By Chris Carlson
Week 3 was yet another prime example of why the College Football regular season stands alone as the best of any sport hands down. Week 4 features 3 ranked versus ranked tilts on the schedule and several quality matchups with ranked teams traveling on the road. This week has a few almost National Quarterfinals if you will, which adds to the winners resume come December.
#3 Georgia vs. #8 Notre Dame: Two September’s ago these high profile programs played each other to a razor-close 20-19 result in favor of the Bulldogs. Speaking of favorites, the Vegas betting lines have Georgia at 14.5 points as of Wednesday night. The quarterback dual is an interesting one, Georgia QB Fromm may get the headlines and have more experience, but don’t count out the all-purpose play of Irish QB Ian Book.
If Notre Dame can contain the Bulldogs rushing attack even to an extent, the Irish will be right there in the final minutes. But this College Ball junkie just doesn’t see them slowing this freight train down. It should be noted Fromm has a few new faces at wide receiver that could show up big time or possibly be the cause of miscommunications on Saturday night.
The Pick: Georgia 27 Notre Dame 17
#11 Michigan vs. #13 Wisconsin: Fox has decided to take back the early Saturday slot by scheduling many of their important games at 12est to combat CBS and ABC/ESPN prime time lock. These Big Ten champion hopefuls are built fairly similar by playing hard-nosed defense and pounding the football with the run. The Badgers have a marquee RB in Jonathan Taylor and the home field advantage in this 50-50 on paper.
Michigan looked sluggish to say the least when they slithered past Army two weeks ago. Wolverine coach Jim Harrbough is definitely on a very hot seat however he won’t get out coached in this one. This game will come down to Michigan’s O-line ability to give QB Shea Patterson time in the pocket to connect with the better skilled players on outside. Although the writing seems to be on the wall for Wisconsin this podcaster is siding with Michigan to grind out an ugly and close victory to jump start the Wolverines fanbase again
The Pick: Michigan 19 Wisconsin 16
Under The Radar
#8 Auburn vs. #17 Texas A&M: This SEC West matchup isn’t a battle of undefeated teams so it’s flying under the radar some but it could turn out to be the most competitive out of all the marquee matchups this weekend. Besides the Aggies only loss came up against the defending champions Clemson Tigers and let us not forget how close Auburn came to losing to Oregon.
Auburn would seem to have the better defense but this year the Aggies are very strong, both holding high-powered offenses well under their averages in Clemson and Oregon. The Tigers will be in enemy territory so a strong dose of RB Jatarvious Whitlow will definitely be needed. Kellen Mond has more experience in big games even with Auburn true freshman Bo Nix’s heroics three short weeks ago. The team that turns the ball over more will lose, plus Jimbo Fisher is just a good if not a better overall coach then Gus Malzahn and Texas A&M will have a major crowd behind them.
The Pick: Texas A&M 27 Auburn 20
Saturday Upset Special
California visits Ole Miss as a very live dog as the Bears get a minor upset on the road.
(Honorable Mention: The Louisville Cardinals played Notre Dame relatively close enough to give them a good shot at upending a stuck-in-cement FSU.)
#10 Utah at USC: Utah is the experts current sweetheart to win the PAC-12 and the Trojans will be angry and in the Coliseum after blowing a gasket at BYU last week, which could create fourth quarter drama.
#20 Boise State vs. Air Force: Both these Mountain West schools come in undefeated, Boise State has some holes and if Air Force can get their ground game going anything could happen.
Against The Spread
Louisville will be a handful for all 4 quarters versus Florida State and find away to lose by less than 6.5 points or win outright.
Also, Kentucky could sneak under the 6.5 points and still lose to Mississippi State.
Take it to the window #24 ASU vs. Colorado will be competitive and end below the 50 over/under number Las Vegas set.
(Honorable Mention: #22 Washington might defeat BYU but the scrappy Cougars will be in the game at least until halftime.)
Quick Hits Recap
-Crimson Tide QB Tua Tagovailoa had four touchdowns in a 47-23 win over South Carolina, Tua’s 8th time of his career setting a school record.
– LSU hammered Northwestern State 65-14 earning the Tigers 800th win in program history.
-Notre Dame QB Ian Book threw for 360 yards and 5 TD’s in a walk away 66-14 win over New Mexico. That was the Irish’s biggest offensive output since 1977.
-Oklahoma State’s RB Chubba Hubbard rushed for a career high 258 yards and 3 TD’s on 32 carries in a victory over Tulsa.
-With a 31-24 victory over Florida State, #21 Virginia moved to 3-0 for the first time since 2005.
-Temple defeated a hot Maryland team, making it 5 separate times the Terrapins lost the same week they got ranked in the Top-25.
-Minnesota’s made it 18 consecutive non-conference victories (longest in the nation) with a dramatic 35-32 win over Georgia Southern. Tyler Johnson has 10 catches for 144 and 3 touchdowns one of them came in the closing seconds.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ ropeadoperadio & Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio