Top Five College Football Matchups: Week 4

Week three of the college football season didn’t feature many marquee matchups but was still wildly entertaining, highlighted by Florida’s upset in The Swamp over rival Tennessee and Colorado’s comeback victory against rival Colorado State. But this week will be a bit different. This week features seven ranked matchups, with several exciting PAC-12 games and a primetime showdown with massive Playoff implications. Here is our ranking and breakdown of the top five college football matchups for week 4.

5. No. 22 UCLA (3-0) at No. 11 Utah (3-0)

When: Saturday, 3:30 pm ET

Where: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT

Where to watch: FOX

Spread: Utah (-6)

Cam Rising may make his return this weekend as the Utes host a red-hot UCLA team coming off a 59-7 victory over North Carolina Central. Bruin’s 5-star freshman quarterback Dante Moore has impressed so far with eight touchdowns and one interception through his first three starts. Now he’ll face a real test against a Utah defense that has only allowed three total touchdowns this season. If Rising can’t play, the Bruins have a great chance to play spoiler against the back-to-back PAC-12 champs.

4. No. 15 Ole Miss (3-0) at No. 13 Alabama (2-1)

When: Saturday, 3:30 pm ET

Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL

Where to watch: CBS

Spread: Alabama (-7)

Alabama has struggled in a way we haven’t seen for quite some time. Offensively, they are a trainwreck right now. Saban opting to bench Jalen Milroe after his loss against Texas proved to be the wrong decision, as backup quarterbacks Ty Simpson and Tyler Buchner combined for 10/23 passing with 107 air yards and zero passing touchdowns against South Florida. I can’t remember the last time Bama didn’t throw a single touchdown in a game, but it has to be a while right? I expect Saban to turn back to Milroe again, who has shown some real arm talent and athleticism so far. All of this is setting up for a potential Rebels upset on the road. Mississippi has gotten off to a great start and can put up points in a hurry. If Bama has to trade score for score with them in a shootout, I don’t expect that to be a game they’ll win.

3. No. 4 Florida State (3-0) at Clemson (2-0)

When: Saturday, 12:00 pm ET

Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC

Where to watch: ABC

Spread: Florida State (-2)

This isn’t a ranked matchup but it might as well be. Clemson has really improved offensively since their disastrous loss against Duke, scoring 66 against Charleston Southern in week 2 and 48 against FAU last weekend. Their defense is also top 10 in the nation in yards allowed. It’s interesting, most of us expected FSU to have all the momentum coming into this game, but after their poor performance against Boston College, Clemson probably feels like they have it now. The Tigers have also dominated this rivalry in recent years, winning the past seven games. Clemson seems like the only team standing in Florida State’s way en route to a Playoff appearance. The Noles will need another Heisman-like performance from Jordan Travis to finally knock off Clemson in Death Valley.

2. No. 19 Colorado (3-0) at No. 10 Oregon (3-0)

When: Saturday, 3:30 pm ET

Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR

Where to watch: ABC

Spread: Oregon (-21)

I’m really glad Colorado didn’t fall to Colorado State last weekend, because I had been eyeing this PAC-12 matchup for a few weeks and wanted to see both teams undefeated when they face off. The Ducks still open as three-touchdown favorites, however. They have the third-best offense in the country and have been above average defensively, although they haven’t faced an offense like Colorado’s yet. But the Buffalos are a bit of a one-dimensional team right now. They’ve already been in two shootouts and their defense will get lit up by the best teams in the PAC-12. They’ll need a monster game from Shadeur Sanders to keep this one competitive.

1. No. 6 Ohio State (3-0) at No. 9 Notre Dame

When: Saturday, 7:30 pm ET

Where: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN

Where to watch: NBC

Spread:  Ohio State (-3)

It’s always exciting to get potential College Football Playoff matchups this early in the season. Unlike most years, I’m really high on the Irish mainly because of transfer quarterback Sam Hartman, who has carried over his same elite play from Wake Forest. He has 13 touchdowns with no interceptions and over 1,000 passing yards in just four games. Notre Dame isn’t just beating teams by playing good defense anymore, they’ve blown out every opponent they’ve faced. That’s why I really like their chances against Ohio State, and frankly, I think they should be favored. However, Ohio State has slowly worked out a lot of their kinks on offense, and last weekend they looked like the dominant team we’ve come to expect under Ryan Day. Surprisingly, these two powerhouses have only faced off seven times, with Ohio State riding a five-game win streak. Last season, the Buckeyes beat them in Columbus 21-10. I expect way more points to be scored in this one and a marquee home win for the Irish.

Honorable Mentions:

No. 24 Iowa (3-0) at No. 7 Penn State (3-0)

No. 14 Oregon State (3-0) at No. 21 Washington State (3-0)

Auburn (3-0) at Texas A&M (2-1)

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