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Three-Point Stance: Coaches under scrutiny, freshmen of the week, Heisman National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s thought-provoking Three-Point Stance is here with some thoughts on early hot seats for coaches, his Farrell Freshman Five and his Heisman list after Week 3 of the college football season.

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Kevin Sumlin
Kevin Sumlin (AP Images)

We are only three weeks into the season, and the Under Scrutiny Watch for head coaches is on. Notice I didn’t say hot seat, because that infers that every coach I name is about to be fired, which isn’t the case. Some coaches are either keeping themselves squarely on the Under Scrutiny Watch with awful performances or rising on the list with boneheaded moves.

Here are the biggest names on the list these days…

1. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M

2. Butch Jones, Tennessee

3. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

4. Mike Riley, Nebraska

5. Ed Orgeron, LSU

You’ll notice guys like Todd Graham, Steve Addazio, Bret Bielema and others aren’t on here because I’m focusing on guys who have either coached their way higher onto this list or are at major, national programs.

Sumlin entered the season under fire, and blowing a historic lead to UCLA in the opener might have sealed his fate.

Jones was expected to get another year after this season if he could get to 7-5, but losses like the one against Florida where coaching lost the game in the end really add to the heat of the seat.

Kelly has beaten two bad teams in Temple and Boston College, but his one-point loss to Georgia actually does help a bit as the Dawgs are legit. However, his postgame antics continue, and if he doesn’t reach eight wins this season, he could be searching for a new job.

Riley will likely get a fourth season, and he should, but that Northern Illinois loss is just so ugly it ramps up the pressure. If Nebraska loses to Rutgers or Illinois in the next couple of games, watch out.

And finally, Orgeron is only three games into his tenure, so he’s not really in trouble, but the way his team gave up against Mississippi State and the lack of offensive improvement doesn’t bode well.

If I were a betting man, I’d say Sumlin, Jones and Kelly are the most likely to be fired while Riley is safe and clearly Orgeron isn’t going anywhere, but none of these coaches are helping themselves early.


Marco Wilson
Marco Wilson (USA Today Sports Images)

It’s time for my Farrell Freshman Five again, the best true freshmen I saw this week. Keep in mind that I didn’t see every game or every play, but these are the players that stood out to me…

1. CB Marco Wilson, Florida: I went with him over C.J. Henderson, who has also been impressive with two pick sixes, because Wilson has been more consistent in coverage. He had seven tackles and a few pass break-ups in the win over Tennessee.

2. RB J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State: Yes, it was against Army, but once again he shows how impressive he is and how he can cut on a dime. Dobbins ran for 172 yards and two TDs and is 11th in the nation in rushing. He’s the first player to make this list twice. CeeDee Lamb almost made it twice as well and probably would have had he not been ejected in second quarter for targeting.

3. QB Sam Ehlinger, Texas: Yes, his QBR wasn’t good and yes, he threw two picks, but under duress much of the game and without his left tackle for a long stretch, Ehlinger still passed for 298 yards and two scores and looked beyond his years at times. His turnovers (two fumbles, including one in overtime) hurt, but without his effort, Texas doesn’t come close to pulling off the upset as the running game went nowhere.

4. QB Kellen Mond, Texas A&M: It didn't come against a great opponent at all (the Aggies faced ULL), but Mond still looked good and is starting to feel more comfortable. His 21-of-34, for 301-yard, three-touchdown (he rushed for one as well) performance was needed as he becomes the man moving forward.

5. WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan: Two catches for 52 yards and the key 79-yard punt return for a score could be his breakout game. With Tarik Black out for the season, DPJ could make this list more and more.


My Week 3 Heisman list looks very different from Week 2 as players box out for position. Here’s how it stands…

1. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma (last week - No. 1): Tulane isn’t much of a challenge, but Mayfield was again on fire with 331 yards and four scores. He’s completing 77 percent of his passes this year.

2. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State (last week - No. 6): He could have thrown for 800 yards against Pitt had Mike Gundy wanted him to, and his 72 percent completion rate and 11 touchdowns against one pick has him right behind Mayfield.

3. Saquon Barkley, Penn State (last week - No. 5): The rushing yards are a bit down, but his receiving skill continues to emerge. His 142 yards through the air in a victory over Georgia State were impressive.

4. Lamar Jackson, Louisville (last week - No. 2): Clemson made him look human, especially trying to run, but he still put up nearly 400 yards of offense and three scores. He’s a tick behind Mayfield and Rudolph because his passing efficiency is a tad lower.

5. Jalen Hurts, Alabama (last week - No. 7): Ahead of Sam Darnold? Yep. It’s hard for me to put Darnold higher when he’s one off of the national lead for interceptions. Hurts is the most controversial name on this list every week, but he has completed 68 percent of his passes with four scores and zero picks and rushed for 312 yards and three more scores for the No. 1 team in the nation.

6. Christian Wilkins, Clemson (last week - NR): Wilkins needs to be on this list as the most dominating defender in college football. We all know he’ll never win or be a finalist, but he frees up so many people on defense, it’s amazing. Just watch the film.

7. Sam Darnold, USC (last week - No. 4): He made a couple of amazing throws against Texas and one of his picks wasn’t his fault at all, but he’s been frustratingly inconsistent all season and the Texas defense looked better than they are against him.

8. Royce Freeman, Oregon (last week - No. 8): With 460 yards rushing for the undefeated Ducks and nine touchdowns, Freeman needs more attention.

Fell off: Josh Rosen, UCLA