football Edit

Fact or Fiction: Michigan, best two teams, LSU

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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Michigan fans should be worried.

Shea Patterson
Shea Patterson (AP Images)

Farrell’s take: FACT. The Wolverines are supposed to take the next step this season and beat Ohio State and go to the playoff, but the first two games don’t make that look likely. The offense hasn’t impressed and the defense still needs to come together and replace some key performers. It’s early, but if I’m a Michigan fan, I’m a bit worried for when the schedule starts to include better teams.

Gorney’s take: FACT. Michigan should have legitimately lost to Army and needed double-overtime to escape with the win. The offense doesn’t look all that faster, the playmakers have been average and quarterback Shea Patterson has been erratic at times.

What’s so different about this team? In two games, the Wolverines have run it 90 times and thrown it 64 times. So doing some quick math, Michigan is running the ball only three percent less than last season. I’ve watched Michigan in two games and I’ve watched the rest of the Big Ten and if the Wolverines don’t improve markedly soon, Wisconsin, Iowa, Penn State, Maryland, Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State will be tough matchups.

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Clemson and Alabama are clearly the two best teams in the country.

Dabo Swinney
Dabo Swinney (AP Images)

Farrell’s take: FICTION. The key word here is “clearly” and Georgia, Oklahoma and perhaps another team or two could make a case for being in that top two. Alabama and Clemson haven’t been really tested yet and have played a couple of good out of conference foes in Duke and Texas A&M, respectively but I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen from Georgia and Oklahoma as well and each of them is a serious playoff contender. Watch out for Ohio State as well.

Gorney’s take: FACT. This might be a boring take here but Alabama and Clemson are the best two teams and will meet again in the national championship. There are others, of course, who could surprise me and Oklahoma and Ohio State, maybe even LSU after that performance at Texas, who could be in the running for a national title, too. I like Georgia a whole lot but the Bulldogs need a better passing attack and that hasn’t materialized yet. Oklahoma is always going to be a threat, Ohio State with Justin Fields is very good and LSU’s new offense coupled with that defense intrigues me but I still think Alabama and Clemson are way, way better.

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LSU is for real.

Joe Burrow
Joe Burrow (AP Images)

Farrell’s take: FACT. I had my doubts about Ed Orgeron and I’m not sure the Tigers will beat Alabama in the SEC West, but this team is loaded with talent on the roster and it showed against a very good Texas team. LSU’s offense is showing life, especially the passing game, and that’s what has held them back in the past so this could be a very dangerous team.

Gorney’s take: FACT. I love the make-up of this team from quarterback Joe Burrow, to the receivers, to the play-calling and to the defense which should only get better as the season goes on. When was the last time you heard of LSU putting up 471 passing yards - and against a defense like Texas’? This is a different ball club filled with toughness, athleticism and a whole lot of spirit and I really think they can contend for an SEC championship. Even if LSU loses to Alabama, we might have another discussion about a team not even winning their division but one that should be in the playoff discussion. And the way they’re playing, the Tigers could beat Alabama even in Tuscaloosa.

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