The college football season is finally starting to hit its stride. Teams have had a few games to knock off the rust so one would expect play to intensify. There are a handful of exciting matchups on this weekend's schedule that should ensure college football fans do not need to leave their respective couches. The Big Ten will open play later this month but, for now, the focus remains on the ACC, Big 12 and SEC.
No. 4 Florida at No. 21 Texas A&M
Saturday, Oct. 10 at noon ET on ESPN (stream on fuboTV, try for free)
The Gators are led by quarterback Kyle Trask, who has elevated his stock as much as anyone since entering the starting lineup last season. He is comfortable in the scheme and willing to give his teammates a chance down the field. Fortunately, there are really talented skill players like tight end Kyle Pitts to make those attempts successful.
Best thing about @GatorsFB QB Kyle Trask is courage making tight window NFL throws. Has confidence in his own ability to put ball where he wants and faith in skill guys to make contested plays. Some QB have one or the other but few have both. Similar to Joe Burrow in that regard. pic.twitter.com/ZsBVqUtm5m— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) October 8, 2020
Defensive tackle Tedarrell Slaton and edge rusher Jeremiah Moon are a few of the names to know on the defensive side of the ball for the Gators. The secondary has a lot of talent per usual.
The Aggies are not as flush with top tier talent. Quarterback Kellen Mond commands a lot of attention but he has not taken the step forward that many had hoped. Offensive tackles Ryan McCollum and Carson Green are two intriguing prospects. Edge rusher Michael Clemons is a likely Day 3 prospect.
No. 19 Virginia Tech at No. 8 North Carolina
Saturday, Oct. 10 at noon ET on ABC (stream on fuboTV, try for free)
Cornerback Caleb Farley would have been the primary marketing pitch for this weekend's game had he not opted out. He is a big cornerback that has all of the athletic traits to potentially be taken in the Top 10 of the 2021 NFL Draft. In his absence, a few of the Hokies to monitor are safety Divine Deablo and wide receiver Changa Hodge, who transferred in from Villanova. Hodge recorded 65 receptions for 1,118-yards and 13 touchdowns in 2019.
North Carolina wide receiver Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome are great college players and weapons for gifted quarterback Sam Howell, who is not eligible until the 2022 NFL Draft. Linebacker Chazz Surratt is the premier NFL prospect for the Tar Heels. The former quarterback has a unique perspective playing defense and uses that to his advantage.
No. 22 Texas at Oklahoma
Saturday, Oct. 10 at noon ET on FOX (stream on fuboTV, try for free)
Texas offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi is likely the leader in the clubhouse to be the first Longhorn selected. Linebacker Joseph Ossai and safety Caden Sterns would be the next on that list. Ossai is not used to his strengths in that defense. Offensive tackle Derek Kerstetter has been good as well but early impressions of him are similar to Zach Shackelford. Initially, I was higher on Shackelford than the industry average. As I watched more, it became clear that my initial evaluation was incorrect. The fear is that history is repeating itself with Kerstetter but time will tell.
For Oklahoma, the primary name to know is center Creed Humphrey. He has the ability to be taken in the first round. It was a bit surprising when he did not declare for last year's draft. The Sooners have a lot of draftable talent on defense but none have shown enough to warrant that early round consideration.
No. 14 Tennessee at No. 3 Georgia
Saturday, Oct. 10 at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS (stream on CBS All Access)
Offensive guards Trey Smith and Cade Mays are one of the best pairings in college football. They have been paving the way for an undefeated Tennessee team. Every time the Volunteers play, my colleague Jordan Dajani reminds me that it is Henry To'o To'o time. The sophomore linebacker is not eligible this year but certainly looks like one to watch down the road.
Georgia has easily rolled teams to start the season. The Bulldogs essentially have future NFL players lined up all over the field. The strength of their team is the secondary. Cornerbacks D.J. Daniel, Eric Stokes Jr. and Tyson Campbell are as deep and talented a group as college football can offer this year. Defensive tackle Jordan Davis and center Trey Hill are very talented interior players on opposite sides of the line of scrimmage.
No. 7 Miami at No. 1 Clemson
Saturday, Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC (stream on fuboTV, try for free)
Will D'Eriq King show enough as a passer to warrant a look at quarterback in the NFL? Teams should give him a chance but he should be open to whatever will give him the best chance to have a profitable, sustained career in the NFL. Tight end Brevin Jordan was included in the first round of my most recent mock draft.
Edge rusher Gregory Rousseau has opted out of the season. He is projected to be taken in the first round. Fellow edge rusher Quincy Roche is a polished pass rusher that will entice several teams in the first round because he is a more finished product than most of his peers. Safety Bubba Bolden has really flashed on tape to begin the season. He is a rangy player that can come downhill and make some plays in the box.
Similar to Georgia, Clemson is loaded with talent. It all begins with quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who is the heavy favorite to be the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. Offensive tackle Jackson Carman and offensive guard Matt Bockhorst are really good players tasked with protecting the long-haired wonder. Running back Travis Etienne is in contention to be the first running back taken. He has improved his capabilities as a pass catcher. Derion Kendrick could be the next Clemson cornerback taken in the first round.
The full slate of college football games can be found at CBSSports.com! Find out who our panel of experts are predicting to win each of these games as well as several of the weekend's other top matchups!