I'm under a time crunch today, and don't feel particularly hot, either. But I like the idea of highlighting the best college football matchups of the season for prospect hounds, so while this isn't as in depth as last week's, here it is. This week I'll be covering two weeks; less analysis, more than the minimum amount of flair.
Virginia Tech at LSU (9/8): This is the first contest on the college football calendar that should feature two top ten teams. Hidden in each's rating, though, is a pretty huge mismatch for LSU. The player to watch is the nation's premier three technique defensive tackle, senior Glenn Dorsey, along with the top rated LSU defensive line against a rebuilt, but likely resoundingly mediocre, VT offensive line. Expect Dorsey to eviscerate the VT O-Line and strangle tailback Brandon Ore with its bowels, a la Ricky-O. No, not literally. Ore will have a tough time getting started and I wouldn't be the least surprised if, in what is being touted as matchup of two top teams, this quickly becomes an old fashioned ass-whippin'. Scope LSU left tackle Cirion Black, who, besides having the Neo-Punkest name in the NCAA, is one of the top offensive tackle prospects in the country.
Arkansas at Alabama (9/15): Reggie Bush fans cover your ears, Darren McFadden is the best running back prospect since Barry Sanders. McFadden was all things for Arkansas, including an efficient quarterback, and will turn twenty just before the season starts. For Hawk fans, McFadden only becomes interesting if the season goes down the tubes, as he's a sure fire top five pick should he enter the pros after his junior season (with Arkansas a real long shot to make a title run my money says he will) but as a conciliation prize he's pretty sweet. Nick Saban's Crimson Tide will feature Saban's wacky hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense, and while I think Saban is an excellent coach who didn't get a fair shot in Miami, I don't think the unit will be quite gelled yet. I'd expect a good deal of pass rush, but lot's of inconsistency, too. So, watch McFadden, "oh", "ah", watch Zeke Knight be posterized, hope that Seattle isn't in the hunt for McFadden's services come spring, but feel heartened that even losing big has a silver lining.
Notre Dame at Michigan (9/22): The Hawks should be thinking tight end in next year's draft after signing stop-gap, at best, Marcus Pollard. Notre Dame's John Carlson is widely considered college's best bet at the position, and without a strong offensive line or an experienced Qb, he should get plenty of work in this contest. Michigan has a top line that will pressure Evan Sharpley and should force more than a few check-downs. The linebacking corps is pretty rough, though, with only Shawn Crable looking like much of an NFL prospect. This is an excellent opportunity for Carlson to really step up and show NFL scouts that deserves a first round nod.