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Full Week 4 college football schedule guide: Top 5 teams hit the road

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No. 4 Oklahoma travels to West Virginia for the game of the week, Auburn meets No. 20 KSU in Manhattan, No. 1 Florida State hosts No. 22 Clemson without Jameis, and Oregon heads up north to face Washington State's high-octane passing game.

Thursday

Best option: No. 5 Auburn at No. 20 Kansas State, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, WatchESPN

Spread: Auburn -9
Read: College and MagnoliaBring on the Cats

Could the game of Week 4 come on a Thursday? Certainly this game's in the top three for this weekend. Kansas State would love to shake the world up with a win, but this is a team that is historically ripe for a beating; KSU has given up 40-plus points 11 times since Bill Snyder rejoined the team for the 2009 season, and Auburn's the kind of team that can hang a large number without breaking a sweat.

Also on: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Alabama State, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU, WatchESPN

Friday

Best option: Connecticut at South Florida, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, WatchESPN

Spread: USF -2
Read: The UConn BlogVoodoo Five

In theory, this is a close, exciting game. In theory, we've cured cancer. In theory, amateurism makes sense. It might be close, but considering we're talking about two 1-2 teams that have averaged about 300 yards of offense per game thus far, it's going to be less of a "shootout" and more of a "which of these two fish flops around gasping for longer" situation. There are no winners, including you.

Also on: Holy Cross at Harvard, 7 p.m. ET, WatchESPN

Saturday

Time Road Home TV Streaming
Noon ET Eastern Michigan No. 11 Michigan State Big Ten Network btn2go.com
Noon ET Troy No. 13 Georgia SEC Network ESPN3.com
Noon ET Bowling Green No. 19 Wisconsin ESPN2 ESPN3.com
Noon ET Western Illinois Northwestern ESPNews ESPN3.com
Noon ET Iowa Pittsburgh ESPNU ESPN3.com
Noon ET Southern Illinois Purdue Big Ten Network btn2go.com
Noon ET Old Dominion Rice FSN, ROOT foxsports.com/foxsportsgo/
Noon ET Georgia Tech Virginia Tech ESPN ESPN3.com
12:30 p.m. ET Tulane Duke RSN, ROOT
12:30 p.m. ET Maryland Syracuse ACC Network
12:30 p.m. ET James Madison Villanova CSN
1 p.m. ET Maine Boston College ESPN3.com
1 p.m. ET Delaware State Temple ESPN3.com
1 p.m. ET Eastern Kentucky UT-Martin ESPN3.com
2 p.m. ET Marshall Akron ESPN3.com
2 p.m. ET Hawaii Colorado Pac-12 Network pac-12.com/live
3 p.m. ET VMI Samford ESPN3.com
3 p.m. ET Eastern Washington Montana State ROOT
3:30 p.m. ET No. 6 Texas A&M SMU ABC/ESPN2 ESPN3.com
3:30 p.m. ET Virginia No. 21 BYU ESPN ESPN3.com
3:30 p.m. ET Florida No. 3 Alabama CBS cbssports.com
3:30 p.m. ET Norfolk State Buffalo ESPN3.com
3:30 p.m. ET North Carolina East Carolina ESPNU ESPN3.com
3:30 p.m. ET Louisville FIU FS1 foxsports.com/foxsportsgo/
3:30 p.m. ET Central Michigan Kansas FSN, SunSports foxsports.com/foxsportsgo/
3:30 p.m. ET Utah Michigan ABC/ESPN2 ESPN3.com
3:30 p.m. ET Rutgers Navy CBSSN
3:30 p.m. ET Nicholls State North Texas Sinclair
3:30 p.m. ET Army Wake Forest ESPN3.com
3:30 p.m. ET Howard Morgan State ESPN3.com
4 p.m. ET Texas State Illinois ESPNews ESPN3.com
4 p.m. ET San Jose State Minnesota Big Ten Network btn2go.com
4 p.m. ET Indiana No. 18 Missouri SEC Network ESPN3.com
4 p.m. ET Massachusetts Penn State Big Ten Network btn2go.com
4 p.m. ET Florida Atlantic Wyoming Mountain West Network themw.com/#!/watch-live
4 p.m. ET New Hampshire Richmond CSN
4 p.m. ET Incarnate Word Abilene Christian ESPN3.com
6 p.m. ET Presbyterian NC State ESPN3.com
6 p.m. ET Bethune-Cookman UCF ESPN3.com
6 p.m. ET Georgia State Washington Pac-12 Network pac-12.com/live
6 p.m. ET Ave Maria Mercer ESPN3.com
7 p.m. ET Miss State 8 LSU ESPN ESPN3.com
7 p.m. ET Northern Illinois Arkansas ESPNU ESPN3.com
7 p.m. ET Utah State Arkansas State ESPN3.com
7 p.m. ET Miami (Ohio) Cincinnati CBSSN
7 p.m. ET Northwestern State Louisiana Tech
7 p.m. ET Middle Tennessee State Memphis ESPN3.com
7 p.m. ET Idaho Ohio ESPN3.com
7 p.m. ET Appalachian State Southern Miss American Sports Network
7 p.m. ET Ball State Toledo ESPN3.com
7 p.m. ET Murray State Western Michigan ESPN3.com
7 p.m. ET Bryant Liberty ESPN3.com
7:30 p.m. ET Georgia Southern South Alabama ESPN3.com
7:30 p.m. ET No. 14 South Carolina Vanderbilt SEC Network ESPN3.com
7:30 p.m. ET No. 4 Oklahoma West Virginia FOX foxsports.com/foxsportsgo/
8 p.m. ET No. 22 Clemson No. 1 Florida State ABC ESPN3.com
8 p.m. ET UNLV Houston ESPN3.com
8 p.m. ET Miami No. 24 Nebraska ESPN2 ESPN3.com
8 p.m. ET New Mexico New Mexico State ESPN3.com
10 p.m. ET California Arizona Pac-12 Network pac-12.com/live
10 p.m. ET Southern Utah Fresno State Mountain West Network themw.com/#!/watch-live
10:30 p.m. ET Louisiana Boise State CBSSN
10:30 p.m. ET San Diego State Oregon State FS1 foxsports.com/foxsportsgo/
10:30 p.m. ET No. 2 Oregon Washington State ESPN ESPN3.com

