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Three-Point Stance: What if, best football-hoops combos, receivers

Rivals National Columnist Mike Farrell is here with the five “what-if” college football scenarios, a look at five programs that are good in basketball and football and a preview of the 2022 NFL Draft at wide receiver.

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MORE: Quarterback steals in the 2021 NFL Draft

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1. WHAT IF...?

Trevor Lawrence
Trevor Lawrence (Getty Images)

Imagine how different college football would be if these things happened over the last few seasons.

1. Oklahoma had a defense – Oklahoma gave up the following point totals in the playoff: 37, 48 (2 OT), 45 and 63. Imagine if in just two of those games, against Clemson and Georgia the first two playoff appearances, the Sooners could have shut down the other team just a bit. Things got ugly against Clemson in the second half when the defense wore down and it was simply a shootout against Georgia. Oklahoma gave up 530 yards to Clemson and 527 to Georgia and those are the two games I feel the Sooners could have won. They would have faced Alabama both times and might have lost, but the Alabama teams that lost to Deshaun Watson and beat Jake Fromm in overtime weren’t as dominant as LSU in 2019 and ‘Bama in 2020.

2. Nick Saban kept Jalen Hurts in – Nick Saban is a genius, we all know that, but many questioned when he put a freshman named Tua Tagovailoa in the national title game against Georgia trailing 13-0. But replacing Jalen Hurts was just the thing that was needed and the rest is history. If Hurts stays in, Georgia had his number and the 1980 chants are gone.

3. Trevor Lawrence chose Tennessee – It could be an urban myth, but here’s how the story goes: Tee Higgins and Trevor Lawrence were all set to commit to Tennessee (Higgins actually did) but they both wanted Amari Rodgers to be part of the class. Butch Jones said no to Rodgers and the rest is history. Now there are differing accounts of this, and the Vols were out of the running by the time Trevor picked Clemson, but did the denial of Rodgers have something to do with it? Imagine Lawrence, Higgins and Rodgers at Tennessee and the recruits that would have followed?

4. Nebraska liked Joe Burrow – Joe Burrow’s dad, Jim Burrow, played college football at Nebraska and that’s where Joe wanted to play out of high school. The problem? Nebraska didn’t want him so he went to Ohio State. Then when Burrow was transferring he reached out to Nebraska to gauge interest again but the Huskers had Adrian Martinez and were all set. Cincinnati was supposed to be the destination before Ed Orgeron worked his magic on Joe and his dad and the rest is history.

5. Justin Fields played over Jake Fromm – Jake Fromm led Georgia to the national title game as a true freshman but regressed a bit each year after that. As a sophomore in the 2018 season he started while uber-recruit Justin Fields saw spot time and wasn’t utilized well. Fields transferred to Ohio State and led the Buckeyes to the playoff twice while Georgia hasn’t gotten back. Imagine if Fields were the man in Athens the last two years?

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2. WHICH PROGRAMS HAVE THE BEST FOOTBALL-BASKETBALL COMBO?

Nate Oats
Nate Oats (Getty Images)

This is arguably the craziest NCAA tournament in history with many top seeds stumbling like Daniel Jones in the open field. So who’s good at football and basketball based on this season. How about these names?

1. Alabama — The defending national champs in football are headed to the Sweet 16 in basketball. SEC titles in both sports. Alabama is a hoops school after all, right?

2. Oklahoma — The Sooners won another Big 12 title in football and while the Sooners were bounced by No. 1 Gonzaga in hoops, they are consistently a threat in March.

3. Oregon — The Ducks lost their bowl game to Iowa State but they won another Pac-12 title and the hoops team is a No. 7 seed and off to the Sweet 16 after dominating Iowa.

4. Oklahoma State — The Cowboys quietly went 8-3 last season, won a bowl game against Miami and had a solid hoops season. They are one of five teams to win a bowl game and a game in the NCAA hoops tournament.

5. Wisconsin – The Badgers are also one of only five teams to win a bowl game and win a tournament game this year. Wisconsin has always been steady.

Teams that lost out with bad losses? Ohio State, Clemson, Florida, Texas.

Is your team missing? Make your case.

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3. LOOKING AHEAD TO THE 2022 DRAFT CLASS AT RECEIVER

George Pickens
George Pickens (Getty Images)

The 2020 NFL Draft was a great one for wide receivers with six being taken in the first round and value picks like Tee Higgins and Chase Claypool being taken after that. The 2021 class looks even better led by Ja’Marr Chase, Devonta Smith, Rashod Bateman and Jaylen Waddle. And there is a ton of second-round value to be had.

But looking ahead to 2022, it looks like a potentially down year unless a few guys emerge and step up. Here’s a quick look at the best NFL prospects coming back to college football at wide receiver.

1. George Pickens, Georgia – I like Pickens as WR1 for the 2022 NFL Draft ahead of some others that are getting a bit more attention. With a quarterback he should showcase his skills even better and he has the size and catch radius as well as agility to be special.

2. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State – I think there is a bit of a drop off after Pickens and I like Wilson because of his size and ball skills. He has the potential to be an elite outside receiver and I think he will have a huge season next year.

3. Justyn Ross, Clemson – Ross is a question mark because he’s coming back from injury but he has shown all the skills to be a first-rounder. We will see how he responds after missing the 2020 season.

4. Ty Fryfogle, Indiana – Fryfogle has a chance to surpass everyone on this list with his size and strength. Coming back for an extra year could benefit him greatly. He could easily be WR1 by next year.

5. Chris Olave, Ohio State – This may seem low as many have Olave as the best receiver coming back to college but I love him as a college player and just like him as a pro. He has OK size and speed but the others ahead of him are longer, bigger and likely faster.

6. David Bell, Purdue – Bell still needs to fill out a bit but he has a great frame and he’s been beyond productive since the start of his career.