For all practical purposes week four of the 2010 college football season starts this Thursday. There are some pretty good games on tap this week with some conference games that will be important in the standings down the road. Here are the predictions for the week. Again I will pick a IAA game and also the Potential Shocker of the Week.
1. Miami vs Pittsburgh: This should be a pretty good game. Pitt has had some time to work out the kinks from their opening loss to the Utes and a fairly close shave against IAA New Hampshire. Miami also has had some time to recover from the beat down suffered at the hands of the Buckeyes. Both of these teams are well coached and both are prone to bad luck. I will pick Miami. It may be close.
2. TCU vs SMU: This is a rivalry game that often falls under the radar. All bets are usually off in a big rivalry game, but I don't think that SMU has what it takes to contend with the Frogs at this point. Maybe in a year or two, but not now. Go with the Frogs here.
3. NC State vs Georgia Tech: I want to go with Tech here but just can not this year. I believe the Wolfpack may be a very good team that is flying under the radar and that Tech, while pretty good, is not up for the task. Pick NC State in a close game.
4. Northwestern vs CMU: These are probably two fairly evenly matched clubs. Other than Ohio State the Big X seems to be down a bit and CMU will probably get a rematch with either Ohio or Temple in the MAC Championship game. What does all that mean? It means that this will be a tough fought and close game. I will go with the Chippies to pull of a minor upset at home.
5. UCF vs Kansas State: UCF is a pretty good CUSA team and KSU is still somewhat of a mystery. Snyder seems to be the only person who can win in Wildcat country but will he be able to do it this week? This should be another very close game but I will go with the Snyder magic to prevail. Pick KSU.
6. Army vs Duke: This is another very evenly matched game. Duke is recovering from a beat down against Alabama and the Academy players may have gained a bit of confidence in their shut out of North Texas last week. I think it will come down to the wire but will go with the Blue Devils here.
7. Stanford vs Notre Dame: This has become a rivalry in recent years.Notre Dame is hell and gone away from being a good team and Stanford has an outside shot at being the top squad in the PAC 10. I pick Stanford to win this one fairly easily.
9. Tulane vs Houston: This would be an easy call had not the Coogs lost their number one and two QBs last week vs UCLA. Houston will need to get ready to play with some diminished expectations for the season. They should have enough to take down the Green Wave though.
10. Nevada vs BYU: This game has what it takes to be a fun to watch. Nevada seems to be a pretty good team and BYU is down a bit this year. They are probably fairly evenly matched. I am going to go with the Wolfpack to keep pace with Boise State and pull this one out of the hat.
11. West Virginia vs LSU: This game will tell all there is to know about these two squads. Is WVU for real? Can the Tigers score from the red zone? There are more questions than answers about these two squads. I will take WV here in a minor upset.
12. Baylor vs Rice: Baylor comes to Houston with one of the best QBs in the Big Twelve. With that being said, they could not handle TCU last week and Rice was no match for Northwestern. Baylor should be able to take this one fairly easily. Go with the Bears.
13. Oregon State vs Boise State: The Broncos are for real and no mistake about it. Are the Beavers? They will go to a decent bowl but are no match for the Boise State. It could be a rout. Go with BSU.
14. Utah State vs San Diego State: Both of these teams seem to be improved over years past. Which one is better? I don't know. I will take a stab in the dark and go with the Aggies in a close game.
15. Alabama vs Arkansas: The Hogs had a very nice win over Georgia last week. I hope they enjoyed it. This week will be different. I hope that Arkansas pulls it out of the hat. That would great. Don't think it will happen though. Go with the Tide to roll.
16. Fresno St vs Mississippi: Ole Miss has something to prove but they may have picked the wrong team to prove a point. Fresno State can play with anyone and they will win here. Go with the Bulldogs.
17. New Mexico vs UNLV: Someone has to win and I would imagine it will be the team from Las Vegas. Go with the Rebs here.
18. MTSU vs Louisiana: For those that care this may be a fun game to watch. The contest will have an impact on the Sun Belt standings. MTSU will likely struggle without Dasher and I think that the Cajuns will pull off a minor upset in Lafayette. Go with the Cajuns.
19. Temple vs Penn State: Temple is probably the best team in the MAC but I do not think they will have the depth to compete well here. If they do then they should become ranked in the top 15. I would go with the Nittany Lions however. Pick Penn State to win.
20. Alabama State vs Alcorn St: Here is the IAA match up. I like Alabama State at this point to take the SWAC. They are 3-0 at this point and that says a good deal for a SWAC school. Of course all of their games have been against SWAC opponents but they have beaten Prairie View, the pre season favorite. I believe the Hornets will have what it takes to knock of the Braves although I admit I do not know too much about either squad. Go with Alabama State.
21. FIU vs Maryland: I pick this game to be the potential shocker of the week. I do not think Ralph has a real good team here although the win against the Naval Academy was a feather in their cap. FIU has been very competitive against BCS opponents and near took down the Aggies last week. I am going to go with the Panthers to upset the Terps. I am not really sure if it will really be a shocker for FIU to win but the media will portray it as such.