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NCAAF · 3 months ago

College Football Week 4: Upset Watch

TJ Inman

TJ Inman

College Football Week 4: Upset Watch

Some collegiate football weeks don’t have any marquee matchups, with ranked teams large favorites across the board. Then, some weekends feature a veritable buffet of fantastic matchups with opportunities for ranked teams to fall and season narratives to shift. This weekend is the latter. Saturday at noon and not letting up until well into the night, September 23 is a loaded day for college football fans.

Which ranked teams could fall victim and be upset this Saturday?

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No. 4 Florida State (-2.5) at Clemson – Noon on ABC

Clemson lost in the season opener at Duke and has not been thought about by most national analysts since that defeat. Florida State is flying high at 3-0 and fourth in the rankings. Many have dismissed Clemson and are ready to bury the Dabo Swinney era. However, the ACC has belonged to Clemson, and Florida State has lost seven straight games to the Tigers. This game is at Clemson, and the Seminoles have won in Death Valley once since 2002 (2013). Florida State is favored, but the Clemson offense is finding its footing under Garrett Riley, and the defense has performed well. This will be a terrific game if Clemson can avoid turning the ball over and capitalize on chances in the red zone.

No. 16 Oklahoma (-14.5) at Cincinnati – Noon on FOX

The Cincinnati Bearcats debut in the Big 12 after a disappointing loss to the Miami of Ohio Redhawks last Saturday. Oklahoma comes to town for the first (and only) time as a conference foe, and there is little reason to have faith in Cincinnati. The Sooners have yet to prove they are an improved squad over the team that barely made it to a bowl game last season. Oklahoma has hammered two bad teams (Arkansas State and Tulsa) but was pushed by the one team they played with a pulse. Conference road games are challenging, so Oklahoma must play well to beat a desperate Bearcats squad.

No. 14 Oregon State (-3) at No. 21 Washington State – 7:00 on FOX

This PAC-12 clash features a pair of ranked teams and the only two teams that have yet to bail on the Conference of Champions. Oregon State has been impressive this season but has yet to be tested, beating up San Jose State, UC Davis, and San Diego State. The Beavers travel to Pullman to play Washington State, favored by a field goal. The Cougars beat Wisconsin and are 3-0 after a commanding victory over Colorado State. Cameron Ward is 78-108 for 986 yards, nine touchdowns, and two rushing touchdowns. Oregon State has the better defense but will receive their first test.

No. 13 Alabama (-7) versus #15 Ole Miss – 3:30 on CBS

Could Nick Saban‘s Crimson Tide lose twice in a row at home? While most college football fans would quickly dismiss the notion, it could happen this Saturday. Alabama hosts 3-0 Ole Miss, a team with two more impressive wins (at Tulane and Georgia Tech) than anything Alabama has done thus far in 2023. The Tide are only seven-point favorites, mainly because of a lack of trust in the Alabama offense. It is unclear who is going to be the starting quarterback. Jalen Milroe was benched at South Florida, and there are rumors that he did not handle it well. Tyler Buchner and Ty Simpson were ineffective, as Alabama scored only 17 points. Ole Miss has a veteran quarterback and a terrific running game, so they could push the Tide, particularly if Alabama has not found answers on offense.

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