This Weekend in College Football: Week 4

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Brigham Young @ Michigan (ABC): Don’t look, but, despite losing their starting quarterback BYU might actually be kind of good? Losing by a point to UCLA definitely isn’t the worst possible result. I like the Stormin’ Mormons in a slight upset here.
  • Louisiana State @ Syracuse (ESPN): This one does not figure to go well for the Orange.
  • Georgia Tech @ Duke (ESPN2): Well, Tech sure picked a good time to play one of their worst games of the past few years, huh? Oh, wait, no, it was terrible. Especially the offense, which Notre Dame’s talented defense took completely apart. We didn’t help ourselves, either. Perimeter blocking was especially bad, and it hasn’t really been good even when we were pounding Alcorn State and Tulane.
    As for this game, Duke themselves are also coming off a disappointing loss where they only managed to score 10 against Northwestern. Essentially, this is a clash of two teams looking to get on the rebound, which means this one may be decided by who get back up to speed more quickly.
  • Central Florida @ South Carolina (ESPNU): The season is on the brink of disaster for the Gamecocks, but they’re still doing better than UCF, which lost to Furman last week. Furman! Going with South Carolina here.
  • Southern Mississippi @ Nebraska (ESPNEWS): Nebraska should be able to wash out the taste of their loss to Miami last weekend with this one.
  • Navy @ Connecticut (CBSS): UConn managed to hold Mizzou to nine points last weekend and lose. I don’t think this bodes especially well for their changes against Navy.
  • Central Michigan @ Michigan State (BTN): The Chippewas look to go 0-3 against Power 5 teams.

12:30: Indiana @ Wake Forest (ACC): Uh, Indiana I guess?

3:00: Maryland @ West Virginia (FS1): The Mountaineers have already had their bye weeks, so we don’t really know what to glean from their beatdowns of Georgia Southern and Liberty. Maryland, meanwhile, owns a win over a FCS team, a win over a bad FBS team, and a beatdown by a MAC team. In my estimation, this is essentially a coinflip, but I’m still going with WVU.

3:30:

  • Tennessee @ Florida (CBS): Florida still appears to have too many issues on offense, while that seems to be the least of the Vols’s issues, so I’m going with them.
  • Massachusetts @ Notre Dame (NBC): The 30-22 score flatters Georgia Tech immensely, as most of last week’s game was a beatdown. Notre Dame’s offense still has some question marks, though. UMass is not talented enough to make them play in any meaningful way, though.
  • Western Michigan @ Ohio State (ABC/ESPN2): Michigan State only beat these guys by 13, so I’m sure that’ll give the Buckeyes something to aim for as they try to fix what ailed them last weekend.
  • Virginia Tech @ East Carolina (ESPN2/ABC): This doesn’t seem to be the interesting, feisty edition of ECU this year, which means VPI should have a relatively easy go of it.
  • Oklahoma State @ Texas (ESPN): I saw the Texas comeback fall just a bit short thanks to a missed PAT last week and it may be one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever seen in football. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State is ranked for some reason? They haven’t really played anyone, but Texas hasn’t really beat anyone. Tentatively going with the Cowboys to round up the Longhorns.
  • North Texas @ Iowa (ESPNU): I wish there some way I could pick the Mean Green here, but I just can’t.
  • Miami @ Western Kentucky (CBSS): Difficult to favor the MAC side in this one, as the Hilltoppers have looked much better so far.
  • San Diego State @ Pennsylvania State (BTN): Penn State still isn’t good or anything, but SDSU so far this year has been demonstrably worse.

4:00:

  • Middle Tennessee @ Illinois (ESPNEWS): Illinois is probably going to win, but it would be fun if they didn’t. Well, for most of us, at least.
  • Louisiana-Monroe @ Alabama (SEC): Look, I mean, UL-Monroe is going to Tuscaloose to get paid, but nonetheless they probably would not have preferred to visit a more ticked-off-than-usual Crimson Tide.

4:45: Texas Christian @ Texas Tech (FOX): Texas Tech is definitely better than they were last year. Are they 75 points better? Probably not.

5:00: California @ Washington (Pac12): We all knew Cal could score, but the questions that surround their defense still seem to be there after allowing Texas’s almost-rally last weekend. Nonetheless, a conference win would be a huge building block for the Bears, and I think they’ll get it.

7:00:

  • Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (@Arlington, TX; ESPN): Arkansas is going to get pounded here, y’all, and spread coaches everywhere are going to be more than happy to watch Bert Bret Bielema continue to eat crow.
  • Vanderbilt @ Mississippi (ESPNU): I’m reasonably sure that the 47-7 win over Austin Peay will make up about 50% of Vandy’s win this year (if not 100%) and will definitely be their largest margin of victory. Ole Miss may inflict their largest margin of defeat.
  • Colorado State @ Texas-San Antonio (CBSS): I’m going to go on a limb and say that the Rams are the only team to lose two overtime games so far this year. UTSA is 0-3, but those three losses were to Arizona, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State. I mean, I’m still going with the Rams, but the Roadrunners probably(?) aren’t that bad.

7:30:

  • Mississippi State @ Auburn (ESPN2): It’s the battle of two SEC West teams that already have losses to LSU! Of course, the Tigers look to be in real trouble after struggling with Jacksonville “Not That Jacksonville” State and getting pounded by Leonard Fournette and his comrades. Going with Miss State here.
  • Missouri @ Kentucky (SEC): I’m going to pick Kentucky. Mizzou has failed to look cohesive on offense at all this year, including last week’s debacle of a win over UConn.

8:00:

  • California-Los Angeles @ Arizona (ABC): Here’s the data I have for this game. Arizona has played absolutely no one, but beat them very convincingly. UCLA has taken two bad teams to task and scraped by a pretty solid team (BYU). The takeaway? Um… I figure it’s a wash. I’m picking the Bruins.
  • North Carolina State @ South Alabama (ESPNEWS): The Wolfpack should finish riding their extremely soft non-conference schedule to 4-0 with this game.
  • Hawaii @ Wisconsin (BTN): Presumably this sets up a Badger trip to Hawaii in the future? Either way, it’s a win in both the present and future.

8:30: Utah @ Oregon (FOX): The Utes have been pretty stead so far this season, but it’ll still be awhile before I can convince myself to pick against Oregon, despite the Michigan State result.

10:30:

  • Southern California @ Arizona State (ESPN): The Sun Devils haven’t seemed terribly inclined to score a lot of points so far this year, which means I don’t like their odds against the Trojans.
  • Fresno State @ San Jose State (CBSS): Well, it’s Silicon Valley versus the Central Valley. Both teams are 1-2 mainly due to losing games that, well, you’d expect them to lose. Neither has also demonstrated much in the way losing well, either, so my non-existent coin here is going with State. Er, San Jose State.

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