The Most Impactful Week 7 College Football Injuries
From No. 25 Michigan to No. 1 Alabama, there are a slew of great games to watch in Week 7. While it would be great to see every team face every other team on its schedule at full strength, it's October, and time passed undoubtedly means injuries have occurred—it's part of the game.
And with no one safe, there are important players who will not be on the field for many of the nation's 25 best teams.
Who are these injured players, and what impact could their loss have on the teams in question? Read on to find out who will not be on the field for this, the last weekend before the BCS standings take center stage.
Kentucky Wildcats at Arkansas Razorbacks
Kentucky will be without starting quarterback Maxwell Smith again in Week 7 against the Arkansas Razorbacks. When Kentucky went to backups Jalen Whitlow and Patrick Towles, things were already looking grim for the Wildcats.
While Arkansas has had a terrible season thus far, Tyler Wilson is classified as "probable" against Kentucky this weekend following a car accident. Unfortunately for Kentucky, backup quarterback Towles is expected to miss the game as well with an ankle injury.
Kentucky still has a shot to beat the Razorbacks if Wilson misses the game. However, if he takes the field, it will be up to Whitlow to carry the Wildcats to victory.
That doesn't seem very likely, especially if the Razorbacks' first conference victory over Auburn last week has given the Hogs real hope for 2012.
Nevada Wolf Pack at UNLV Rebels
Nevada's starting quarterback, Cody Fajardo, is questionable for the in-state rivalry match between the Wolf Pack and the Rebels.
While it doesn't necessarily give UNLV a decided advantage, it could be just enough of an advantage to push the Wolf Pack into a loss.
The good news for Nevada is that UNLV has "expected to miss" written all over its offensive and defensive lines for Week 7, which should at least make up for the fact that the Wolf Pack's field general is on the sidelines.
Fresno State Bulldogs at No. 24 Boise State Broncos
Boise State's third-ranked receiver, Mitch Burroughs, will be out indefinitely with a wrist injury. While the Broncos could absorb this hit in years past, it is more of a concern in 2012. Kellen Moore is no longer calling the shots for the Broncos, and receivers like Burroughs were able to pick up some of the slack.
Burroughs was a threat, not only on offense, but also on special teams as a returner. His lack of participation will be especially felt against a team that is poised to upset the Broncos.
Fresno State's ability to beat the Broncos just went up a little bit with this injury. Look out for the Bulldogs this week; they could end up on the short list for the Mountain West title.
No. 22 Texas A&M Aggies at No. 23 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Louisiana Tech and Texas A&M face off in what was originally supposed to be the season opener for these two squads. While Texas A&M enters the match relatively healthy, La. Tech is still missing its starting running back.
At the time of his injury, Tevin King was the leading rusher for the Bulldogs, having averaged 8.0 yards per carry. In other games, his absence wouldn't be so glaring. Against the Aggies, his ability to make plays will be sorely missed.
While this is not a new injury, it is definitely an injury that will impact the Bulldogs throughout the season.
No. 15 Texas Longhorns vs. No. 13 Oklahoma Sooners
The Red River Rivalry is one of the most legendary rivalries in all of college football. While these two teams battle to remain in the hunt for the Big 12 title, Texas comes into the match with a key player in "questionable" status.
Malcolm Brown could be a difference maker in this game, even though the Texas defense will likely be the deciding factor. Longhorns fans are hoping that Brown will be cleared to play. The good news is that there hasn't been an injury update since that linked article.
The article warns us all not to look for an update unless he's definitely ruled out. So, for Longhorns fans, no news is good news in this case.
*When a definite decision is made, it will be updated here.
No. 11 USC Trojans at Washington Huskies
According to statfox.com, USC's Robert Woods and Silas Redd are both listed as "probable" for Saturday's game against the Washington Huskies.
While a probable appearance isn't much cause for concern, it should be on Trojans fans' minds, in case it turns to "doubtful" or worse. If the Trojans lose two major players on their offense, Washington may just be able to pull off an upset over USC, just like it did over Stanford.
Again, this is a story worth following so you aren't blindsided should they not be cleared.
