Best option: No. 5 Auburn at No. 20 Kansas State, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, WatchESPN
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
Best option: Connecticut at South Florida, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, WatchESPN
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
|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||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|
Best option: Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech
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.
Best option: Florida at No. 3 Alabama
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.
Best option: No. 4 Oklahoma at West Virginia
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
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.