Thearon W. Henderson
We take a look at the big matchups for college football Saturday, and look to where 49ers scouts are in attendance.
College football action is back as Week 8 is officially underway. The first BCS rankings of 2012 were released this week, and we have Alabama and Florida lined up at No. 1 and No. 2 to start the BCS stretch of the schedule. LSU and Alabama opened in the top two spots last year and held them into the national championship game. We'll see if the SEC can put together another all-conference title game.
This week's schedule does have a legitimate chance to shake things up. The Gators will host No. 7 South Carolina in the biggest game of the day. No. 4 Kansas State travels to face No. 13 West Virginia and No. 6 LSU travels to No. 18 Texas A&M in the other two matchups featuring a top ten team against a ranked opponent.
For Bay Area fans, there is only one game that matters today: The Big Game. The annual Cal-Stanford game was moved up this year and will go down at noon pacific on FOX. Stanford got off to a solid start capped by an upset of No. 2 USC, but has since lost two of three, including a heart-breaker to Notre Dame in overtime. Cal sits at 3-4 but has won two straight, including an upset of UCLA. Given their end of season schedule against highly ranked Oregon and Oregon State, the Bears are in a must-win position if they want to have a chance at bowl eligibility.
On a 49ers note, I've been poking around looking at the occasional mock draft, and I was intrigued to find one that had the 49ers using their first round pick on South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore. It was earlier this week and I can't recall where I saw it, but I recall it being a mainstream site.
I was wondering what people thought of that? While Frank Gore might not have many years left, it strikes me as odd that the 49ers would drop another high pick on a running back even as they basically red-shirt LaMichael James. Where does running back fit on the list of needs for the 49ers? Can Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James be enough of a dual-threat when Frank Gore is done?