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College football week 12 - Games and players to watch

Games and players to watch while the Giants are on their bye

NCAA Football: Missouri at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning and happy Saturday New York Giants fans!

While we’re enjoying the Giants’ bye week, collge football is running headlong into the final stretch of their regular season. This week we saw the current official rankings released, and Alabama’s loss to LSU appears to be hugely consequential. With LSU, Ohio State, Clemson, and Georgia rounding out the top four, we could have our first College Football Playoff without Alabama.

To put that in context, that would be like having the NFL post-season with the New England Patriots on the outside looking in.

But we’re not there yet and there is still football left to be played, so let’s concentrate on this week, shall we?

Wake Forest at Clemson (3)

ABC - 3:30pm

Despite being the reigning national champions, Clemson has slipped to the third team in the rankings. That has more to do with their strength of schedule compared to the other top teams than their own weakness. Clemson still has a great team and has a good chance of playing for once again playing for the title.

Most of the draft prospects will be wearing orange this game, but keep an eye on Wake Forest EDGE Carlos Basham Jr. Basham is a big (6-foot 5 inch, 275 pound) and athletic defender who could be an every-down player at the next level. It’s unfortunate that linebacker Justin Strnad will miss the game, as he could be an instinctive and athletic linebacker with a good fit in an NFL looking for options to defend increasingly common spread concepts.

Players To Watch

Wake Forest

  • Carlos Basham Jr. (DE/EDGE)
  • Essang Bassey (CB)
  • Justin Herron (OT)


  • Isaiah Simmons (LB)
  • A.J. Terrell (CB)
  • Travis Etienne (RB)
  • Tee Higgins (WR)

Georgia (4) at Auburn (13)

CBS - 3:30pm

Annoyingly, the Football Gods (or at least the schedule makers) gave us three games worth watching at the same time. The first was Wake Forest at Clemson, the second being this game, and the third being Minnesota at Iowa, which airs on Fox at 4 pm.

I wouldn’t blame anyone who watches any of these games, or anyone who flips between them — or spends Sunday watching them on DVR instead of the NFL, it is bye week after all.

I chose to highlight this game because of left tackle Andrew Thomas. The Giants currently hold the third pick in the draft and Thomas could be their pick. His is a massive tackle who carries almost no bad weight and looks even bigger than his listed 6-foot, 5 inch, 320 pound frame. He is also a remarkably easy mover, and not just for his size. He is able to mirror rushers and stay square to the offensive line with little apparent effort, while also having more than enough power to maul in the run game.

We should also probably pay attention to Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown, just in case. He too is a massive and almost impossibly athletic lineman who is having a great and productive year as he puts all the pieces together.

Players To Watch


  • Jake Fromm (QB)
  • Andrew Thomas (OT)
  • Soloman Kindley (OG)
  • D’Andre Swift (RB)
  • Monty Rice (LB)
  • Richard LeCounte III (S)
  • J.R. Reed (S)


  • Derrick Brown (iDL)
  • Prince Tega Wanogho (OT)
  • Jack Driscoll (OT)
  • Nick Coe (DL)

Oklahoma (10) at Baylor (12)

ABC - 7:30 pm

This game could determine whether or not the Big 12 has a representative in the College Football Playoffs... Or even a chance of having one.

Oklahoma remains an offensive powerhouse despite slipping to Kansas State two weeks ago and narrowly beating Iowa State last week. QB Jalen Hurts has had a rennaisance playing for Lincoln Riley and potentially put himself in the first round of the 2020 draft. Hurts has always been known as a great teammate, but since transferring to Oklahoma he has drawn comparisons to Dak Prescott for his play on the field and his leadership off of it. Depending on how the remainder of the 2019 season goes for the Giants, Oklahoma receiver CeeDee Lamb could be a player to watch. While he lacks elite speed, he is a technician in every aspect of a wide receiver’s craft, with superb body control to make use of his skills.

Baylor, meanwhile, has been resurrected from the mess that was the end of Art Briles’ tenure. Matt Rhule has transformed their program and they carry an undefeated record and a chance to play for the National Championship just a couple years after being threatened with the death penalty for the scandals that rocked their campus.

Keep an eye on defensive tackle James Lynch, who has 8.5 sacks on the season and terrorized TCU a week ago. He has intriguing athleticism to go with a versatile 6-foot 4 inch, 295 pound frame. Also, Baylor receiver Denzel Mims could create a buzz with his size (6-foot 3, 215) and ability to generate yardage and touchdowns.

Players To Watch


  • James Lynch (iDL)
  • Denzel Mims (WR)


  • Jalen Hurts (QB)
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR)
  • Creed Humphrey (iOL)
  • Grant Calcaterra (TE)
  • Neville Gallimore (iDL)
  • Kenneth Murray (LB)