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2023 College Football Watch Guide - Week 4

College football is cooking up some tasty dishes in week 4

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Penn State v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

I have far too many shows I need to watch and not enough time.

For years one of my favorite network shows has been Masterchef, and with home cook Grant from Altoona, IA making it all the way to the final three I hate that I haven’t been able to keep up with the season from the beginning. Rather than start from the beginning, I’m waving the white flag and jumping right in at the season finale, which I’m watching as I type this and it’s making me so hungry. Mmmm, pork loin medallions with beer braised baby fennel. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the finale here, many of you probably watched it anyway. But damn, homemade pasta as an appetizer in only sixty minutes? You’re a braver man than I, Mr. Gillon.

However, one show I’ll always make time for is college football, and boy do we have one hell of a week on the menu this weekend.

Thursday, Sept. 21 & Friday, Sept. 22

Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Georgia State @ Coastal Carolina Thursday, 6:30 PM ESPN WatchESPN
Wisconsin @ Purdue Friday, 6:00 PM FS1
NC State @ Virginia Friday, 6:30 PM ESPN WatchESPN
Boise State @ San Diego State Friday, 9:30 PM CBSSN
Air Force @ San Jose State Friday, 9:30 PM FS1

Wisconsin @ Purdue

Points for being the first Big Ten game of the first conference weekend. The Badgers bounced back last week against Georgia Southern while Purdue dropped their second game of the year, losing 35-20 to Syracuse. Keep an eye on Purdue receiver Deion Burks who already has over 220 yards and three touchdowns on the year.

Saturday, Sept. 23 - Morning

Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Rutgers @ #2 Michigan 11:00 AM BTN
#4 Florida State @ Clemson 11:00 AM ABC WatchESPN
#16 Oklahoma @ Cincinnati 11:00 AM FOX
Army @ Syracuse 11:00 AM ACC Network WatchESPN
Auburn @ Texas A&M 11:00 AM ESPN WatchESPN
Western Kentucky @ Troy 11:00 AM ESPN U WatchESPN
Kentucky @ Vanderbilt 11:00 AM SEC Network WatchESPN
Virginia Tech @ Marshall 11:00 AM ESPN 2 WatchESPN
SMU @ TCU 11:00 AM FS1
Tulsa @ Northern Illinois 11:00 AM CBSSN

#4 Florida State @ Clemson

It sure feels like Clemson’s days of ruling the ACC with an iron fist are coming to an end, if they haven’t already. Florida State has emphatically staked their claim to be the new standard bearer of the league, and everyone is wondering if or when Miami can put things together. However, the Tigers are still dangerous and the Seminoles showed they’re still human after nearly falling to Boston College last weekend.

NCAA Football: SMU at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


In the days of the old NCAA Football video game I picked SMU as my dynasty team. With Hayden Fry’s history as a coach there in the 60’s there was an Iowa connection, and I liked the idea of rebuilding the program to national prominence. I always felt it would’ve been a neat feature if you could have the option to pay players in the recruiting minigame; it would boost your chances of landing a star recruit but also run the risk of getting caught and facing serious penalties. Maybe we’ll see that in next year’s EA College Football game. In the meantime, we still have the real Battle for the Iron Skillet and (mostly) above board NIL deals.

Honorable mention: Auburn @ Texas A&M, Army @ Syracuse

Saturday, Sept. 23 - Afternoon

Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Western Michigan @ Toledo 12:30 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Georgia Southern @ Ball State 1:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
#19 Colorado @ #10 Oregon 2:30 PM ABC WatchESPN
#22 UCLA @ #11 Utah 2:30 PM FOX
#15 Ole Miss @ #13 Alabama 2:30 PM CBS
#18 Duke @ UConn 2:30 PM CBSSN
#20 Miami @ Temple 2:30 PM ESPN 2 WatchESPN
FAU @ Illinois 2:30 PM BTN
Maryland @ Michigan State 2:30 PM NBC Peacock
Louisiana Tech @ Nebraska 2:30 PM BTN
Boston College @ Louisville 2:30 PM ACC Network WatchESPN
BYU @ Kansas 2:30 PM ESPN WatchESPN
Texas Tech @ West Virginia 2:30 PM Big 12/ESPN+ WatchESPN
New Mexico @ UMass 2:30 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Texas A&M-Commerce @ Old Dominion 2:30 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Ohio @ Bowling Green 2:30 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Delaware State @ Miami (OH) 2:30 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
UTSA @ #23 Tennessee 3:00 PM SEC Network WatchESPN
Oklahoma State @ Iowa State 3:00 PM FS1
Rice @ USF 3:00 PM ESPN U WatchESPN
Eastern Michigan @ Jacksonville State 4:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Central Michigan @ South Alabama 4:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN

