Every Saturday during the college football season, we'll have an open thread for readers of Buffalo Rumblings to discuss college football games. The thread is open to any and all collegiate discussions, but the posts themselves will emphasize draft prospects. This is, after all, a Buffalo Bills blog.
We're a touch pressed for time this morning, so rather than get too in-depth this morning, we're going to let y'all carry the discussion throughout the day. There are plenty of excellent matchups on television today - matchups that include highly-touted 2011 NFL Draft prospects - but these are our five favorite.
7:00 PM - Stanford at Washington. This is a pretty highly-anticipated matchup between the two quarterback prospects widely regarded to be the best in the nation, Andrew Luck and Jake Locker. Stanford will win this game - they're a much better football team. Luck will probably play very well; he usually does. A strong performance from Locker, however, would not only make for a highly entertaining football game, but put his name back into the conversations for being one of the first few names off the board come next April.
3:30 PM - Missouri at Nebraska. Mizzou quarterback Blaine Gabbert has been making some waves as a prospect ever since he led the Tigers to an upset of Oklahoma last week; he's a big kid with some solid skills to work with, and today he'll take on a very good Nebraska defense led by top-flight cornerback Prince Amukamara. If you haven't seen Gabbert play yet, this will be a very good gauge of just how far along he is.
3:30 PM - Michigan State at Iowa. It's not often that I get excited about a Big 10 matchup, but these are two very good football teams featuring some of the best defensive prospects in the nation. MSU linebacker Greg Jones continues to play very well this season, while Iowa's defensive line features two excellent prospects in Adrian Clayborn and Christian Ballard. This should be a close, hard-fought, entertaining football game, as well. We hope.
8:00 PM - Oregon at USC. This game isn't stuffed with big-name draft prospects, but a few exist: USC defensive tackle Jurell Casey and center Kris O'Dowd will be high-round selections, and receiver Ronald Johnson has a shot to get there, as well. On Oregon's side of the field, keep an eye on linebacker Casey Matthews if you wish, but mostly just drink in their incredibly potent offense, led by star running back LaMichael James.
12:00 PM - Purdue at Illinois. No, this will not be a fun game to watch, but I'm listing it here because Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan will be featured in this game. No player has risen up draft boards higher and faster than Kerrigan this season, to the point where even 3-4 teams are looking at him as a strong-side OLB. He's a relentless player, and you'd do well to keep an eye on his overall athleticism to see if he's as scheme versatile as he's supposed to be.
Also: G'Orange. Beat Cincy. Fin.