Week 11 is here and the craziness continues. Each saturday it seems, teams fall out of the playoff race and others rise to the occasion and stick their name in the party.
Tuesday night the College Football Playoff committee released their first Playoff rankings and the top 4, who would make the first ever College playoffs, were Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn and Mississippi. However, you knew that would change since #3 was facing #4 this past week. Obviously as I am writing this on Sunday evening the new rankings have not been released by the committee, which will be out Tuesday evening. The AP poll dropped Mississippi out of the top 10 and moved Alabama up to that cherished #4 spot. We will see what happens as we move along in the action packed college football season.
Saturday November 8th, 2014
#4 Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1) @ #14 LSU Tigers (7-2)
Another huge SEC game, Alabama needs to avoid a loss or even a “bad” win to stay at the #4 spot with plenty of teams barking at their heels for that spot. LSU on the other hand is coming off a win versus the #3 Ole Miss Rebels and a Bye week. LSU will look to knock out Alabama and be the top 2 loss team in the nation and as we have seen so far this season we never know what is going to happen next.
S Landon Collins Alabama Crimson Tide
Collins has got to be the first safety taken in the 2015 NFL Draft, he has played both the free and strong safety position for Nick Saban. Collins is a well built athlete and has very good feet. He has good coverage skills and is an excellent open field tackler. This season he has 53 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 TFL, and 5 passes broken up. Collins is a secondary saving type player and any defense could use him at the next level.
“ Collins is an instinctive safety, with good ability to play the run and cover underneath. He can play in the box or play back. He is also very good in run support. ” – Bret LaGasse
DE Jermauria Rasco LSU Tigers
Rasco had to bide his time early in his college career due the plethora of talent LSU had at the defensive line. Now having started last season and this year he has turned into a polished defensive end prospect and has become a stud for a young LSU defense. Rasco has 42 tackles, 3 sacks, 4.5 TFL and 5 quarterback hurries. Rasco has the numbers and tape to be a 2nd or 3rd day pick in the Draft.
“ Pure pass rusher for LSU. He has been consistent at getting after the QB, for a stout LSU defense.” – Bret LaGasse
Saturday, November8th, 2014
# 9 Kansas State Wildcats (7-1) @ #6 TCU Horned Frogs (7-1)
This game is basically a 1st place game in the Big 12. Kansas St is currently undefeated in the conference, but have a tough stretch of games to come. TCU is coming off a come back victory on the road at West Virginia to keep their playoff hopes alive. The loser of this game will also face a huge blow in their playoff chances. Both teams will be looking to control the offense and both have very different styles. Kansas State is more of a ball control offense, where TCU is a pedal to the metal fast paced approach.
QB Jake Waters Kansas State Wildcats
Jake Waters may not be the most physically opposing player, but he beats you with his mind and his knowledge of the game. Waters is a master of the shotgun, zone read offense that he runs at Kansas State. His throwing skills are average at best and he is good as a runner as well. Waters has 2.282 total yards this season with 18 touchdowns. Waters does not scream NFL quarterback, but given the opportunity he may impress you.
“ Jake Waters is a tough QB, who has earned his team’s respect. He doesn’t back down from a challenge and isn’t afraid of any defense.” – Bret LaGasse
QB Travone Boykin TCU Horned Frogs
Boykin is a quarterback that is screaming up the draft boards with a great season at TCU. This year he has 2,895 total yards with 26 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. Boykin has his team ranked in the top ten and contending for a playoff spot. At 6’ 2”205 pounds he has the size to work his way into a chance at the next level.
“ Boykin has shown some toughness and leadership. He has lead his team to tough wins over Oklahoma and WVU.” - Bret LaGasse
Saturday, November 8th, 2014
#13 Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1) @ #7 Michigan State Spartans (7-1)
Both teams have identical records, with both of their loses coming to non-conference opponents, but both losses are viewed very differently. Ohio State had a terrible loss at home to Virginia Tech, who is struggling to stay above .500. Michigan State’s loss was on the road at #5 Oregon. If it comes down to one-loss teams for the 3rd and 4th spots in the playoffs, that loss to Virginia Tech will kill Ohio State. This game will also determine who is tops in the Big Ten with Nebraska and Wisconsin on the outside looking in.
