In today’s Fact or Fiction I look at three big recent topics in college football and decide whether the statement is indeed FACT or if it’s FICTION.
This past week I graded every Power Five program on QB development over the last decade and gave Michigan a C. To me it’s a fair grade as some of the Michigan quarterbacks had solid numbers during this stretch, like Jake Rudock and Shea Patterson.
The consensus on The Fort message board at our Michigan site TheWolverine.com was that a C was a very favorable grade. Many felt a D or F would be warranted and spoke to the misuse of Devin Gardner and the inability of Jim Harbaugh to take his QBs to the next level, which is also fair.
A grade of C is a low grade in my ranking system so I think it’s fair.
We know Clemson will coast through the ACC and D.J. Uiagalelei will likely put up monster numbers for the Tigers. But we don’t know about Young and Alabama. With Najee Harris, Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith gone, Alabama has to reload on offense and Young will be cutting his teeth with new offensive standouts.
That’s why the play of Young is so important to Alabama’s success next season and he will have a much bigger impact on whether the Crimson Tide get back to the playoff or not.
Heading into last season, fresh off of a 4-8 season, Dave Doeren was on the hot seat according to most. However, NC State surprised with a 7-3 ACC record and an 8-4 overall record. So why would this question even be asked? Because the in-conference wins were over Wake Forest, Pitt, Virginia, Florida State, Syracuse and Georgia Tech — not exactly a murderers’ row. Those teams were a combined 19-44 and none of them finished above .500 in conference.
The losses came to a very average Virginia Tech team, North Carolina, Miami and a very average Kentucky team in the bowl game. One could argue that the only quality win was over Group of Five Liberty by a score of 15-14.
Next season’s schedule has Clemson and Boston College back on it as well as North Carolina as always and Miami. Florida State is also expected to be better. I see a 6-6 season ahead for the Wolfpack, which should keep Doeren safe, but if it’s another step-back year who knows what the administration will do.
Doeren has been around for eight seasons now and has an overall winning record but is 10 games under .500 in a bad ACC. After a 4-8 mark in 2019 and a solid 2020, continued improvement will be needed as the Tar Heels get better on the field and in recruiting. Doeren will be safe but 6-6 could put him back on the hot seat.
I brought this question to the The Wolves’ Den message board at our NC State site TheWolfpacker.com and was essentially called unprofessional for asking it, so you know what NC State fans think. They agree with me it’s fiction but don’t see any trouble ahead for the head coach.