This Weekend in College Football: Week 4

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Florida State @ Clemson (ABC): The game formerly known as the Bowden Bowl is opening the day instead of being one of the closers because of some of the heavy hitters we’re going to get to. Regardless, Clemson is here to try to prove they’re still among the elite in college football, while Florida State is ready to announce their entry into said class. I think the Noles will do it, as well.
  • Oklahoma @ Cincinnati (FOX): Cincy definitely wishes they had their 2021 team still around for their first ever Big 12 game, but alas an Oklahoma team that’s still good at offense and much improved on defense will likely be too much for them.
  • Auburn @ Texas A&M (ESPN): If this A&M team made any sort of sense, they’d be an easy pick here. Instead, they don’t. I still think Auburn is still too-talent deficient this season for the SEC, but it’s hard to count on A&M to really do anything. I still think Jimbo will get it done in this game, but if I were a betting man I’d stay far away.
  • Virginia Tech @ Marshall (ESPN2): Virginia Tech isn’t good, but I don’t think they’re bad enough to lose to this Marshall team.
  • Southern Methodist @ Texas Christian (FS1): The Iron Skillet is on the line for the last time in a while, and this figures to go out with a bang. Both teams are little off from last year’s iteration that saw TCU win 42-34. Back across town, SMU’s chances actually seem a little higher against a TCU defense that might be figuring it out a little bit and an offense may not be able to do what last year’s group did. Overall, I give a slight edge to the Ponies.
  • Rutgers @ Michigan (BTN): Even entering Big Ten play, Michigan still won’t have played anyone until, well, arguably over a month from now. Yeah.
  • Western Kentucky @ Troy (ESPNU): Last year, this would’ve been a lot of fun. This year, not so much. Then again, WKU put up more points on USF than Bama did. Meanwhile, Troy’s defense isn’t what has been the past few years and they’re still limited offensively. The Hilltoppers figure to prevail here.
  • Kentucky @ Vanderbilt (SEC): Yeah, the “Vandy is kind of competent” train derailed last week in Vegas, and with it their prospects of winning a single SEC game this season.
  • Tulsa @ Northern Illinois (CBSS): Shouts out to Tulsa for getting that bag, enduring 43-10 and 66-17 losses to Washington and Oklahoma respectively in back-to-back weeks. (At least the Sooners made the trip up to Tulsa.) The degree of difficultly drops significantly for this trip to suburban Chicago, but the downside here is that I have no idea if against a more… even level of competition if the Golden Hurricane will actually be any good. Then again, NIU is the “select” club of teams that have lost to a FCS team this season, so, sure, let’s go with Tulsa.
  • Army @ Syracuse (ACCN): Army’s still having some trouble with the passing thing, and this looks to be a competent Syracuse outfit that just beat Purdue by two scores on the road. I’ll take the Orange here.


