Fact or Fiction: Notre Dame will win the ACC
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. Notre Dame will win the ACC.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. Ugh, right? When am I ever going to believe? I am impressed with Notre Dame and the offense looked better than I expected against Clemson but let’s remember this was a short-handed Clemson football team. The defense was missing some key players and Trevor Lawrence wasn’t playing and that’s the key for me. I don’t bet against Lawrence and when he’s back the Tigers will run the table and beat Notre Dame in the rematch. But kudos to the Irish, that was a big win.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. That was an incredible performance and comeback by Notre Dame and the Irish deserve all the credit in the world right now but on a neutral field, with Trevor Lawrence back and the full complement of defensive players, I still believe Clemson will win the conference. I also live by the maxim that it’s difficult to beat the same team twice in a season and especially when that team has better players and I still believe Clemson is the better team over the long haul but Notre Dame deserves a ton of credit for winning Saturday night.
2. Indiana will challenge Ohio State on Nov. 21.
Farrell’s take: FACT. The Buckeyes are strong but they’ve shown a few weaknesses here and there while Indiana is a team that believes. The Hoosiers won’t beat the Buckeyes, at least I don’t think they will, but I can see a really good game between the two with Ohio State’s talent taking over.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. There are two factors playing into that game: One is that Indiana has already had some incredible wins so everything else that comes this season is gravy and Ohio State will not look past the Hoosiers. The Buckeyes might be the best team in the country and they’re just playing at a different level at almost every position than the Hoosiers and they’re not going to think the Indiana game will be a cakewalk. When you’re the team on Ohio State’s radar, you’re almost always in trouble. The Hoosiers have had phenomenal wins over Penn State and Michigan so far this season but both of those teams are a mess right now. Ohio State comfortably beats any team in the Big Ten.
3. The Gators are taking over the SEC East.
Farrell’s take: FACT. Dan Mullen is an elite coach, the Gators are ahead of Georgia in many facets of the game with the offense being the key and the tide will begin to turn in recruiting as well. Kirby Smart can recruit but we may be seeing the changing of the guard in the division after Saturday’s win. I’m disappointed in the play of the defense in many aspects for UGA and the quarterback situation is a mess that will take a couple of years to hash out.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Florida was definitely the better team on Saturday, quarterback Kyle Trask threw for 474 yards and four touchdowns and the Gators’ offense embarrassed a Georgia defense that was supposed to be the best in the country. But let’s not crown Florida as the team “taking over” the SEC East just yet since Georgia won the last three in this rivalry heading into this weekend. Georgia’s offense needs to be remedied and quarterback play is definitely an issue as coach Kirby Smart has had five-star quarterbacks and not much to show for it. JT Daniels is still sitting on the bench wasting away and no one seems to know why. With so many five- and high-level four-star players, the Bulldogs should be better and Florida definitely exposed them on Saturday. Dan Mullen is a phenomenal coach and worked Smart and his staff pretty good in Jacksonville but Georgia is still an elite team in the SEC.