By Chris Carlson
Week 3 of the always wild College Football regular season featured several upsets that shook up the Associated Press Top-25, including 6 ranked teams falling in all. The Big Ten’s September struggles continued losing to 7 unranked non-conference foes. In Week 4 the SEC, Pac-12, and Big-12 take center stage with important conference matchups. The number of quality games under the radar are high for Week 4 so keep an eye out for non-ranked programs to sneak up to upend a Top-25.
#7 Stanford vs. #20 Oregon: This game will tell us a lot about the 3-0 Oregon Ducks as they host the Cardinals in a key Pac-12 North tilt. Stanford can add to an already quality resume in September.
The biggest question heading into kickoff will be the health of Stanford’s stud RB Bryce Love, who’s been cleared to play on Saturday. Junior signal caller for the Ducks Justin Herbert is a dynamic player and he will have to supersede expectations. The team that posses the ball last will win this physically played throwback game.
The Pick: Stanford 27 Oregon 23
Under The Radar
#1 Alabama vs. #22 Texas A&M: The Crimson Tide looks to keep their season rolling facing the 26-point underdog Aggies. This will be a good measure stick for Alabama to see we’re they stand amongst the nation’s elite. Let us not forget Texas A&M almost knocked off Clemson. Many experts considered Bama & Clemson to be cream of the crop at the beginning of the year.
The quarterback drama going on in Alabama is overshadowing the improved Aggies QB Kellen Mond. Mond’s ability to run and pass could be A&M’s saving grace against a dominant tide defense. Look for Texas A&M to play close until the mid-to-late third quarter, at the point Alabama will pick up steam to take control outright.
The Pick: Alabama 37 Texas A&M 20
#18 Wisconsin at Iowa: The Badgers fell last week to BYU and are now tasked with a trip to Des Moines, Iowa, for a night game which normally translates to an upset. Iowa stunned the country last year by stomping highly-ranked Ohio State, so don’t be surprised to see another upset under the lights. If Wisconsin hadn’t loss in Week 3 this hack-of-a-scribe would be all over the Hawkeyes. Wisconsin will have to shore up their run defense & limit turnovers. It may be ugly but it’s just hard to see the Badgers dropping back to back games.
The Pick: Wisconsin 20 Iowa 16
Saturday Upset Special
Kansas is on a hot streak of sorts and will keep it going with a road victory as a 7.5-point underdog at Baylor.
(Honorable Mention: Kentucky pulls off another upset this time over #14 Mississippi State)
#17 TCU at Texas: The Horned Frogs played well versus Ohio State in a loss in Week 3 and the Longhorns blew out USC, setting the stage for a must-win Big-12 scrap.
#15 Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech: With the over/under sitting at 77.5 as of Wednesday it’s not hard to imagine a combined 100 points on the scoreboard.
Against The Spread
Kentucky at home will be a battle for the #14 Mississippi State Bulldogs enough to slide the Wildcats under the 10-points Las Vegas has slated.
(Honorable Mention: Alabama could win by less than 26.5 over Texas A&M.)
Quick Hits Recap
-The Akron Zips got their 1st win against a Big Ten opponent since 1894 with a 39-34 victory over Northwestern.
-TCU RB Darius Anderson made a historic play last Saturday with a 93-yard TD, good enough for the longest run in school history. It was also the longest offensive play allowed in Ohio State history.
-BYU’s 24-21 shocker of #6 Wisconsin earned them the honor of being the first non-conference team to beat the Badgers at Camp Randall after 41-straight.
-Texas Tech true freshman Alan Bowman quarterback threw for 605 yards and 5 TD’s in a 63-49 win over Houston.
-Penn State QB Trace McSorley had a terrific performance with 5 touchdowns overall (3rd time in career) in a walk-away result over Kent.
-The Big Ten unbelievably losing to 7 unranked non-conference teams in Week 3 marks the first time that’s occur since the inception of the AP Top-25 poll in 1936.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio