2020 NFL Draft prospects to watch: Red River Showdown, Top-10 SEC showdown highlight this week's slate
Road to the College Football Playoff gets bumpy in this week's slate of games
The weekend slate of college football games will have huge ramifications on the initial College Football Playoff rankings. Fans following this schedule will not only be able to watch football from noon ET through the night but also get a chance to witness several NFL Draft prospects.
Here is the road map for what should be an exciting weekend of college football:
No. 6 Oklahoma (5-0) at No. 11 Texas (4-1)
12 p.m. ET on FOX (stream on fuboTV, try for free)
The Sooners, along with Baylor, are the only undefeated team remaining in the Big 12. Texas is undefeated within the conference but did suffer a defeat at the hands of No. 5 LSU in Austin. There is a lot left for each team to achieve this season. Oklahoma is still alive in the College Football Playoff conversation as long as they remain undefeated. At some point, those four SEC teams around them (Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Florida) will be cannibalizing each other.
Lincoln Riley's offense is led by Alabama quarterback transfer Jalen Hurts. Hurts has not only joined the Heisman discussion but he is an emerging draft prospect as well. There is plenty of other talent in that program including linebacker Kenneth Murray, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, defensive tackle Neville Gallimore and center Creed Humphrey. Each of those players would likely hear their name called within the first two days of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Texas still has at least one more season with star quarterback Sam Ehlinger but safety Brandon Jones and wide receiver Collin Johnson will both bring the scouts to visit.
No. 1 Alabama (5-0) at No. 24 Texas A&M (3-2)
3:30 p.m. ET on CBS (stream on CBS All Access)
Texas A&M has not been able to celebrate a win against Alabama since Nov. 10, 2012. It was their only win over the Crimson Tide since joining the conference. Meanwhile, the stakes are all too familiar for Nick Saban's team. They are seeking their eighth National Championship appearance dating back to 2009.
Alabama is loaded with potential first round talent: cornerback Trevon Diggs, defensive back Xavier McKinney, linebacker Dylan Moses (although injured), wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, wide receiver Henry Ruggs III, offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Texas A&M, who is led by quarterback Kellen Mond, has several potential draft choices but the high end talent does not compare to what is being stockpiled in Tuscaloosa.
No. 10 Penn State (5-0) at No. 17 Iowa (4-1)
7:30 p.m. ET on ABC
The Nittany Lions are still hanging in to the race for the Big Ten East with Ohio State. James Franklin's defense has allowed just seven points in conference this season, which is the fewest from any Power 5 program. Who is the team that has allowed the second fewest points? Iowa. The Hawkeyes have given up just ten points this season. All signs point to a low-scoring affair in Iowa City.
Penn State's defense is led by edge rusher Yetur Gross-Matos, who has produced 5.5 sacks already this season. Iowa's front should be a good challenge with bookend offensive tackles Alaric Jackson and Tristan Wirfs likely being early draft choices. Jackson has missed most of the season with a knee injury but he dressed in their September win over Middle Tennessee State and was listed as the only left tackle on the team's depth chart this week. Defensive A.J. Epenesa is another prospect under consideration to be taken in the top ten.
No. 7 Florida (6-0) at No. 5 LSU (5-0)
8 p.m. ET on ESPN
Some may have assumed the Gators' season would submarine when quarterback Feleipe Franks went down with an injury but that is nowhere near the case. Florida carries an undefeated record into Baton Rouge. Florida edge rusher Jabari Zuniga was a name to monitor early in the draft process but the real depth is at wide receiver with Van Jefferson and Tyrie Cleveland.
LSU's strength has always been their defense. Cornerback Kristian Fulton, safety Grant Delpit and K'Lavon Chaisson could all be taken in the first round. The Tigers have some balance with a much improved offense led by quarterback Joe Burrow. The son of former Ohio University defensive coordinator Jimmy Burrow has elevated his play to the point where some are considering him a first round possibility.
Colorado (3-2) at No. 13 Oregon (4-1)
10 p.m. ET on FS1
Colorado has not had the start to the season that they expected but a bowl game could still be accomplished. Laviska Shenault is among a very deep prospect pool at wide receiver. Defensive end Mustafa Johnson has also flashed high level ability.
The Ducks are atop the Pac-12 North coming off wins over Stanford and California. They control their fate in that conference. Quarterback Justin Herbert is behind a talented offensive line distributing the football to tight end Jacob Breeland and his other receivers.
FCS Game of the Week
Illinois State (3-2) at Southern Illinois (2-3)
7 p.m. ET on ESPN3
There are some potential draft prospects in this showdown. Illinois State quarterback Brady Davis, safety Luther Kirk, running back James Robinson and offensive tackle Adam Solomon were all pegged by the Reese's Senior Bowl as players to watch. The same entity spotlighted Southern Illinois safety Jeremy Chinn and tight end Nigel Kilby.
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