With college football currently in the midst of its usual dead period during the peak summer months, I felt it a good time to ask our followers on Twitter for a few mailbag questions.
Q1: “Where is Arch Manning headed?” – @bmoorecfb
If you follow college football enough to be reading this site, you know all about prized recruit Arch Manning by now. The Arch Manning recruitment process is being kept pretty close to the vest, enough so that he does’t currently have any crystal balls submitted on 247sports.
I admittedly don’t follow much recruiting outside of what my Hurricanes are doing, but looking at Mannings final three teams of Alabama, Georgia, and Texas, my best guess is that Manning attends Georgia. Until Texas and Sark can show on field results, it’s hard for me to see them beating out arguably the two best programs in college football for the number one quarterback recruit.
When I look at Arch Manning, he just looks like he’d be right both in Georgia colors and running that Georgia offense.
Q2: “Can Georgia go back-to-back and can Kirby Smart start a winning streak over Nick Saban?” – @ChaseEdwards123
Georgia certainly can go back-to-back. I don’t necessarily think they will though. The Bulldogs lose quite a bit of talent from that dominate defense last season, though they retain key studs in Nolan Smith and Jalen Carter.
A lot of Georgia’s success this season will come down to how well they can reload. We know the talent is on the roster from many top tier recruiting classes, but will those players transition and play up that level in new starting roles? If they struggle, can they rely on Stetson Bennett in close matchups? Do they make a move to one of the various high-star quarterbacks on the roster?
One thing in Georgia’s favor this season is that the schedule isn’t very intimidating, even from an SEC perspective. Oregon and Florida are in year one with brand new head coaches, and Auburn is in quite a bit of disarray as head coach Bryan Harsin is stuck in an old timey standoff with boosters and the admin.
As for the question of whether or not Kirby can create a win streak over Nick Saban, assuming the teams meet in Atlanta again, I wouldn’t rule it out, but I certainly don’t like the odds when looking at this seasons Crimson Tide squad.
Q3: “FMK a program for the next 5 years: Tennessee, Baylor, Michigan” – @keanugeebs
I really like this question, both because its unique and the programs involved all have plenty of hype around them.
F: Michigan – I’m going with Michigan here largely because of last seasons success. Jim Harbaugh finally broke through, beating Ohio State and winning the Big Ten on the way to a playoff birth. So why F instead of M? Because Ohio State isn’t going anywhere. The Buckeyes had a down season because of a lackluster defensive effort all year, but the challenge now is for the Wolverines to reload after losing several key pieces to that team.
One thing going in Michigans favor: should the Big Ten eliminate divisions, it should open the door for better access to the Big Ten Championship. I like what I saw last year, but not enough to make this any more than a one night stand.
M: Baylor – I’m choosing to marry Baylor in what is ultimately an easy answer: Texas and Oklahoma are on the way out, leaving an opening atop the Big 12 for the reigning Champions. Dave Aranda seems pretty committed to the program, and whether you or I like it or not, the Big 12 is still going to be considered a power conference once the Longhorns and Sooners bolt to the SEC.
I don’t know if Baylor will make a playoff birth in the next five seasons, but they could certainly win a few conference championships and play in a few New Years Six prestige bowls in that time. It’s a damn good time to Sic ‘Em.
K: Tennessee – First off, I like what I am seeing from the Vols! I want that on the record. However, they still play in the SEC and, as noted with the Baylor decision, here comes Texas and Oklahoma in the next year or two.
I certainly think Tennessee is on the up and up, all things considered, but its still a steep hill to climb when trying to contend in a conference with Alabama and Georgia, both from a coaching standpoint as well as overall roster talent. Once the pods (sorry, Sankey, that’s what we’re calling it) are announced, I could potentially change my tune, but until then, the Vols are still the least appealing of these three options.
Q4: “Any strong 2023 NFL Draft takes?” – @justincripe
Absolutely. Tyler Van Dyke goes number one overall after winning the Heisman and leading Miami to a National Championship.
I am still on the Spencer Rattler train. Not to say I think he’s the best quarterback in this draft class (its potentially quite deep), but if Rattler can reduce his “f- it” plays from, like, 20 to 10 percent I think there is something to work with here.
Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs are the premier running back prospects at this stage, but don’t sleep on Sean Tucker from Syracuse. He’s not as elusive as the other guys, but he’s really tough to bring down and will be a valued commodity amongst NFL teams. Selfishly would have liked to seen him transfer to a better program and offense this off-season.
Will Anderson is far and away the best player and edge rusher going into next season, but I’m also extremely high on Isaiah Foskey from Notre Dame. I think there is top ten potential and the decision to come back to school could easily result in an Aidan Hutchinson style draft rise. Keep an eye out for him when the Irish take on Ohio State this fall.