Get stuff done today. This is your Saturday off for early college football. Thank the Gods.
This is a paper matchup in terms of hype. In terms of draft products? Not much either looking toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Still, it could be fun though.
This isn't about the matchup. This is about the NFL factory that LSU has become. G Vadal Alexander. CB Tre'Davious White. ILB Kendell Beckwith. FS Jalen Mills. WR Travin Dural. Those are just the immediate candidates. We already know how to approach what's coming out of Baton Rouge. And with RB Leonard Fournette ready to take over the early season narrative and a relatively soft schedule ahead of the November 7 meeting with Alabama in Tuscaloosa, the opportunity to get a feel for the LSU menu is qualified weekly viewing.
#24 Oklahoma St. at Texas (3:30pm ET, ESPN)
Texas isn't the factory it once was, but the arrival of freshman QB Jerrod Heard in the 44-45 loss to Cal has rejuvenated hopes in Austin on the back of 364 yards through the air and 163 (with three TDs) on the ground. Of course, that raises questions as to why Head Coach Charlie Strong waited until week 2 to play Heard in favor of Tyrone Swoopes who clunked in a 38-3 loss to Notre Dame to open the season.
Oklahoma St. themselves are in buildup mode starting just two seniors on offense and three on defense. The star power comes in the form of DE Emmanuel Ogbah who could be a round one selection next spring. It's the first test of the year for true sophomore QB Mason Rudolph. He too could be building a hype machine if things go well in 2015.
#3 TCU at Texas Tech (4:45pm ET, FOX)
Everything for the Horned Frogs points to the season finale on November 27 when #5 Baylor heads to Ft. Worth. Until then, it's just about handling business for QB Trevone Boykin and crew. Rams fans will want a look at WR Josh Doctson among others.
Tech and Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury are happy to play spoilers though. They've got a back-to-back with TCU and Baylor between this weekend and next with a chance to showcase the new look of the program after a plus year in the recruiting chase. RS Senior LT Le'Raven Clark is the premier draft prospect, but he's a day two option right now. They're in the mix in the second tier of the Big XII. A win either today or next weekend may be the catalyst to start building a challenge to the top tier in 2016 and beyond.
It's a Pac-12 day for college ball with the two games including two ranked teams coming late on out West. And with calls that it may be the best conference in college football this year, it's a fine week 4 showcase. The Bruins are riding the seismic wave of hype behind freshman QB Josh Rosen. He struggled big time in week 3 against a spitfire BYU team, but UCLA pulled out a 1-point win propelling them into the top 10. Now, though, without LB/RB/FREAK Myles Jack who is out injured for the season, UCLA has a tall task to keep things together for 2015 building up to what could be a program defining 2016 with just three starting seniors on offense and none on D.
Arizona, for their part, is a program on the rise after a 2014 season fueled by LB Scooby Wright and QB Anu Solomon. Wright is expected return tonight after a lateral meniscus tear in week 1. There's not a ton there outside of Scooby from a draft perspective, but if you want a look at a program on the rise that could be providing talent in the years to come, this game is the watch for you.
On the other hand if you're looking for established West Coast powerhouses, Oregon is always willing to have you over. They've got a feisty Utah on their hands with RB Devontae Booker leading the charge. UO's the kind of challenge Booker needs to succeed against if he wants to creep into day 1/early day 2 discussions. Rams fans may also be piqued by MLB Jared Norris as a potential James Laurinaitis successor.
As for the Ducks, there's plenty there, as per usual. They dropped a bit after coming up short against Michigan St. two weeks ago, but it's still Oregon. RB Royce Freeman is a true sophomore, but don't act like Jeff Fisher wouldn't love to spend a day 2 pick on him when he comes out.