(12) Baylor at (15) Oklahoma NOON Fox Sports 1
- The Big 12 might be the most entertaining conference to watch this year. Baylor QB Bryce Petty and the mighty Bears offensive fireworks show travel to Norman to take on a confusing Sooners team. Each team is coming off blowout victories over lesser opponents. Baylor has been held to less than 30 points twice this year (one against a try hard Texas team and the other against always crazy WVU team in Morgantown). Oklahoma has struggled on offense to put it mildly. So who wins? The scoreboard operator.
Baylor prospects to watch:
1. Bryce Petty QB 6'3 230 Senior
- Petty is in the race for third best QB in the class honors but there are questions about his system fits. Would I take him on the Titans? Maybe. The offseason circuit will be huge for him to shed those system questions.
2. Antwan Goodley WR 5'11 220 Senior
- Kendall Wright 2.0.
3. Shawn Oakman DE 6'9 280 Junior
- Oakman is a massive mountain at end, towering at 6'9 with good instincts and motor. A first round pick is projected for him with Top 5 potential.
Oklahoma prospects to watch:
1. Eric Striker LB 6'0 221 Junior
- A perfect name fit for the position. Striker is undersized for the position and might have a tough time finding a position fit for him in the pros. He's a big hitter, living up to his name. A poor man's Anthony Barr.
(10) Notre Dame at (9) Arizona State 3:30 PM ABC
- This game will determine a lot of playoff fates when it's all said and done. Notre Dame barely got by Navy last week while ASU needed every bit of overtime to put away Utah (Utah's kicker missed wide left, got saved by the icing timeout, missed again wide right). A battle between two high powered spread offenses. ASU has had some QB questions as starter Taylor Kelly missed some time earlier in the year. The Sun Devils have a Hail Mary specialist in QB Mike Bercovici (USC found that out the hard way in the second most ridiculous Hail Mary play this year). So what does this all mean? Expect some major late game drama.
Notre Dame prospects to watch:
1. Everett Golson QB 6'1 200 Senior
- He's having a great comeback senior season after sitting out all of 2013 due to academic ineligibility issues. There will be Drew Brees/Russell Wilson comps but I just don't see it. He has a lot of arm talent and will make a play on the run if needed but has a tendency to tuck it run a little too much.
Arizona State prospects to watch:
1. Jaelen Strong WR 6'3 212 Junior
- Strong is a big and physical receiver in the mold of a taller Anquan Boldin. He will catch anything and everything near him. Not the fastest guy in the world but has enough speed to get by. Would I take him on the Titans? Yes and please.
2. DJ Foster RB 5'11 208 Junior
- Foster is a dynamic athlete that can catch out of the backfield well. He's this year's version of Bishop Sankey and has second round potential if things break for him right.
(7) Kansas State at (6) TCU 7 PM Fox
- Another year, another consistent performance by KSU. Bill Snyder might be the best coach in America given what has done for the Wildcats. TCU barely escaped West Virginia on the road last week on a game winning field goal after a roller coaster ride in the fourth quarter. The Horned Frogs won't have the services of standout RB BJ Catalon in this one. QB Trevone Boykin will need to show up a lot better than he did last week.
Kansas State prospects to watch:
1, Tyler Lockett WR 5'11 170
- Lockett is a smaller receiver that plays big. I mean that he's not isolated into the slot as one would expect given his dimensions, he can play outside as well. Lockett isn't the flashiest of athletes but gets the job done. He has NFL bloodlines as dad, Kevin played for the Chiefs and uncle, Aaron had a cup of coffee in the league as well.
TCU prospects to watch:
1. Trevone Boykin QB 6'2 205 Junior
- Boykin is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate. He's a converted defensive back from 2 years ago when former QB Casey Pachall was thrown off the team for his drug issues. Boykin is a dynamic athlete that stays within the system and won't run at the first opportunity. If I had a NFL comp for him, I'd say that he's Michael Vick with much better understanding of the passing game.
(5) Alabama at (16) LSU 8 PM CBS
- Although not as hyped this year due to LSU being young and having to replace all those juniors who went pro, this storied rivalry is still a good one. Alabama will definitely be on upset alert. The Bayou Bengals are building more towards 2015 when their younger guys take their lumps this year. Alabama is vulnerable this year and I liken it to the latter stages of USC's dynasty years when the impact of early departures became too much to overcome.
Alabama prospects to watch:
1. Amari Cooper WR 6'1 205 Junior
- One of the best receivers in the country. Enough said.
2. Landon Collins S 6'0 215 Junior
- The best safety in the class and it isn't close.
3. Arie Kouandjio 6'5 315 OG Senior
- The older brother of current Charger, Mt. Cyrus K. He has struggled somewhat this year.
LSU prospects to watch:
1. La'El Collins OT 6'5 315 Senior
- Arguably the best tackle in the class. Has really stepped up this year.
2. Jalen Collins CB 6'1 195 RS Junior
- Patrick Peterson 2.0?
3. Ronald Martin S 6'1 218 Senior
- A savvy veteran leader for the young Tigers defense.
(14) Ohio State at (8) Michigan State 8 PM ABC
- The winner keeps on having a glimmer of hope of making the playoff (unlikely barring major chaos because of the weak stature of the Big 10). Both teams are coming off of destroying their competition last week. OSU handled a downtrodden Illinois team while MSU shelled rival Michigan and basically shut the final nail on Brady Hoke's Michigan career. Which defense shows up? MSU QB Connor Cook has mentioned that he will return to school for the 2015 season.
Ohio State prospects to watch:
1. Michael Bennett DT 6'3 285 Senior
2. Noah Spence DE 6'3 252 Junior
Michigan State prospects to watch:
1. Trae Waynes CB 6'1 185 RS Junior
2. Kurtis Drummond FS 6'1 200 RS Senior
3. Jeremy Langford RB 5'11 206 RS Senior
4. Tony Lippett WR 6'3 185 Senior
5. Shilique Calhoun DE 6'4 250 RS Junior
(4) Oregon at (17) Utah 10 PM ESPN
- The Ducks visit Utah and their stingy defense in their first attempt to clinch the Pac-12 North division after demolishing Stanford last week. Utah would have clinched the South except for an early loss to a Washington State team that has packed it in for the season.
Other notable games:
(23) West Virginia at Texas 3:30 PM Fox Sports 1
- Can the Mountaineers bounce back from a heartbreaking loss last week? Texas provides a stiff test on defense with their offense being very inconsistent.
(18) UCLA at Washington 7 PM Fox Sports 1
- UCLA won very ugly in a defensive battle against Arizona last week. Washington let a struggling Colorado team hang around last week before putting them away in the fourth quarter. Also of note: Washington dismissed potential mid round draft pick CB Marcus Peters for repeatedly clashing with coaches.