I’m the type of person who has the bad habit of sometimes dreading the end of something good even while it’s still going on. Driving to vacation I often find myself looking ahead to the feeling of loss I’ll experience on the same stretch of road heading home the other way. In a similar way, as we’re now a quarter of the way through the regular season, I can’t help but dread the end. We wait through the offseason months with the anticipation of kids on Christmas Eve, but the holiday itself goes by all too quickly.
Luckily for us, this holiday is twelve weeks long, and we’ve got nine more left to go. We’ve already been treated to some doozies already this year, upsets galore, and enough twists to make M. Night Shyamalan nod in silent approval. Teams have lost rankings, lost coaches, and lost playoff hopes and that’s only been in the first three weeks. I’m still stunned at Appalachian State pulling another rabbit out of their hat one week after stunning Texas A&M. At the same time both Duke and Kansas must’ve made some Faustian bargain to get to 3-0 and just missing out on ESPN College GameDay, who opted for their 9,445th trip to SEC country.
The season is already full of stories, and so many more are yet to be written as we move into conference play. Who’s ripe for an upset and who will pull ahead of the pack in their conference title race? Week 4 holds the answers.
Hey, hey! Thursday night football returns this week. West Virginia @ Virginia Tech is your go-to for power 5 action, and Coastal Carolina @ Georgia State will likely provide some fireworks, with the Chanticleers surpassing 30 points in every game so far this year.
Friday’s games have a bit more juice to them, with an undefeated Orange squad looking to stay that way when they host Virginia at 6:00 pm. Syracuse’s win over Purdue last week was another roller coaster ending, although much of that came down to the Boilers shooting themselves in the foot with a howitzer. The other two games Friday night, Nevada @ Air Force and Boise State @ UTEP all feature G5 teams, but as we should know by now those late night G5 games can be where some truly zany stuff happens.
On to the main event.
Saturday, September 24
|Kent State @ #1 Georgia||11:00 AM||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|Maryland @ #4 Michigan||11:00 AM||FOX||FOXSports.com|
|#5 Clemson @ #21 Wake Forest||11:00 AM||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Central Michigan @ #14 Penn State||11:00 AM||BTN||FOXSports.com|
|#17 Baylor @ Iowa State||11:00 AM||ESPN 2||WatchESPN|
|Rhode Island @ #24 Pittsburgh||11:00 AM||ACC Network||WatchESPN|
|Missouri @ Auburn||11:00 AM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Bowling Green @ Mississippi State||11:00 AM||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|TCU @ SMU||11:00 AM||ESPN U||WatchESPN|
|Duke @ Kansas||11:00 AM||FS1||FOXSports.com|
|South Florida @ Louisville||11:00 AM||ESPN 3||WatchESPN|
|Buffalo @ Eastern Michigan||11:00 AM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|UCLA @ Colorado||1:00 PM||PAC-12 Network||FOXSports.com|
|UMass @ Temple||1:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Fordham @ Ohio||1:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|#20 Florida @ #11 Tennessee||2:30 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|#22 Texas @ Texas Tech||2:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Middle Tennessee @ #25 Miami||2:30 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN|
|Notre Dame @ North Carolina||2:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Minnesota @ Michigan State||2:30 PM||BTN||FOXSports.com|
|Indiana @ Cincinnati||2:30 PM||ESPN 2||WatchESPN|
|James Madison @ Appalachian State||2:30 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Toledo @ San Diego State||2:30 PM||FS1||FOXSports.com|
|Florida International @ Western Kentucky||2:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|North Texas @ Memphis||2:30 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Texas Southern @ UTSA||2:30 PM||N/A||N/A|
|#15 Oregon @ Washington State||3:00 PM||FOX||FOXSports.com|
|Tulsa @ #16 Ole Miss||3:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|Georgia Tech @ UCF||3:00 PM||ESPN U||WatchESPN|
|Sacramento State @ Colorado State||3:00 PM||N/A||N/A|
|Arizona @ California||4:30 PM||PAC-12 Network||FOXSports.com|
|Akron @ Liberty||5:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Navy @ East Carolina||5:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Ball State @ Georgia Southern||5:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Arkansas State @ Old Dominion||5:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Rice @ Houston||5:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Northern Illinois @ #8 Kentucky||6:00 PM||ESPN 2||WatchESPN|
