Rivalry Week. Yay (sincere yay).
We got started last night with Oregon-Oregon State in the Civil War. Today, we've got a handful of marquee rivalries with plenty in between. Let's take today on chronologically in order of preference (notes from MTD always handy):
#3 Ohio St. at Michigan (12:00 p.m., ABC)
#2 Florida St. at Florida (12:00 p.m., ESPN)
Kansas at Kansas St. (12:00 p.m., FOX Sports 1)
#24 Duke at North Carolina (12:00 p.m., ESPN2)
So much going on here. OSU-Michigan is one of the best rivalries in the country, while FSU-UF went a decade from 1990-2000 in which every game between the two saw them both in the top 10 at the time they played each other.
I put the Big Ten classic up here only because I think Michigan has a shot whereas....ok. It's football. Who knows. Maybe we start today off with wins for Michigan and Florida...which, if it happens, the universe collapses by Monday. Nice knowing yall.
#1 Alabama at #4 Auburn (3:30 p.m., CBS)
#6 Clemson at #10 South Carolina (7:00 p.m., ESPN2)
#25 Notre Dame at #8 Stanford (7:00 p.m., FOX)
The evening portion is stacked, so pick your battles here.
After the Iron Bowl, I'm grabbing the Palmetto Bowl. Strong argument to be made for the Irish-Cardinal battle though. Notre Dame's got a trio of guys that should be gone by the end of round two in NT Louis Nix, DE Stephon Tuitt and OL Zack Martin. I'm a fan of OLB Prince Shembo too as a run-ready WLB. Stanford for their part has G David Yankey and OLB/DE Trent Murphy both looking like potential first round options. Add in ILB Shayne Skov and DE Josh Mauro, and you've got plenty of scouting here.
I'm going after the battle for South Cackalack. For Clemson, it's WR Sammy Watkins, DE Vic Beasley, QB Tajh Boyd, OL Brandon Thomas along with South Carolina's DE Jadeveon Clowney -- there's NFL day one impact to be had. If you haven't seen South Carolina RS sophomore RT Brandon Shell, you'll need to. If he comes back, he's in round one contention preseason for the 2015 draft IMO. RB Mike Davis is a handful too. For the Clemson futures, it's a bit thinner with a more experienced starting 22 for the Tigers. Peep freshman safety Jayron Kearse for future reference.
#21 Texas A&M at #5 Missouri (7:45 p.m., ESPN)
This is actually set up to be a really, really entertaining game. A&M can beat anyone but can't defend to save their lives...or season as it were. Missouri's not the most draft-friendly team this year, but DEs Kony Ealy and Michael Sam are going to be in discussions for teams who are light on pass rushers. Entertaining football is the keypoint here.
#22 UCLA at #23 USC (8:00 p.m., ABC)
Battle: Los Angeles. Plenty to get in here, led by USC WR Marqise Lee for those interested in bolstering the Rams' receiving options. Not sure UCLA's Anthony Barr fits the Rams, but he could be a top 5 selection. Bruins guard Xavier Su'a-Filo seems a likelier option, but who knows. Plenty of youth to scope in this one too.
Arizona at #12 Arizona St. (9:30 p.m., Pac-12)
Another one that's not all that draft-friendly. I'm dropping it here as the late caps are kinda weak, it's a real rivalry game plus Ka'Deem Carey cares not about run schemes or offensive lines or box-loaded defenses. He's going to get the ball and he is going to run with it for many yards.