Fraud or For Real? K-State, Mizzou, Michigan, Wisconsin
Just how legit are these college football teams?
Farrell’s take: FOR REAL. I love what Chris Klieman is doing for the Wildcats and two wins in two years over Oklahoma speaks volumes about the job he’s doing. This is a team that looks like it is ready to be up in the top half of the Big 12 for the foreseeable future. And they might break through and push for a Big 12 title as soon as this season. Impressive.
Gorney's take: FRAUD. I don't necessarily want to call Kansas State a fraud because the Wildcats have definitely bounced back after an early loss to Arkansas State and Klieman is a fantastic coach who's a perfect fit in Manhattan but the schedule gets much tougher moving forward and I'm not sure the offensive firepower is there with quarterback Will Howard to keep up. Kansas State is always a tough out and Skylar Thompson running the offense is a different story but this is a team that will probably be in close, nip-and-tuck games for the remainder of the season. Winning them all - or even most of them - seems like a stretch.
Farrell’s take: FOR REAL. I was really impressed by what I saw from Michigan against Minnesota. The offense clicked, Joe Milton looked great and the defense was flying all over the field. With this running game and aggressive defense, it can hang with Ohio State and others.
Gorney’s take: FOR REAL. I don’t want to overreact to one game, which included a defensive touchdown and a long special teams return that set up another score, but Michigan looked very good in its win over Minnesota. I especially loved how the defense was aggressive and attacking at all levels all night. Michigan is a huge favorite against Michigan State this weekend, which might be an overreaction, but the Wolverines look for real. Not sure they hang with Ohio State, but it could at least be interesting.
Farrell’s take: FOR REAL. I like what Eli Drinkwitz is doing early here for Mizzou and he is never satisfied as evidenced by his displeasure in a loss to Alabama that wasn’t as bad as people thought he would be. The Gators are up next and they need to be careful.
Gorney's take: FOR REAL. Drinkwitz is a fantastic coach and has already made a gutsy decision by switching to Connor Bazelak at quarterback and it's worked. The mentality and culture he's building at Missouri is impressive and I'm not going to gauge his success or failure this season on wins and losses alone. It could be ugly over the next few weeks with Florida and Georgia coming up but the Tigers made a huge upgrade by hiring Drinkwitz and he has the program going in the right direction. It's still the SEC and it's always going to be tough but Missouri has shown it can be a winning program before and Drinkwitz will get it back to that competitive level.
Farrell’s take: FRAUD. This is a tough call because the Badgers looked so good against Illinois and Graham Mertz was awesome, but with all the COVID issues it’s hard to consider the Badgers a true threat in the national picture with one game canceled and others in jeopardy.
Gorney’s take: FOR REAL. Wisconsin gave up only 87 passing yards to an Illinois team that has some transfers that can play, so the Badgers’ defense will keep them in games even if Mertz cannot play. This is a strange situation, and even if they have to play Danny Vander Boom at QB, the Badgers will be in every game it plays, and if Mertz can play then they should be favored. That’s not a fraud in my book.
Farrell’s take: FOR REAL. The Buckeyes came out flat against Nebraska early and looked a little slow on defense, but they turned it on and destroyed the Huskers while showing how potent their offense is. The defense is a work in progress but who can stop this offense?
Gorney’s take: FOR REAL. Why is this even a question? Ohio State might be the best team in the country, and it didn’t even look all that hot in a 52-17 win over Nebraska. With a score like that, one would think everything clicked from start to finish but it didn’t and Ohio State was still that dominant. A lot of people are saying Penn State can stay close this weekend - even within a touchdown or so - but I don’t see it. After the Nittany Lions, the schedule is about as easy as it gets until December, too.