College Football: Who to Root For — and Against — in Week 4
Fans were treated to the first major upsets of the college football season this past weekend. After an easy first two weeks, the third week of college football proved to be much more difficult for top teams across the nation.
Not only did two top 10 teams lose at home, Alabama to Ole Miss and USC to Stanford, but also No. 1 Ohio State looked terrible and narrowly beat Northern Illinois in Columbus. Safe to say, things are beginning to shake up.
Before getting into the other games around the country, it’s time to focus on the Ducks for a moment. This weekend is huge for Oregon, as the No. 13 Ducks face off against No. 18 Utah in Eugene.
Oregon desperately needs to win this game in order to stay relevant in the Top 25 polls and the race for the Pac-12 title.
Duck fans will need to root on the green and yellow to their best ability this weekend; break out the jerseys, the hats, the lucky charms, and even the face paint if you have to — this is a big weekend for this 2015 Ducks’ team.
This weekend’s college football schedule looks like another cakewalk for many top teams; in fact, the only two games featuring ranked teams are both in the Pac-12.
Also keep in mind that unranked teams pull off upsets every year — college football is extremely unpredictable. With that said, here are a few games to keep your eyes on this weekend:
As mentioned above, aside from the Duck game, No. 9 UCLA heads to Tucson to take on No. 16 Arizona in the only other ranked vs. ranked game this weekend. Oregon doesn’t play either of these teams in the regular season, but that doesn’t make this game irrelevant.
As hard as this may be to write, let’s root for Zona this weekend. Why? Well, a UCLA loss will once again make Oregon the highest ranked team in the Pac-12 — and if the Ducks do beat Utah — it’s unlikely Arizona would jump the Ducks in the polls.
With USC losing last week, the race for the Pac-12 South got a lot more interesting. Also, ESPN’s College Gameday will be there, and fans are always at their rowdiest for ESPN.
If Arizona can upset the No. 9 Bruins this weekend, things will get a shake up even more. I’m a fan of chaos, and hopefully the Wildcats can do some damage for our benefit.
Sticking with the Pac-12, I believe another game that could surprise people is No. 21 Stanford at Oregon State. Some of you might root for the Beavers as long as they’re not playing the Ducks, but I have a hard time bringing myself to do that.
However, this week I am going to make an exception. OSU might be our in-state rival, but I cannot stand the Cardinal and always root against them.
Also, if they lose this weekend, that will give them two losses on the season — one being a conference loss — which will make their run at the Pac-12 title much more difficult and will drop them back out of the polls.
Hopefully, the Beavers can channel some magic at home like they did last year against then-No. 6 Arizona State, 35-27.
OSU will be severely out-matched in this game, but if freshman quarterback Seth Collins can make some plays in the option game and the Beavers limit mistakes, I think they can pull off the upset. I’ll be rooting against Stanford for the rest of the season. Feel free to join me this weekend.
As mentioned earlier, there aren’t many challenging games for top teams this weekend. However, one intriguing game is No. 3 TCU at Texas Tech.
Last season, TCU beat the Red Raiders 82-27, and set a Big 12 record for points in a conference game in the process.
But that was last year. This time, it’s a home game for a Texas Tech team looking to avenge its blowout loss.
The Horned Frogs haven’t performed up to expectations this year and could be susceptible to a let-down in their Big 12 opener against one of their rival schools.
I haven’t been sold on TCU at all this year, and I believe they will drop a game and miss out on the College Football Playoff once again by season’s end. If they were to lose this weekend, it’s almost certain they would drop out of the top 10, and more importantly, fall behind the Ducks in the rankings and playoff race.
The Red Raiders have looked impressive so far this season and have the motivation to avenge their beat down last year as they prepare for the game this week. Ideally, TCU goes down this weekend, falls out of the top 15, and has their playoff dreams crushed. Duck fans, root for Texas Tech this weekend — Fight, Raiders, Fight.
Even though things are slowing down after the craziness of Week 3, Week 4 still has a lot of potential for upsets.
First and foremost, it’s paramount the Ducks get a win at home — but also pay attention to other games around the nation — it’s about to be upset season. Check back Wednesday for the next ”Who To Root For — And Against.”
Top Photo by Kevin Cline