Whether this was purposeful or by design, the college football slate is devoid of matchups between ranked teams after UCLA v. Nebraska at 9 a.m. Pacific Time –except for Alabama and Texas A&M. From coast to coast, border to border and hi-def to Bear Bryant peering down from heaven at two schools he coached at, all eyes will be glued to this seismic SEC West clash. CBS even devoted an entire camera to Johnny Manziel. Sure it's just early September, however, compared to college football's most recent "Games of the Centuries", the personalities of Manziel, Sumlin, McCarron and Saban have created an additional layer of intrigue.
Charles Barkley even sounded off on his Manziel-fatigue during the week on ESPN Radio in Chicago. He's not alone. People want to see Manziel play, not hear him talk or have the minutiae of his day-to-day life analyzed ad nauseua.
While Money Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez distract the nation for a few hours after A&M and 'Bama, Wisconsin's third-ranked rushing offense will stage a matchup of diametrically opposing styles against Arizona State's top-10 passing attack.
RING OF FIRE This week Johnny Manziel faces his possible reckoning, Arizona State preps for an offensive exhibition and UCLA essentially kicks off at 9 a.m.
No. 6 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama: If you listen to Alabama, this is just another game. For Texas A&M, this is one of the biggest games in school history. A victory for the Aggies would put them in the SEC’s pole position for their annual slot in the national championship game. The Aggies claim three national championships, but, they all came during the leather helmet era. If they want a first in the modern era, beating Alabama would be their best chance. Alabama’s offense looked disjointed against Virginia Tech, but not nearly as out of whack as A&M’s defense has appeared. At least we know who Auburn alum, Charles Barkley is rolling with.
No. 16 UCLA at No. 23 Nebraska – Brett Hundley is the quarterback the Blackshirts of Nebraska thought Taylor Martinez could have been. Martinez is always a threat to go the length of the football field running, however, he never shown the capacity to push the offense vertically with his arm. Hundley’s freshman season kicked off with a 72-yard run on his first snap, but it was his 305 yards and four passing scores against the Cornhuskers in his second start as a Bruin last season that propelled him to national stardom. The game kicks off at noon on the east coast and 9 a.m. for UCLA’s player’s bodies.
No. 20 Wisconsin at Arizona State
Neither one of these defenses has allowed a single point in three combined games this season. That’s bound to change for both teams. Especially Wisconsin. Arizona State’s passing offense is more potent than TNT. Last season, Todd Graham imported his turbo-charged passing attack to the desert and they averaged 602 yards per game thanks to the surprising dual threat ability of junior quarterback Taylor Kelly. Why watch Floyd Mayweather Jr. box defensively on Saturday night when this one could be an offensive slugfest?