There's some pretty good college football happening today. Besides what should be some great games, there's plenty of NFL talent on display, some of these players could very well be part of the St. Louis Rams a year from now. Let's take a look at some of the names and games going on today in our college football, conference championship open thread.
Florida vs Alabama
Does this game need much of an intro? With apologies to Texas fans, many are calling this the de facto national championship game, and for good reason since it matches up two undefeated SEC powerhouses with the winner going on to play in the BCS national championship, probably against Texas.
Gators CB Joe Haden is the top corner in the draft, and a certain first round pick now that he's unofficially announced his intention to go to the NFL, via his family telling the media that he's likely played his last game at the Swamp.
Keep an eye on Florida junior DT Lawrence Marsh who had 4 tackles against Alabama in last year's SEC title game. He's not a first two rounds type guy, but could be a sneaky late round pick for a team like the Rams wanting quality depth at the position and a coach known for making those kind of players into useful defensive contributors. Watch him against the run, Florida uses him as a NT.
Houston vs East Carolina
Houston QB Case Keenum has some gaudy stats that have put him in Heisman contention. Do the numbers translate to an NFL career?
DE C.J. Wilson is the man to watch for East Carolina. He's fallen off his impressive junior campaign that had 10.5 sacks, but could still be a mid round pick.
Cincinnati vs Pittsburgh
If you're an advocate of a 2nd round QB pick for the Rams then you need to watch Cincy QB Tony Pike today. He's an impressive guy whose biggest weakness is a lack of arm strength. I think he might be quick enough and mobile enough for a West Coast system, if he can manage to get the ball downfield enough to be a threat. Pat Shurmur had a great reputation as a QB coach in Philly, so his presence could help the Rams develop a QB like Pike.
Cincy WR Marshawn Gilyard has been a frequent target of Pike in the spread offense, the "s" word. Is he a system guy or can he have an impact at the NFL level? He might not have the size for a #1 WR role.
Texas vs Nebraska
Ok, you know the big names here, so there's no need to get repetitive. Keep an eye on Suh and McCoy. Lots of people think McCoy is nothing better than an NFL backup, but some think he could play at the pro level. Blame the spread offense for such reactions.
Texas OLB Roddrick Muckelroy came up this week in a mock draft that had him going to the Rams in the third round. I think that would be winning pick. He seems to always be around the ball and can play in coverage well too, something the Rams could use among their OLBs. Remember, Spagnuolo has a stated preference for finding mid round LBs and molding them.