In today’s Fact or Fiction national columnist Mike Farrell looks at three big recent topics in college football and decide whether the statement is indeed FACT or if it’s FICTION.
1. I was a bit hasty in my condemnation of Texas A&M.
Farrell’s Take: FACT. I came out pretty strong against the Aggies last week when they cancelled their appearance in the Gator Bowl against Wake Forest. After all, I argued, Mississippi State and LSU pushed through and played despite limited roster numbers in 2020. Since then Hawaii, Miami, Virginia and Boston College have all had to back out of bowl games due to limited rosters so perhaps I was a bit quick to judge.
I still hold Texas A&M at a higher standard than these other programs simply because of the level of bowl it was set to play in and the level of opponent. Originally, it felt like the Aggies could have waited longer to make a decision but, in hindsight, they actually made a quick decision that allowed the Demon Deacons to find a new bowl opponent.
No, Rutgers is not Texas A&M and the Aggies are a much more prominent national program than Hawaii, Virginia or Boston College, but in light of these other cancellations, being first to cancel isn’t as preposterous as I originally thought.
2. This is as bad as it’s been for Florida since 2017.
Farrell’s Take: FACT. Losing to a very average UCF team in a bowl game is bad, and that’s exactly how the Gators finished this awful 6-7 season. The Knights have long crowed that they are a better in-state program than Florida so to lose to the “2017 National Champions” is being kicked while down.
The horrible 2017 season for the Gators, when they finished 4-7 (3-5 in SEC) in Jim McElwain’s last season, was worse. The 2014 Gators under Will Muschamp were even worse than that, but this is still pretty bad. Dan Mullen was expected to make a push for the SEC East but instead he was fired and Billy Napier has some ugliness to clean up.
3. Deamonte Trayanum is making a mistake switching positions.
Farrell’s Take: FICTION. Deamonte Trayanum rushed for 691 yards in two seasons at Arizona State with 10 touchdowns and a 5.4 yards per carry average, but decided to leave the Sun Devils to head back home to Ohio and play for the Buckeyes as a linebacker. And he’s not making a mistake as many Sun Devils fans say.
Linebackers last a lot longer in football than running backs and often more are selected in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft. And if Trayanum becomes a starter for the Buckeyes you can bet he will get a ton of NFL attention.
Trayanum is a bit short at linebacker by NFL standards at 5-foot-11 but that won’t matter if he shows athleticism and makes plays. Eno Benjamin was great at Arizona State for two seasons as a running back but was drafted in the seventh round. Trayanum could end up as a higher pick.