Last week was a doozy. Five top-20 teams fell last week, and then the UCLA/Washington State game happened. If you follow this column, you will remember I said that it could be weird and interesting, and BOOM UCLA scored 50 points in 19 minutes to blaze for a comeback victory. Pac-12 after dark rules.
This week’s slate of games do not have the same firepower, but there are definitely some intriguing match ups to keep an eye on.
Here are the best games available during each time slot:
Thursday the 26th
Navy (2-0) @ Memphis (3-0) —> 7pm CST on ESPN
This AAC matchup could be fun. The two undefeated squads play very different games, but they both have done well in conference the past few seasons. Memphis is lead by junior quarterback Brady White who transferred from Arizona State after only one season.
Navy on the other hand has only thrown the ball 17 times on the season and likes to spread the wealth around on the ground. While Memphis is a double digit home favorite, Navy‘s style of play can be hard to adjust to. The defenses are strong in this one.
Week 4 American Raw Def Points per Drive— Sharp College Football (@Sharp_CFB) September 24, 2019
South Florida 2.1
East Carolina 3.1
Friday the 27th
Duke (2-1) @ Virginia Tech (2-1) —> 6pm CST on ESPN
After both dropping their opening games, each team has rebounded nicely entering this conference clash. This is longstanding Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s last season in Blacksburg, while Duke head coach David Cutcliffe is known to be one of the better offensive minds in college football. Both teams could use this game in a big way.
12 Penn State (3-0) @ Maryland (2-1) —> 7pm CST on FS1
Each coming off bye weeks, this game sets up as a momentum game. Penn State was cruising prior to the bye, while Maryland laid an egg against Temple in Philadelphia. Mike Locksley had the Terps playing really well before that disastrous effort, so they look to come back in a big way against the Nittany Lions. This game is big for recruiting bragging rights in the DC metro area.
Arizona State (3-1) @ 15 Cal (4-0) —> 9:30pm on ESPN
Chris Wilcox has the California Golden Bears humming through the first four weeks of the season. They haven’t been overly dominant on offense, but their defense has been fantastic. The former Wisconsin defensive coordinator helped them take down Washington on the road a few weeks ago, and they eked out a win over Ole Miss on the goal line last Saturday.
Arizona State just lost at home to Colorado after beating Michigan State on the road the week prior. This game should be a good barometer of the truth for these teams.
Saturday the 28th
Northwestern (1-2) @ 8 Wisconsin (3-0) —> 11am CST on ABC
Wisconsin is a 24 point favorite as of Monday, and they look to be the better of the two teams so far. Weird things tend to happen during these games though. By this point you know about this game.
ESPN Week 5 Heisman Watch -— CFB Kings (@CFBKings) September 24, 2019
1. Jalen Hurts - OU
2. Tua Tagovailoa - BAMA
3. Joe Burrow - LSU
4. Jonathan Taylor - WISC
5. Justin Fields - OSU
6. Sam Ehlinger - TEX
7. Trevor Lawrence - CLEM
8. Anthony Gordon - WSU
Texas Tech (2-1) @ 6 Oklahoma (3-0) —> 11am CST on FOX
There aren’t a lot of great early games for the weekend. This is probably the best flip back game between commercials of the Badgers. Jalen Hurts has been a magician in Lincoln Riley’s offense, and he is one of the top Heisman frontrunners. That is the reason that this is probably the best available game outside of Wisconsin/Northwestern.
Other morning games of interest: Texas A&M @ Arkansas, Middle Tennessee @ Iowa.
18 Virginia (4-0) @ 10 Notre Dame (2-1) —> 2:30pm CST on NBC
Virginia has been solid so far this year, including conference wins over Pittsburgh and Florida State. Coming into the season as one of the frontrunners for the Coastal Division, Virginia is lead by quarterback Bryce Perkins who leads the team in passing and rushing.
On the other sideline, Notre Dame held their own on the road against a sturdy Georgia team last weekend. Brian Kelly’s Irish squad will look to bounce back in a big game for each team.
