Week 1 in college football begins tonight and this weekend already has a tone of mystique and intrigue. Usually the opener is reserved for a mulligan win to ensure a program starts the year off right. Although, like I always say, recruiting never stops so even if a program is indeed facing a cupcake, they could still face some recruiting pressure.
Recruits watch games. From uncommitted recruits watching their main suitors to committed recruits watching their future teams. In this piece, I'm going to give you five teams that are under the most recruiting pressure this weekend.
Charlie Strong is trying paint the state of Kentucky red with Cardinal valor and a win over rival Kentucky this weekend could be just what the doctor ordered.
Strong also is trying to convince recruits that Louisville is on the come, especially to his old back channels in Florida. Kentucky isn't going to be a world beater this year, but a loss to the Wildcats could set Strong and his efforts back a tad.
This is a must win for Louisville to ensure its recruiting profile continues to ascend.
Auburn had two consecutive excellent classes before falling last year to the mid-teens in the recruiting rankings. This year, the Tigers have a good class working and would like to add to it.
Clemson is on the same path and comes into this game as the superior team both on paper and in all of the major polls. With a lot of young talent, Auburn needs to show everyone that they've developed their players well over these past recruiting classes.
A bad showing on Saturday night could symbol poor player development to other recruits and derail the recruiting train for Gene Chizik.
Dabo Swinney has expanded Clemson's recruiting reach in each of the past three cycles. From Getting Tony Steward and Stephone Anthony two classes ago to Travis Blanks last year to Robert Nkemdiche this year; Clemson is becoming a force.
Yet they're not at Alabama, USC, Florida or Texas status. So a bad showing versus Auburn this weekend could have Nkemdiche really start to look at other schools more seriously.
After getting hit with 70 points in the Orange Bowl last season, Clemson needs to erase the bad taste out their moths immediately.
Miami travels to Boston College this weekend and the program is in a quirky place. They know at some point heavy sanctions are coming and Al Golden could chose to leave. Then again, Golden has been accused of some recent infractions himself.
Recruiting this year is going pretty well but the looming sanctions have people on edge. It's almost as if they are bracing themselves for something big.
Recruits likely sense it too, so if Miami doesn't look hot to trot in Boston this Saturday, they could be in for both a downward spiral season and recruiting class.
The seat is getting warmer and warmer for Derek Dooley and his staff. They haven't gotten the program back to consistency and recruiting has been so-so.
NC State has a QB that I like by the name of Mike Glennon and he could light up the Tennessee defense for some points this weekend. Tennessee is trying impress recruits like Vonn Bell and Derrick Henry, a poor contest against NC State is not what is needed right now in Knoxville.
Tennessee has the most recruiting pressure for week one.
Edwin Weathersby has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects & writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (now ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.