football Edit

Twitter Tuesday: Running backs, CFB Playoff, Clay Helton, Ohio State

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Our weekly Twitter Tuesday mailbag continues this week, with National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell answering your questions from social media. Here are numerous questions, including one about the best running back in college football.

MORE: Saturday shine, shame | How close is Penn State to being elite?

I’m going with a local favorite here in AJ Dillon from Boston College. Local that is, to me because he’s from Connecticut and played high school in Massachusetts. I know he got banged up a bit this past weekend, but his combination of size and speed makes him the best running back in college football right now over Jonathan Taylor, Bryce Love and others. Benny Snell is up there from Kentucky as well and of course you can’t count out Travis Etienne, Justice Hill and Eno Benjamin and others.

But, regardless of year and draft eligibility, give me Dillon because he’s just so big and special compared to the others. If you haven’t had a chance to see Dillon, check him out the next time you can and you won’t be disappointed.

Clemson, because of how bad the ACC is this year. If anyone thinks an undefeated Notre Dame team will be left out, they are crazy, and we all know Alabama and Ohio State are in if they go undefeated. That leaves Clemson and Oklahoma and the Sooners will have played a tough enough schedule to get in. Clemson will be left out because the Tigers don’t play enough good teams. The ACC is really bad this year, I mean really bad, and it could hurt Clemson in the end.

You have to think Ohio State is the team here. The Buckeyes have so much talent, especially when Nick Bosa returns healthy, that I can’t think of another team that can compete. Georgia has excellent talent as does LSU, but Alabama is overall No. 1 and Ohio State is No. 2 to me with Clemson No. 3.

No, I don’t think he is the solution for USC, not after the beginning of this season. There is no way this USC team, with so much talent, should be 3-2 overall with losses to Stanford and Texas and narrow victories over Washington State and Arizona.

The USC higher ups need to take a strong look at Helton at the end of this season to see if they can upgrade at the head coaching position because he’s not utilizing the talent as much as he should be. USC could end up 9-3 overall and it will look like a good season, but he doesn’t seem to be the guy for the job because the Trojans should always win their division and be in the playoff discussion.

I was on the fence with Helton before this season but so far USC has been so underwhelming that it’s getting close to the time to make a move.

Yes, clearly the Buckeyes have what it takes to get back to the playoff. They have an elite quarterback in Dwayne Haskins, a great running game with backs that can move the ball through the air as well, solid wide receivers and a very good offensive line. On defense, the talent is there as well with one of the best defensive lines in football, athletic linebackers and young and aggressive defensive backs. After the win over Penn State, the Big Ten is there for the taking and the playoff berth that comes with that as well. Ohio State is the best team in the Big Ten and the best team in that conference will end up in the playoffs, so it’s clear the Buckeyes are on their way.

I love how everyone thinks Alabama plays no one because Arkansas State, Louisiana and The Citadel are on the schedule. What about the other nine games? Alabama has already played Louisville, a tough out of conference opponent, as well as Ole Miss and Texas A&M and have plenty of tough games left. Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee may be down opponents, but they are still a challenge while LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn are very tough outs.

In the last three seasons, Alabama played No. 3 Florida State, No. 20 USC and No. 20 Wisconsin. It’s not like Alabama ducks out of conference opponents. Every team schedules cupcakes and Alabama will always have its share, but they always have a team or two that is a tough out as well in their schedule outside the SEC. The anger just comes from Alabama dominating everyone so handily that it looks like their schedule is so weak, but that’s not the case.

For Notre Dame fans, they better hope Brandon Wimbush only appears in mop up duty in blowouts because Ian Book looks so much better in that offense. In fact, it’s hard to understand why Wimbush was the selection as the starter in the first place. If Book gets injured, then we will see a lot of Wimbush, but beyond that he’s going to sit the bench, wait his turn and enter games when they are out of reach for the opponent. And Notre Dame fans will be very happy with that.

I’m not sure if they are one player away, but it’s a good analogy. The problem is that when Clemson was “Clemsoning” the Tigers were losing to less talented teams without explanation. Penn State is losing, and blowing leads, to more talented teams like Ohio State, so the comparison doesn’t work as much.

And you could argue that Saquon Barkley, the best running back prospect out of college in years, was a transcendent player and Penn State still couldn’t get the job done. I like Trace McSorley as a quarterback. He’s a playmaker, and so what position do the Nittany Lions need an elite playmaker to excel at to take the next step? That’s the big question they haven’t answered.