College Football Spoiler Alert Week 4
Technically speaking, the CFSA did call an Upset Special, albeit for the wrong game. Convinced that Notre Dame would fall to Georgia Tech, I failed to see Stanford's stunning upset of the might USC Trojans, which came back to haunt me. Let's hope I have a better idea of what's going on in this week's College Football Spoiler Alert.... (All times EST, all rankings reflect AP polls)
#22 BYU (2-1) @ Michigan (2-1) Noon, ABC
BYU's streak of magic came to a heartbreaking end against UCLA, but they have a huge chance to restart it in Ann Arbor. As an independent, BYU's schedule leaves much to be desired (though a home tilt with #25 Missouri looms large on the horizon, provided the Tigers stay hot), but they can establish themselves as a non-fluke by going into one of college football's most vaunted cathedrals and picking up a key win. QB Tanner Magum has proved to be a capable replacement for Taysom Hill, displaying an incredible talent for extending the play and pulling off the improbable. Again, I do believe the Wolverines will benefit from the addition of Jim Harbaugh on the sidelines. I also believe, however, that there will be growing pains on this Great Lake journey, and a matchup with the dangerous Cougars is one of them.
BYU 28, Michigan 17
#20 Georgia Tech (2-1) @ Duke (2-1)
A showdown between the past two ACC Coastal Division champs will be of major importance if either team hopes to return to Charlotte on championship week. Despite Miami's hot start, the winner of this game will likely be labeled the division favorite moving forward. Soggy, rainy conditions are expected on Saturday afternoon in Durham, but that shouldn't affect the high octane running game of the Yellow Jackets. Tech is also furious of a comeback that fell just short last week at Notre Dame, which followed up back to back 60+ point showing. They won't come close to that against Duke, but expect them to get back on track.
Georgia Tech 16, Duke 3
Maryland (2-1) @ West Virginia (2-0)
It's not the sexiest matchup in the world, but it's intriguing nonetheless. It wouldn't shock me if either team ended up appearing in their respective conference's championship, but at the same time, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if they both went 4-8 as well. The WVU offense is firing on all cylinders, as they conclude a three week homestand to open the season before a huge road trip to Norman next week. QB Skyler Howard has thrown for 622 yards on the young season so far. Expect that number to go up against a Terrapins team still reeling from that loss to Bowling Green two weeks ago.
West Virginia 39, Maryland 17
Virginia Tech (2-1) @ East Carolina (1-2)
Back when ECU was just a Conference USA whippersnapper, it seemed they always seemed to give a ranked VT team a run for its money in the early going. Tech is still working out the kinks made apparent in that opening weekend loss to Ohio State, but the Bucs should be a good time to work everything out. They played Florida well a few weeks ago, but ECU, at this point, reeks of AAC also-ran, and that'll be on display against a Hokies team that's going to contend for the ACC title. So with all due respect to Dominique Davis, my upset special lies elsewhere.
Virginia Tech 24, East Carolina 10
#24 Oklahoma State (3-0) @ Texas (1-2)
What better way for Charlie Strong to get his Texas regime back on track than a win over the ranked opponent? Well, as nice as it would be, dont expect it against the Cowboys. OSU is totaling just over 510 yards per game, which is almost identical to the yards Texas has given up in three contests thus far...not combined, per game. Happier days are coming in Austin, as Jerron Heard has established himself as a solid threat under center, but expect the relentless OSU offense to flex their muscles on their hapless conference foe.
Oklahoma State 38, Texas 10
Tennessee (2-1) @ Florida (3-0)
The Vols-Gators rivalry is still nowhere near where it was during the Manning-Wuerrffel heyday, but it's slowly getting there. Both teams are enduring long roads back to respectability, particularly the Vols who are no doubt still licking their wounds from the blown opportunity that was the Oklahoma loss at home. RB Jalen Hurd has come out firing, averaging almost six yards per carry, and Butch Jones could officially cement his status in Knoxville by picking up a win over the Gators for the first time in a decade. The loser will have to continue trying to convince people they're "for real". Having played that role for far too long, the Vols will finally end their swampy decade to the hated Gators from Gainesville.
Tennessee 20, Florida 14
#3 TCU (3-0) @ Texas Tech (3-0)
Things have a been a little dark for Texas Tech football since that magical night in 2008 when Colt McCoy and the top ranked Longhorns left Lubbock losers. With momentum at a high thanks to head coach Kliff Kingsbury, the Red Raiders can formally reintroduce themselves to the college football world on a national stage, against a Horned Frogs team that, let's face it, has not played like a Top 3 in the early going. An opening night game against Minnesota ended in a close 23-17 victory, and last week, SMU played TCU to a 56-37 game in an acronym battle that was much much closer than the scoreboard indicated. Texas Tech has already made it clear they're sick of hearing about the dominance of the SEC. If they feel as equally strong about the two Texas teams at the top of their conference, they could pull off one of the biggest upsets of the young season
UPSET SPECIAL: Texas Tech 48, TCU 44
#9 UCLA (3-0) @ #16 Arizona (3-0)
There have been three certainties in Los Angeles recently...Nick Young will do something stupid, the Clippers will blow a lead, and the UCLA Bruins will beat Arizona. Head coach Jim Mora Jr is 3-0 against the Wildcats in his tenure thus far, and could easily be 4-0 after the weekend. The Bruins survived a major test last week, squeaking by upstart BYU at home. To boot, they did it while highly touted freshman QB Josh Rosen posted mostly pedestrian numbers, instead allowing a breakout game from RB Paul Perkins, who tallied 219 yards in the win. Losing Myles Jack and Fabian Moreau on defense are going to hurt UCLA, but with face of the school LB Scooby Wright still trying to shake off the cobwebs of an opening week injury, the Bruins, for the time being, still control the West.
UCLA 31, Arizona 28
#18 Utah (3-0) @ #13 Oregon (2-1)
Something just seems different about this Oregon team...and not in a good way. In their lone game against sufficient opposition this season, a 31-28 defeat to Michigan State, the whole Duck scheme of quick offense and big plays seemed almost....dated. It's been apparent in Oregon's past two big games, the other one being that National Championship disaster against Ohio State. Meanwhile, you have a Utah team that has high hopes of contending for the PAC-12 title, not just this year but into the future as well. The Utes's mighty rush defense, having yet to allow a touchdown this season, will look to stifle a Ducks run game that, again, looked dated in the MSU game. A changing of the guard could be on the horizon in the PAC-12 North, as Utah seeks to wrestle the stranglehold the Ducks and Stanford have on the division.
Utah 34, Oregon 24
#19 USC (2-1) @ Arizona State (2-1)
What a difference a year has made for ASU QB Mike Bercovici. Going into last year's matchup with the Trojans, he was just a backup filling in for an injury, but after that wild Hail Mary throw to top their conference rival, he has established himself as one of the most explosive quarterbacks in the nation. He'll go up against a worthy counterpart in Cody Kessler, who is no doubt smarting from a heartbreaking loss to Stanford next week. ASU has looked somewhat flat in its opening slate, primarily the debut loss to Texas A&M, and a win here could get them back into the PAC-12 title conversation. That seems to be asking too much against a very very angry USC team
USC 38, Arizona State 28
Last Week: 7-3
Upset Specials: 1-2
Geoff Magliocchetti claims he saw the Michael Crabtree catch that allowed Texas Tech to beat Texas in '08 but was really at a Confirmation party. Let him hear it on Twitter @GeoffMags5490.
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