#10 Oklahoma State at Texas NOON ABC
- Texas completes its 2017 tour of Oklahoma by hosting yet another high powered offense in the form of the Cowboys. The Longhorns came within a few plays of upsetting the Sooners last week behind the arm of freshman QB Sam Ehlinger. Okie State features two Heisman contenders in WR James Washington and QB Mason Rudolph. Can the Horns keep up with a mighty offense? There have been signs this year that the program is turning around. The Cowboys are on the periphery of the playoff chase, losing only to fourth ranked TCU.
Oklahoma State prospects to watch
1. James Washington 6'0 205 WR Junior
- The best receiver in the country and it isn't particularly close. It just isn't the system inflating his numbers either. He's a legitimate talent. Excellent route runner. Elite speed and agility.
2. Mason Rudolph 6'5 230 QB Senior
- Rudolph has been the most consistent quarterback in this year's class by far. Great arm talent. Accuracy and IQ are very good. Experienced as he is a four year starter in Stillwater. Could be the most talented QB in the class.
Texas prospect to watch
1. Malik Jefferson 6'3 240 LB Junior
- Jefferson has improved a lot in 2017 but has flashed a lot of the same inconsistencies that have plagued his career. He’s a terrific athlete that is miscast as an inside linebacker. Projects as an outside rusher at the next level.
Louisville at Florida State NOON ESPN
- The Louisville Lamar Jacksons travel to Tallahassee to take on a Noles team trying to find itself. Florida State has predictably struggled mightily with a true freshman QB. The Cardinals offense has no such issues. The Seminoles will be out for revenge after a huge blowout loss last year at the Pizza Palace. Can the defense come up with a way to stop Jackson enough?
Louisville prospect to watch
1. Lamar Jackson 6'3 212 QB Junior
- Jackson is an electric playmaker that can score from anywhere on the field. Still inconsistent as a passer but has improved a lot in terms of pocket awareness, reads, and general football IQ. Elite speed and agility. The reigning Heisman winner may not win it again but he will get drafted pretty high. Vince Young 2.0 with better passing ability.
Florida State prospects to watch
1. Derwin James 6'3 212 S Junior
- The best safety prospect in the nation without question. He's an elite athlete with great instincts. The engine that makes the Noles defense hum.
2. Tavarus McFadden 6'2 198 CB Junior
- McFadden has had a rough couple of weeks lately, giving up the game winning TD against Miami and not showing up as expected last week. Elite ball skills and athleticism. Fundamentally sound as a tackler.
3. Derrick Nnadi 6'1 313 DT Senior
- Nnadi is the latest prospect in a long line of productive Seminole defensive tackles. He really came on as a junior and could've gone pro but came back to school. A handful to deal with on the interior. Just starting to scratch the surface of his talents. He's the anchor that the Noles can rely upon on defense.
4. Josh Sweat 6'5 249 DE Junior
- Sweat is a pass rush terror for any lineman to go against. He has speed and length for days on end. Has bulked up considerably since his freshman year. Injury history is a concern for pro teams as he nearly missed a chunk of his freshman season due to a catastrophic knee injury in HS.
#19 Michigan at #2 Penn State 7:30 PM ABC
- The much anticipated showdown of Big Ten powers is here. A battle of two diversely talented offenses and defenses. Michigan has stalled offensively due to several injuries while Penn State is more explosive than ever. The Wolverines boast a top 5 defense in terms of overall talent. The matchup to watch here is Saquon Barkley against the Wolverines DL. This is the first of two big tests for Penn State in consecutive weeks. Can the Nittany Lions survive Michigan only to play the Buckeyes next week?
Michigan prospects to watch
1. Mike McCray II 6'4 248 LB RS Senior
- The leader of a depleted Wolverines defense that will be a chore to play against. A Big Ten legacy as father played for the rival Buckeyes. An above average athlete and fundamental tackler. Will be relied upon to set the tone as the leader.
2. Rashan Gary 6'4 287 DT Sophomore (2019)
- Gary is a beast inside the trenches. Has more than lived up to the billing.
3. Maurice Hurst 6'2 269 DL Senior
- Hurst has been a rising star this year for a fearsome Wolverines front seven. He's very quick for his size and is very fundamentally sound like most Michigan defenders. Knows his role and executes nearly every time. Playing himself into a conversation about the first round.
Penn State prospect to watch
1. Saquon Barkley 5'11 229 RB Junior
- The best running back in football, no questions asked. He's the presumptive Heisman favorite at this point in the season, barring injury or downturn in production. Can beat you with speed or power. Athletic marvel. Vision and instincts are major pluses.
#11 USC at #13 Notre Dame 7:30 PM NBC
- The much ballyhooed Trojans pay a visit to South Bend to take on the somewhat there Irish. Notre Dame is in the thick of a New Year's Day bowl hunt, sporting only that heartbreaking loss to an undefeated Georgia team. USC's only loss was to a brief playoff contender at Wazzu. The Trojans had to launch a furious comeback against the Utes last week while the Irish won comfortably against a struggling UNC team. Who will win this year's edition of the classic rivalry?
USC prospects to watch
1. Sam Darnold 6'4 225 QB Junior
- The latest "golden arm" prospect out of the Trojan factory. He's had a rough go of it in 2017 thus far, tanking his draft stock and Heisman hopes. Pocket presence had been improving until a shaky OL ruined it. Has all the physical tools to make it in the league. A gamer that refuses to give up regardless of score.
2. Cameron Smith 6'2 245 LB Junior
- Smith is a grizzled college football veteran after having a sensational start to his career as a freshman. Smith is a fast twitch linebacker with a great football IQ. Very athletic and fits the mold for modern day linebackers. One of the best LBs in the country. Tackling machine and fundamentally sound.
3. Iman Marshall 6'0 200 CB Junior
- If you look closely, "Biggie" was the better cornerback prospect than current Tennessee Titan Adoree Jackson and Jackson was a first round pick. Very solid in fundamentals. A great athlete that can keep up with the faster receivers in the nation. Ball skills are on point. CB1 potential and then some. Has been a standout ever since he stepped foot on campus.
4. Porter Gustin 6'5 260 DE/LB Junior
- Gustin might be the best edge rusher in the Pac-12 if not the entire country. He's a freak athlete with great measureables. Flashed a lot of talent and potential during the first two years of his career. A defensive end by trade but has enough athleticism to pass for a good outside linebacker in certain situations. Standout junior campaign has him flying up the boards but he has tailed off a bit lately.
Bonus games to watch
Boston College at Virginia 12:30 PM ESPN3
- BC DE Harold Landry is oh so good. Also, UVA S Quin Blanding is a pretty good prospect as well.
Tennessee at Alabama 3:30 PM CBS
- The Tide are 36 point favorites in this one. We'll see if the Volunteers can keep it within 20.
#21 Auburn at Arkansas 7:30 PM SEC Network
- Who wants to count their buyout money first bowl. Gus Malzhan is in danger of losing his job if he doesn't win this one. Same goes for Arky HC Bret Bielema.
Fresno State at San Diego State 10:30 PM CBS Sports Network
- Pay attention to SDSU RB Rashaad Penny. He's good.