#1 ALABAMA (8-0) at #3 LSU (7-1); 8 PM ET; CBS … Can anybody beat Alabama? That’s the question swirling around college football with the initial CFP playoff rankings out this week. Actually the better question might be ‘Can anybody even stay close to Alabama.’ Indeed, through 8 games this year, the defending national champs have won every game by at least three TDs with an average margin of victory of 38 points. However, if the Tide is to be tested this season – at least in the regular season – it may be this weekend when they have to play LSU on Saturday evening. The Tigers don’t have the same talent level of Alabama, but they’ll be at home in front of a rabid crowd.
That talent level, though, will be tough to overcome. This was supposed to be something of a rebuilding year for Alabama, but somebody forgot to tell Nick Saban and his troops who figure to be one of the dominant teams at the 2019 draft. Indeed, Alabama has at least 4 legitimate first round prospects in OT Jonah Williams (#73, 6-5, 305, JR), DE Raekwon Davis (#99, 6-7, 320, JR), DT Quinnen Williams (#92, 6-3, 295, RSO), and FS Deionte Thompson (#14, 6-2, 200, JR). Alabama also has a number of other solid second-day candidates including MLB Mack Wilson (#30, 6-2, 240, JR), OLBs Christian Miller (#47, 6-3, 245, SR) and Anfernee Jennings (#33, 6-3, 270, JR), RB Damien Harris (#34, 5-10, 220, SR), C Ross Pierschbacher (#71, 6-3, 310, SR) and TE Irv Smith (#82, 6-4, 245, JR). Also keep an eye on DE Isaiah Buggs (#49, 6-5, 290, SR) who leads the team in sacks with 8.5, along with veteran OG Lester Cotton (#66, 6-3, 325, SR).
Fact is, too, that arguably Alabama’s best players aren’t even eligible for this year’s draft. Sophomore QB Tua Tagovailoa (#13, 6-1, 220, SOPH), for example, appears to be the clear Heisman Trophy front runner at this time as he’s thrown for 25 scores without a pick so far this fall. Meanwhile, WR Jerry Jeudy (#4, 6-0, 195, SOPH) has emerged as a truly dangerous big-play target at receiver. And on it goes for the Tide.
LSU won’t have quite the same impact at the upcoming draft, but does have at least a couple of legit top 10 prospects in redshirt sophomore CB Greedy Williams (#29, 6-2, 185) and junior ILB Devin White (#40, 6-0, 240). Unfortunately, though, White will have to sit out the first half as a result of a controversial targeting foul last weekend. Meanwhile, the Tigers also feature a number of seniors with mid-to-late round potential including RB Nick Brossette (#4, 6-0, 225), TE Foster Moreau (#84, 6-5, 260), FS John Battle (#26, 6-1, 210), and PK Cole Tracy (#36, 5-11, 190)