No. 14 Ohio State and No. 20 Michigan State is the Week 5 marquee match-up and No. 25 Baylor at No. 8 West Virginia is close behind as teams jump into their conference schedules.
Ten Games to Watch This Weekend
(in order of play. All times ET, all games subject to local network blackouts)
No. 8 Stanford at Washington, 9:00 PM ESPN
Stanford (3-0, 1-0) has climbed the ranks this year, opening the season at 21st in the nation. A big win over then-No. 2 USC pushed them to their current No. 8...AND ALL WITHOUT WONDER-BOY ANDREW LUCK. Washington (2-1, 0-0) has only one big test this season, and they failed miserably (as expected) in a 41-3 loss at No. 3 LSU. The next three games for Washington? No. 8 Stanford, No. 2 Oregon, No. 13 USC...so we'll probably be looking at a 2-4 team here in a few weeks. Anyway, watch it. Should be good.
No. 25 Baylor at No. 8 West Virginia, 12:00 PM FX
Baylor (3-0, 0-0) welcomes West Virginia (3-0, 0-0) to the Big 12 this week. Baylor escaped Lousiana-Monroe, 47-42, last week while West Virginia had more trouble with Maryland than they probably should have, 31-21. West Virginia's good but their first crack at a Big 12 team may be a wake up call. I wouldn't be shocked if Baylor pulled off the upset on the road. Baylor needs to be on the lookout for WVU's speed...and batteries. Keep those helmets on, Bears.
Arkansas at Texas A&M, 12:21 PM SEC NETWORK
Arkansas (1-3, 0-1) heads to College Station to play new SEC member Texas A&M (2-1, 0-1) . One of these teams will get their first SEC win of the season, I expect it to be Texas A&M. However, Arkansas does have QB Tyler Wilson back so that may swing things in favor of the Razorbacks.
Tennessee at No. 5 Georgia, 3:30 PM CBS
Tennessee (3-1, 0-1) fell to SEC foe Florida in week three, but rebounded with a 21-point win over Akron. Georgia (4-0, 2-0) dispatched SEC teams Missouri and Vanderbilt in week two and week four, respectively. This is a good prep game for the Bulldogs as they face (currently) No. 6 team South Carolina the following weekend. However, Georgia knows not to take the Vols lightly and this could be one of those surprising games.
**No. 14 Ohio State at No. 20 Michigan State, 3:30 PM ABC
Despite a perfect record thus far, Ohio State (4-0, 0-0) has looked very vulnerable at times and Michigan State (3-1, 0-0) could be the first team to earn a victory over the Buckeyes in 2012. For Ohio State, Braxton Miller is the big gun and if Michigan State can shut him down (it'll be tough) then they have a really good shot at an upset.
No. 12 Texas at Oklahoma State, 7:50 PM FOX
Texas (3-0, 0-0) will have a tough road test as they head to Stillwater, Okla. to face Oklahoma State (2-1, 0-0). Oklahoma State lost to Arizona in week two, but sandwiched the loss with 84-0 and 65-24 point wins. The Pokes can put up some points, but so far it has come against lesser opponents. They'll face a Texas team that has given up just 16.0 a game. This has the potential to be a high scoring affair, like many a Big 12 game, and if Texas can't shut down the OK State offense, there's upset potential.
Wisconsin at Nebraska, 8:00 PM ABC
Wisconsin (3-1, 0-0) travels to Nebraska (3-1, 0-0) as both teams open Big 10 play. Nebraska fell to UCLA in week two, their only real test of the season--playing Southern Mississippi, Arkansas State and Idaho State in their other three games. Wisconsin also failed their only real test of the season, losing 10-7 to Oregon State in week two--playing Northern Iowa, Utah State and UTEP in their other three games. So, each team is looking to find their true identity and Saturday is a chance to do so. Both teams like to run the ball so expect lots of rushing yards and a short game time.
Ole Miss at No. 1 Alabama, 9:15 PM, ESPN
Ole Miss (3-1, 0-0) heads on the road after being worked over by Texas, 66-31, in week three and gets the joy of facing No. 1 Alabama (4-0, 1-0). Ole Miss started out 2-0 with wins over Central Arkansas and UTEP before falling to Texas and then defeating Tulane in week four. Alabama? Oh, they've just embarrassed Michigan in week one, shut out Western Kentucky and Arkansas and easily handled FAU. This Ole Miss game is the start of a seven-of-the-next-eight-are-SEC-opponents stretch for the Crimson Tide so it's important for them to come out strong in this one.
No. 18 Oregon State at Arizona, 10:00 PM ET PAC-12 NETWORK
Oregon State (2-0, 1-0)'s first game of the year was postponed due to Hurricane Isaac. So, to make up for it, the Beavers knocked off No. 13 Wisconsin and No. 19 UCLA to open their season. RICH ROD's (I feel as if it's only appropriate to scream his name) Arizona (3-1, 0-1) team started off well at 3-0 but was steamrolled by Oregon last weekend. This is a big game for the Beavers, looking to continue their early season success.
No. 2 Oregon at Washington State, 10:30 PM ESPN2
Oregon (4-0, 1-0) did exactly what I thought they would do to Arizona last week, blanking the No. 22 Wildcats by a 49-0 score. Washington State (2-2, 0-1) shouldn't pose any sort of threat to the Ducks so this game should be fun to watch in terms of the final score line.
Five ACC games to watch this weekend
(Games are subject to local viewing stations)
North Carolina State at Miami, 12:00 PM ESPNU
NC State (3-1, 0-0) goes to Miami (3-1, 2-0) to open their ACC schedule, while the Hurricanes continue to prove me wrong after beating Georgia Tech last weekend. Dear NC State: beat Miami, thanks.
Duke at Wake Forest, 12:00 PM ESPN GAMEPLAN (or check local)
Duke (3-1, 0-0) takes on Wake Forest (3-1, 1-1) as both teams are a (surprisingly) 3-1. Wake dropped off Liberty (barely), North Carolina (barely) and Army, but were shut out 52-0 by Florida State. Duke beat Florida International, North Carolina Central and Memphis, but were beat handily by Stanford. Duke gets its first crack at the ACC this week and Wake is going for ACC win number two.
No. 17 Clemson at Boston College, 3:30 PM ESPN2
Clemson (3-1, 0-1) looks to shake off their first loss of the season and will head back on the road to Boston College (1-2, 0-1). BC dropped games to Miami and Northwestern, beat Maine in between. Expect Clemson to take out their frustration on BC in this one.
Louisiana Tech at Virginia, 3:30 PM ESPN3
Louisiana Tech (3-0) defeated Big Ten team Illinois 52-24 last week and has put up 52 or more in each of the first three games of the season. Virginia (2-2) started off well with a 2-0 record, but dropped back-to-backs to Georgia Tech and a ranked TCU team. Virginia, somehow ranked the number one party school by Playboy, is actually the underdog in this one and given how LT has done thus far, I think that's fair.
No. 4 Florida State at South Florida, 6:00PM ESPN
FSU (4-0) is coming off the big win over Clemson last week and shouldn't take South Florida (2-2) lightly. South Florida is decent but I don't think they'll knock off FSU and FSU shouldn't take any chances with their current position.
Which games are you most excited about for this weekend?