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Previews, upsets and an open thread for Week 4

Notre Dame v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Most of the nation moves into conference play this week. We’ve already seen some exciting action with Tulane pulling off a remarkable (71 yards in two plays) win over Houston on Thursday night ...

And then with both Boise and USC winning last night.

Conference play has a way of creating extra drama and introducing the element of emotion into college football experience. Too many fans, for all intents and purposes, this is the real beginning of the season.

For those who have hopes of seeing their teams make a push into the CFP, it is also the time of year that scoreboard watching really kicks into gear.

Since Utah derped all over themselves by letting a third-string USC QB lead an unranked Trojan team to a win over them last night, the odds of the PAC 12 putting a team into the post-season again fell. But that doesn’t mean that we here at UWDP don’t hold on to hope. The PAC 12 should be aspiring to send one of its members to the Playoff ... and I would think UW is as good a candidate as any.

With that in mind, I’m bringing back the rooting guide for 2019 but with more of a PAC 12 twist ... at least for now. Enjoy.

Week 4 Rooting Guide

#8 Auburn at #17 Texas A&M

root for: Auburn

The Oregon loss right now looks like a “good loss”. It would be ideal if Auburn were to become an SEC champion. Bo Nix has struggled at QB for Auburn since that Oregon comeback, but the Tigers keep winning. The odds of them taking that momentum all the way to the SEC title are still low, but hanging a loss on a Texas A&M team that ranks ahead of four (or five if you now count Utah) of the six ranked PAC 12 teams is useful.

#11 Michigan at #13 Wisconsin

root for: Michigan

Badger fans have not seen a Wolverine win in Camp Randall since the Lloyd Carr days. If you do the math, that’s four Michigan coaches ago (Rich Rod, Brady Hoke and Jim Harbaugh). So, yeah, set expectations accordingly.

Besides that, it is looking very likely that the Big Ten is going to be right there with the PAC 12 as the conference vying for a fourth playoff spot. The Wolverines have an eminently more difficult path to get there based on their division alone. They also probably aren’t as good as Wisconsin. So a win over the Badgers combined with (ideally) the two or three losses that should be on the remainder of their schedule would be an ideal scenario for PAC 12 teams looking to get a leg up on the Big Ten.

#23 Cal at Ole Miss

root for: Cal

I get that Cal has a win over UW and that this might not be an instinctual reaction for Husky fans who might watch this game. But a PAC 12 win over an Ole Miss team that still has upset opportuninities oer Auburn, Texas A&M and Alabama (next week) still ahead of them would be quite valuable.

#7 Notre Dame at #3 Georgia

root for: Notre Dame

Make no mistake: the risk of a two SEC team playoff is severe this season. Notre Dame hasn’t yet beaten a top 10 team in Brian Kelly’s tenure (at least not that I can recall) but there is no time like the present. A win over Georgia would certainly put the Irish right back into the playoff conversation, but it would also go a long way to solving the two SEC team problem.

Ranked PAC 12 teams: ASU, WSU, Oregon

Obviously.

Upset Picks

#16 Oregon at Stanford (+10.5)

I get that people are disappointed with Stanford. But what are they really disappointed in? A team that lost to a USC team that just beat #10 Utah mano-y-mano? A team that had to travel through four timezones into the muggy heat of Central Florida and got beat by a top 15 UCF team?

Perspective, people.

The Cardinal are definitely down. But 10.5 points worth of down in a home game against a team that they know very well and have given fits to over the years? I get that Walker Little is out for the season but puuuhhhhhhh-lease. Oregon’s overranked offensive line has yet to shine at all this season, their receivers are not as good as what UCF or USC put on the field and the Oregon D hasn’t had to play a team that can pass the ball. Let’s just see if they are good enough to be a double digit road favorite against a team that has a win over a ranked team already in the bag.

Give me the points. Or better yet, just give me Stanford straight up.

Old Dominion at #21 Virginia (-29)

I like Virginia QB Bryce Perkins. But watch him play and you see he is more Jake Browning than Jacob Eason. He’s a game manager who doesn’t oversee too many explosive plays. And I rarely like to see teams that are in the 10th percentile of offensive explosiveness metrics get 29 points.

I get that Old Dominion maybe isn’t the upset juggernaut that they’ve been in the past. But I’m taking 29 points against Virginia all day long.

