We saw a lot of games that solidified contenders and exposed pretenders last week. A pair of ACC teams won in routes of a couple challenging games. Georgia escaped Tennessee and their ghastly gray uniforms, and Texas escaped Ames, Iowa with a controversial win over Iowa State. We have a lot of good games this weekend, but have to look back before we move forward. If you like (or don’t like) what I have to say, leave comments below. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanMountSports.
Last week we learned…
Jameis Winston is just damn good. The game between Florida State and Maryland was billed as an early season showdown and a chance for the Terps to make a statement that their program was back. However, Jameis Winston showed why he could be a number one NFL Draft pick in a couple of years by leading the Seminoles to a 63-0 victory. (I’m already seeing the #WinlessforWinston hashtag creeping up on Twitter.) The defense also played like an old-school Florida State team as they flew to the ball and shut down Quarterback C.J. Brown. Florida State is playing like a true national title contender and it’s doing everything it can to set up the big time showdown with Clemson. Winston vs. Tajh Boyd could be an amazing quarterback duel.
The Jadaveon Clowney debate is still raging. The stud defensive lineman (and object of many struggling NFL team’s defensive desires) returned to practice for 14th-ranked South Carolina after sustaining injured ribs. I did catch the game against Central Florida a few weeks ago and he didn’t look like himself at all. However, that was because he was injured a healthy Clowney is a game-changing defensive player. (He was still commanding double teams against the Knights.) Head coach Steve Spurrier said Clowney could play in the NFL right now. In fact, Deadspin did an article saying Clowney should shut it down until he gets paid to play. This is an interesting debate that is surrounding him. He does want to play and that should matter the most. We all know about the sick injury that happened to Willis McGahee when he played for Miami. Clowney should be allowed to do what he wants to do. If he wants to play, let him play.
A Track-gate party? Here’s an interesting story melding the worlds of college football and auto racing. Early reports indicate that Virginia Tech and Tennessee will play a football game in 2016 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The two teams are finalizing the details and it’s said that 160,000 people could attend the game. I’m interested to see where they put the field at the track. I did ask TJRSports.com’s racing expert Tyler Pierce (Follow him @tpierc07 for some great racing coverage.) This is what he came up with.
@DanMountSports could be huge. Perfect two teams to do it. Like many I wonder where the field will be. But could break record easily.— Tyler Pierce (@tpierc07) October 10, 2013
I echo his sentiments because I think this is a great chance to fit a lot of people into the track. It’ll also bring a lot of exposure to the track. I wonder if this means that Alabama is going to do a game at Talladega.
Let’s take a look at some of the matchups for this week.
Rutgers at (8) Louisville, 7:30 p.m. Thursday (ESPN): Normally I don’t feature games from the American Athletic Conference (the leftover football schools from the Big East with some old Conference USA members.), but this game does have some BCS implications. The Cardinals have Teddy Bridgewater (who could be the first QB taken in the draft) and a high-powered offense. The Scarlet Knights have been a tough out for the Ville. Gary Nova is the second leading QB in TD passes behind Bridgewater. This will be the last conference meeting between the teams as Louisville goes to the ACC and Rutgers to the Big Ten.
(25) Missouri at (7) Georgia, Noon ET (ESPN): The Tigers have gotten off to an undefeated start, but this will be the first real test for James Franklin’s crew. Defensive end Michael Sam has three sacks in three straight games. The Bulldogs could be without Todd Gurley for the second straight week and lost backup RB Keith Marshall and WR Justin Scott-Wesley to season-ending knee injuries. J.J. Green will have to step up and so will Aaron Murray.
Texas vs. (12) Oklahoma at Dallas, Noon ET (ABC): The Red River Rivalry kicks off for another year with a lot of questions surrounding Mack Brown. He’s been feeling the pressure from the alumni and pundits on whether he’ll get fired. (Especially after a questionable win over Iowa State.) Quarterback Blake Bell will look to roll over the Longhorns like he did last year.
(17) Florida at (10) LSU, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS): The Gators travel down to Death Valley to battle the Mad Hatter Les Miles. The Gators are still getting used to life without Jeff Driskel, but looked good relying on their stingy defense that gives up only 12.2 points per game. LSU has offense that Florida hasn't seen before as Zach Mettenberger has thrived under Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron. Florida needs to run the ball to keep LSU off the field.
(2) Oregon at (16) Washington, 4 p.m. ET (FS1): The Ducks have been an offensive juggernaut led by Marcus Mariota. He accounted for nearly 400 yards in seven TDs in last week’s game against Colorado. Washington lost a 31-28 heartbreaker to Stanford last week. The Huskies defense will be tested against the Ducks. Keith Price will have to play a perfect game at QB.
Dan Mount is a college football and NHL writer for TJRSports.com. He is based out of Watertown, N.Y.