Early shift

Best option: Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech

Spread: Virginia Tech -8
Read: From the Rumble SeatGobbler Country

There might be a few games with ranked teams involved, but if you're interested in a game where the starters will actually be in the game after halftime, check this one out. Georgia Tech's vaunted triple option faces a Virginia Tech defense that strolled into the 'Shoe and shut down Ohio State in Week 2. On the other side of the ball, it's, uh, not so great. VT sputtered on offense en route to dropping a game to East Carolina last week, and Georgia Tech just gave up 38 points to Georgia Southern.

Plan B: Troy at No. 13 Georgia

Todd Gurley put on a show last week against South Carolina (the loss was on a lot of people, but at 20 rushes for 131 yards, Gurley ain't one of 'em — the guy who only gave him 20 rushes, though ...). This week, the only guy who can keep Gurley under 300 total yards is Mark Richt. Let's see if and when Richt's sense of mercy kicks in.

Keep it in mind: Bowling Green at No. 19 Wisconsin

Bowling Green's coming off a thrilling home win against Indiana, but Wisconsin is not Indiana. The line on this game has shot up 10 points (!!!) in the Badgers' favor to -27, and for good reason. Bowling Green would probably give up 100 yards rushing to a toddler, and Wisconsin's sophisticated running attack is licking its chops.

In case of emergency: Iowa at Pittsburgh

If Pitt's got the ball, you can watch human wrecking ball James Conner face the nation's seventh-ranked rush defense. If Iowa is on offense, you can yell, "what in the hell are you doing?!" at your TV until the punt comes. It's a perverse pleasure, to be sure.

Middle shift

Best option: Florida at No. 3 Alabama

Spread: Alabama -14.5
Read: Alligator ArmyRoll Bama Roll

The CBS afternoon game rarely disappoints, and though Alabama is head-and-shoulders above Florida in virtually every aspect of the game — talent, execution, presence of Nick Saban, absence of Will Muschamp — this is a Verne and Gary game, and Verne and Gary don't show up for blowouts.

Plan B: Virginia at No. 21 BYU

Virginia's defense has confounded UCLA and Louisville already this season, and now it faces BYU and do-everything QB Taysom Hill. Now, it's also worth pointing out that UVA's offense doomed the Cavs in the UCLA game and nearly helped hand the Cardinals a comeback win, but if there's any significant improvement from week to week, BYU will have a serious fight on its hands.

Keep it in mind: Indiana at No. 18 Missouri

Missouri gets a tune-up against a "power-conference" team, though Indiana fits that bill about as well as a chihuahua satisfies the requirements of "dog." Indiana can score points but has absolutely nothing happening on defense. The Hoosiers are becoming starved for a signature win under Kevin Wilson, and this would qualify, but it's hardly likely. Points should be easy for both teams, though.

In case of emergency: No. 6 Texas A&M at SMU

SMU was an absolute mess on the field before June Jones resigned. Now the 'Stangs are scrambling to put the pieces together and oh ho ho, here comes Texas A&M, an absolute chainsaw of a team. The game's in Dallas, so it's just enough of a drive that A&M fans won't pack the place by themselves, but yeah, a tough road test this ain't.

Late shift

Best option: No. 4 Oklahoma at West Virginia

Spread: Oklahoma -7
Read: Crimson and Cream MachineSmoking Musket

If we're picking a game of the week, this is it. Oklahoma just dispatched Tennessee with relative ease and looked like a Playoff contender in the process, while West Virginia defeated Maryland last week and hung with Alabama longer than anybody expected in Week 1. Also, the last time Oklahoma went to Morgantown, the end result was a ridiculous 50-49 victory for the Sooners. If this game's half as bananapants crazy as 2012, we're in for a real treat.

Plan B: No. 2 Oregon at Washington State

Keeping in the theme of top-5 teams on the road, Oregon has a late-night contest against frisky Wazzu. Pullman hasn't been a tough place to play ball in about a decade or so, but if there's anybody who understands the nuts and bolts of scoring lots of points, it's WSU coach Mike Leach. So no, there will be none of this punting business tonight, and that over/under of 75 points (the largest of Week 4) is in serious danger.

Keep it in mind: Miami at No. 24 Nebraska

One of the best unintentional rivalries of the '80s and '90s makes its return to college football. And though the stakes aren't the same as the five (!) times these two teams played in the Orange and Rose Bowls between 1983 and 2001 — four of those five meetings crowned an AP national champion — this is still a marquee matchup and one hell of a trip down memory lane. If Miami can get Duke Johnson loose, it's got a real chance to hang with the high-powered Huskers.

In case of emergency: No. 22 Clemson at No. 1 Florida State

Update: Jameis Winston will not play at all vs. Clemson

We're sticking this one at "in case of emergency," and here the "emergency" is Jameis Winston sitting out for a half. FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher actually punished his serial lout of a quarterback, so a job well done there, but the talent differential is still so vast that Clemson's going to be lucky if it's tied at the break. And Winston's going to get all the opportunities he wants to roll up stats in the second half. Don't be fooled: this one's still not going to be close.