This is a great week if you're a fan of viewing top ten teams. Alabama and Texas A&M, Michigan and Michigan State, Florida and LSU are all going head to head this week. You also get to see undefeated Memphis challenging 5-1 Ole Miss, and some potential upset specials in Baylor-West Virginia and TCU-Iowa State. Should be another enjoyable college football Saturday!
Game of the week
(12) Michigan at (7) Michigan State
3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN and WatchESPN
This week we see a revival of Michigan's in-state rivalry game, thanks to a resurgent Michigan under Jim Harbaugh. Michigan's defense has been absolutely stifling since their week one loss to undefeated Utah. In the following five games, they have allowed seven points twice, and shut out their other three opponents. Jourdan Lewis is the #1 cornerback, getting his hands on ten passes (intercepting two of them). Opposite him is a converted safety, the 6'4" 205 pound Jeremy Clark, who has three interceptions this year and can reportedly run a 4.4 forty yard dash. They have two senior linebackers in Desmond Morgan and Joe Bolden anchoring the middle of the defense. Senior defensive end Mario Ojemudia had six tackles for loss in five games before tearing his achilles tendon. He's currently figuring out if he can take a medical redshirt or if he'll enter the draft this year. They also have a powerful nose tackle in Ryan Glasgow and a good safety with Jarrod Wilson. The Michigan offense isn't anything to write home about, but tight end Jake Butt is definitely a draftable senior prospect.
Michigan State has had a strong core of players for a few years now. Obviously Connor Cook is the main draw; the senior has thrown twelve touchdowns against two interceptions so far. His top receiver is senior Aaron Burbridge. Michigan State's offensive line has at least two players worth your attention: left tackle Jack Conklin, and center Jack Allen. Both are solid players, but I'm not sure either one is a first rounder. Edge rusher Shilique Calhoun is the top defensive prospect, with five sacks on the season. The latest Bullough to come through Michigan State, Riley Bullough, leads the team in tackles as a junior linebacker. Defensive backs R.J. Williamson and Demetrious Cox could also be 2016 draftees.
Five guys I'm paying attention to this week
1. Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Coleman has 678 yards and a ridiculous 13 touchdowns so far this year, and he's done it on only 31 catches. He's a classic modern Baylor receiver, with explosive speed but not much in terms of height advantage.
2. Kenneth Dixon, RB, LA Tech
I'm a big fan of Dixon, who is a productive every down running back, dating back to some of his 2014 tape. I'd like to see him against Mississippi State's solid defense to see how he's developed his pass protection and if he can run with good production.
3. Zach Banner, OT, USC
Following the ugly firing of Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian, rumor is that Banner, the junior left tackle, plans to enter the 2016 draft. USC struggled big-time last week after losing their starting center to an injury. I'd like to see if Banner is holding up his end and winning one-on-one against a great Notre Dame defense.
4. Kentrell Brothers, LB, Missouri
I watched Brothers' game against Arkansas State and he was all over the field, showing outstanding ability to sift through traffic for tackles and getting his hands on two passes for interceptions. Even with Nick Chubb out, Georgia still has a strong rushing attack, and I want to see if Brothers can hold them back.
5. Connor Wujciak, NT, Boston College
The Eagles have been incredible at the point of attack, allowing 1.43 yards per carry and a single touchdown (despite opponents making 29 rushing attempts per game). Some of the credit has to go to BC's stout defensive line, including this senior nose tackle. They're heading on the road to face a potent Clemson offense. Will they be able to limit that rushing attack?
Discussion topic for the week
Five weeks into the season (almost six), where do you see Buffalo's draft needs? Are their positions you think the Bills absolutely need to address? Any positions they can safely ignore?