Each week this season, Drew and I will provide a Saturday open thread for discussion of the day's college football action. We do this in part because much of the NN community enjoys college football, but we also do it to help folks educated themselves about the various players that will be in the mix next spring when the 2012 NFL Draft rolls around.
This week features a good slate of matchups, including six undefeated teams in the Top 25 facing off against each other.
There are three particularly key matchups I want to address.
#3 Alabama vs. #14 Arkansas, 12:30 PT, CBS
This is a game in which I want to see if the Razorbacks offense can come through against a tough Crimson Tide defense. The first matchup to watch would be Alabama defensive backs versus the Arkansas wide receiver corps. The most notable player on this list is Alabama's Dre Kirpatrick, widely believed to be the top CB in the nation. I also want to see how Arkansas WRs Joe Adams & Greg Childs fare against the likes of Kirkpatrick and Alabama's starting safeties, Robert Lester & Mark Barron.
Other matchups I am looking at include how Arkansas DE Jack Bequette does against the Alabama offensive line, if the Arkansas front seven can stop RB Trent Richardson, and how the Alabama linebacking corps. They are led by Courtney Upshaw, Donta' Hightower, & Nico Johnson.
#7 Oklahoma State @ #8 Texas A&M, 12:30 PT, ABC/ESPN2/ESPN3.com
In this game I am looking more at individual players as opposed to team versus team matchups. Some of the players to keep an eye on for Oklahoma State there are QB Brandon Weeden, WR Justin Blackmon and OT Levy Adcock on the offense, and S Markelle Martin on defense. For Texas A&M I suggest keeping an eye on the duo of QB Ryan Tannehill and WR Jeff Fuller. And don't forget Cyrus Gray at running back.
#2 LSU @ #16 West Virginia 5:00pm PT, ABC
This is arguably the biggest matchup of the day. On paper looks like a mismatch, but I can see the Mountaineers coming out and getting an early lead on the Tigers. There are really 2 players individually I will be watching: LSU CB Morris Claiborne and WVU DE/OLB Bruce Irvin. It should make for an exciting game, but those are two players to focus in on if you're looking more for draft prospects.
|Thursday, September 22|
|Cincinnati 44, North Carolina State 14||Box Score | Recap|
|Friday, September 23|
|Brigham Young 24, UCF 17||Box Score | Recap|
|Sunday, September 25|
|12:00 AM ET||UC Davis at Hawaii||Tickets|