  • Colorado @ Oregon (ABC): This is possibly the game with the largest gap I’ve ever seen between “hype” and “point spread”, where the Buffs have all the hype (and interest otherwise) as three touchdown underdogs. That said, I’m mostly just confused. Did one player (Travis Hunter) really mean that the Buffs were able to boat race TCU and Nebraska in the first two weeks, and then following his injury on a dirty hit mean they let Colorado State hang around for way too long. (Arguably, with better coaching in the 4th quarter, the Rams win instead of taking it to overtime.) Meanwhile, the Ducks aren’t without questions themselves, but their main case of letting an underdog hang around too long happened in Lubbock, and let’s face it, I’m sure that’s happened more that once out there. This game is in Eugene, the Buffs are still without their second best player, and their offensive line is still bad. I expect the Ducks to cover.
  • California-Los Angeles @ Utah (FOX): I’m not entirely sure how it happened this way, but the Pac-12 somehow managed to go out with a bang. Yep, this is another ranked vs. ranked Pac-12 matchup of the day. That said, I haven’t watched a second of UCLA football yet this season, and their schedule so far isn’t instructive. Meanwhile, I still really like these Utes and the game is in Salt Lake City. Plus, they might have their starting QB back. If that happens, these Utes will get the “darkhorse” dropped from the phrase “darkhorse national title contender” dropped pretty quickly.
  • Maryland @ Michigan State (NBC): September Maryland gets a Spartans program that is in utter disarray at the moment. With the two games above in this time slot, and even some of the ones below, yeah, there’s not a lot of reason to watch how much the Terps are going to win by here.
  • Brigham Young @ Kansas (ESPN): Meanwhile, a hearty welcome to the Cougars to the Big 12, where a decent Kansas outfit with one of America’s most entertaining quarterbacks in Jalon Daniels rules the plains. (Note: I said entertaining, not best.) That said, the Cougars went on the road to Ar-kansas last week, held their own, and won. The Jayhawks main advantage will be that they’re probably a little more… agile than the Hogs, but nonetheless BYU has the ability to compete well and, I think, win.
  • Miami @ Temple (ESPN2): Yes, that’s the Canes blowing into Philly, and the Owls already lost 36-7 to a bad Rutgers outfit. Miami drops games like this, well, it feels like a lot, but nonetheless I can’t really predict that.
  • Florida Atlantic @ Illinois (BTN): Illinois should be fine in this one.
  • Louisiana Tech @ Nebraska (BTN): There’s been years where I would say that the Huskers would lose this game. This isn’t one of them.
  • Boston College @ Louisville (ACCN): BC, after nearly losing to Holy Cross, gave FSU everything they wanted (and more) last weekend in Chestnut Hill, but they’re still not good. I like the Cardinals here.
  • Duke @ Connecticut (CBSS): This isn’t one of those fun years where UConn makes a bowl game, unfortunately.
  • New Mexico @ Massachusetts (ESPN+)
  • Texas Tech @ West Virginia (ESPN+)
  • Ohio @ Bowling Green (ESPN+)
  • Delaware State @ Miami (ESPN+)


  • Oklahoma State @ Iowa State (FS1): Thanks to Houston, neither of these teams is probably the worst team in the Big 12, but the fact that it’s close doesn’t speak well for either of them. The Pokes just lost 33-7 to South Alabama, and the Clones 10-7 to Ohio. Losing to Sun Belt and MAC teams is just… not good. Especially for the amount of time both coaches have been here. Ultimately, the problem for both of these teams is that they can’t really score points. At least Iowa State sorta seems to be able to play defense, though.
  • Rice @ South Florida (ESPNU): I don’t think anyone had this game circled a few weeks ago, yet an upset of Rice and a near-upset of Alabama have some eyes turned toward Tampa. That said, at least in the USF-Bama case, that seemed to say more about Bama’s offensive woes than anything USF did well, and Rice seems to legitimately be able to score points. For probably the first time in years on this site, I can say that I like the Owls here.
  • Texas-San Antonio @ Tennessee (SEC): Look, the Vols have struggled this year, but the unfortunately the magic has run out for the Roadrunners. I suspect Tennessee may work some things out in this one.


  • Central Michigan @ South Alabama (ESPN+)
  • Eastern Michigan @ Jacksonville State (ESPN+)

6:00: Gardner-Webb @ East Carolina (ESPN+)


  • Georgia Tech @ Wake Forest (The CW): On the one hand, yes, haha, the CW, but on the other, this game will be on broadcast television nationally. Last year or the year before, we definitely lose this game. While we still didn’t really look in it except for stretches against Ole Miss, this is the best we’ve looked in a while. That said, with our talent level there are still limited chances to put up-or-shut up, and this is one of those of those opportunities. The road back into college football relevance has to start somewhere. Why not in Winston-Salem?
  • Liberty @ Florida International (ESPN+)


