Week 4 CFB ‘Expert’ Picks

Hey college football…why did it take 4 weeks to have a truly compelling week of games, several of which are conference matchups? Michigan-Wisconsin. YES! Auburn-Texas A&M. YES! Utah-USC. YES! Even Florida-Tennessee and Oregon-Stanford are marquee matchups though the Vols and Cardinal are off to uncharacteristic rough starts this season.

Why do we diehard fans of FBS teams have to suffer through the first three weeks of games with scores of 63-17, 70-14, 77-6, and 61-0 that really aren’t fun for anyone to watch? Want to know why attendance is down? It’s not hard to figure out…

bryant-denny-stadium-interior

If I were the Czar of College Football, here is my simple plan to fix the early season schedule to make every week equally important:

  1. Give each FBS school a preseason game in late-August against an FCS school that DOES NOT count in the standings.  If coaches choose not to play their best players, fine, the games don’t count but at the same time they give younger and backup players the chance to experience full speed game competition without cheating the fans (who pay premium ticket prices for lousy opponents).
  2. Mandate that every FBS team is not allowed to play an FCS team during the regular season. In addition, I would make sure that each Power 5 school must schedule at least TWO non-conference matchups against other Power 5 schools yearly. Sorry smaller FBS schools…the Alabama-New Mexico State matchups just don’t move the needle.
  3. Require that each team has to play a conference matchup within the first two weeks of the season.

There may be no perfect solution but I’m confident that by following the steps above, college football would gain even more popularity among fans each Fall.

As for the picks…all of us are hanging in there with our straight up-wise…though Steve’s ATS record is mind-bogglingly bad considering he’s tied for the lead just picking winners and losers.

A tricky slate of games including a few toss-ups highlights the Week 4 picks:

Eric Cohen Jon Bell Steve Malina Wesley Franco 
Twitter: @cohencurse1580 @koshercoach @beardownsteven @producerwes
Last Week (SU) 7-3 6-4 8-2 5-5
Last Week (ATS) 5-5 3-7 3-7 2-8
Season (SU) 24-13 21-16 24-13 22-15
Season (ATS) 20-17 19-18 12-25 16-21
Colorado at ASU (-7.5) ASU 27-13 ASU 20-17 ASU 20-13 ASU 17-10
Utah (-3.5) at USC UTAH 28-20 USC 31-24 UTAH 27-21 UTAH 35-24
Tennessee at Florida (-14.5) FLA 24-17 FLA 41-20 FLA 34-24 FLA 27-14
Cal at Ole Miss (-1.5) MISS 24-17 CAL 20-13 CAL 24-20 CAL 17-10
Washington (-5.5) at BYU WASH 30-20 WASH 23-20 WASH 31-24 WASH 40-24
Michigan at Wisconsin (-3.5) WISC 26-23 WISC 21-17 WISC 24-17 WISC 24-7
UCF (-11.5) at Pittsburgh UCF 34-24 UCF 38-16 UCF 41-26 UCF 35-21
 Auburn at Texas A&M (-3.5) A&M 31-24 AUB 24-14 A&M 27-24 AUB 42-23
Oregon (-10.5) at Stanford ORE 37-24 ORE 37-20 ORE 27-20 ORE 35-24
Oklahoma State at Texas (-5.5) TEX 37-28 TEX 37-34 TEX 41-34 OKST 38-35
Notre Dame at Georgia (-13.5) GA 34-13 GA 31-14 GA 31-27 GA 42-35
UCLA at Washington State (-18.5) WSU 40-20 WSU 48-7 WSU 42-20 WSU 35-17


This Week’s Bold Predictions

EC: Notre Dame once again proves itself as a fraud against top-level competition. Georgia pounds them as Alabama and Clemson have done in recent years proving that as good as the Irish are, they are far from college football’s elite. I agree with Paul Finebaum – ND doesn’t deserve a spot among the final four until they schedule better competition regularly and prove themselves against high-level teams (sorry – the occasional Big 10 or Pac-12 team doesn’t count).

JB: Clay Helton’s fate may be sealed, but USC’s roller coaster season continues with a win at home over Utah, simmering the flames for at least a week. 

SM: Ohio State QB Justin Fields puts up six total touchdowns in less than three quarters against Miami of Ohio to move into 2nd place in the Heisman Trophy Race to date (just behind Jalen Hurts).

WF: Texas missing two key defenders, safety B.J. Foster and defensive back DeMarvion Overshown will end up being their demise as OK St. pulls the upset in this Big 12 opener.

To read previous entries of my blog, click here. Also make sure to follow me on Twitter @cohencurse1580.

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