This weekend’s games will lead to the first official NCAA FBS rankings next week. Recent history and the odds in general say we will witness a couple more upsets this weekend which will make the committees work even more challenging. I will follow up this week’s game action with a Top 15 ranking list which I hope to get up Sunday. For now let’s look at four top games for this week and some players you should be watching for the 2018 NFL Draft.
SATURDAY OCT. 28 NOON/ET ABC
OKLAHOMA STATE (6-1) by 4 @ WEST VIRGINIA (5-2)
For those of you who watched Oklahoma State/Texas and saw the Cowboys run their way to a narrow victory this game should give you the chance to see QB/MASON RUDOLPH as his throwing best self. WVU does not have the secondary that Texas does and I expect HC Mike Gundy to open things back up a bit for Rudolph again. How can he not with receivers like WASHINGTON and ATEMAN to throw to?! In fact a shootout should be on the way in this one. Perhaps one of the top QB for the 2019 NFL Draft plays for the Mountaineers in WILL GRIER #7. This game will also feature one of the top Senior RB in the country in WVU’s JUSTIN CRAWFORD #25. He’s a one-cut runner who can also catch the ball. Oklahoma State is in the mix of things in their conference with Oklahoma and TCU, but they must keep winning, and last week’s game with the Longhorns exposed some shortcomings for the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State prospects: #2 MASON RUDOLPH/QB; #28 JAMES WASHINGTON/WR; #3 MARCELL ATEMAN/WR; #60 ZACHARY CRABTREE/OT; #78 AARON COCHRAN/OT; #45 CHAD WHITENER/IB; #31 TRE FLOWERS/SS; #7 RAMON RICHARDS/FS.
West Virginia prospects: #25 JUSTIN CRAWFORD/RB; #2 KA’RAUN WHITE/WR; #62 KYLE BOSCH/OG; #3 AL-RASHEED BENTON/MB; #8 KYZIR WHITE/SS; # COREY WINFIELD/CB.
SATURDAY OCT. 28 3:30PM/ET CBS
FLORIDA (3-3) VS. GEORGIA (7-0) by 9 in Jacksonville, FL
A rivalry game, better known for it’s social activities than the actual game many times, but this year it means a lot for both teams. Florida is still trying to put the pieces together after losing 10 players to suspension just before the season started. There is still a lot of talent on the Gators roster, but those 10 missing players have cost them dearly, plus a few key injuries as well. UGA seems to be on a roll and is the current favorite to match-up against ‘Bama in the SEC Championship Game down the road. The Bulldogs have arguably the best RB tandem in college football in NICK CHUBB and SONY MICHEL. They also have a very talented, experienced Defense which should pretty much shut down the struggling Florida Offense. I look for a UGA victory. The beauty of this setup for the SEC is that ‘BAMA and Georgia do NOT meet in the regular season, so a championship match-up between those two programs would be a fresh game for the conference. Plus it would pit UGA Head Coach KIRBY SMART against his former boss NICK SABAN. More on that if/when they play each other.
Georgia prospects: #27 NICK CHUBB/RB; #1 SONY MICHEL/RB; #47 CHRISTIAN PAYNE/FB; #83 JEB BLAZEVICH/TE; #77 ISAIAH WYNN/OT; #97 JOSH ATKINS/DT; #17 DEVIN BELLAMY/OB; #7 LORENZO CARTER/OB; #35 AARON DAVIS/CB; #24 DOMINICK SANDERS/FS.
Florida prospects: #30 DeANDRE GOOLSBY/TE; #73 MARTEZ IVEY/OT/JR; #17 JORDAN SHERIT/DE; #7 DUKE DAWSON/CB; #8 NICK WASHINGTON/SS; #19 JOHNNY TOWNSEND/P.
SATURDAY OCT. 28 7:15PM/ET ESPN
MISSISSIPPI STATE (5-2) @ TEXAS A&M (5-2) by 7
Surprisingly, this is a pretty important showdown between two teams with identical, and perhaps surprisingly good, 5-2 records. With the SEC having automatic spots in a ton of important bowl games the winner here likely goes to a New Year’s Bowl barring an end of season collapse. Fine QB play has been a key for both teams. RILEY FERGUSON #7 is a true dual threat QB with his legs and arm. KELLEN MOND #11 is also a dual threat, though only a true frosh for the Aggies..The biggest playmaker and top pro prospect in this contest is A&M’s speedy wideout/return man CHRISTIAN KIRK #3! Many think that Aggies Head Coach KEVIN SUMLIN is fighting to retain his job this season. If they avoid their usual late season collapse he just might survive. DAN MULLENS has done wonders with a previously weak program at State. They worry most years whether he will move on to a bigger name program for bigger bucks, but he seems content in Starkville. Give the edge to A&M because of that 12th Man at Kyle Field.
Miss State prospects: #7 NICK FITZGERALD/QB/JR; #6 DONALD GRAY/WR; #55 MARTINAS RANKIN/OT; #12 J.T. GRAY/SS; #7 TOLANDO CLEVELAND/CB.
A&M prospects: #7 KEITH FORD/RB; #3 CHRISTIAN KIRK/WR/RS/JR; #40 JARRETT JACKSON/DE; #92 ZAYCOVEN HENDERSON/DT; #23 ARMANI WATTS/SS; #1 NICK HARVEY/CB.
SATURDAY OCT. 28 8PM/ET ESPN2
GEORGIA TECH (4-2) @ CLEMSON (6-1) by 10
Clemson takes to the field for the first time after their stunning loss @ Syracuse two weeks ago. I would expect Dabo to have his troops ready to hand Tech their proverbial heads on a platter. How healthy is QB/KELLY BRYANT? That is the question of the day for the Clemson Offense, but there is no question regarding their D. Feast your eyeballs on CLELIN FERRELL #77, who I think is the second coming of a guy named CLOWNEY. Tech is a pain to play because of HC Paul Johnson’s good old fashioned Wishbone/Option Offense. But I would expect that after a quarter’s adjustment to that style the uber-talented Clemson Defense will assert itself. Expect a beyond frantic crowd to support their home team in Memorial Stadium. I wouldn’t want to be in Tech’s shoes and shoulder pads this Saturday in South Carolina.
Georgia Tech prospects: #2 RICKY JEUNE/WR; #93 ANTONIO SIMMONS/E/OB; #17 LANC AUSTIN/CB; #14 COREY GRIFIN/SS.
Clemson prospects: #8 DEON CAIN/WR/JR; #55 TYRONE CROWDER/OG; #75 MITCH HYATT/OT/JR; #99 CLELIN FERRELL/DE/RSO; #42 CHRISTIAN WILKINS/DT/JR; #91 AUSTIN BRYANT/DE/JR; #34 KENDALL JOSEPH/IB/JR; #6 DORIAN O’DANIEL/CB.
By the way, lest you think we forgot the showdown in the Big Ten between Penn State & Ohio State Editor in Chief, Colin has that game written up for you elsewhere on the site. Go check it out for yourself. I’ve got Ohio State in that one at home.