No. 10 Oregon State Beavers at BYU Cougars
Oregon State's starting quarterback, Sean Mannion, is out indefinitely with a knee injury. As the Beavers attempt to impose their will on the BYU Cougars, there is no doubt that Mannion's presence will be missed.
Wishing him a speedy recovery is obvious, but Oregon State's potential 10-, 11-win season is definitely in question. Starting with the BYU Cougars, each opponent is going to be much tougher than originally anticipated due to the loss of the signal-caller.
Hopefully, backup quarterback Cody Vaz will be more than serviceable and the Beavers defense can step up and make sure he doesn't have to be superhuman to win football games. We will all get a good idea of what to expect when this game kicks off.
No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes at Indiana Hoosiers
Jordan Hall is questionable for the Indiana game. While most of these slides are about how player injuries negatively affect a game for that player's team, this one is a little different.
From the examples of Hall's prowess at the tailback position in 2012, many fans may actually be looking forward to his sitting on the sidelines for a game or three.
No, nobody is happy that he sustained an injury, but it will give Buckeyes fans a chance to see the other tailbacks on the roster. Hall's absence from the Indiana game would allow Rod Smith to get a few more touches.
Smith may take this perfect opportunity to show that he shouldn't be behind Hall on the depth chart.
No. 17 Stanford Cardinal at No. 7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Ty Montgomery, Stanford's wideout with the second-most catches on the season, is "likely out" vs. Notre Dame this weekend. Stanford can still win the game, of course, but it will now be much tougher to do so.
Notre Dame enters this game knowing full well what a loss would bring. The Irish are not looking to fade away just yet. In fact, it's a safe bet that they aren't looking to fade away at all.
Stanford's odds of winning will go even lower if this piece of information turns from "likely out" to "out" over the next couple of days.
No. 5 West Virginia Mountaineers at Texas Tech Red Raiders
West Virginia's second-best tailback, Shawne Alston, is questionable in Week 7. Alston is responsible for three Mountaineer touchdowns so far this year, but he hasn't played since the game against James Madison.
Even with all that time off, Alston is still the second-most productive tailback at West Virginia. His return is greatly anticipated, but still seems to be at least another week away. While Texas Tech prepares to wage war with the Mountaineers, the Raiders will be hoping that Alston doesn't show up on the field.
Tommy Tuberville continues to try to bring SEC-style defense to the Big 12, but last week's showing against Oklahoma cast some serious doubt on his team's current ability to stop the better offenses in the Big 12.
A shot at redemption against the Mountaineers looks questionable at best, and a healthy Alston wouldn't help Tech in the least.
No. 3 South Carolina Gamecocks at No. 9 LSU Tigers
LSU has a major pair of offensive contributors out, whether indefinitely or for the season. Offensive tackle Chris Faulk is still out for the season, and his presence was sorely missed against Florida. Alfred Blue, the Tigers' second-best tailback, is out for at least this game as well.
To make matters even worse, Kwon Alexander is out as well. The freshman linebacker has only missed major playing time in two games, the two home games against Idaho and Towson.
LSU's depth has taken a hit, and it's difficult to say which hit was truly the worst. The combo of Blue and Faulk is worse than the single loss of Alexander, but the loss of all three is simply scary.
These three players could turn out to be the difference between a loss and a win in Death Valley on Saturday.
No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide at Missouri Tigers
Missouri's starting quarterback, James Franklin, is out indefinitely with a leg injury. While any game can be won by any team on any given Saturday, missing a starting quarterback is not beneficial to a successful game plan.
Franklin and the home crowd would have to be big factors for the Tigers to be competitive in this game. Now that the signal-caller is out, it's up to the home crowd to get loud enough that the backup can still win the game on offense.
No game's outcome is certain until it is played, but the loss of Franklin seems to be too big a blow for the Tigers to win this one.
The Tigers have lost to Georgia, South Carolina and Vanderbilt so far in 2012 conference play. A win over Alabama would be sweet, but it's highly unlikely. Franklin needs to rest and heal before he's ready for a challenge like that.