#19 Colorado @ #10 Oregon

Did you know that last week’s Colorado/Colorado State game reached 11.1 million viewers at its peak? At 11:15 pm, eastern. For a game between a Mountain West squad and a team that went 1-11 last year. It was ESPN’s most streamed game of all time and the Worldwide Leader’s fourth-best regular season game in the last six years. That’s the Prime effect. It helped that it was arguably the best football game played so far this season, but a little-known rivalry game garnering that kind of attention is incredible. Expect similar numbers this week, but I expect the Buffs to crash back down to earth against Bo Nix and the #10 Ducks.

#15 Ole Miss @ #13 Alabama

Is Nick Saban’s empire crumbling beneath him? Georgia has clearly surpassed the Tide as the SEC’s premier program, and Alabama’s week 2 loss to the Texas Longhorns and last week’s close shave against UAB exposed the cracks in facade. The lingering questions about what Saban will do with the quarterback position has only raised further doubts. Now, to be fair, we’ve heard similar reports of Alabama’s demise before only for Saban to endure, but things feel different this time. Can the Ole Miss Rebels bury the Tide’s playoff hopes a mere four weeks into the season?

Honorable mention: #22 UCLA @ #11 Utah, BYU @ Kansas

Saturday, Sept. 23 - Evening

Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Gardner-Webb @ East Carolina 5:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Liberty @ FIU 5:30 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Georgia Tech @ Wake Forest 5:30 PM CW CW
Arkansas @ #12 LSU 6:00 PM ESPN WatchESPN
#14 Oregon State @ #21 Washington State 6:00 PM FOX
Charlotte @ #25 Florida 6:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Sam Houston @ Houston 6:00 PM Big 12/ESPN+ WatchESPN
Colorado State @ Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Arizona @ Stanford 6:00 PM Pac-12 Network
Nicholls @ Tulane 6:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Appalachian State @ Wyoming 6:00 PM CBSSN
Southern Miss @ Arkansas State 6:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Nevada @ Texas State 6:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
UAB @ #1 Georgia 6:30 PM ESPN 2 WatchESPN
#3 Texas @ Baylor 6:30 PM ABC WatchESPN
#6 Ohio State @ #9 Notre Dame 6:30 PM NBC Peacock
#24 Iowa @ #7 Penn State 6:30 PM CBS
Akron @ Indiana 6:30 PM BTN
Memphis @ Missouri 6:30 PM ESPN U WatchESPN
Minnesota @ Northwestern 6:30 PM BTN
Mississippi State @ South Carolina 6:30 PM SEC Network WatchESPN
Buffalo @ Louisiana 6:30 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
#17 North Carolina @ Pittsburgh 7:00 PM ACC Network WatchESPN
UCF @ Kansas State 7:00 PM FS1
James Madison @ Utah State 7:00 PM N/A N/A
#5 USC @ Arizona State 9:30 PM FOX
Cal @ #8 Washington 9:30 PM ESPN WatchESPN
Kent State @ Fresno State 9:30 PM CBSSN
New Mexico State @ Hawai'i 10:59 PM N/A N/A

#14 Oregon State @ #21 Washington State

Don’t even bother playing the rest of the conference slate. As far as I’m concerned this is the only game worthy of determining a Pac-12 champion as it’s the only game that features two teams that, as far as we know, will still be in the conference this time next year. It’s crazy how neither ESPN nor Fox valued the Beavs and Cougs highly enough to push either of their conference playthings into taking them, and here they are both sitting in the top 25.

#6 Ohio State @ #9 Notre Dame

This one was circled on the calendar before the season began as a must-watch game. Expectations for Notre Dame went into overdrive when they landed QB Sam Hartman in the transfer portal. The Irish started out rough last season, and Marcus Freeman is still searching for his first big time win as head coach. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes have all the talent in the world but they’re facing a much improved Notre Dame team than the one that pushed them hard in Columbus last year. With this year’s game in South Bend the Buckeyes need to bring their A game.

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

#24 Iowa @ #7 Penn State

A prime time white out between the Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions? These are the games where Kirk Ferentz has shown he can get his team up to punch above their weight and shock the college football world. He’ll have another chance Saturday at 6:30 on CBS. The Nittany Lions have one of the strongest teams in the country so it’ll be imperative for Cade McNamara to bring his best, no more avoidable sacks or poor throws, and for the defense to keep the game close enough for lightning to strike.

Honorable mention: Appalachian State @ Wyoming, #17 North Carolina @ Pittsburgh,