  • Oregon State @ Washington State (FOX): Welcome to the Pac-2 Championship! Yep, the left behind teams are both currently ranked and this is starting to get to pretty late in the day in Pullman. There’s an all-time helmet game at 7:30, so this isn’t quite the game of the day, but boy howdy this may be the most fun game of the day. And what the hell, I can’t really bet against the Cougs at home, let’s chug some Fireball and get this thing done.
  • Arkansas @ Louisiana State (ESPN): As long as the Tigers aren’t looking forward to the Magnolia Bowl next weekend, they’ll be fine here.
  • Appalachian State @ Wyoming (CBSS): Last year, I would’ve liked App’s chances to go out to Laramie, but the Pokes look to actually be pretty good. Nonetheless, check in on this one.
  • Arizona @ Stanford (Pac12): Arizona isn’t good… but the Cardinal is bad. As in, just lost to the team they hired their new coach from bad.
  • Charlotte @ Florida (ESPN+)
  • Southern Mississippi @ Arkansas State (ESPN+)
  • Nevada @ Texas State (ESPN+)
  • Nicholls State @ Tulane (ESPN+)
  • Colorado State @ Middle Tennessee State (ESPN+)
  • Sam Houston State @ Houston (ESPN+)


  • Iowa @ Pennsylvania State (CBS): This is… not the helmet game I was referring to. The Drive for 25 got a huge boost last week, as the Hawkeyes showed they were possibly aware that the entire college football Internet was making fun of them by scoring some late touchdowns to beat Western Michigan 41-10. Iowa now sits at 28.3 points per game, which means they could actually average 24 points per game for the rest of the season (plus bowl game) and wind up with exactly… 25 points per game! At any rate, yeah, they to figure to revert a little more to type in Happy Valley, where barring the some defensive scores (which, well, we are talking about Iowa here) they figure to probably be a little south of 24, much less 25.
  • Texas @ Baylor (ABC): Texas had a little bit of a hangover up in Laramie, but back in the Lone Star state and against a familiar punching bag that’s back to “punching bag” status this year, the Horns should be fine.
  • Ohio State @ Notre Dame (NBC): Ohio State is Ohio State. After playing with their food a bit in Week 1, they’ve now turned on the jets. If Notre Dame loses track of Marvin Harrison, Jr the same way that F-35 got lost, this figures to be a long night for the folks in South Bend. That said, the Irish have some talent of their own, with Sam Hartman coming in from Wake Forest and fitting right in. On paper, the Buckeyes still out-talent the Irish at most positions and I like them to win, similar to how they out-talented a game Utah squad in the Rose Bowl a couple years ago. But that said, Notre Dame may have a slight edge at quarterback, and so far this season they’ve shown they can score in bunches. This should be fun, but I still like the Buckeyes.
  • Alabama-Birmingham @ Georgia (ESPN2): I had managed to forget Trent Dilfer is coaching at UAB now, which, well, I don’t know where I’m going with that. Unlike a lot of games this season, Georgia should make this one academic [sic] quickly.
  • Minnesota @ Northwestern (BTN): Gophers roll.
  • Akron @ Indiana (BTN): Akron is kind of bad, so the fact I can’t completely rule them out here… it’s not great, Hoosiers.
  • Memphis vs. Missouri (@St. Louis, MO; ESPNU): This game gets a measure of excitement because it features two undefeated teams, but, uh, Mizzou’s going to win.
  • Mississippi State @ South Carolina (SEC): South Carolina gets both of the SEC’s Bulldogs two weeks in a row, but this time I figure they’ll win.
  • Buffalo @ Louisiana (ESPN+)


  • North Carolina @ Pittsburgh (ACCN): Pitt has lost to both FBS teams they’ve played so far, and as long as they just… refuse to play offense I don’t see how they won’t get torched by Drake Maye and company.
  • Central Florida @ Kansas State (FS1): K-State participated in one of the games of the season so far in their last-second loss to Mizzou. This doesn’t figure to be the follow up to that as UCF gets possibly one of the rudest welcomes to the Big 12.
  • James Madison @ Utah State (MWN)

9:00: Nevada-Las Vegas @ Texas-El Paso (ESPN+)


  • Southern California @ Arizona State (FOX): Arizona State just got shut out by Fresno. USC’s defense still doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, but yeah, the Sun Devils also figure to lose by more than 29 here.
  • California @ Washington (ESPN): Cal will give the Huskies their toughest test so far, but that’s mostly because of their defense. Once they break, expect the Huskies to win by plenty.
  • Kent State @ Fresno State (CBSS): Kent has scored 12 points against FBS competition so far. That figures to still be the case after their trip to the Valley.

12:00: New Mexico State @ Hawaii (Team1Sports)