After a week one slate that only had one ranked matchup, we'll see a slightly better lineup this weekend. Three ranked games are on tap, including one top ten bout. Michigan State and Oregon will finish off their home and home series, this time playing in East Lansing. Tennessee will get a shot to prove that they are legitimate as they take on Oklahoma in Knoxville. Finally, LSU will travel to Starkville looking for revenge against Mississippi State.
It should be a fun day. Here's your viewing guide.
Notre Dame at Virginia (2:30, ABC)
Prospects: Maurice Canady (CB, Virginia), Ronnie Stanley (OT, Notre Dame), Jaylon Smith (LB, Notre Dame), Sheldon Day (DL, Notre Dame), KeiVarae Russell (CB, Notre Dame)
The Irish got the ball rolling last weekend with a 38-3 thumping of Texas. It was a total dismantling, as Notre Dame showed off plenty of NFL talent. You should see a similar scene in Virginia this weekend. The Cavaliers have some potential NFL talent in the secondary, but Maurice Canady and company got roasted last weekend by UCLA. This week, expect sophomore Malik Zaire to do the same. He'll lead a potent offensive attack, anchored by potential top five pick Ronnie Stanley at left tackle.
If you're a Titans' fan, you should be watching Jaylon Smith all season long. He could be the most talented prospect in the country and he plays at a position of need for the Titans. Smith's 6'3 frame and insane athletic ability have the scouting world drooling. If Zach Brown flops this year, look for Smith to be a real option next April.
Georgia vs. Vanderbilt (2:30, CBS)
Prospects: Leonard Floyd (EDGE, Georgia), Jordan Jenkins (EDGE, Georgia), Greg Pyke (OG, Georgia), John Theus (OT, Georgia)
If you're like me, you're probably tuning in on Saturday just to see what Nick Chubb does. Chubb isn't draft eligible this year, but he will be a top prospect for 2017. Two of the men clearing the way for Nick Chubb are eligible this year, however. Pyke and Theus are the headliners here and have a shot to be top 100 picks in the spring. Derek Mason has been the butt of everyone's jokes lately, (for good reason) but if there is one thing he can do, it's scheme defensively. This will be a decent test for Georgia.
Defensively, Georgia boasts two top pass rushing prospects. Floyd is the better of the two, showing impressive burst and flashing power. He's a little light, only weighing in a just north of 230. Jenkins is a good 20 pounds heavier than Floyd, but lacks the burst and agility. Both are regarded as top 75 talents and should have big days against inferior talent.
Oregon vs. Michigan State (7:00, ABC)
Prospects: Connor Cook (QB, Michigan State), Shilique Calhoun (EDGE, Michigan State), Jack Conklin (OT, Michigan State), DeForest Buckner (DL, Oregon), Tyler Johnstone (OT, Oregon), Braylon Addison (WR, Oregon)
This is a fascinating matchup stylistically. It's old school versus new school. Power against finesse. Connor Cook has had his ups and downs as a prospect, but this is a chance for him to shine on the national stage. He has the size and ability to be a top pick, but doesn't always show it. He needs to be more consistent against pressure.
DeForest Buckner will get a stiff test against a stout Michigan State front. Buckner is a perfect fit for a 3-4 five tech at the next level. His strength and athletic ability will force the Spartans to account for him on all plays. Shillique Calhoun will be tested with Oregon's potent rushing attack. I'll be watching to see if he can hold up against the run.
Tennessee vs. Oklahoma (5:00, ESPN)
Prospects: Zack Sanchez (CB, Oklahoma), Eric Striker (EDGE, Oklahoma), Dominique Alexander (ILB, Oklahoma), Charles Tapper (EDGE, Oklahoma), Sterling Shepard (WR, Oklahoma), Cameron Sutton (CB, Tennessee), Curt Maggitt (EDGE, Tennessee), Marquez North (WR, Tennessee), Pig Howard (WR, Tennessee), Josh Dobbs (QB, Tennessee)
I may be biased, but this is the game of the week for me. I can't wait to see if Tennessee can prove it on the field. Sterling Shepard against Cameron Sutton should be a fascinating watch. Sutton is the real deal, but doesn't have much help in the secondary group. Baker Mayfield should be able to rack up plenty of yardage through the air Saturday night.
Eric Striker is undersized, but he's an explosive presence on the edge. There's no way he holds up in the NFL at that size, but he will make a big impact in this game. Tennessee has improved up front since last year and the emergence of Josh Dobbs should help nullify Oklahoma's pass rush.
Marquez North isn't full healthy, which has been the story of his career. He has outstanding ability, but may never be healthy enough to show it. He is expected to play in this one, but gets a stiff test from Zack Sanchez.
LSU vs. Mississippi State
Prospects: Dak Prescott (QB, Mississippi State), De'Runnya Wilson (WR, Mississippi State), Chris Jones (DL, Mississippi State), Will Redmond (CB, Mississippi State), Vadal Alexander (OG, LSU), Tre'Darius White (CB, LSU), Kendall Beckwith (LB, LSU), Jalen Mills (FS, LSU), Travin Dural (WR, LSU)
LSU will be looking for revenge on Saturday night. Dak Prescott and Mississippi State used this same game last year to vault themselves into the national picture. I personally don't think Prescott has an NFL future at quarterback, but some feel that he does. If he does, he's going to have to quicken up his motion, shore up his decision making and work on placement. He's probably an H-Back or tight end at the next level.
There are several intriguing matchups in this game. De'Runnya Wilson will be a stiff test for a talented LSU secondary that boasts at least two potential top 50 picks. Chris Jones against LSU's front will be a good measuring stick moment for him. Travin Dural going up against Will Redmond will be a nice tape for scouts to examine as they grade both players. LSU returned most of their starters from last year, so I'm expecting a bit of a different outcome this season.
Enjoy the football!