The last full weekend of college football's regular season is upon us, although it's not really just a weekend sport anymore. Ball State downed Western Michigan on Tuesday, and Texas escaped College Station with their championship push intact after defeating Texas A&M last night. Some thoughts on those games and some stuff from around the college game after the fold.
- Western Michigan QB Tim Hiller has really hurt his stock. Against the mid-tier teams, his efforts have been much less impressive than Central Michigan's QB Dan LeFevour. Take Ball St. On Tuesday, Hiller threw just 1 TD to go with 4 INTs in a 17-22 loss; LeFevour led a 35-3 stomping of the Cardinals by going 25 for 28 and tossing 4 TDs without throwing a pick. Or how about Michigan St.? Here's Hiller's line - 15/37, 111 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT (14-49 loss). And now LeFevour's - 33/46, 328 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT (29-27 win). So yeah.
- Yeah, with the Texas win, everyone's talking about Colt McCoy's place in the Heisman race, but the modern Heisman is a joke. More impressive to me, and more relevant to draftism, has been the play of redshirt sophomore WR Malcolm Williams (a converted high school safety) over the last two games - 15 rec, 235 yards, 1 TD. He won't come out this year, but if he can establish a good on-field relationship with freshman QB Garrett Gilbert, he could have a huge year next year and firmly place his stock in what could be the best top tier of WRs since the 1996 draft.
- Illinois @ #5 Cincinnati (12:00pm EST, ABC): Tony Pike returns to helm the Bearcats in just a couple minutes. Pike is coming off a non-throwing hand injury, so it will be interesting to see if his approach is any different. He's got to get in a good game this week, because Cincy has their game of the year next week against #9 Pittsburgh. Speaking of Pitt, they're the other game I'll be watching today. (I'm skipping Bama-Auburn. I've seen plenty of Alabama, and Auburn is in a down year)
- #9 Pittsburgh @ West Virginia (7:00pm EST, ESPN2): Pittsburgh is a well-built team, though they don't have any signifcant 2010 draft prospects. They do, however, have a member in the potential 2011 WR class - Jonathan Baldwin. At 6'5", 225 lbs., Baldwin has the size to dominate the college game. His problem has been consistency. He's still just a true sophomore, so he has plenty to learn. On the other side of the ball, keep an eye on OT Selvish Capers. He could be a 3rd round pick for a team looking to fill the RT spot.
- #24 North Carolina @ North Carolina St. (12:00pm EST, ESPN2): This is a game in which DT Marvin Austin should shine. NC St. isn't very good, and Austin needs a big game to put himself in the first round. Also keep an eye on Tarheel OLB Bruce Carter; he just announced he's staying in school, but if the Rams go into the 2011 draft looking for a stud OLB, Carter would be a hell of a land.
- Georgia @ #7 Georgia Tech (8:00pm EST, ABC): As we continue to discuss the need to find a more credible backup for Steven Jackson (highlighted by his recent back stiffness), one guy to keep an eye on is Ga. Tech's Jonathan Dwyer. Dwyer has put together another incredible season, although he has stayed under the radar behind Clemson's C.J. Spiller and Cal's Jahvid Best. Dwyer is a bit smaller than Jackson, but he is a bit faster at top speed.