Fact or Fiction: Ohio State will be the favorite to win it all in 2022

In today’s national columnist of Fact or Fiction Mike Farrell examines three recent big topics in college football and decides if each statement is really DONE or if it’s FICTION.

1. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the best wide receiver on the Ohio State roster.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba (USA Today Sports Images)

Farrell’s Opinion: DONE. Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson are great and both have had more touchdowns than Jaxon Smith-Njigba this season but have had more tricks and yards. After Smith-Njigba’s performance at the Rose Bowl with Olave and Wilson out, it’s clear to me that Smith-Njigba is the Buckeyes’ best receiver.

It is simply nowhere to be found as everyone in the country could see that almost every game would be targeted and Utah still had no chance to stop it. With 95 tricks for 1,606 yards and nine points this year, he could be a Heisman candidate next season with the return of CJ Stroud.

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2. Ohio State will be the all-time favorite next season.

CJ Stroud

CJ Stroud (USA Today Sports Images)

Farrell’s version: FICTION. It’s tempting, admit it. With Stroud, Smith-Njigba, TreVeyon Henderson, Marvin Harrison Jr., and more next year, it looks like the Ohio State crime will be unstoppable. But let’s all remember one thing: Alabama is still Alabama and Bryce Young will be back in 2022.

There is no doubt that Crimson Tide will be the team to beat next season, regardless of the outcome of the match for the national title. But the Buckeyes will clearly be favorites for the Big Ten playoffs, make no mistake.

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3. Sam Howell is still in the first round.

Sam Howell

Sam Howell (USA Today Sports Images)

Farrell’s version: FICTION. This is no longer likely to happen. One might overlook Sam Howell’s lack of height or perhaps some of the routes he had a hard time pitching before this season, but after an average year his shares have dropped to the point that he is unlikely to be selected in the first round.

Howell has only completed 62.5% of his passes this season and threw nine interceptions as he regressed slightly from his first two seasons. He’s shown he can make the ball run more, but that’s not what the NFL is looking for from him. Howell could still slip at the end of the first round if things broke down the right way, but that’s doubtful.

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