College football’s most intriguing game in Week 4 is an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup between No. 4 Florida State and No. 10 Clemson (AP Rankings). With national title implications this is a must-win for both programs. The Clemson Tigers will need to do these five things in order to secure the driver’s seat in the ACC’s Atlantic Division.
FSU (3-0 overall, 1-0 ACC) is outscoring its opponents 176-3 this season, en route to the undefeated start. Clemson (3-0, 0-0) is no slouch with a 119-53 scoring margin, including a seven-point win over Auburn in Week 1.
Florida State has hopes of a national title in 2012. Clemson looks to put a blemish on that record and make its own claim for national title contention Saturday.
With the volatility seen in the polls in the first three weeks of the season, losses to quality opponents appear to be harder to come at a price. In Week 3, then No. 2 USC lost to No. 21 Stanford, 21-14, and fell 11 spots.
A week earlier, No. 8 Arkansas lost to Louisiana-Monroe and fell out of the polls.
The SEC holds the top two spots in the polls (Alabama and LSU), but the ACC wants in on the action. Saturday’s prime-time matchup of two top-10 teams will be the ACC’s best chance to show the country they have contenders.
A quality football game is even more important for the ACC after Virginia Tech’s loss to unranked Pittsburgh last week. Now, the ACC has just Clemson and Florida State in the top 25.