Here’s my schedule for week eight and what I’ll be looking out for:
UCLA at Oregon
I’ve recorded this from last night and will be watching later today. My focus will largely be on how the Bruins manage Oregon’s spread offense, particularly stand out linebacker Akeem Ayers.
Wisconsin at Iowa
It’s another chance to watch Gabe Carimi (OT, Wisconsin) manager one of CFB’s better defensive ends. He did a sound job on Ohio State’s Cameron Heyward las week (although I think Heyward is over rated). Adrian Clayborn (DE, Iowa) hasn’t put up the big numbers this year and I’ve read mixed reviews. This is my first chance to watch Clayborn in 2010 and I want to see if he deserves to be classified in that top-15 range next April.
LSU at Auburn
This should be a fun game to watch although I suspect Auburn’s offense will smother LSU. Will Cam Newton (QB, Auburn) take on Patrick Peterson (CB, LSU)? I doubt it. Expect to see another 20-25 runs by Newton and another big yardage game. Unfortunately his skills just don’t translate (in my opinion) to the NFL. Despite a rather fortunate unbeaten start to the year, LSU’s quarterback situation is far from ideal. Nick Fairley (DT, Auburn) was this week labelled an ‘elite’ junior by Mel Kiper. I didn’t see that against Arkansas, but this is a much more favorable match up.
Oklahoma at Missouri
Blaine Gabbert (QB, Missouri) might end up being the third quarterback taken next April. Right now he’s in that round 2-3 range but he needs to keep winning and he needs to prove he’s capable of making pro-reads. We probably won’t see the latter due to the system Gabbert’s in, but physically there’s not much that holds him back. Can he keep with Oklahoma’s prolific offense? Christian Ponder couldn’t. Ryan Broyles (WR, Oklahoma) is slowly gaining momentum and his 15-catch performance last week continues to push his stock into the late first round/early second. Can Jeremy Beal (DE, Oklahoma) get back amongst the sacks after a rare sackless game last week (18 sacks in his last 19 games).
Notre Dame at Navy
Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame) divides opinion. In fact – so does Julio Jones (WR, Alabama) and Jonathan Baldwin (WR, Pittsburgh). One of them may well go in the last first round, but which? Floyd has everything you want from a #1 receiver physically. However, he runs sloppy routes, body catches far too much and doesn’t play up to his physical talents. He needs to step up, like the ND coaching staff have been fighting for all year, to become the prospect he’s capable of being.
Don’t forget – if you’re watching a game or two this weekend, let me know your thoughts. Who impressed? Who disappointed? Give us a name or two to look out for. You can leave comments on any of the blog posts at any time, or email firstname.lastname@example.org