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Rival Views: Best one-loss team National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney don’t always see eye to eye. In this edition of Rival Views, the two debate which of the nation's one-loss teams is best.

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J.T. Barrett
J.T. Barrett (Getty Images)

This comes down to three teams all ranked in the top 10 – Louisville, Ohio State and Texas A&M, and I’m going to go with the Buckeyes despite this weekend's performance at Penn State. This is a very young team that needs to fix some offensive issues, especially throwing the ball down field, but the depth of talent at almost every position is better than that of Louisville and Texas A&M.

You obviously have to give the edge to Louisville at quarterback and likely A&M at wide receiver, but where else would either of those teams have an advantage?

The defensive line? Yes, A&M has the bookend rush ends, but Ohio State is deeper, especially in the middle.

In the defensive backfield? Louisville has some serious talent back there, especially in cornerback Jaire Alexander, but Ohio State is loaded at every position.

The Buckeyes lack some experience along the offensive line and haven’t blocked that well, but neither have Louisville or Texas A&M against top competition.

Louisville’s lone loss is a 42-36 defeat at No. 3 Clemson, that’s a big one, and A&M lost 33-14 at No. 1 Alabama. Penn State isn’t exactly in the same league as those two, but when it comes down to talent overall, it’s Ohio State, and this loss will help this young team grow up quicker than perhaps being undefeated heading into the big Michigan game.


Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson (Getty Images)

Louisville is clearly the best one-loss team, and there is even a worthy argument that the Cardinals are better than at least one undefeated team ranked higher than them in the AP poll.

First, quarterback Lamar Jackson is clearly the best and most productive player in college football and is the big-time favorite still to win the Heisman Trophy. He’s thrown for 2,161 yards with 18 touchdowns and four interceptions.

More impressively, Jackson has 908 rushing yards and 16 scores, which is more than LSU RB Leonard Fournette and Florida State RB Dalvin Cook combined. That means Jackson can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, against whomever he wants.

Louisville’s only loss this season was a 42-36 battle at Clemson a few weeks ago, an instant classic that was a thriller to the end. The Cardinals have the talent to play with Clemson and any other team in the country, and it would be thrilling to see them in the College Football Playoff.

Do you think any team in the country relishes playing Jackson or this Cardinals’ offense at any time this postseason?

What’s overlooked on this Louisville team is the defense. The Cardinals are outscoring opponents 52.5-22.7, giving up just 3.2 yards per rush attempt and only 1,296 passing yards (Louisville has 2,321).

Ohio State lost at Penn State. Texas A&M looked outmatched at Alabama. Those are probably the two other teams worthy of this conversation at this point. Louisville is the best one-loss team in the country and maybe even better than some of the undefeated squads.