In all honesty there are a bunch of games this weekend tHat should be embarrassing to the top ranked teams playing in them, like Alabama hosting Mercer. But there are also some important games that create some interesting matchups. Here are the four I am watching and why.
MICHIGAN (8-2) @ WISCONSIN (10-0) by 3
Saturday NOON/ET FOX
Just as one might suspect, the unbeaten Badgers are not getting the luv they probably deserve
primarily because lack of strength of a schedule. Well, if they beat the Wolverines they should earn a closer look from the Final Four committee. Conversely, a loss will likely tumble them from the Top 10 completely. An early wake up call for this game might be a very good thing for Bucky’s Boys since they have taken a while to get in gear in most of their games this season. Not a good idea, that slow start, against the Fighting Harbaughs, who are young but talented and with 10 games under their belts lots of their young guys can almost be considered vets. Michigan has a strong running game, and other than a few trick plays here or there, are content to play ball-control and tough defense. IF the Badgers can’t get their star frosh RB JONATHAN TAYLOR rolling before the end of the first half, another unbeaten may be in jeopardy of falling.
Michigan prospects: #32 TY ISAAC/RB; #52 MASON COLE/OT/C; #73 MAURICE HURST/DT; #9 MIKE McCRAY/OB.
Wisconsin prospects: #20 AUSTIN REMISH/FB; #81 TROY FUMAGALLI/TE; #63 MICHAEL DEITER/OT/JR; #66 BEAU BENZSCHAWEL/OG; #57 ALEC JAMES/DE; 394 CONOR SHEEHY/DT; #5 GARRET DOOLEY/OB; #53 T.J. EDWARDS/IB/JR; #14 D’COTA DIXON/S.
KENTUCKY (7-3) @ GEORGIA (9-1) by 6
Saturday 3:30/ET CBS
I’ll be watching this game closely to make sure that Georgia looks to have recovered from their loss to Auburn. And no, Kentucky is not just a basketball school anymore. They are currently 7-3 and headed for another bowl appearance under MARK STOOPS. The Wildcats have a veteran lineup and more depth than they have had in an awfully long time. RB/BENNY SNELL may not be KAMRYN JOHNSON, but he was a true frosh ALL-AMERICAN last season rushing for over 1,000-YARDS for the Wildcats. Their Defense is tough wth quality at all 3 levels. I look for UGA to hand the ball off to CHUBB/MICHEL all day long and to eventually wear down Kentucky. I’ll take UGA to bounce back in a fairly close contest.
Kentucky prospects: #15 STEPHEN JOHNSON/QB; #9 GARRETT JOHNSON/WR; #68 NICK HAYNES/OG; #77 NAQUEZ PRINGLE/DT; #69 MATT ELAM/DT; #51 COURTNEY LOVE/IB; #7 MIKE EDWARDS/SS.
Georgia prospects: #27 NICK CHUBB/RB; #1 SONY MICHEL/RB; #77 ISAIAH WYNN/OT; #97 JOSH ATKINS/DT; #17 DAVIN BELLAMY/OB; #7 LORENZO CARTER/OB; #35 AARON DAVIS/CB; #24 DOMINICK SANDERS/FS.
SYRACUSE (4-6) @ LOUISVILLE (6-4)
SATURDAY 3:30/ET ESPNU
Based on the records this game looks like an after thought for most of the country, but both these teams have been putting up lots of points in the recent few games. And IMO defending Heisman winner LAMAR JACKSON, still has a slight chance to defend his Heisman Trophy. And many of us still believe him to be the most electrifying dual threat QB since CAM NEWTON and/or MIKE VICK. Churn in the concept that there are quite a few solid pro prospects playing in this game and it could be quite entertaining if you like high powered Offense. Syracuse QB/ERIC DUNGEY #2 isn’t bad either, and has two pro prospects to throw to this season.
Syracuse prospects: #3 ERVIN PHILLIPS/WR, #2 STEVE ISHMAEL/WR; #65 JAMAR McGLOSTER/OT; #30 PARRIS BENNETT/OB; #4 ZAIRE FRANKLIN/IB.
Louisville prospects: #8 LAMAR JACKSON/QB; #7 REGGIE BONNAFON/WR; #9 JAYLEN SMITH/WR/JR; #99 JAMES HEARNS/OB; #14 DREW BAILEY/DT; #91/TREVON YOUNG/DE/ER; #32 STACY THOMAS/IB; #22 CHUCKY WILLIAMS/S; #15 TRUMAINE WASHINGTON/CB.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE (7-3) by 4 @ WAKE FOREST (6-4)
SATURDAY 7:30/ET ESPNU
This looks to be a very entertaining match-up between two teams who have surprised some folks this season. State should be the favorite here with a solid veteran roster. The strength of the team may be in an all senior DL, which may send 4 guys to NFL Training Camp rosters next year. Despite attempts to unseat him, gutsy Wake senior QB JOHN WOLFORD is back in charge as the starting QB. He’s not much of a pro prospect, but he’s one of those “whatever it takes” guys who makes a college offense dangerous. The Wolfpack has more overall talent and thus I am picking them to win. But it’s Wake’s home game and they have a couple of top prospects in TE/SERIGNE and DE/EJIOFOR, who may be a first rounder. In fact DEs DUKE EJIOFOR and BRADLEY CHUBB may both be NFL first rounders. This could be the most fun to watch of any game on the weekend to the neutral viewer.
NC State prospects: #1 JAYLEN SAMUELS/H-B; #50 TONY ADAMS/OG; #35 KENTAVIUS STREET/DE; B.J. HILL/DT; #27 JUSTIN JONES/DT; #9 BRADLEY CHUBB/DE; #4 JEROD FERNANDEZ/IB; #2 MIKE STEVENS/CB.
Wake prospects: #85 CAM SERIGNE/TE; #53 DUKE EJIOFOR/DE; #14 WENDELL DUNN/DE; #6 JABOREE WILLIAMS/OB.