#UVA QB Bryce Perkins on playing at Notre Dame: "I heard that's a great place to play, another historic team. They're a great team this year. I love the games where they're really anticipated. I think this brings out the best in everybody."— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) September 23, 2019
21 USC (3-1) @ 17 Washington (3-1) —> 2:30pm CST on FOX
USC has battled a fairly difficult schedule so far this season and enters a big contest against Washington on the road with quarterback injuries as the headliner. Opening game starter J.T. Daniels is done for the year. Backup Kedon Slovis is undergoing the concussion protocol. Matt Fink played well in the victory against Utah last week after Slovis was injured, especially while connecting with top target Michael Pittman.
Washington lost a wild weather game against Cal in Week 2, but have won their last two since. Washington’s defense has been good the past few years, and they only allow 18 points per game so far. If Washington is to win, transfer quarterback Jacob Eason will need to play well.
Other early afternoon games of interest: Clemson @ North Carolina, Minnesota @ Purdue, Iowa State @ Baylor, Indiana @ Michigan State.
Minnesota has won 7 of the last 10 matchups against Purdue. The last time Purdue beat Minnesota at home was in 2017. Their previous win was in 2011.#Gophers #BoilerUp #MINNvsPURhttps://t.co/28qrmO8N5N pic.twitter.com/Vdd90xBmK3— Winsipedia (@Winsipedia) September 24, 2019
5 Ohio State (4-0) @ Nebraska (3-1) —> 6:30pm CST on ABC
Justin Field has looked stellar so far this year for Ohio State. Nebraska entered the season as the B1G west division favorites. While Ohio State is an 18 point favorite, the game is in Lincoln, and GameDay will be on hand. Ohio State has shown the propensity to drop a game they shouldn’t the past couple seasons, and the energy level level in the stadium should be high. Ohio State is definitely the more talented team though, and should win.
24 Kansas State (3-0) @ Oklahoma State (3-1) —> 6pm CST on ESPN+
Go figure the second best primetime game in my opinion would be on ESPN+. If you don’t have the ability to watch it, blame the Big 12 Conference for their stupid television rights issues.
Mississippi State (3-1) @ 7 Auburn (4-0) —> 6pm CST on ESPN
Auburn is a 12 point favorite at home over MSU. Auburn has already flexed their muscle, beating Oregon and Texas A&M. Mississippi State on the other hand enters on the heels of losing to Kansas State and then beating Kentucky. Auburn should win, but it could be a trap game as Auburn plays Florida the following week on the road.
Bo Nix first two games against P5 opponents:— Jack McGuire (@JackMacCFB) September 24, 2019
59.5 QBR (this would rank 64th in country)
He’s a freshman so he’ll be fine, but this hype train is out of control. https://t.co/N5WeLHkHCJ
Other games of interest: NC State @ Florida State, Kentucky @ South Carolina.
Washington State (3-1) @ 19 Utah (3-1) —> 9pm CST on FS1
With both teams coming off their first losses of the season this game has some intrigue. Washington decided that they did not like running the ball and instead blew a huge lead to UCLA, while Utah was outmatched by USC last week.
With great head coaches on each sideline this game could be a good game to watch as you fall asleep or while you are out, especially with Tyler Hundley and Zack Moss both questionable for Utah.
Monday injury update summary:— College Fantasy Football (@FBSFantasyFoot) September 24, 2019
Memphis RB Patrick Taylor - out
Purdue QB Elijah Sindelar - questionable
Utah RB Zack Moss - quest.
Utah QB Tyler Huntley - quest.
Colo St RB Marvin Kinsey - doubtful
Colo St WR Warren Jackson - doubtful
FSU QB James Blackman - day to day
UCLA (1-3) @ Arizona (2-1) —> 9:30pm CST on ESPN
Khalil Tate can be as dynamic a playmaker as they come in college football for Arizona. He can really run, and is fun to watch. UCLA on the flip side may have finally found a pulse after starting the season losing their first three games.
Overall this weekend is not nearly as stacked as last week, but there are some great match ups that could ultimately lead to some upsets, or potentially change some conference division races.