LB Joshua Perry Ohio State Buckeyes
One of the leaders of a good Ohio State defense, Josh Perry is a 6’ 4” 252 pound thumper. This season he has 70 total tackles, 1 interception, 1 fumble forced, and 5 tackles for a loss. Perry is also the guy who ensures his teammates are lined up correctly and makes the calls for this defense. Perry is a guy to watch if your team needs a linebacker in this years draft.
“ Josh Perry is a 3 down LB that keeps making plays on the Buckeye defense. He has done a great job at replacing Ryan Shazier.” -Bret LaGasse
LB Taiwan Jones Michigan State Spartans
Jones is the senior leader of the Spartan defense and is a monster as well. Jones has the ability to play the run, pass and rush the passer. Jones has 38 tackles, 9.5 TFL, and 4 sacks. At 6’3” 252 pounds, Jones has the skill set and size to play inside or out at the next level.
“ Jones is a big reason that MSU has one of the toughest defenses in the nation. Very disciplined and sound LB.” - Bret LaGasse
Saturday, November 8th, 2014
#8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-1) @ #11 Arizona State Sun Devils (7-1)
Coming off a heartbreaking loss at Florida State, Notre Dame went into Fed Ex Field in Landover, MD to take on Navy. This huge rivalry game lived up to its name and the Fighting Irish came out a ten-point winner. This week they travel to the desert to take on Arizona State. Arizona State had to go to overtime to defeat #17 Utah last week in a 19-16 game. This is a huge game for both teams, Notre Dame has the chance to take a win to balance out their loss to Florida State and Arizona State would love to get this huge non-conference game to bolster their resume.
S Elijah Shurmate Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Elijah Shurmate may not be the biggest safety you have ever seen, but he will not back down from anything. Shurmate has 42 tackles, 2.5 tackles, 1 sack and 3 passes defended. At only 6’ 0” and 205, he may better translate to the corner position at the next level.
“ Tackling machine. It’s hard to find a play that Shurmate is not involved in, whether it’s a pass or a run.” -Bret LaGasse
CB Jordan Simone Arizona State Sun Devils
Jordan Simone is a tackling machine in the secondary for the Sun Devils. With 73 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2 interceptions and 1 forced fumble, Simone is a force all over the field. He isn’t a huge guy at 6’0”, 195 pounds but has great form tackling skills and the ability to get guys to the ground. Simone is just a Junior so he could return and be a start for next years draft if he wants.
“ Scrappy CB, that doesn’t give up. He doesn’t quit very often.” -Bret LaGasse
Saturday, November 8th, 2014
#10 Baylor Bears (7-1) @ #16 Oklahoma Sooners (6-2)
After a road loss to West Virginia, Baylor returned home to thump Kansas and now will return to the road to travel north to Norman, Oklahoma for a showdown with the Sooners. Oklahoma returns home after a victory at Iowa State and home to avenge their loss to Kansas State at home, two weeks ago. Baylor has the top scoring offense in the nation and Oklahoma has the 9th ranked scoring offense, so this one could be the first to 50 kind of game.
DE Shawn Oakman
Shawn Oakman is a HUGE defensive end, at 6’9” and 290 pounds he may be the largest defensive player in College Football. Oakman uses his size very well and is a monster on the field. This season he has 31 tackles, 12.5 TFLs, 6 sacks and 2 fumbles forced. He is a great option as a five technique in a 3-4 defense at the next level.
“ Very athletic for his size. He can play inside and out. Very raw, but has an extremely high ceiling.” -Bret LaGasse
WR Sterling Shepard Oklahoma Sooners
At only 5’ 10” and 195 pounds Shepard is not an imposing figure, but his quick twitch and quickness is impeccable. Shepard is also the Sooners security blanket as a punt returner. Shepard has 50 catches for 957 yards and 5 touchdowns. Shepard has the ability to become a weapon at the next level if he can stay healthy and continue to showcase his talents.
“ Quick explosive WR for Oklahoma. He can make plays downfield and has become Trevor Knight’s favorite target.” -Bret LaGasse