|#10 Arkansas @ #23 Texas A&M||6:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Iowa @ Rutgers||6:00 PM||FS1||FOXSports.com|
|Southern Miss @ Tulane||6:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|UNLV @ Utah State||6:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Houston Baptist @ Texas State||6:00 PM||ESPN 3||WatchESPN|
|Marshall @ Troy||6:00 PM||NFL Network||NFL.com|
|Louisiana Tech @ South Alabama||6:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Vanderbilt @ #2 Alabama||6:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|Wisconsin @ #3 Ohio State||6:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN|
|UConn @ #12 NC State||6:30 PM||ESPN 3||WatchESPN|
|New Mexico @ LSU||6:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|Miami (OH) @ Northwestern||6:30 PM||BTN||FOXSports.com|
|Charlotte @ South Carolina||6:30 PM||ESPN U||WatchESPN|
|Florida Atlantic @ Purdue||6:30 PM||BTN||FOXSports.com|
|Kansas State @ #6 Oklahoma||7:00 PM||FOX||FOXSports.com|
|Hawai'i @ New Mexico State||7:00 PM||N/A||N/A|
|Boston College @ Florida State||7:00 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN|
|Louisiana @ UL Monroe||7:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|#7 USC @ Oregon State||8:30 PM||PAC-12 Network||FOXSports.com|
|Wyoming @ #19 BYU||9:15 PM||ESPN 2||WatchESPN|
|#13 Utah @ Arizona State||9:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Stanford @ #18 Washington||9:30 PM||FS1||FOXSports.com|
|Western Michigan @ San Jose State||9:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
Our first fall football Saturday, and it’s chock full of conference games for us to enjoy along with our hoodies and Octoberfests.
As much as I’m a Big Ten fan, Maryland @ #4 Michigan doesn’t draw me in all that much. I’ve seen the undefeated non-conference Terrapin show too many times before and I’m not buying it this year. Michigan keeps rolling.
Also out of the B1G, #14 Penn State should roll against Central Michigan. The Nittany Lions impressed last week against Auburn. Granted, Auburn is one of the worst teams in the SEC, but a win against an SEC team of any caliber, and in the way they won, is worth note. #5 Clemson @ #21 Wake Forest on ABC looks to be interesting too, as it’s very possible one of these teams represents the ACC Atlantic division in their championship game.
I’m also looking forward to watching #17 Baylor @ Iowa State, believe it or not.
I know, I know, save your anger. But this could be a great opportunity for Matt Campbell’s Clones to get another signature win, which they seem to do year after year. If he wants Iowa State’s first 10-win season in...
...let’s see here...
ah, here it is...
...Ever, he’ll have to get some upsets along the way. The Cyclones will face four teams currently ranked in the top 25. And who knows, he may not be around for long.
Into the afternoon we go, with #20 Florida @ #11 Tennessee being the showcase game at 2:30 on CBS. Tennessee has impressed this year, notching two big wins against overmatched MAC teams, but they did top then-#17 Pittsburgh in week 2. The Gators will be another tough test for the Vols, another perennial “are they back?” team.
Minnesota @ Michigan State is a Big Ten match to keep an eye on. The West has been rightly ridiculed for its terrible showings this season, but the Gophers can help things with a win over a well-regarded Spartans team.
Getting into the evening gives us a few more intriguing games to choose from. Of course there’s Iowa @ Rutgers which really should just be decided on whichever punter, Tory Taylor or Adam Korsak, has more yards at the end of the game.
#10 Arkansas @ #23 Texas A&M is your top-25 matchup of the night. I still find it funny that the Aggies beat #13 Miami yet only jumped up one spot.
Wisconsin @ #3 Ohio State is the final Big Ten match of the day, but you know what to expect here. The rest of the big names are out of the Pac-12 with #7 USC @ Oregon State, #13 Utah @ Herm Edwards-less Arizona State, and Stanford @ #18 Washington. The Trojans continue to impress in Lincoln Riley’s inaugural year, and the Huskies have skyrocketed up the rankings after a dismantling of Michigan State last weekend. Pac-12 After Dark is alive and well.
And that’s all she wrote for Week 4. Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because there are still eight more weekends after this one.