If you’re not still nauseated from Ole Miss’ performance in Week 3 and currently have the stomach for college football generally, congratulations, you’ve officially crossed the Rebel football Sahara and emerged relatively unscathed. At least unscathed enough to devote actual viewing time to the remainder of the college football season. Welcome, traveler.
The funniest surprise of Week 3 was BYU’s upset of No. 5 Wisconsin. The Badgers had real designs on the College Football Playoff this season — like last season — and indeed they still have a realistic shot to make it into the semifinal. They just can’t lose from here on out. Outside Wisconsin and the current top four, there’s noticeable drop-off in Playoff-caliber teams at the moment, but that may very well change as we enter October and the heart of the season.
Despite what Podcast Ain’t Played Nobody will tell you, there sit some possible gems in Week 4’s college football slate. Had you looked down the schedule before the season started and saw this week’s FAU-UCF matchup, for instance, you’d probably consider that a decent affair on its face — especially for your Friday night kickback. Unfortunately, Lane Kiffin’s shop appears to have regressed a notable distance from last year’s offensive dominance, and his Owls have to play at Central Florida. So it goes.
As ever, our watchability ratings are based on pure speculation regarding this or that game. We factor in chaos possibilities, scores either getting run up or stalling out in single digits, and straight-up schadenfreude. Those are the metrics.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
FAU at No. 16 UCF
6 p.m. CT on ESPN and live streaming at WatchESPN
It’s the only college football on TV that isn’t No. 10 Penn State at Illinois, which is going to be a bloodbath for the Illini. End your week with copious amounts of alcohol and Lane Kiffin ripping his hair out of his head. The Golden Knights are favored by a touchdown with a 76-point over/under. STAY FAR AWAY.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 (EARLY GAMES)
No. 8 Notre Dame at Wake Forest
11 a.m. CT on ABC and live streaming at WatchESPN
Notre Dame returns to the ACC well, and this thing just might pop off for a close affair in Winston-Salem. Bet the under then go finish that deck you’ve been talking about all summer.
Nebraska at No. 19 Michigan
11 a.m. CT on FS1 and live streaming at FoxSportsGO
Michigan’s defense ain’t no joke, but Scott Frost in his first year as head coach has a Husker club that is pissed the hell off. Nebraska might hang for a bit before the Wolverines stamp them out, but Michigan in its current form could very well shit the bed here. MAD JIM HARBAUGH WATCH IS IN EFFECT.
No. 22 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama
2:30 p.m. CT on CBS and live streaming at CBSsports
Sure. Why not.
No. 3 Clemson at Georgia Tech
2:30 p.m. CT on ABC and live streaming at WatchESPN
You already have ABC on because Notre Dame hilariously coughed up an upset loss to Wake Forest. Georgia Tech may be plucky enough — in Atlanta, mind — to keep this thing interesting as far as the fourth quarter. Watch as Dabo completely melts down after yet another eight-yard gain from the Yellow Jacket option. TAKE THE UNDER.
NIGHT GAMES (DOES NOT INCLUDE THE #PAC12AFTERDARK; THEY ARE A DIFFERENT SUBHEADING)
No. 24 Michigan State at Indiana
7 p.m. CT on ABC and live streaming at WatchESPN
Look, you’ve sat, tuned in to ABC to watch Notre Dame get defrocked at Wake Forest, and you’ve also stood by to watch Clemson literally suffocate to death in downtown Atlanta. You can ride this pony long enough to see Michigan State run face-first into the wasps’ nest that is Hoosier football. Ole Miss is merely a CHAOS TEAM. Indiana is the eidolon of a CHAOS TEAM.
Look at this absurd betting line, courtesy of OddsShark. The game’s happening in Bloomington, by the way.
Have fun, bettors!
PAC-12 AFTER DARK
Arizona State at No. 10 Washington
9:30 p.m. on ESPN and live streaming at WatchESPN
Herm Edwards is 2-1 as a collegiate football head coach. His lone loss came last week against San Diego State, 28-21. Herm Edwards out-coached (?) Mark Dantonio two weeks ago for a 16-13 win over Michigan State. Herm Edwards is bringing his guys to Seattle to pester Washington for the late set, and that bodes well for those of us still awake and capacitated enough to recognize what’s going on. HUSKIES ON UPSET ALERT.
Oh yeah, also watch Hawaii, if you can. #GoBows.