clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Saturday Open Thread: NFL Spans the Weekend, Bowl Season Opens for CFB

The two biggest levels of American football are on display as bowl season starts for the college game and the NFL slides two games over to the Saturday schedule.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

It's a great day for football. Here's the schedule

College Bowl Games

Nevada (7-5) v. Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4) - R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: ESPN, 11:00am

Not an abundance of talent, but Rams fans might well want to get a look at Nevada QB Cody Fajardo. I'd argue he's deserving of a day two pick, but he's dealing with the opposite of Marcus Mariota. His offensive line and skill players are simply substandard. That creates an odd conundrum. His experience with a poor line and receiving corps may actually help him in the NFL if he's brought in to a team drafting in the top 12 of the round who would seem to be in a similar situation at the pro level. On the other hand, that will mean there's a learning curve to be had. Bear in mind that Fajardo's predecessor at Nevada, Colin Kaepernick, took in a year and a half of tutelage before taking over for Alex Smith...

Utah St. (9-4) v. UTEP (7-5) - Gildan New Mexico Bowl: ESPN, 2:20pm

No Chuckie Keeton = no real NFL impact here. If you enjoy the bottom of the bowls for the opportunity for schools like this to get a big game, it could be entertaining for bowl pageantry alone (along with the B roll of Doug's New Mexico landscape). If you're looking for Rams though, you can kill off an hour.

#22 Utah (8-4) v. Colorado St. (10-2) - Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: ABC, 3:30pm

In terms of quality, this is the best game of the day. Colorado St. might have the best NFL QB in contention today in Garrett Grayson. I can all but guarantee that you're going to see some mocks between now and late April offering Grayson as a first round pick. For me though, he's a day two play. Rams fans also want to get a look at offensive tackle Ty Sambrailo. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up getting picked ahead of Grayson on day two.

Utah's got a pair of big prospects, though one is still sidelined in WR Dres Anderson, son of former Ram Flipper Anderson. That alone would have piqued much interest from Rams fans I'd guess. Nate Orchard is going to be an early DE pick for someone. I could see him going in the back of the 1st. Might be a good look for junior offensive tackle Jeremiah Poutasi, though I'd expect him to go back for his senior year and try to play himself into day one contention.

Western Michigan (8-4) v. Air Force (9-3) - Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: ESPN, 5:45pm

I'm not telling you what to do, but I am telling you what not to do. Don't do this to yourself.

South Alabama (6-6) v. Bowling Green (7-6) - Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: ESPN, 9:15pm

I'll be honest. Haven't watched a second of South Alabama this year (I have watched some Bowling Green, and yes I have an affliction). I'll get some of this one in just to get a look at QB Brandon Bridge. He's helped South Alabama to a historic bowl opportunity, and in their backyard tonight in Montgomery, Alabama, he's got not excuse not to shine.


Philadelphia Eagles (9-5) at Washington Redskins (3-11): NFL Network, 4:30pm

This one's all about the Eagles trying to stay in the mix after their disappointing loss to Dallas last weekend. Washington obviously has nothing to play for but draft position. If the Eagles can get some early points, Washington could just crumble in front of them. The Rams showed Philly how that can get done.

San Diego Chargers (8-6) at San Francisco 49ers (7-7): CBS, 8:25pm

This one could have been a top tier playoff hunt matchup, but San Francisco will be on the outside looking in for the first time since 2010. With rumors that Jim Harbaugh's headed to be the next head coach at the University of Michigan (and that Patriots OC Josh McDaniels could replace him...woof), the 49ers are on the verge of a seismic shift in power across the NFC. If they fall off, the seat to challenge the Seahawks at the top of the conference is open.

The Chargers, on the other side, are in the midst of a crowded AFC Wild Card field. Their last two home games were supposed to offer them a chance to solidify their case. Instead, they put up two losses to the Patriots and Broncos on home soil. That leaves them coming into this one as a must-win (an actual must-win, not a suggested one). As one of the three franchises (along with the Raiders and Rams, though the latter might be coming up with an offer owner Stan Kroenke can't refuse...) in the rumored discussions regarding a move to Los Angeles, the Chargers would do well for a statement win today.