football Edit

Three-Point Stance: Key commits, top hires, more

National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here looking at some big recent commitments, the best hires since Dabo Swinney and a random thought on re-alignment.

MORE: Is MIchigan closing talent gap on Ohio State?

CROSSOVER SERIES: Would LeBron or Zion have been better at football?

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022: Top 100

Rivals Transfer Tracker

*****

1. KEY COMMITS OF THE WEEK 

Junior Colson
Junior Colson (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

It hasn’t been as busy a week as the last few, but there have been some key commitments around college football. Here are some that stand out.

DB Marquis Groves-Killebrew, Georgia (2022) — A great start to the 2022 class for Kirby Smart. Groves-Killebrew has good size for a young prospect and elite coverage skills. He’s one of the top lock-down corners in the 2022 class.

OL Jaeden Roberts, Auburn Roberts is a massive road-grader and physically ready to impact early. Auburn is recruiting Texas very well with the addition of Chad Morris.

DE Zaire Patterson, Clemson Patterson is a bit raw, but he’s tall and long and has a great frame to build out. He’s an excellent athlete.

QB Jalen Kitna, Florida Kitna has good bloodlines (his father is former NFL QB Jon Kitna) and is expected to have a big senior season after a very average junior year.

LB Chaz Chambliss, Georgia One of UGA’s top targets in the 2021 class, Chambliss is an instinctual tackler who wraps up and rarely takes a false step.

ATH Jaydon Hood, Michigan He could impact on either side of the ball, but defense will be his focus. This is a nice get from a big-time program in Saint Thomas Aquinas in Florida.

QB Chayden Peery, Georgia Tech A very good decision-maker, Peery rarely makes mistakes and won’t put Tech in bad situations often.

LB Junior Colson, Michigan Colson can cover a lot of ground and loves to hit. This is another important get in SEC country for Harbaugh.

DB Denzel Burke, Ohio State More proof that Ohio State recruits nationally as well as anyone, Burke is another nice defensive back grab from Arizona for the Buckeyes.

ATH Charles Montgomery, Florida Montgomery can play many roles but he will likely be a slot receiver who can also take inside hand-offs and reverses to the house. He’s a weapon.

OL Sai Mapakaitolo, USC Mapakaitolo has room to fill out and is an exceptional run-blocker who just needs some work in pass protection. He’s raw, but he could end up really good.

TE Leo Blackburn, Georgia Tech A tall, skinny athlete, he will likely be a flex tight end because he will get so big, but he has some wide receiver skills. He’s just learning the game as a receiver.

OT Jakiah Leftwich, Georgia Tech A massive tackle with athleticism, Leftwich is a key get for Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

RB Malik Newton, Pitt Newton is a big and physical back who plays excellent competition and continues Pitt’s success in Virginia Beach.

TE Jack Pugh, Wisconsin Pugh is a big target and a nice get from Ohio. Wisconsin has success with tight ends, and he should be a good one down the line.

S Jalen Stroman, Virginia Tech Stroman is a hard hitter and a physical kid who will be a leader for the Hokies in the secondary down the line.

DT Nigel Tate, Boston College BC continues to recruit well in Maryland and DC, and Tate is athletic and agile for a big man.

*****

2. BEST COACHING HIRES SINCE 2008

Lincoln Riley
Lincoln Riley (AP Images)

Last week in my Correct Me If I’m Wrong section I mentioned that Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma was the best hire since Dabo Swinney among coaches who are still coaching in college football. That led to some chatter, so I’ll dive deeper. Here are my top 10. You’ll notice no Urban Meyer here, because he’s not coaching, but he would have been No. 1. Swinney was hired in December of 2008.

1. Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma Riley is 36-6 and has Oklahoma as a consistent playoff team without a great conference or many key national games. He’s also produced some NFL quarterback talent huh?

2. Ed Orgeron, LSU A case for Coach O could easily be made here with his 40-9 record in a tougher conference and a national title. In fact, not having him No 1 didn’t go over well with many. I could easily flip him with Riley.

3. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State Fisher was hired after Dabo and won a national title before him at FSU. He’s a good hire for Texas A&M, but was a home run for the ‘Noles until things went sideways.

4. Kirby Smart, GeorgiaKirby is 44-12 and has come a play away from a national title. And his recruiting has been off the charts.

5. Ryan Day, Ohio State Day has only been around one full season and yes he inherited a great program from Meyer, but he’s a great coach and already has a playoff appearance on his resume. A national title will happen.

6. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame Kelly is 92-37 at Notre Dame and has been to a national title game. Dealing with academic restrictions, he’s done a great job.

7. James Franklin, Penn State Frankin is 56-23 and has won a Big Ten title. He also dealt with massive depth issues due to NCAA sanctions and has done an amazing job.

8. Dan Mullen, Florida Mullen is 21-5 so far at Florida and while he hasn’t been around as long as others it’s clear he has the Gators charging towards an SEC East title.

9. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin Chryst is 52-16 in his tenure at Wisconsin and always has the Badgers in the thick of things.

10. PJ Fleck, Minnesota This was a tough call between Fleck and Jim Harbaugh, but it’s a lot harder to win at Minnesota.

So wait. No Harbaugh? Harbaugh has a solid record of 47-18 since taking over at Michigan, but he still hasn’t won his division, much less the Big Ten overall. And let’s face it, Michigan is a much easier job to take over and rebuild than most, so Harbaugh barely misses the cut.

*****

BRING ON THE 'POWER FOUR' 

And finally today, are you tired of crappy out-of-conference games? Are you sick and tired of the Big 12 always falling short overall compared to the other Power Five conferences when it comes to quantity of teams. I have a solution. It’s called the Power Four, and here’s how it works.

The Big 12 is gone. See ya. There will be three 16-team conferences and one 17-team conference (thanks Notre Dame) and the winner of each conference goes to the playoff. All games are in conference every year with the only one per year game exception that allows for games against other Power Five schools. After all, we still want to see Notre Dame-USC and others, right? But what about the Group of Five? Sorry, you will have to pull a UCF and go undefeated to miss the playoff. Let’s be real, a Group of Five team isn’t going to make the playoff anyhow.

Here are the four conferences:

THE BIG 16

East: Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers, Maryland, Indiana. Add Kansas State from the Big 12.

West: Wisconsin, Northwestern, Nebraska, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Purdue. Add Iowa State from the Big 12.

My take: This doesn’t change much in the Big Ten, but Iowa State and Iowa can continue their rivalry and Kansas State would make some waves here and there.

*****

SEC

East: Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Missouri. Add Kansas from the Big 12.

West: Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Arkansas. Add Texas Tech from the Big 12.

My take: Poor Kansas and poor Texas Tech, but no need to add more power to the conference right?

*****

ACC

Coastal: Miami, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Pitt, Georgia Tech, Duke, North Carolina. Add West Virginia from the Big 12.

Atlantic: Clemson, Florida State, Syracuse, NC State, Boston College, Louisville, Wake Forest. Add TCU from the Big 12 and Notre Dame.

My take: West Virginia would be great in the Coastal and would get that Pitt rivalry going on the field and in recruiting. TCU would cause some problems, and Notre Dame in the same division as Clemson would be awesome.

*****

PAC-16

North: Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, Stanford, Washington State, Washington. Colorado moves to North. Baylor moves from Big 12.

South: USC, Utah, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA. Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State added from Big 12.

My take: Moving Colorado north makes sense with so many south-central teams coming in. The South would be amazing with USC, Texas and Oklahoma all battling at the top, along with other quality teams like Utah and Arizona State.

*****

Smart? Stupid? Otherwise? I know it’s impossible and won’t happen, but it sure is fun to imagine it. The ACC and the Pac-16 would certainly be much more interesting than they are now. This isn’t life-altering by any means, but every game would be at least interesting, and we’d have no more padded scores and stats from wins over San Jose State, Wofford and others.