The 2009-10 college football season gets underway in just a few minutes tonight on CBS College Sports with Abilene Christian hosting Northwest Missouri State at 8 pm EST.
Before you write off these two programs as small schools with less than ideal talent, know that Abilene Christian has a left tackle in Tony Washington (#78) who was ranked by some NFL scouts as a potential Top 75 pick for the 2010 draft. He earned All-American honors last season and was voted the Offensive Lineman of the Year.
There is talent on the other side of the ball with the Bearcats offering potential late round prospects Myles Burnsides (FS, #15) and LaRon Council (RB, #27) . Burnsides is a three-time all-conference pick, including first-team choice after each of the past two seasons and a All-American last year with 46 tackles and 4 interceptions. His savvy, physical play has some scouts ranking him as the best small school safety in the country.
Council lacks the straight-line speeds scouts prefer, but it is difficult to argue with his production. Council broke Xavier Omon's school record with 27 rushing touchdowns during the regular season last year. Including the playoffs, Council scored a staggering 36 touchdowns, leading the nation. He also finished third in the country with 1,739 rushing yards. To put things in perspective, Xavier Omon, has been impressive in early preseason work this summer with the Buffalo Bills, leading the team in rushing attempts and rushing yardage after being drafted in the sixth round two years ago.
Besides the potential NFL prospects, this looks like a terrific game. ACU and NW Missouri State will be playing for the third time in less than a year. ACU beat the Bearcats on their own turf early last year, but the Wildcats were beaten months later and knocked out of the D-II playoffs. The rubber-match should be very entertaining, considering the talent and the fact that ACU and NWMU each enter the game ranked among the top five.
NFL scouts and I will certainly be watching... If you're interested in some real Diamond in the Rough candidates and some good college football, you should too...