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Mind of Mike: Should Iowa be No. 1?


National columnist Mike Farrell bounces around college football topics that are inside the Mind of Mike.

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Iowa receivers Keagan Johnson, left, and Charlie Jones

Iowa receivers Keagan Johnson, left, and Charlie Jones (AP Images)

Georgia is No. 1 in the country, but honestly a case could be made for Iowa. While a lot of fans seem to grumble that Iowa is too high at No. 2, take a look at this. Iowa has a win comparable to Georgia’s win over Clemson if you think about it as the the Hawkeyes beat preseason top 10 program Iowa State. Iowa State has disappointed for sure, but so has Clemson, so they can be put in the same category.

Iowa also has a win that is comparable to – and arguably more impressive – than Georgia’s win over Arkansas. While the Hawkeyes didn’t throttle Penn State like Georgia did against Arkansas, the Nittany Lions were ranked higher and had solid wins over Wisconsin and Auburn. Arkansas could also claim solid wins over Texas and Texas A&M, but a loss to Ole Miss puts the Razorbacks at two losses to Penn State’s one.

UGA has a win over then-No. 18 Auburn, while Iowa has beaten then-No. 11 Indiana. But neither Auburn nor Indiana are still in the Top 25.

I’d have UGA No. 1 as well, but it’s not so ridiculous to have Iowa at No. 2 as some people say. Two wins over top 10 teams for Iowa vs. two wins over top 10 teams for UGA and an argument exists – as I’ve pointed out – that Iowa might have more impressive wins overall.

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Spencer Rattler

Spencer Rattler (AP Images)

What should Spencer Rattler do if he’s not named the starter at Oklahoma? After all, it looks like Caleb Williams is going to get the nod moving forward with Rattler rumored to be working with the second team. Rattler has a few choices — he can simply accept the backup role and wait for his chance again, he can shut it down and prepare for the NFL Draft, where his stock has plummeted, or he can jump into the transfer portal and try to revive his career someplace else (Georgia, LSU or back out West somewhere).

The obvious answer is be a team player and accept your new role, but with so many expectations coming into the season and being called a first-rounder early and often, it’s hard to keep an ego in check and give up on those dreams. Personally, if Williams is the guy moving forward, I think Rattler should hit the portal, find a new home and rehab his image elsewhere for the 2023 NFL Draft.

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I have a few myths I’d like to quash for the 2021 college football season. Here they are …

UGA’s defense will lead the Bulldogs to a national title: The defense is amazing and the numbers are off the charts, but somewhere along the line UGA will get into a shootout. It could be in the SEC title game or the playoff, but at some point the Bulldogs will need to win a huge game with their offense. And that should worry fans a bit.

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Oklahoma will run the table: There are too many weaknesses on this Oklahoma team to think the Sooners will win out regardless of who plays quarterback. The offensive line is still a massive problem and the defense comes and goes. Everyone thinks clearing Texas will have them undefeated and in the playoff, but just watch — the Sooners are going to lose one of their next six games.

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Ohio State will lose to either Penn State, Michigan State or Michigan: The Buckeyes have Penn State and Michigan State at home and they are clearly a more talented team than either. Michigan on the road will be hard, for sure, but this is a team that is coming together offensively, and I see signs of the defense improving. It’s a gauntlet of a schedule – and Indiana always gives them trouble as well – but I see them winning out.

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Ed Orgeron will be fired at the end of the season: I know I’m in the minority here, and losing Kayshon Boutte for the season doesn’t help, but I feel Orgeron will be back next season. The rest of the schedule is absolutely brutal, with Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas A&M still to come and a 4-8 season is really possible, but this isn’t a Gene Chizik situation, in my book. Yes, the Tigers are playing poorly and down to their competition at times, but this is still a young team and the roster is loaded with talent for a run next season. Pushing the man who won you a national title in 2019 out the door seems premature.

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The Pac-12 is out of the playoff picture: Oregon still has a chance. It doesn’t help that the Ducks don’t have many good teams left on the schedule and they could easily stumble to an inferior team on the road, but if they win out they have a chance. The win over Ohio State will become more impressive as the season continues, and I see teams ahead of them like Penn State, Michigan and Oklahoma dropping games that could push them up many needed slots. They need some help, for sure — like a Cincinnati loss and an Iowa loss — but they aren’t dead yet, as many think.



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