Week 4 promised to show us some of the teams that are "Pretenders" and narrow the list of teams that are true "Contenders."
After a weekend of great games, here are a few things that will stand out.
1. Alabama is the favorite to win the national championship this year.
The No. 1-ranked team in the nation had a 17-game winning streak on the line when they went into Fayetteville, and after three rough quarters they extended their win streak to 18.
While Alabama did make mistakes (two first half interceptions), they came up clutch when it mattered, converting passes on multiple third downs in the fourth quarter and doing a great job of managing the game. Alabama's defense stepped up when most needed, derailing Ryan Mallett's Heisman campaign by intercepting the Arkansas QB on the Hogs' final two possessions.
Alabama won this game by never panicking; credit Nick Saban for having his boys ready to go.
2. Texas is in a "rebuilding" year.
Most teams would love to have a rebuilding year in which they start the season 3-1, but for Longhorn fans they expect more.
Texas lost to an average UCLA team, and they were never truly in the game. Texas kicked a field goal with 27 seconds left in the first quarter before UCLA ran off 20 unanswered points. After UT kicked a field goal, the Bruins responded with a touchdown, all but sealing the upset in Austin, Texas.
The Longhorns got abused on the ground, giving up 264 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Texas didn't do themselves any favors, coughing the ball up four times in the first half, leading to all 13 of UCLA's first half points. Texas' season will be in complete shambles next week if they can't rebound from this loss when they play Oklahoma.
3. Boise State is as close to a shoo-in for the national championship game as you can get four weeks into the season.
The Broncos are 3-0 thus far into their season with their prime competition behind them. Boise beat No. 10 Virginia Tech in Week 1 and defeated No. 24 Oregon State Saturday with College GameDay in town. Kellen Moore has thrown for 873 yards, eight scores, and only one interception, and there isn't anyone left on their schedule with a secondary to keep up with the Broncos.
Look for Boise State to roll through their schedule with very little resistance. They will be feeling the pressure when they travel to Nevada on November 26th to play the freshly ranked Nevada Wolf Pack.
4. The fate of the Michigan Wolverines is very closely tied to how badly Denard Robinson's knee is hurt.
If Robinson's knee has any ligament damage, Michigan's season will take a huge hit, but if it's just a mild injury they will stay on pace to be one of the elite teams in the Big Ten this season.
Robinson's stats thus far with the Wolverines have been something out of a video game. So far in 2010 he has a quarterback rating of 160.01, completing 57 of 80 passes for 731 yards and four touchdowns. On top of his passing numbers, Robinson has run for 688 yards, absolutely shredding every opposing defense that tries to stand in his way.
Luckily for the Wolverines it looks as if all is well with Robinson's knee, and they need it to stay that way.
5. In a battle of Top 20 teams, the Auburn Tigers came out and took care of business in their second big game in a row.
A week after beating Clemson by a field goal, the Tigers took care of Steve Spurrier's South Carolina Gamecocks. Auburn trailed at the end of every quarter but the fourth, in which they outscored the Gamecocks 14-0 to snag their fourth win on the season.
Cameron Newton, who transferred in from Blinn College in College Station, absolutely terrorized the South Carolina defense, completing 16 of 21 passes for 159 yards and two TDs while also running for 172 yards and three more touchdowns.
Auburn spent its Saturday proving that it is a contender in the SEC race, and opposing teams will certainly have to game-plan for Cam Newton.
As conference play gets into full swing next week, we'll have a better idea of what teams are going to compete in their respective conferences and even more than that who will factor into the national championship game. As we've already been shown this football season, nothing is to be taken for granted.