College picks week 4

College football picks, Week 4: Texas has tough test against TCU

Week 4 of college football has several big games to key in on, headlined by an SEC West showdown between No. 1 Alabama and No. 22 Texas A&M, a battle for Pac-12 North supremacy in No. 7 Stanford vs. No. 20 Oregon and an intriguing matchup between No. 17 TCU and Texas.

That said, there are still plenty of games to keep an eye on, and Sporting News has you covered with its straight up picks.

SN is 16-8 on its picks this year after going 6-2 in Week 3. With that said, here are our picks for the Week 4 slate of games:

FAU at No. 16 UCF (-13.5)

This has the potential to be one of the best games of Week 4. Lane Kiffin’s offense has gotten back on track after a blowout loss to Oklahoma, averaging 41 points the last two weeks. They’ll go against a UCF team that’s rolling with McKenzie Milton under center. The offenses should put up points, and lots of them, but look for the Knights to score their third win of the season. UCF 45, FAU 38

No. 2 Georgia (-14.5) at Missouri

Two unbeaten SEC East teams face off in Columbia after having scored at least 40 points in every game so far this season. Drew Lock has 11 touchdowns on the year but takes on a talented Georgia secondary headlined by Deandre Baker. The Tigers know how to put up points, but will its defense be able to stop Jake Fromm and a loaded stable of running backs? The Tigers hang tough for a half before Georgia pulls away. Georgia 42, Missouri 24

No. 17 TCU (-3.5) at Texas

The Horned Frogs are coming off an emotional loss to Ohio State, the Longhorns an emotional win against USC. Tom Herman has his Texas team playing better football after a disastrous start to the season, but this will easily be the toughest test so far this year. Look for TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson to be the difference in a close game. TCU 24, Texas 20

No. 14 Mississippi State (-10) at Kentucky

Mississippi State comes into this having averaged 53.3 points a game, and goes against a Kentucky team that features a three-headed rushing attack with Benny Snell, Terry Wilson and Asim Rose. How that rush attack performs against a Bulldogs defense surrendering just 85 rushing yards a game could determine the outcome of this game. In the end, we think Mississippi State pulls out the win. Mississippi State 38, Kentucky 31

No. 18 Wisconsin at Iowa

Wisconsin is coming off a demoralizing loss against previously unranked BYU, but gets no reprieve in taking on Iowa at Kinnick Stadium, where the Hawkeyes have a knack for sending favorites home with a loss. That said, expect the Badgers — and running back Jonathan Taylor — to get back on track in a double-digit win. Wisconsin 31, Iowa 21

No. 8 Notre Dame (-7.5) at Wake Forest

The Fighting Irish have looked less than impressive in each of their last two games against Ball State and Vanderbilt, and get another tough opponent in Wake Forest, a team that knows how to put up a lot of points. That said, the Demon Deacons leave a little to be desired on defense, which should leave Brandon Wimbush and Co. enough room to move the ball. Notre Dame avoids the upset for another week. Notre Dame 27, Wake Forest 21

No. 7 Stanford (-2) at No. 20 Oregon

The headliner of Week 4 features two of the top teams in the Pac-12 North. Watching the offensive battle between Bryce Love and Justin Herbert should be a lot of fun, but both Stanford and Oregon bring top-30 defenses into this matchup. It’ll be interesting to see how Oregon’s offense, which averages more than 50 points a game, does against a Stanford defense that gives up just 7.7 a game. We think Stanford wins a close one. Stanford 28, Oregon 20

No. 22 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama (-27)

The Aggies represent the toughest test for the top-ranked Tide so far this season, and it will be interesting to see how a team that took No. 2 Clemson to the wire hangs around with Alabama’s suddenly high-powered offense. Tua Tagovailoa is playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the country and has a stable of talented skilled players to get the ball to, and the defense looked dominant in a win over Ole Miss. Texas A&M hangs tough before Alabama pulls away late. Alabama 42, Texas A&M 21

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