NCAA Football: Week 4 Game Rankings
Let's head to the rankings and find out.
5. #3 Clemson at NC State - 7:30 PM ET, ESPN (Thursday)
When Clemson came rolling into Raleigh with a Top 10 ranking in 2011, confidence was high and all was well. That is, until the Wolfpack walloped them by 24 points. It's no secret that NC State has had past success at home against top teams, but this Clemson team is a different animal. Tajh Boyd is who we thought he was, and is off to a Heisman-like start under center. You never want to knock a team that's proven they're able to rise up on the big stage against great teams, but this year, it's hard to see NC State stopping the Clemson attack. Lee Corso's famous line that "it'll be closer than the experts think" won't apply here. The Tigers win big.
4. Michigan State at #22 Notre Dame - 3:30 PM ET, NBC
Statistically, Michigan State currently has the best defense in the country. Notre Dame's rushing attack hasn't been all that effective, and that probably won't change this week against a pretty stout rushing defense. If the Irish plan to win, they'll have to do something through the air. It looked like Notre Dame was heading for a 1-2 start before rallying to win at Purdue, so at least they have a little momentum in South Bend. This rivalry game is always entertaining, and it'll most likely be decided in the fourth quarter. It's the first real test for the Spartans, but they certainly have the talent to pull off the upset.
3. Tennessee at #19 Florida - 3:30 PM ET, CBS
I've already discussed why this is Tennessee's best chance in years to beat the Gators. Even though the Vols took a pounding last week in Eugene, Florida is extremely vulnerable right now. That helps a motivated Tennessee team that is looking to end their dreadful eight-game losing streak in this rivalry game. The Vols do have concerns at quarterback, which may not be the best sign when you're going to place in an atmosphere like the one at the Swamp. The game should come down to which quarterback can protect the ball the best.
2. Auburn at #6 LSU - 7:45 PM ET, ESPN
Gus Malzahn has the Auburn faithful believing once again with the 3-0 start, including a thrilling come-from-behind win over Mississippi State last Saturday. But LSU is no Mississippi State. The unbelievable play of Zach Mettenberger has been one of the biggest surprises in college football thus far, and Auburn is going to experience first-hand just how much better he's gotten under offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. It's always fun under the lights in Death Valley, and the atmosphere for this showdown between the Tigers should be electric.
1. #23 Arizona State at #5 Stanford - 7 PM ET, FOX
Forget the labels and forget the past. The Pac-12 is legit, and here are two reasons for that. Stanford is very well-rounded on both sides of the ball, but to be honest, haven't been overly impressive to start the year. The talent is there though, and we should start to see them raise their game to the next level as the competition increases. It definitely increases this weekend against an Arizona State team that was the sexy pick as Pac-12 sleeper entering the season. No one is sleeping on them now though, as they upset Wisconsin last week. Taylor Kelly has been excellent at quarterback for the Sun Devils, and if they can find success in the passing game early on, this team has a legitimate shot at sneaking out of Palo Alto with a victory.
Which game are you looking forward to most this week?