Nick Saban hates losing and life. (Photo by Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE)
Alabama's defense. There's your intro.
#18 Florida at #23 Tennessee (6 p.m., ESPN) - MTD Watch Notes
Yessir. This was the game that made me love college football growing up. I know, it's weird for a kid from Dallas to love football and not cite Texas-OU as the top matchup. But I loved me some Heath Shuler and Phil Fulmer back in the day.
In any case, Rams fans need to get a look at Tennessee's WR corps (and a look at Tyler Bray might be in order as a possible Arizona Cardinal one day...). Justin Hunter is one of the best in the country, and JUCO transfer Cordarrelle Patterson is very, very athletic. OT Dallas Thomas should be on your radar as well.
For Florida, it's all defense. DTs Sharrif Floyd and Dominique Easley are both pretty impressive; OLB Jelani Jenkins might be on many Rams fans' wish lists after the season. OT Xavier Nixon could play his way into day 2 contention.
#2 USC at #21 Stanford (7:30 p.m., FOX)
USC likely has the top WR duo in the country with Robert Woods and Marqise Lee (Lee, though, is a true sophomore, so he won't be eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft). While it looks like he won't be able to play today due to an injury, C Khaled Holmes looks very, very good. And I've been trying to put Rams fans on FS T.J. McDonald for a while. This is a great game to get a look at him.
Stanford, on the other hand, is trying to move on from the Andrew Luck era. There's still solid talents to be had, especially in the linebacking corps with ILB Shayne Skov and OLB Chase Thomas. C Sam Schwarzstein might be a day 3 option. Check out the TE combo of Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo as well.
#20 Notre Dame at #10 Michigan St. (8 p.m., ABC) - MTD Watch Notes
While I think Michigan State's defense is going to overwhelm Notre Dame tonight, it's still a watchable game for draftheads. Notre Dame's MLB Manti Te'o and TE Tyler Eifert could well be the first players drafted at their respective positions next April. C Braxston Cave needs to be on your watchlist at some point this year. And S Jamoris Slaughter is making his name known as well.
For the Spartans, RB Le'Veon Bell and DE William Gholston are getting a lot of love. I think both are overrated, but neither is likely in the Rams' future, so no love lost here. Anthony Rashad White is probably going to play NT at the NFL level, but even for the Rams, Michael Brockers is already in place. Maybe he's a depth option. And get a look at G Chris McDonald. I could see him as a riser that starts making day 2 noise by early November.
Other prospects worth checking out for Rams fans:
#8 South Carolina OLB DeVonte Holloman, FS D.J. Swearinger & C T.J. Johnson (v. UAB - 12 p.m., ESPN3) - Might wanna wait for the four game stretch when S. Carolina plays #7 Georgia, #3 LSU, #18 Florida and #23 Tennessee...yikes.
#14 Texas SS Kenny Vaccaro (at Ole Miss - 9:15 p.m., ESPN) - Fringe 1st rounder right now. Good size, good movement, good tackling form.
#25 BYU G Braden Hansen (at Utah - 10 p.m., ESPN2) - Slow for his size, but smart arm/hands. Chance at early day 3 contention?