Fact or Fiction: Is Gary Pinkel a Hall of Famer?
National recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney tackle three topics daily and determine whether they believe the statements or not.
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1. Gary Pinkel was a Hall of Fame caliber coach.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. Gary Pinkel and Bob Stoops were two of the big names on the Hall of Fame ballot and I'm not sure that Pinkel belongs in that conversation. Stoops obviously does, having won 10 Big 12 titles and a national championship.
While I like Pinkel as a coach, his accomplishments overall aren't Hall of Fame-worthy. He won 73 games and a MAC championship at Toledo and won 118 games and three division titles at Missouri. But his overall in conference record between the Big 12 and SEC was 64-57. He also won his division titles during very down times in the Big 12 North and SEC East. His overall record of 191-110-3 is good and he is the winningest coach in Missouri history, but can the history of college football be told without Pinkel? Yes, it can.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Stoops is a no-brainer and while there could be debate over Pinkel, I do believe he deserves the nod. He’s the winningest coach at Toledo and Missouri. That’s pretty impressive to have tremendous success at two programs. During his time with the Tigers, Pinkel had nine eight-plus win seasons and five double-digit win seasons. Since Pinkel’s departure for health reasons (four years), Missouri has not won more than eight games and hasn’t won a bowl game. I always wondered how competitive the Tigers would have been in the SEC East if Pinkel could have still coached and my guess is Missouri would be in contention almost every season. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
2. Mario Williams is more dynamic than Christian Leary.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. This is a tough call because Mario Williams is a better natural receiver and runs much better and more advanced routes than Christian Leary. But the recent Alabama commitment is so sudden and fast that I don't have a problem calling him more dynamic despite his lower ranking. Williams, an Oklahoma commit, doesn’t have the same breakaway speed as Leary and probably won’t impact in the return game as much. But right now he’s a better overall prospect because he’s much more polished. But more dynamic? Nope.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. This is a great question because Williams might be the better receiver at this stage but Leary is more dynamic and exciting with the ball in his hands. That’s difficult to say because Williams is thrilling as well, but Leary has an extra gear to run by defenders. When it looks like they have the edge, the new Alabama commit burns right by them headed toward the end zone. No one is catching either Williams or Leary from the back, but if these two raced I’d give the speed edge to Leary.
3. RaRa Dillworth is a Top 50 national prospect.
Farrell’s take: FACT. Marvin Harrison is the lowest ranked 6.0 at No. 42 in the country and I just made Raneiria Dillworth, a North Carolina commitment, a 5.9 four-star. But is he a top-50 talent when we update the Rivals250? I believe so. I have him in mind as one of the top 5.9 prospects in the country because of his athleticism and versatility. Isaiah Simmons comparisons will be made many times in the future for prospects and that’s heady stuff, but Dillworth could be that kind of player. Just watch what he does on film and you’ll see why he was vastly underrated.
Gorney’s take: FACT. There are bound to be a whole lot of significant changes in the Rivals250 once football starts up again, especially after missing nearly the entire spring evaluation period and one that I foresee is Dillworth moving way up in the rankings. It’s just impossible to ignore how impactful he is, how he makes every tackle, how it looks like he was shot out of a cannon to make plays. The North Carolina linebacker isn’t the most-physical linebacker ever but he makes every tackle and he’s a special prospect. I’m not to the Simmons comparisons yet but there’s definitely an argument to be made that he’s a top-50 prospect.