Note from John: Welcome LetsGoMets3131 to the team. He'll be doing a weekly college football post for us.
As September comes to an end, Week 5 of the college football season brings some of the best matchups of the year. The schedule includes three AP top-ten matchups for the first time since 2002, which will help determine who gets a spot in the College Football Playoff. Washington made a statement with a big win over Stanford on Friday in the first of these games, but there are more good games to come on Saturday. Here’s a list of the best matchups, with some players to watch in each game. All times are Eastern.
(25) Georgia hosts (11) Tennessee at 3:30 PM on CBS. After an embarrassing 45-14 loss to a 2-2 Ole Miss team, Georgia looks to bounce back with a big win against the 4-0 Volunteers. Tennessee’s biggest win of the year was last week against 19th ranked Florida, 38-28, and if they are able to win on Saturday, they will certainly be discussed as a potential College Football Playoff team. The player to watch in this game is Tennessee DE Derek Barnett. After an impressive outing last week against Florida with two sacks, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. ranked Barnett as the 18th best player in next year’s draft class. At 6-3, 265, Barnett has elite pass rushing ability and will only move further up big boards if he can maintain his exceptional play on the field.
(4) Michigan hosts (8) Wisconsin at 3:30 PM on ABC. Wisconsin started the season unranked in the preseason AP poll, but they proved their critics wrong with a 16-14 win against 5th ranked LSU and a 30-6 blowout win last week against 8th ranked Michigan State on the road. Coach Jim Harbaugh has finally turned the Wolverines’ program around, but this is their first real test to prove they are a legitimate playoff team. Michigan is favored by 10.5, but the Wolverines’ have lost 11 consecutive games against top-10 opponents. The most exciting player in this game is Michigan S Jabrill Peppers. He measures in at 6’0, 210, and in late June, he apparently clocked a 4.34 40 time. This year, Peppers has played safety, cornerback, outside linebacker, running back and punt returner. He even intends on filling in as a wildcat quarterback. The 20 year old is an absolute freak, and he will undoubtedly give Wisconsin some headaches.
(5) Clemson hosts (3) Louisville at 8:00 PM on ABC. This game will be a battle of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation. Louisville QB Lamar Jackson has been dubbed the next Michael Vick after an electric start to his sophomore year, but Clemson QB Deshaun Watson has proven that he is one of top quarterbacks in the nation, and is projected to be the first signal caller off the board in next year’s draft. Louisville is a slight favorite by two points, but Clemson has won 18 straight home games. The winner of this matchup could potentially replace Ohio State as the number two ranked team in the nation, due to the Buckeyes’ lack of challenging opponents to start the season. On the defensive side of the ball, look out for Clemson CB Cordrea Tankersley. After leading the Tigers with five interceptions last year, Tankersley has zero this year, but scouts are still impressed with his play thus far and he has helped give Clemson the sixth ranked pass defense in the FBS. At 6’1, scouts are hopeful he can run a 40 yard dash in the 4.4’s.
Leave your thoughts on these games and others below.