Three-Point Stance: Top 10 jobs, most talented rosters, 2020
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with his list of the top 10 college football programs, the five most talented rosters and five teams that could break out next season.
1. THE TOP 10 JOBS IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL
The argument about the attractiveness of the Florida State job started, as many do, on social media. While many felt Florida State is still a top-10 job in college football, there were a surprising amount of people who felt that it is not nearly as attractive as it once was.
Here are the top-10 jobs in college football, based on their facilities, recruiting footprint, program tradition, recent success, fan support, location and ability to contend for a national championship.
1. Alabama – Nick Saban has made this the most coveted job in college football.
2. USC – The recruiting footprint is golden and the tradition and recent winning (Pete Carroll) overcomes the lack fan support.
3. Texas – The Longhorns have a great recruiting state, they’ve won it all in recent memory and the tradition is deep.
4. Ohio State – The Buckeyes own Ohio and are the only northern program to win a national title in recent years. Tradition and facilities are strong as well.
5. LSU – LSU this high? They have the best recruiting advantage of any team in the country, they’ve won national titles recently and the fan base and facilities are excellent.
6. Georgia – The state of Georgia is loaded with talent and the only thing keeping them down this list is the lack of a national title in recent years.
7. Oklahoma – Oklahoma doesn’t have a great recruiting territory but it won a national title in the last 20 years, has a great tradition and a great fan base.
8. Clemson – It’s simply amazing that Clemson is on this list because of what Dabo Swinney has done. They don’t have a great recruiting territory but the facilities are awesome, the fan base is excellent and the recent winning is only rivaled by Alabama.
9. Florida State – Here’s where the ‘Noles fit in. They can recruit their home state, they’ve won a title recently, the facilities are solid and the fan base is rabid.
10. Florida – No. 10 is a hard one because it could come down to many programs. But I’m going with Florida because they’ve won somewhat recently under Urban Meyer, Florida is a goldmine of talent and the fan base overcomes average facilities.
Wait, no Michigan? No Notre Dame? No Penn State? Keep in mind, when you make a list of 10 jobs, you have to limit it to 10 jobs. Michigan hasn’t won in a long time and is hurt by being up north. Notre Dame has played for a national championship recently but has to manage a rough recruiting landscape. Penn State? The Nittany Lions haven’t won it all in a long time as well and battle the elements in recruiting as well.
2. THE FIVE MOST TALENTED ROSTERS IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Another interesting argument I found myself in recently was which college football rosters are the most talented. By that I mean which program will produce the most-high level NFL players. Here are my top five:
1. Alabama – ‘Bama always tops this list as long as Saban is around and the embarrassment of riches is amazing. Starting with Tua Tagovaioloa at quarterback and the receivers Jerry Jeudy, Devonta Smith, Henry Ruggs and Jaylen Waddle you just start to scratch the surface. Najee Harris will be a great pro, Alex Leatherwood, Evan Neal and Jedrick Wills are future stars along the offensive line and the defense is loaded – Raekwon Davis, Terrell Lewis, Trevon Diggs, Xavier McKinney, Patrick Surtain, Anfernee Jennings and so on. Let’s not forget injured linebacker Dylan Moses and I haven’t even talked about the very young talent on the roster. This is ridiculous.
2. Clemson – I almost put the Tigers ahead of Alabama. That’s how loaded they are. Trevor Lawrence leads the way with Travis Etienne, Tee Higgins, Justyn Ross and a few others headlining the offense. On defense you have future NFL stars like Isaiah Simmons, Xavier Thomas, Tyler Davis, AJ Terrell and others. And let's not forget some young guys like Frank Ladson, Joseph Ngata, Jackson Carman, Sheridan Jones and others.
3. Ohio State – This was a tough call between the Buckeyes and LSU but I’m going with Ohio State. Justin Fields will be a high draft pick when it’s his turn and the offense is loaded with J.K. Dobbins, K.J. Hill, Garrett Wilson, Austin Mack as well as numerous offensive linemen. On defense they are even deeper with Chase Young, Jeffrey Okudah, Malik Harrison, Jordan Fuller, Damon Arnette and more. There’s a reason Ohio State is rolling over everyone.
4. LSU – The Tigers are always loaded with future NFL players but this could be its most talented team in years. Quarterback Joe Burrow leads the way and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is watching his stock rise. There are numerous wide receivers heading toward an NFL career led by Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase, and the offensive line has a ton of guys as well. Tight end Thaddeus Moss is also an NFL player. On defense, Tyler Shelvin and Rashard Lawrence are up front and all three linebackers should be NFL players. And the defensive backfield has three first-rounders in Grant Delpit, Kristian Fulton and Derek Stingley. Jacoby Stevens could also push for round one or two. It’s endless.
5. Georgia – No. 5 is a tough call and many teams could have slid in here but I like what Georgia has on its roster, especially in the younger group. Jake Fromm and D’Andre Swift are potential first-rounders and the offensive line is loaded with future pros. On defense, Eric Stokes, Richard LeCounte and Monty Rice should be taken in 2020. The young talent on the team is ridiculous led by Nolan Smith, Nakobe Dean, George Pickens, Dominick Blaylock, Zamir White, James Cook and others.
3. TEAMS THAT WILL BREAK OUT IN 2020
As I was going through the Power Five conference embarrassing teams, I began to think – which teams in each conference will break out next season? Here you go…
Big Ten – Purdue – Watch out for the Boilermakers next year with quarterback Jack Plummer and one of the best wide receiver combos in the country in Rondale Moore and David Bell. The defense has some young talent as well and it helps that they are in the Big Ten West. This season hasn’t been great, but next year they could make a run at the division.
SEC – Tennessee – I was going to go with Florida, but it won the SEC East recently and have been a top-10 team at times this year, so breaking out doesn’t really come to mind. The Vols are on a three-game winning streak and could finish with five wins in a row and a bowl game. After a very ugly start, Jeremy Pruitt has this team headed in the right direction. Is it enough to beat Georgia or Florida? Time will tell.
ACC – North Carolina – Sam Howell is the best quarterback, freshman or not, that no one talks about in the country and the influx of talent is coming with a great 2020 recruiting class. The ACC Coastal is a joke, so why can't the Tar Heels make a run to the top?
Pac-12 – Arizona State – The Sun Devils have shown signs of promise this season and they have young quarterback Jayden Daniels to lead the way. Yes, they will lose running back Eno Benjamin, but there is enough talent on this roster to perhaps push ahead of USC and Utah next year.
Big 12 – Kansas State – I wanted to go with Iowa State here but I’m not sure if Matt Campbell will be back after the coaching carousel turns. I really like head coach Chris Klieman and quarterback Skylar Thompson and there is a lot of young talent waiting in the wings. The Wildcats lose perhaps more than most Big 12 teams when it comes to starters, but there are a ton of guys waiting to step up.