Week three shook up the race for the national championship and the Heisman Trophy. At season’s end the USC at Stanford game will be remembered as one of the games that shaped the season.
The marquee games of week four have the potential of shaping the race for the national championship even further. #3 Oregon and #4 Florida State will both face their first real test of the season versus ranked opponents.
Here are my Top Ten Games of Week 4:
10. Baylor @ La-Monroe – Friday - 7:000pm CST
Baylor has picked up where they left off last year putting up huge numbers on offense, and they have a chance on a Friday night to showcase that versus a gutsy La-Monroe team. The Warhawks of La-Monroe if not for a couple of blocked field goals would have upset SEC teams in back to back weeks. If this game was being played on a Saturday then I think it might get lost in the shuffle, but being the only game on Friday night puts it in my top ten.
9. #24 Boise State vs. BYU – Thursday – 8:00pm CST
This is another game making the list because it’s an interesting matchup being played on a weeknight. Boise State doesn’t face a lot of challenges the rest of the season, and a one loss Bronco team will be BSC bowl bound. BYU is coming off the upset loss at Utah, but they’re still a good team.
8. #2 LSU @ Auburn – Saturday – 6:00pm CST
It might be Tigers verses Tigers, but the Bengal tigers of LSU are bigger, faster, and stronger than the ones on the prowl down on the plains. This traditionally is one of the biggest SEC matchups of the year, but Auburn’s record of 1-2 makes it a very lackluster game. The thing to look for from Auburn is to see if they can turn the corner and start to make improvements versus a very good team.
7. #13 USC vs. Cal – Saturday – 5:00pm CST
Last week’s lost might have knocked USC out of the national picture for now, but if they want to try and crawl their way back they will have to beat a Cal team that almost upset Ohio State in the shoe. Cal’s talent level doesn’t matchup to USC, but the Trojans are battling depth issues and I’m not sure where they will be mentally after the loss from last week.
6. #19 UCLA vs. Oregon State – Saturday – 2:30pm CST
Staying in LA for my number 6 game it’s a surprisingly good UCLA team playing an upset minded Oregon State. Over the years former Alabama player Mike Riley head coach of Oregon State has loved to play spoiler. In week two the Beavers knocked off Wisconsin, and I think they will have a chance to upset UCLA IF they can find away to limit Jonathan Franklin of UCLA and that’s easier said than done.
5. #7 South Carolina vs. Missouri – Saturday – 2:30pm CST
Both South Carolina and Missouri feature very good duel threat quarterbacks, but both of them are battling shoulder injuries. I think the injuries to the quarterbacks will equal poor quarterback play and keep this game close. South Carolina has a better defense and running attack that should be the difference in the game.
4. #3 Oregon vs. #22 Arizona – Saturday – 9:30pm CST
The Oregon Ducks have been flying high verses the “cupcakes” of the world, but Arizona has already upset fast shooting Oklahoma State this year. The Wildcats have showed major improvement under Rich Rodriguez in year one and could make a statement to the college football world if he upset the Ducks. I like the Ducks playing at home in Eugene Oregon, but I think Arizona will be able to keep it close.
3. #15 Kansas State @ #6 Oklahoma – Saturday – 6:50pm CST
So far this season Kansas State has been one of the most impressive team in the country. On the flip side Oklahoma has been one of the most unimpressive teams, but I think their players will be up for the Wildcats. The Sooners also took the last week off giving them extra game planning time for the Wildcats. I think this will be a classic Big 12 back and forth offensive game.
2. #11 Notre Dame vs. #18 Michigan – Saturday -7:00pm CST
Notre Dame showed last week versus Michigan State that they can play defense and play it well. I think Brian Kelly finally has Notre Dame where he wants them in year three, and the Fighting Irish will be in every game they play in. Michigan got dominated by Alabama in week one and then squeaked by Air Force, but have finally started to improve. If the Wolverines can get Denard Robinson going early then I think this game could play out similar to last year’s classic.
1. #4 Florida State vs. #10 Clemson – Saturday – 7:00pm CST
Florida State is another team that hasn’t been tested this year, but that ends Saturday night when defending ACC Champion Clemson comes to town. So far this year the defense has been outstanding for the Seminoles as well as the performance of quarterback EJ Manuel. Clemson has some major question marks on defense, but they have one of the most powerful offenses in the country with the return of Sammy Watkins. I’m a big believer in “defense wins championships” and that’s why I think Florida State has the edge.
Alabama Tonight Sports Blogger - Patrick Pierce @Patrickp13