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.
CROSSOVER SERIES: Would LeBron or Zion have been better at football?
CLASS OF 2022: Top 100
1. KEY COMMITS OF THE WEEK
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.
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.
2. BEST COACHING HIRES SINCE 2008
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.
4. Kirby Smart, Georgia — Kirby 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
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.
My take: Poor Kansas and poor Texas Tech, but no need to add more power to the conference right?
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.
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.