SEC TAKES CENTER STAGE IN WEEK 4

This weekend features four games with Top 25 match-ups, with the SEC having three of those tilts, highlighted by Florida at Tennessee.   Other Top 25 showdowns include Georgia at Ole Miss, Arkansas vs.Texas A&M and Wisconsin at Michigan State.   The SEC match-ups should give us a clear indication of who might be teams to watch moving forward.

A LOOK BACK AT WEEK THREE

The Big 12 continued to disappoint.   Oklahoma was soundly beaten by Ohio State, virtually eliminating the Sooners from the College Football Playoff.  Including last year’s loss to Clemson, the Sooners are 1-3 in their last four games. Baylor and West Virginia are the only remaining Big 12 schools without a loss.   Baylor is now down to just 70 scholarship players!    Out west, California defeated Texas for the second straight year.  The Longhorns gave up 50 points to a Bear squad that only had four returning starters from last season.

Louisville’s domination of Florida State was a masterpiece, as the Seminoles were out of the game after the first quarter.   Lamar Jackson was simply fantastic rushing for four touchdowns and throwing for another.  The Cardinals will face Clemson on October 1 for what could serve as an  ACC title game.  For the sixth straight time, North Dakota State beat an FBS school, as Cam Pedersen booted a 37 yard field goal in the final seconds to lift the Bison over highly-ranked Iowa.   Besides another win, the Bison collected a $600,000 paycheck for the game and it makes you wonder at what point do FBS schools quit scheduling these guys?   The biggest stat might  be this — the service academies are off to a 8-0 start!   Army and Navy sit at 3-0, while Air Force is 2-0.

WHAT TO WATCH IN WEEK FOUR

#17 ARKANSAS 3-0  vs. #10 TEXAS A&M  3-0    I think both squads have over-achieved to this point.   Each team has quality road win, and this game will be played at a neutral site in Arlington, Texas.  The Aggies have won four straight in this series, the last two decided in overtime.  Both QBs, Trevor Knight and Austin Allen, have delivered to this point for each club.  I like the balanced offense of the Aggies.  A&M MOVES TO 4-0 WITH 30-24 VICTORY.

USC 1-2  AT  #21 UTAH 3-0     It’s been a rough start for the Trojans, having been dominated by both Alabama and Stanford.   Going back to last year, USC is 1-4 in its last five games.  The Utes have used a dominating defense to start 3-0.  USC Head Coach Clay Helton has decided to make a change at quarterback this week, replacing Max Browne with Sam Darnold.   I really feel like this is a bad place to be switching quarterbacks, as the “Muss” is as intimidating as any venue in the country!   Utah is seeking to be the fifth different team to win the PAC-12 South in the last five years, and a win here keeps them in the driver’s seat.  UTAH 24-18.

#12 GEORGIA 3-0  AT  #23 OLE MISS 1-2  The Rebels came up just short in their effort to defeat top-ranked Alabama.   One has to wonder just how much the Rebels have left in the tank, after battling for four quarters.  Georgia meanwhile moved to 3-0 narrowly beating Missouri 28-27.     Jacob Eason took a big step forward in his development in leading the comeback over Mizzu on Saturday.   The Rebels will be facing the third freshman quarterback of the season, having faced Francois (Florida State) and Hurts (Alabama).   The big question for me is, how will the Rebels contain Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.   Chad Kelly will again have to play at an elite level to secure a Rebel victory.   I’m not sure where the mental state of the Rebel football team is, after blowing big leads to both Florida State and Alabama.  One thing is for sure, the Rebels will be glad to see the calendar turn to October.   The Bulldogs have won 10 straight in this series, including 5-0 in Oxford!    BULLDOGS BITE REBELS, UGA 31-27.

#19 FLORIDA 3-0  AT  #14 TENNESSEE 3-0    The gators have won 11 straight games in this series!   This is a key game for the top spot in the SEC East.   Both these squads figure to battle it out with Georgia for the right to play in the SEC Championship.   The Gators lost quarterback Luke Del Rio last week and will turn to Purdue transfer Austin Appleby.   Head coach Jim McElwain has said “Defense will decide this game.”    If that’s the case the clear edge goes to the Gators, who have allowed 14 points all season.   The Vols are lucky to be 3-0 entering this contest.   Lackluster performances have been the norm so far.   I think this is the week where Joshua Dobbs and Jalen Hurd breakout.   Home cooking will also be a factor.   VOLS CHOMP FIRST WIN OVER GATORS IN YEAR, UT 26-20.

#11 WISCONSIN 3-0  AT  #8 MICHIGAN STATE 2-0     I wasn’t sure what to make of the Spartans before the season began.    After watching them dominate Notre Dame, I now know, they are a damn good football team!   These two teams feature nasty smash mouth defenses, that will get after each other, and both feature a solid ground game.   The Badgers are another team apparently making a switch at quarterback.    It appears Bart Houston is out and freshman Alex Hornbrook is in.   That clearly gives the edge at quarterback to the Spartans and Tyler O’ Connor.    The last three games in this series have been decided by six points or less.   I think that trend will continue here.   O’CONNOR IS THE DIFFERENCE, SPARTY 20-16.

UPSET EXPRESS

#7 STANFORD 2-0  AT UCLA 2-1      There are all kinds of reasons that Stanford should win this game. Stanford has beaten UCLA eight straight times, and Cardinal running back Christian McCaffrey racked up 369 all-purpose yards last year against the Bruins.   Stanford has aslo been incredible in PAC-12 road games.  That all being said, I love the Bruins in this contest.   Seth Rosen gives the Bruins a big edge at quarterback, and the Bruins rush defense is also much improved over last season.    This is also a tough spot for the Cardinal.   This is their first road trip on the season and they have a monster game next week with Washington!    McCaffrey will get his yards, but it won’t be enough.   TREE FALLS IN LOS ANGELES, COLLEGE FOOTBALL WORLD HEARS IT, UCLA 27-21.

SUPER SIX PACK:      SIX GAMES, SIX WORDS, SIX PICKS

ARMY 3-0  AT  BUFFALO 0-2      Army hasn’t started 4-0 since 1996.   THEY DEDICATE THIS ONE TO BRANDON JACKSON 45-24.

WAKE FOREST 3-0  AT  INDIANA 2-0      Something has to give for these undefeated.   HOOSIERS ARE THE BETTER TEAM 41-33.

BYU 1-2  AT  WEST VIRGINIA 2-0      The Cougars could easily be 3-0.   MOUNTIES LEAVE GUN POWDER AT HOME, BYU 31-17

GEORGIA SOUTHERN 3-0  AT  WESTERN MICHIGAN 3-0      Under radar game that we all should see.   BRONCOS WIN THRILLER IN OVERTIME 44-41.

OKLAHOMA STATE 2-1  AT  BAYLOR 3-0    First one to 50 wins!   BEARS 50 – COWBOYS 49.

PITTSBURGH 2-1  AT  NORTH CAROLINA 2-1      This is a big game for ACC Coastal bragging rights.    PANTHERS GET TAR HEELED 42-35.

LAST WEEKS RESULTS

FEATURED GAMES:       4-1

UPSET EXPRESS              0-1

PICK SIX                             3-3

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