Other teams that I’m not so convinced of but not yet willing to bet on include Texas (vs Oklahoma State), Arizona State (vs Colorado) and TCU (hosting an undefeated SMU team).

Here is you full Week 4 schedule. Enjoy some football. This is your open thread.

Week 4 CFB Schedule

Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (PT) TV Streaming
Southern Mississippi at #2 Alabama 9:00 AM ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
#4 LSU at Vanderbilt 9:00 AM SEC Network WatchESPN.com
Tennessee at #9 Florida 9:00 AM ESPN WatchESPN.com
#11 Michigan at #13 Wisconsin 9:00 AM FOX FoxSportsGo.com
#23 California at Ole Miss 9:00 AM ESPNU WatchESPN.com
Western Michigan at Syracuse 9:00 AM ACC Network WatchESPN.com
Elon at Wake Forest 9:00 AM ACCNX WatchESPN.com
Boston College at Rutgers 9:00 AM BTN FoxSportsGo.com
UL Monroe at Iowa State 9:00 AM FS1 FoxSportsGo.com
UConn at Indiana 9:00 AM BTN FoxSportsGo.com
Michigan State at Northwestern 9:00 AM ABC WatchESPN.com
Morgan State at Army 9:00 AM CBSSN CBSSports.com
Coastal Carolina at UMass 10:00 AM NESN NESNGo.com
Louisiana at Ohio 11:00 AM ESPN+ ESPN+
Troy at Akron 12:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Central Connecticut at Eastern Michigan 12:00 PM ESPN3 WatchESPN.com
Miami (OH) at #6 Ohio State 12:30 PM BTN FoxSportsGo.com
#8 Auburn at #17 Texas A&M 12:30 PM CBS CBSSports.com
#15 UCF at Pittsburgh 12:30 PM ABC/ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
#22 Washington at BYU 12:30 PM ABC/ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
SMU at #25 TCU 12:30 PM FS1 FoxSportsGo.com
Temple at Buffalo 12:30 PM ESPNU WatchESPN.com
Bowling Green at Kent State 12:30 PM ESPN3 WatchESPN.com
Wyoming at Tulsa 12:30 PM CBSSN CBSSports.com
South Alabama at UAB 12:30 PM NFL None
Louisville at Florida State 12:30 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com
Appalachian State at North Carolina 12:30 PM ACCNX WatchESPN.com
Central Michigan at Miami 1:00 PM ACC Network WatchESPN.com
Kentucky at Mississippi State 1:00 PM SEC Network WatchESPN.com
South Carolina at Missouri 1:00 PM SEC Network WatchESPN.com
West Virginia at Kansas 1:30 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
New Mexico State at New Mexico 1:30 PM AT&T Sportsnet None
Hampton at Liberty 3:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
William & Mary at East Carolina 3:00 PM ESPN3 WatchESPN.com
Wagner at Florida Atlantic 3:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
#16 Oregon at Stanford 4:00 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com
Old Dominion at #21 Virginia 4:00 PM ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
Southern Illinois at Arkansas State 4:00 PM ESPN3 WatchESPN.com
Georgia State at Texas State 4:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Baylor at Rice 4:00 PM CBSSN CBSSports.com
Ball State at NC State 4:00 PM ESPNU WatchESPN.com
Charlotte at #1 Clemson 4:30 PM ACC Network WatchESPN.com
Oklahoma State at #12 Texas 4:30 PM ABC WatchESPN.com
San Jose State at Arkansas 4:30 PM SEC Network WatchESPN.com
UTSA at North Texas 4:30 PM None Facebook
#7 Notre Dame at #3 Georgia 5:00 PM CBS CBSSports.com
Nevada at UTEP 5:00 PM ESPN3 WatchESPN.com
Nebraska at Illinois 5:00 PM BTN FoxSportsGo.com
Colorado at #24 Arizona State 7:00 PM Pac-12 Networks Pac-12.com
Sacramento State at Fresno State 7:00 PM None Facebook
Toledo at Colorado State 7:15 PM ESPN2 WatchESPN.com
UCLA at #19 Washington State 7:30 PM ESPN WatchESPN.com
Utah State at San Diego State 7:30 PM CBSSN CBSSports.com
Central Arkansas at Hawai'i 8:59 PM Spectrum Sports Facebook