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Fact or Fiction: Nebraska's Chances in the B1G West, Kirby Smart's Salary, and Anthony Richardson's Potential

Kirby Smart

Kirby Smart

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image source="featured_image" img_size="large"][vc_column_text]In today’s Fact or Fiction, I look at three big recent topics in college football - Nebraska, Kirby Smart, and Anthony Richardson - and decide whether the statement is indeed FACT or if it’s FICTION.

Nebraska can compete for the Big Ten West title

Farrell’s take: FICTION

This came up on social media as I mentioned how well Nebraska has done in the transfer portal and that they could push for a winning season next year. And of course, some Nebraska fans took exception. So can a 3-9 team win the Big Ten West? No. I know Nebraska lost almost all close games last season and gave Oklahoma, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and others trouble. But let’s say 9-3 wins the West next season. That means six games that didn’t go their way last season need to fall their way this year. That’s a lot to ask. The schedule is easier with the Buckeyes and Spartans off the schedule but Michigan is still there as are division rivals Wisconsin and Iowa. Throw in Purdue and Minnesota and the schedule isn’t an easy one. They’d need to win three of those five games and run the table over Illinois, Rutgers, Northwestern, Indiana, Georgia Southern, and North Dakota. It doesn’t sound impossible but it’s very improbable so I’m going with Fiction. There is some worry about depth on the defensive line, they struggled stopping the run last year, and offensively they don’t have a marquee running back or wide receiver. They’ve added parts but haven’t we said this every season — this is the year Nebraska can breakthrough? Wisconsin and Iowa will be strong next season and always pound the ball and I think one of those two wins the West.

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Kirby Smart should be the highest paid coach in college football

Farrell’s take: FACT

Smart is up for a contract extension and why shouldn’t he make more than guys like Lincoln Riley, Brian Kelly, Mel Tucker, and others who haven’t won it all. And yes he should make even more than Nick Saban because he’s younger and his recruiting prowess has taken over college football. In the NFL the latest contract is the biggest one and it should be that way for these elite coaches in college football as well. The bar has been set this past season as LSU and USC lured away elite coaches. UGA should pony up to keep Smart right where he is.

Anthony Richardson has first-round talent

Farrell’s take: FACT

This was discussed as well a few times as 2023 NFL Mock Drafts came out following the 2022 NFL Draft. Quarterbacks like Will Levis and Tyler Van Dyke appeared in some mock first rounds and I’m not arguing against their talent. But trust me when I tell you that Richardson’s ceiling is right there with them and maybe higher. He’s big, mobile, and has elite arm talent and if he can stay healthy and put it all together he will be the talk of the draft. There are a lot of “ifs” but he has that ability.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]