It's very likely that the Ducks have held back the majority of their playbook during their first three wins in order to bring an element of surprise to the tough Cardinal defense. The winner of this game will be elevated to Washington's primary threat ...and more »
The fourth week of the college football season brings us big-time conference matchups that will further define conference championship landscapes for the remainder of the season.
Get those remotes ready. Here's a primer to guide you through a 14-hour college football bonanza.
All times Eastern
The biggest games
No. 22 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama, CBS, 3:30 p.m.: The Aggies almost proved that they were for real two weeks ago against No. 3 Clemson, and now they hit the road to try to slay the crimson-colored dragon. Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond looked good in that matchup, and will have to take it up another notch in Bryant-Denny Stadium against one of the most fearsome defenses in college football. Watch out for Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa putting on a Heisman show in front of the home crowd.
No. 17 TCU at Texas, Fox, 4:30 p.m.: Despite the loss last week to Ohio State, the Horned Frogs looked like a championship-caliber team thanks to the speed and scheme developed by coach Gary Patterson. Texas looked sharp last week, too, in a home thrashing of USC. A home upset for the Longhorns would show that coach Tom Herman has things going in the right direction, while a win for the Horned Frogs would set them up to be a big contender for the Big 12 title.
No. 7 Stanford at No. 20 Oregon, ABC, 8 p.m.: Stanford is two weeks removed from a big win over USC, while Oregon has feasted on cupcakes through the first three weeks of the season. It's very likely that the Ducks have held back the majority of their playbook during their first three wins in order to bring an element of surprise to the tough Cardinal defense. The winner of this game will be elevated to Washington's primary threat in the Pac-12 North.
Other big games
No. 2 Georgia at Missouri, ESPN, noon: If you like good quarterback play, you might want to check this one out. Jake Fromm hits the road to take on Drew Lock and the high-flying Tigers in an early-afternoon SEC East showdown. Missouri hung with eventual-SEC champion Georgia in Athens for a half last year, and will need to get off to a fast start in this one. Otherwise, the Bulldogs are fully capable of wearing the Tigers down late.
Nebraska at No. 19 Michigan, FS1, noon: Scott Frost will look to get his first win as the Cornhuskers head coach in upset fashion against Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines. If Cornhusker quarterback Adrian Martinez plays, he'll have his work cut out for him against the stout Wolverines defense. If he doesn't, walk-on Andrew Bunch might have a long afternoon.
No. 8 Notre Dame at Wake Forest, ABC, noon: The Fighting Irish haven't exactly looked crisp through three games, and now face a tricky matchup against a Demon Deacons that's pretty darn sneaky. Notre Dame's defense squaring off against the ACC's second-best offense on the road might not move the meter nationally, but for an early game, it's well worth the watch.
No. 3 Clemson at Georgia Tech, ABC, 3:30 p.m.: The Yellow Jackets triple option is always tricky with only one week to prepare, and the fast, athletic and deep Tigers defensive front is one of the best in the game. Watching that unit square off against a unique offensive scheme on the road will be a lot of fun.
No. 14 Mississippi State at Kentucky, ESPN2, 7 p.m.: The Bulldogs have been thrashing opponents through three games thanks to monsters on both lines of scrimmage and a punishing, multi-dimensional rushing attack. But the Wildcats have looked sharp thanks to the emergence of dual-threat quarterback Terry Wilson and impact of star running back Benny Snell. These two teams are pretty close to identical in terms of offensive scheme, so nothing will be a surprise on either side.
Texas Tech at No. 15 Oklahoma State, FS1, 7 p.m.: Red Raiders freshman quarterback Alan Bowman threw for 605 yards and five touchdowns last week against Houston, but will have a bigger test this week against the Cowboys. Meanwhile, Mike Gundy's crew is fresh off a win over Boise State and has a ton of confidence in quarterback Taylor Cornelius and a talented group of skill players. You want points? You're going to get points.
Florida at Tennessee, ESPN, 7 p.m.: Two old-school SEC East rivals go at it in Neyland Stadium Saturday night in a game that will give either Dan Mullen or Jeremy Pruitt an early-season signature win. This one will come down to unproven quarterbacks: Feleipe Franks for the Gators and Jarrett Guarantano for the Volunteers. The rivalry might not carry the same sizzle as it has in years past, but a fierce rivalry in Week 4 is always worth tuning in to.
No. 18 Wisconsin at Iowa, Fox, 8:30 p.m.: After getting stunned last week by BYU, the Badgers turn around and will walk into hostile Kinnick Stadium against a Hawkeyes team that boasts one of the best defenses in the nation. If the Hawkeyes are able to shut down Jonathan Taylor and the Badgers rushing attack, it'll be up to quarterback Alex Hornibrook to win a game against a stellar defense. That should be fun.
Arizona State at No. 10 Washington, ESPN, 10:30 p.m.: The Sun Devils lost a heart-breaker last week at San Diego State, and will have an even bigger test in a hostile environment against the Huskies. The quarterback dual between Manny Wilkins and Jake Browning will draw headlines, but Sun Devils wide receiver N'Keal Harry vs. the Huskies secondary is the biggest matchup to watch.
Keep an eye on ...
No. 23 Boston College at Purdue, ESPN2, noon
Tulane at No. 4 Ohio State, BTN, 3:30 p.m.
Kansas State at No. 12 West Virginia, ESPN, 3:30 p.m.
Arkansas at No. 9 Auburn, SECN, 7:30 p.m.
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