This week’s slate of college football games doesn’t feature a ton of marquee matchups. That’s good for you: You won’t have to make too many tough viewing decisions on game day.
Channel-surfing during big games might lead to you missing a key play or two. Or, your cable provider might just prioritize one game over another, forcing you to watch a game you have little interest in other than it being a football game.
Both of these issues won’t be problems for you. Let’s take a look at where and when you need to tune in to each of the matchups actually worth watching on Saturday.
No. 23 Arizona State at No. 5 Stanford
The lone ranked-versus-ranked matchup of Week 4 features two Pac-12 teams that are looking for a very critical early victory. Both have played just twice and have some question marks coming into this one.
While the Stanford Cardinal are the favorite and carry the higher ranking heading into the action, the Sun Devils can’t be discounted. After beating defending Big Ten champion Wisconsin last week—albeit amidst some controversy—they appear to be a program on the rise.
Can Stanford tighten things up and improve on their relatively poor showing against lesser competition? Winning those games was easy in the end, but it uncharacteristically struggled en route to victory. We’ll find out the answer under the lights in Palo Alto on Saturday night.
Auburn at No. 6 LSU
Are Les Miles’ LSU Tigers on upset alert in Death Valley on Saturday night? Gus Malzahn has brought new life to an Auburn Tigers team that won just three games a season ago. An undefeated 3-0 record heading into this big SEC matchup is encouraging, but is his team for real?
Miles’ bunch have looked fantastic to this point, on both sides of the ball. Cam Cameron has had Zach Mettenberger throwing much more often and effectively, giving LSU a much more well-rounded attack than in past seasons.
But the Auburn squad has a new quarterback in Nick Marshall—a mobile passer who can hurt LSU’s revamped defense in more ways than one.
Still, LSU is 39-2 on Saturday night in Death Valley with Miles at the helm. Expect the more experienced and well-rounded team to win, albeit in a closer game than some may expect.
Michigan State at No. 24 Notre Dame
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have had their share of struggles over the past two weeks against Michigan and Purdue. Still, there’s nothing to panic about for Brian Kelly’s team.
Running the football is where Notre Dame has fallen short to this point, failing to go over the 100-yard plateau in both of its two previous games. It won’t be any easier against the Michigan State Spartans in Week 4. Sparty has been dominant at the line of scrimmage and boasts the nation’s top rush defense of the young 2013 season.
They’ve been pretty solid against the pass, too, which is concerning for quarterback Tommy Rees. Rees stepped up to help the Irish avoid an upset to Purdue last week. Can he do it again with the game on his shoulders against a better Spartans defense this weekend?