Tuesday Tweetbag: Who can beat FSU, the real UCLA and more


Week 5 college football action is in the books, so we decided to fire up the Tuesday Tweetbag to tackle the burning topics on your mind this season about everything from top pro prospects to the best teams in the sport.

Feel free to submit your questions to @BryanDFischer on Twitter each Monday or early Tuesday morning to get them answered every week. Without further ado, let the smorgasbord of questions commence.

4-0 might be 4-0, but in the age of the College Football Playoff selection committee, how you win is also a factor. There's no doubt that Florida State looks vulnerable and certainly does not deserve to be labeled as the No. 1 team in the country. Jameis Winston does not look as sharp on the field, the offensive line is not getting the push many expected from a veteran group, and the defensive line depth has taken a serious hit in the past few weeks. There's plenty of talent on the Seminoles' roster, but it just hasn't shown up yet.

I can tell you Wake Forest won't be an issue this week, and Syracuse might not be either despite threatening Notre Dame at one point. I do think the Irish, despite the game being in Tallahassee, represent the biggest challenge to FSU. Everett Golson looks vastly improved, and the loss of those suspended starters from before the season have not made as big an impact as we thought. Notre Dame has a strong running game, and its front seven is better than one would expect with so many new faces seeing snaps. This team's played in big games before, so if anybody can do it, I'd say they can. After that? It might just be Virginia with that terrific defense.

The Bruins' dominant performance in Tempe was a game many expected to see earlier this season. For the first time all year, they put together a complete game, dominating on offense with big plays, giving up yards but few points on defense and making some big-time special-teams plays. That massive win illustrated UCLA's potential as a CFB playoff contender, even if it's the only time we've seen it out of them this year.

That said, the real test will come at the Rose Bowl in a few weeks when Oregon rolls into town. Folks are back on the Bruins' bandwagon, but the team isn't a true Pac-12 and playoff contender until they beat the Ducks.

That's the scenario that is absolutely fascinating when it comes to the committee at the end of the year. There's no question that the SEC West is the vastly superior division this season, and I think even Arkansas would make some noise in the other side of the standings.

Here's the thing, if it's a one-loss Georgia that pulls the upset over an undefeated SEC West team, I think both would get in the top four. If it's a two-loss Bulldogs over a West team, I would lean toward just the West team getting in, or possibly a different team out of that division. The difficult thing about this scenario is other leagues and their contenders. If Florida State, Michigan State and/or Oregon stumbles, then it's easier to see two SEC teams in the four.

Having covered recruiting extensively prior to last year, I was a huge fan of Deshaun Watson out of high school and coming into Chad Morris' system. The future is bright and kudos to the coaching staff for going with the freshman over a guy who has put in the time as a backup because it's the right move for the team going forward. Watson's a little further along as a passer than expected and really adds a nice second dimension as a runner.

Given how well Dabo Swinney and his crew have recruited, the presence of Watson under center might even make Clemson one of the front-runners in the ACC next year depending on which players Florida State loses to the draft.

I had a little back-and-forth with some folks about the bottom-tier jobs in the Big 12. I think the Kansas job is the most difficult in the league, but it's not that much harder than difficult gigs t Kansas State and Iowa State. I think the facilities, athletic staff and junior college connections make the Wildcats a little more attractive than the Jawhawks once Bill Snyder leaves. Iowa State has the benefit of being able to sell the Big 12 to Midwest kids while also maintaining ties to Texas and the South.

Either way, none of those three places are easy to win at, and the reasons why they occupy the bottom rungs of the Big 12 coaching ladder depend on your perspective.

Now that we have the statement from the school that was released at 1 a.m. ET, we have a slightly clearer picture of what happened and why.

First off, you have to feel for the situation Shane Morris is in. Nobody wants to be in the middle of a controversy, and yet he finds himself in one he couldn't have predicted when he committed to Hoke and company early in the recruiting process. Hopefully he'll be OK health-wise sooner rather than later.

Here's the thing about this whole thing, though: I find it incredulous that nobody on the coaching staff, nobody on the training staff, nobody in the box or a teammate on the sideline didn't see Morris get up and look shaky after that hit. His offensive linemen, who helped him and saw him up close, should have just told him to go down if the coaching staff did not. He should have never gone back in the game, and that was a systemic failure at Michigan that ultimately falls on Brady Hoke as the head coach. After the game, things have only gotten worse with the athletic department's handling of the whole situation. They have bungled things from a PR perspective as badly as possible.

That said, Hoke won't be fired for this incident, but because of his bad record and rough style of play. This whole thing is tough to stomach if you're a Wolverines fan, but it's been made worse by conflicting statements and a terrible mishandling of a sensitive issue.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.

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