College Football – Week 4 Preview

All times Central

For the foreseeable future my Saturdays in the fall are consumed by college football. I often include a second, and sometimes third screen in my day, and this year will be no exception. Be that as it may, I figured a good way to preview the college football weekends would be to go through the day and say what I plan to watch on each screen.

Thursday, September 20th

Evening

Main Screen
BYU at Boise St. (8 pm/ESPN) – BYU lost against Utah last week and really only have 2-3 games left against quality opponents (Oregon St., @ND, @GaTech). This is a big game for them to earn some respectability. Now that they are independent they don’t have much else to play for. This could be Boise St.’s toughest game until the season finale at Nevada and would go a long way towards giving them a shot at 11-1.

Friday, September 21st

Evening

Main Screen
Baylor at Louisiana-Monroe (7 pm/ESPN) – This game wasn’t on anyone’s radar three weeks ago, but then ULM went out and beat Arkansas, and took Auburn into OT before losing. Baylor hasn’t been challenged yet, but with a tough stretch starting next week (@WVU, TCU, @UT) this is what they call a trap game. Should be a good one

Saturday, September 22nd

Morning

Main Screen
Maryland at West Virginia (11 am/FX) – An extremely fought slate of morning games. Maryland barely got by William & Mary before beating Temple and then losing a close one to UConn. West Virginia has just bludgeoned two bad teams and look very good. They are the only top 10 team playing in the morning time slot and could hang 70 on Maryland.

Second Screen
Kentucky at Florida (11 am/ESPN3) – Like I said, rough morning slate. This is the only conference game of note, and it’s the SEC, so what the heck…Florida should roll, although it’s hard to figure out if they are that good or Tennessee is that bad. Florida is playing LSU next, but not for two weeks so not much chance of a trap here.

Third Screen
UTEP vs. Wisconsin (11 am/ESPN2) – It’s not just that Wisconsin is 2-1 with two scares against Northern Iowa and Utah St., it’s that they look really bad doing it. Their offense has been nonexistent. UTEP is not very good either, but their two losses are against Oklahoma and at Ole Miss. This game makes the cut if nothing else because Wisconsin needs to get going before they go to Nebraska next week.

Afternoon

Main Screen
Missouri at South Carolina (2:30 pm/CBS) – SEC West showdown. Most people think South Carolina is overrated and has only climbed to #7 because of their preseason ranking. Missouri is coming to play, but this game is in Columbia. Should be a good one either way.

Second Screen
Oregon St. at UCLA (2:30 pm/ABC or ESPN2) – Things drop off quick. Oregon St. has only played once thanks to their cancelled opened and an early bye week. UCLA has looked good in three wins but Houston and Rice look bad. Oregon St. had an extra week to prepare and should at least keep it close for a while.

Third Screen
Temple at Penn St. (2:30 pm/ABC or ESPN2) – It was really hard to pick a third game. Temple has played Penn St. close the last few years, and is coming off a bye week. Penn St. looked good last week as they finally got their first win, but it was against a one-dimensional Navy team that hasn’t looked good so far.

Evening

Main Screen
Clemson at Florida St. (7 pm/ABC) – The night slot is filled with solid games. This game not only feature the cream of the ACC crop, but division foes. The winner of this one games a huge advantage in the ACC Atlantic and likely becomes a true contender for the National Championship. FSU hasn’t been challenged yet and have outscored opponents 176-3 (!) in their three games. Clemson narrowly escaped Auburn before steamrolling Ball St. and Furman. This is the biggest game for either team all season.

Second Screen
Kansas St. at Oklahoma (6:50 pm/Fox) – The Big 12 is probably underrated right now. They have 5 teams in the top 25 and the loser of this will need some major help to win the conference. Oklahoma hasn’t been challenged, but is coming off a bye week which is usually huge. Kansas St. has looked really good so far, and they are probably underrated. This should be a good one.

Third Screen
Michigan at Notre Dame (6:30 pm/NBC) – This one is number one in my house, but doesn’t involve as high of stakes as the other two games. Notre Dame has looked as good as they have in years, and after beating Michigan St. on the road last week they are in real good shape. They have an insane schedule left but they still can’t afford to lose this early. Michigan hasn’t beaten a real opponent so far, and have a bye next week before two winnable Big Ten games. This is a huge one for them to gain some momentum and confidence and a chance to play their in-state rival with a 5-1 record.

Did I miss any games you will be watching?