BLITZING SEVEN: Heisman Recruiting Rankings, The Red River War, College Gameday at JMU & Moving
1. Heisman Favorites Recruiting Rankings Part 1 QBs: To answer the question if anybody saw these guys coming the answer is mostly no. If you look at the recruiting rankings of the top Heisman favorites QBs and RBs none of them were even rated the best players in their state or at their position.
Quarterbacks position rank state rank
Baker Mayfield Oklahoma 3-star N/A N/A
Lamar Jackson Louisville 4-star 17th (Dual-threat) 51st FL
Sam Darnold USC 4-star 8th 25th CA
2. Heisman Favorites as Recruits Part 2 RBs:
Running Backs position rank state rank
Saquon Barkley Penn State 4-star 11th 2nd PA
Bryce Love Stanford 4-star 6th 6th NC
Rashaad Penny San Diego St 3-star 44th 63rd CA
3. The Red River War is Now a Must-Win: Two weeks into the 2017 season this game looked like a game that would be an Oklahoma rout. After Oklahoma’s surprise loss to Iowa State, this game is now a must-win for them if they hope to contend for a conference title and a playoff spot. Texas is suddenly looking very different from the team that dropped their season opener at home against Maryland. The Longhorns have won 3 of their last four games with the only setback being an OT loss at USC. After an OT win against Kansas State, Texas is 2-0 in the Big 12 and has a chance to put a dagger in the Sooners’ title hopes.
4. Gameday Goes FBS: Once again ESPN’s College Gameday Show is making its way to #1 James Madison University before they host conference foe #11 Villanova. JMU is 5-0 after opening the season with a 34-14 win at FBS opponent East Carolina. Villanova narrowly missed beating FBS opponent Temple and is off to a good 4-2 start in a new era. Mark Ferrante is in his first year as the head coach after 3 decades as an assistant to legendary Villanova Head Coach Andy Talley. Having been a coach for a very good JMU team in 1994, it is always fun to see the Dukes thriving. The school's growth in academic and athletic facilities has made them a dominant FCS program.
5. Can South Carolina Step Up? The Gamecocks travel to Tennessee and the Neyland Stadium house of horrors with the Volunteer Fans in near mutiny. After a great win over NC State and a dominant performance against Missouri South Carolina looked like they'd challenge Georgia in the SEC East. After losses to Kentucky and Texas A&M the 4-2 Gamecocks are two games behind Georgia. This is an important game for them if they hope to have a chance to catch undefeated Georgia. To get it done their run game will have to show up and that has been a problem this season. Tennessee has their backs against the wall, and that makes them dangerous.
6. Anchors Aweigh: Undefeated Navy, now ranked #25, heads south to play Memphis. The US Military hasn’t had a challenge like this along the Mississippi River since the fall of Vicksburg. While the Navy rushing attack should give the struggling Tigers’ defense fits, this is no gimme. Memphis has upset the last 3 ranked teams who came to the Liberty Bowl.
7. Midway Moving Day in The Big Ten: #21 Michigan State goes to Minnesota looking to stay undefeated in conference play, so we will see how this rejuvenated Spartan team plays as a favorite. #9 Ohio State is at Nebraska in a critical game for the Huskers to keep pace in the West and for the Buckeyes to keep pace in the East and nationally. Purdue is a surprising 3-2 this year and travels to #7 Wisconsin where they will face a bruising running attack and Badger RB Jonathan Taylor who leads the Big Ten in rushing. If these games fall as expected Wisconsin could finish week seven with a two-game lead in the Big Ten West.