halftime and the Bears had no answers. The Sooners chipped away and Baylor had no stops, no way to figure out what was going on and didn’t adjust to what Oklahoma was doing offensively or defensively. But Baylor was up 25 in the first half, 21 at half and had the lead into the fourth quarter. It was national television. A huge win was in their grasp. Baylor is a legit threat now in the Big 12 under coach Matt Rhule, but they blew it here.