Power Ranking 10 Best College Football Showdowns in Week 4

Jake Martin@JakeMartinSECCorrespondent IIISeptember 16, 2012

Power Ranking 10 Best College Football Showdowns in Week 4

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    Unlike Week 3 in college football, Week 4 has a slate of games that feature ranked teams against prominent opponents.

    Hopefully, college football fans will be lucky enough to experience as much drama as Week 3 produced, but it's hard to imagine anything less with Notre Dame playing Michigan and Florida State squaring off against Clemson.

    Heading into Week 4, these are the games that you as a college football fan should be aware of and schedule your day around.

    Heck, just take the whole day off.

10. Baylor at Louisiana-Monroe

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    UL-Monroe has become must-watch television on Saturdays.

    First, it defeated Arkansas in overtime 34-31, and then last Saturday, it drug another SEC foe into overtime. Things didn't go the Warhawks' way in that one, but they provided plenty of drama in their 31-28 loss to Auburn.

    Baylor is going into this contest with hopes of breaking a Top 25 ranking, and judging by the votes it's received every week, a solid win against ULM would most likely do the trick. But that's easier said than done.

    If you don't have anything planned Friday night, call some buddies, order a pizza and enjoy what should be a vastly entertaining ball game.

9. BYU at Boise State

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    This game was supposed to be one of the biggest Thursday night games of the year.

    After both teams have dropped games and consequently forfeited their shot at any potential BCS berth, this game rally lacks that same type of luster.

    Still, it should be a fun game between two solid teams. BYU's quarterback, Riley Nelson, is looking to rebound from his performance against Utah, which saw him complete less than 50 percent of his passes and throw an interception.

    Judging by Boise State's defense that's giving up less than 14 points per game, it should make for an interesting chess match between the quarterback and the defense.

8. Cal at USC

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    USC just simply couldn't get the job done when it had to.

    The Trojans couldn't protect Matt Barkley, and therefore, they saw their perfect season end at the hands of Stanford last Saturday night. Can USC rebound before it plays a conference rival?

    Cal is coming off of a loss to Ohio State, but it looked impressive in defeat. It lost by a score of 35-28, but the Golden Bears picked up 512 yards of total offense.

    The Trojans better get a grip real fast, or they could see their entire season crumble before their eyes, as Cal has some great playmakers in the form of Keenan Allen and Brendan Bigelow. Sign me up for this one.

7. Vanderbilt at Georgia

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    Vanderbilt is still capable of ruining someone's season.

    Is Georgia the one that will fall to the Commodores? Well, Georgia does have a knack for playing down to its competition.

    If you look at its roster, there's no reason why this team should let a team like Florida Atlantic hang around for any duration of the game, but that's sort of what Mark Richt's teams have done lately. If it lets Vanderbilt hang around and allows it to gain confidence, we could be in for quite a compelling ball game.

    Vanderbilt's defense is capable of forcing Aaron Murray into making bad decisions, which could set up Zac Stacey and the Commodores offense with great field position. Don't sleep on Vandy.

6. Oregon State vs. UCLA

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    Who would have ever thought we'd be anticipating a UCLA/Oregon State matchup?

    That's exactly what we find ourselves doing after UCLA upset No. 16 Nebraska and Oregon State upset No. 12 Wisconsin in Week 2.

    Both teams are undefeated, and UCLA's Brett Hundley has become a dual threat worthy of recognition. He, along with Johnathan Franklin, have made this Bruins' offense explosive.

    And though Oregon State has only won one game this season, it did shut down Montee Ball and Wisconsin's rush offense. Thus arises the question on everyone's mind—can the Beavers pull off another upset?

5. Missouri vs. South Carolina

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    James Franklin better get healthy fast because Missouri is going to need him.

    South Carolina is one of the best teams in the SEC East, and if Missouri wants to still contend for the divisional title, it can't afford a loss to the Gamecocks.

    Franklin didn't play against Arizona State because he had a shoulder injury, but MU Tigers reported that he had no structural problems.

    This should be a great battle between two explosive offenses and two capable defenses. Expect the ol' ball coach to dial something special up in this one.

4. Michigan vs. Notre Dame

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    This truly is a game that is big on the marquee, but there's a good chance this one doesn't live up to the hype.

    A night game on NBC with Notre Dame playing another ranked opponent seems like can't-miss television, but has Michigan gotten that much better since Alabama dismantled it in Week 1?

    If it hasn't, this game is going to look a lot like the Cowboy Classic earlier this season. Notre Dame can shut down the run, and that's undoubtedly the best aspect of Michigan's offense. The Fighting Irish even held Michigan State to 50 yards on 25 rush attempts last Saturday.

    So honestly, this one could get ugly, but because it's between two storied programs and because Denard Robinson led Michigan to a remarkable comeback against Notre Dame last season, it's one to keep an eye on for sure.

3. Arizona vs. Oregon

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    If you like offense, look no further than Arizona vs. Oregon this Saturday.

    Long runs and explosive plays are expected. When De'Anthony Thomas is on one sideline and Matt Scott is on the other sideline, the hardest working man in the stadium that night is sure to be the scoreboard keeper.

    For those that don't know who Smith is, he's the man who's engineering one of the better offenses in college football right now, Arizona. Scott has completed 71.5 percent of his passes this season, thrown for 995 yards and has seven passing touchdowns with one interception.

    But as for Thomas and the Ducks, they're no strangers to when it comes to scoring points. The Ducks are averaging 54 points per game, and quite honestly, they've been taking their foot off the pedal in some of their games.

    This game could turn into a shootout fast, which will make for an entertaining contest.

2. Kansas State vs. Oklahoma

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    Collin Klein and Kansas State have one thing on their mind when they play Oklahoma Saturday night—revenge.

    Last season, Oklahoma rolled over Kansas State and flat-out embarrassed the Wildcats at home by a score of 58-17. Expect Klein and his teammates to have that fresh on their mind when they make the trip to Oklahoma.

    As for the hype surrounding this game, both Oklahoma and Kansas State have flown under the radar so far this season. Kansas State has quietly climbed to No. 13 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll, while Oklahoma has taken a backseat to LSU, Alabama, Oregon and Florida State.

    That should change after this monstrous showdown between two Big 12 giants Saturday.

1. Clemson at Florida State

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    This shall be the main event of evening.

    Florida State has only two ranked teams left on its schedule, and Clemson is one of them. Should they get past Clemson, the Seminoles should have a somewhat easy path to the national championship game.

    But that's a big if. With Sammy Watkins returning to this offense alongside Tahj Boyd, Andre Ellington and DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson has some of the most talented skill players in college football. However, Florida State's defense is only giving up 1.0 average points per game.

    But then again, Clemson's offense is far from Wake Forest, Savannah State and Murray State. Not only is this a great matchup between two Top 10 teams, but this game has humongous implications as far as the national title picture goes.