College Football Picks: Week 4 Predictions for Every Game
College football fans, your patience is about to be rewarded. After a weekend with zero ranked-against-ranked games, No. 7 Notre Dame’s trip to No. 3 Georgia headlines a Week 4 slate with three clashes between top-20 teams.
The other showdowns between ranked squads are found in the Big Ten (No. 11 Michigan at No. 13 Wisconsin) and the SEC (No. 8 Auburn at No. 17 Texas A&M).
Altogether, the three marquee tilts Saturday will provide early insight into true conference and national contenders.
Remember to be thankful about those contests, though, because the rest of the slate is uninspiring.
The predictions are listed in ascending order of AP Top 25 ranking and then highlight five top games between unranked teams. The remainder are arranged chronologically. Every contest involving a Football Bowl Subdivision team is included.
AP Nos. 25-21
SMU at No. 25 TCU (3:30 p.m. ET, TCU -9)
If SMU forces the Horned Frogs to throw, the Battle for the Iron Skillet might get interesting. Neither transfer Alex Delton nor freshman Max Duggan has done so efficiently. However, TCU just smashed Purdue for 346 rushing yards and should be able to control the game on the ground while holding off a solid Mustangs offense.
Prediction: TCU 34, SMU 27
Colorado at No. 24 Arizona State (10 p.m. ET, ASU -7.5)
Arizona State has refused to allow balanced offense, holding all three opponents to 3.2 yards per carry or worse. That appears to be bad news for Colorado, which has seen its passing efficiency drop significantly in every game. The Buffaloes need to break that trend, or else Arizona State will have full control of a low-scoring tilt.
Prediction: Arizona State 24, Colorado 16
No. 23 California at Ole Miss (Noon ET, Ole Miss -2.5)
How much stock do you place in the “body clock” theory? This nonconference matchup kicks off at 9 a.m. ET for the visitors. Cal will rarely, if ever, win behind its offense, so any sluggish start from a stingy defense could be crushing. Consider this a vote of confidence that the Golden Bears will play aggressively from the start.
Prediction: Cal 24, Ole Miss 19
No. 22 Washington at BYU (3:30 p.m. ET, Washington -6)
Huskies quarterback Jacob Eason has shredded two inferior secondaries and struggled with Cal’s excellent unit. The BYU Cougars elite, though they’re closer to Cal than the opposite end. They just grabbed three interceptions in an overtime win at USC too. But we’ll cautiously trust Eason to meet the challenge this time around.
Prediction: Washington 31, BYU 20
Old Dominion at No. 21 Virginia (7 p.m. ET, Virginia -30.5)
Two weeks ago, Old Dominion limited Virginia Tech to only 131 rushing yards on 39 attempts. A similar defensive performance could frustrate Bryce Perkins, who throws often but is far more effective as a runner. However, the Cavaliers’ considerable talent advantage should win out.
Prediction: Virginia 37, Old Dominion 14