College Football Preview: Week 4

College+Football+Preview%3A+Week+4

Jason Getz

Luke Davis, Sports Editor

This past weekend of college could have been the first one where we saw teams get eliminated from playoff contention. With Miami getting blown out against Clemson, and Florida losing to Texas A&M, it would be very difficult for those teams to get back into the playoff talk. Not impossible, but very difficult. 

After another great week of college football, there were shake-ups in the rankings. Two top ten teams lost, and a borderline top ten team had a statement win. After the last weekend of college football, here are what the rankings look like going into this weekend: 

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Georgia
  4. Notre Dame
  5. North Carolina
  6. Ohio State
  7. Oklahoma State
  8. Cincinnati
  9. Penn State
  10. Florida
  11. Texas A&M
  12. Oregon
  13. Miami
  14. BYU
  15. Auburn
  16. Wisconsin
  17. SMU
  18. Tennessee
  19. Michigan
  20. Iowa State
  21. Louisiana
  22. Kansas State
  23. Virginia Tech
  24. Minnesota
  25. USC

With a loss to Texas A&M, it was pretty clear why Florida was moved down, and the same goes for Miami. North Carolina did the opposite last weekend, and with a statement win over Virginia Tech jumped from number 8 to number 5, the first time they’ve been that high since 1997. 

My record last week was 8-4 (.667), as two of those losses came with a ranked team losing to an unranked team. I was about as close as I could’ve been with Arkansas upsetting Auburn after Auburn won on a last-second field goal. I’m not complaining though, 8-4 for my first week is pretty good. 

Noon Game of the Week: 

Auburn #15 at South Carolina

Where: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, South Carolina

When: 11:00 CT

Channel: ESPN

This game will be much closer than everybody thinks it will be. South Carolina is 1-2, with losses to Florida and Tennessee, who

are ranked 10 in the nation 18 in the nation respectively. South Carolina is much better than people think they are, and they are

South Carolina Collin Hill will have to play well if South Carolina wants to upset Auburn (Cola Daily)

going to prove that against Auburn. They are scrappy on defense and have grad transfer Collin Hill at quarterback who provides them with some experience on the offensive side of the ball. Not to mention standout freshman punter Kai Kroeger who just happens to be an LFHS alum. 

Auburn is ranked 15th in the nation with their only loss coming to the 3rd ranked team in the nation, Georgia. Auburn had national championship expectations coming into this year, and they just have not lived up to them. With quarterback Bo Nix looking very promising his freshman year, some believed he would be much improved sophomore year, and maybe even win the SEC (yes I know I picked them to win the SEC). Although Auburn are heavy favorites going into this game, I see an upset coming and shaking up the rankings once again. 

Prediction: 

South Carolina 34, Auburn 31

 

Other Noon Games of Note: 

Clemson #1 at Georgia Tech (ABC)

Pittsburgh at Miami #13 (ACCN)

Kentucky at Tennessee #18 (SECN)

 

Afternoon Game of the Week:

Ole Miss at Arkansas

Where: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, Arkansas

When: 2:30 CT

Channel: SEC Network 

With there being such a mediocre afternoon slot of games this weekend, I thought it would be fitting to pick a game of perhaps two of the more overlooked teams in college football at the moment. Arkansas in the last two weeks has 1. Won their first conference game since 2017, and 2. Almost knocked off Auburn but lost on a last-second field goal after a controversial call. In the

First-year head coach Sam Pittman looks to turn around Arkansas program with a win against Ole Miss (Charlie Kaijo)

first game they played, they also held a lead over Georgia at halftime, who was the 4th ranked team at the time. So while Arkansas’ record says they’re 1-2, they are much more respectable than that. 

It is a very similar story with Ole Miss. They are 1-2 just like Arkansas, with losses to #10 ranked Florida, and #2 ranked Alabama. They lost to Alabama by two touchdowns, one of those being a garbage-time touchdown. Similarly, they lost to Florida by two touchdowns, playing both of these teams tight. 

So with both of these teams being 1-2, and being overlooked, I think this should be one of the more fun games to watch this weekend. Ole Miss has been horrible on defense, but outstanding on offense. Arkansas has been average on offense, but good on defense. I expect this game to be a shootout, but it is the lack of defense for Ole Miss that gives Arkansas the advantage. 

Prediction: 

Arkansas 45, Ole Miss 41

 

Other Afternoon Games of Note:

Louisville at Notre Dame #4 (NBC)

Texas A&M #11 at Mississippi State (ESPN)

Virginia at Wake Forest (ACCN)

 

Night Game of the Week (Overall game of the week):

#3 Georgia at #2 Alabama

Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

When: 7:00 CT

Channel: CBS

You can once again call me biased for picking my own team’s game as the game of the week, but this week there is no argument against it. It is the #2 ranked team vs the #3 ranked team. That doesn’t happen often in the regular season. 

This is the definition of an immovable object vs. an unstoppable force. Georgia’s defense is allowing 12 points per game, while Alabama’s offense is averaging 51, and leading the nation in doing so. Alabama’s offense is also averaging 560 yards per game, while Georgia’s defense is only allowing 236 a game. Neither of these teams has been nearly as good on the other side of the ball,

All eyes will be on Alabama quarterback Mac Jones in this top 5 matchup (John David Mercer)

although they haven’t been bad either. Alabama is allowing 30 points per game, as well as 473 yards per game. Georgia’s offense is averaging 420 yards per game and 36 points per game. 

The story of the game for Alabama is the fact that perhaps the best college football coach ever won’t be on the sidelines with them after testing positive for COVID-19. While test results are still pending for players on Alabama, and this game may be postponed, as of now, it is being played without Saban on the sidelines, which is bigger than any player not playing for Alabama. 

The story of the game for Georgia will be the play of surprise quarterback Stetson Bennett IV. After walking on at Georgia, then going to junior college, then coming back to Georgia, he has won the starting job and will be playing in the biggest game of his life on Saturday. If Bennett can control the offense, and limit the amount of time Alabama’s offense is on the field, Georgia has a good chance to win this game. 

Prediction: 

Biased pick: Georgia 47, Alabama 42

Unbiased pick from fellow editor Wilson Irvin: Alabama 38, Georgia 17

 

Other Night Games of Note: 

North Carolina #5 at Florida State (ABC)

Boston College at Virginia Tech #23 (ACCN)

Marshall at Louisiana Tech (CBSSN)