By Brad Carroll
The night slate of the Week 4 college football games Saturday is highlighted by a ranked showdown between No. 15 Mississippi State and No. 11 Georgia, with some other huge matchups that would have been season-makers in years past, but doesn’t have the same implications this time around when it comes to the College Football Playoff hunt. Still, among those matchups is two teams already favored to make the national title tournament, Oklahoma and Penn State.
Our college football experts have you covered for all of those important matchups on Saturday night, with previews and picks against the point spread below. So sit back and let us help you enjoy another big week of college football action. Make sure to check out our Thursday and Friday previews and picks here and our Saturday afternoon previews and picks here.
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No. 3 Oklahoma at Baylor, 6:30, FS1
The Spread: Oklahoma -27.5
Brad’s Breakdown: Remember just a short time ago when this game would act like an elimination matchup for the Big 12 and national title races? Well those days are long gone. Oklahoma is as good or better now, and is a legitimate contender to make the College Football Playoff, but Baylor, man, Baylor is just plain bad. The Bears have been a shell of its former self after numerous scandals surrounding the program and losing coach Art Briles in the process. Baylor didn’t get the death penalty, but it’s getting pretty close. The Bears are 0-3 with losses coming to such powerhouses as Liberty, UT San Antonio and Duke. Baylor is allowing 33 points per game on defense. Oklahoma and Baker Mayfield are going to have a field day.
Brad’s Final: Oklahoma 56, Baylor 14 (Oklahoma)
Craig’s Final: Oklahoma 49, Baylor 14 (Oklahoma)
Glenn’s Final: Oklahoma 68, Baylor 10 (Oklahoma)
Matt’s Final: Oklahoma 51, Baylor 17 (Oklahoma)
No. 17 Mississippi State at No. 11 Georgia, 7, ESPN
The Spread: Georgia -5
Brad’s Breakdown: I didn’t pick the upset last week for Mississippi State, but will take solace in being the only one of us on the site who did pick it to cover against LSU. But I don’t think anyone thought what ended up happening would have happened. Mississippi State destroyed LSU, winning 37-7. Stunning indeed. The going doesn’t get any easier for the Bulldogs, however, as they travel to Georgia for a matchup with the other Bulldogs. Georgia is also 3-0 with its biggest win coming at Notre Dame, 20-19. Georgia will have to contain Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, who is off to a fantastic start. Georgia should still start true freshman Jake Fromm at quarterback, for the third straight week, but Sony Michel should play and give the ground game a boost, along with Nick Chubb. This should be a great SEC game, but I can’t see going against Mississippi State just yet.
Brad’s Final: Mississippi State 38, Georgia 31 (Mississippi State)
Craig’s Final: Mississippi State 27, Georgia 24 (Mississippi State)
Glenn’s Final: Georgia 28, Mississippi State 24 (Mississippi State)
Matt’s Final: Georgia 28, Mississippi State 10 (Georgia)
Syracuse at No. 25 LSU, 7, ESPN2
The Spread: LSU -23.5
Brad’s Breakdown: LSU was humiliated by Mississippi State last week, getting beat by 30 points, and tumbled to the last spot in the rankings as a result. The Tigers may not be able to make up for that defeat this season, but they get a shot at putting that loss, at least some of it, behind them against Syracuse at home. The Orangemen are 2-1 but were beaten 30-23 by Middle Tennessee, so they are clearly overmatched, especially in Death Valley. LSU has every reason to come out and put a beating on Syracuse, or whatever team was standing in its way this week, and it will with a big win.
Brad’s Final: LSU 40, Syracuse 10 (LSU)
Craig’s Final: LSU 27, Syracuse 3 (LSU)
Glenn’s Final: LSU 28, Syracuse 13 (Syracuse)
Matt’s Final: LSU 38, Syracuse 17 (Syracuse)
No. 4 Penn State at Iowa, 7:30, ABC
The Spread: Penn State -12.5
Brad’s Breakdown: This is an early-season marquee matchup in the Big Ten, as both Penn State and Iowa are 3-0. Penn State has rolled to three easy victories, including one over Pittsburgh, while Iowa has a nice win over rival Iowa State, in overtime, on its resume. Obviously, Penn State is a step up in competition for Iowa, and the Hawkeyes may be the same for the Nittany Lions. Penn State has the quarterback, Trace McSorley, and running back, Saquon Barkley, to make it a dangerous team and one that is a heavy favorite to grab one of the four College Football Playoff spots. Iowa quarterback Nathan Stanley has been solid this season as well, with 10 touchdown passes against one interception. If Iowa gets an early lead, the crowd could take this game over. But Penn State is too good not to pull away with a comfortable win.
Brad’s Final: Penn State 38, Iowa 24 (Penn State)
Craig’s Final: Penn State 41, Iowa 24 (Penn State)
Glenn’s Final: Penn State 42, Iowa 20 (Penn State)
Matt’s Final: Penn State 42, Iowa 20 (Penn State)
Notre Dame at Michigan State, 8, FOX
The Spread: Notre Dame -4
Brad’s Breakdown: Remember when this game used to be must-watch? Well, not this year, as FOX gets stuck with an unranked Notre Dame playing an unranked Michigan State. The Irish have their fans, but even they might check out another game going on at the same time. But, still, it can’t be ignored. Michigan State is 2-1 but lost to Penn State, 45-12. Notre Dame is 2-1, with a couple big wins over Temple and Boston College, to go along with a one-point loss to Georgia at home. This could be an ugly, defensive battle, but Notre Dame should have enough to pull away late.
Brad’s Final: Notre Dame 28, Michigan State 21 (Notre Dame)
Craig’s Final: Notre Dame 32, Michigan State 22 (Notre Dame)
Glenn’s Final: Notre Dame 28, Michigan State 17 (Notre Dame)
Matt’s Final: Notre Dame 20, Michigan State 13 (Notre Dame)
UCLA at Stanford, 10:30, ESPN
The Spread: Stanford -7.5
Craig’s Breakdown: UCLA and Stanford are playing some terrible football recently, with both losing to mid-majors last week. UCLA dropped a game to Memphis, while Stanford fell to San Diego State. What happens when you put two bad teams together? Points happen, so get your popcorn ready because it’s going to be a shootout. UCLA is 1-8 against the spread in its last nine meetings with Stanford, but that was when the Cardinal had a good defense. The Bruins buck the trend and actually pulls off the upset.
Brad’s Final: Stanford 35, UCLA 31 (UCLA)
Craig’s Final: UCLA 38, Stanford 35 (UCLA)
Glenn’s Final: Stanford 28, UCLA 24 (UCLA)
Matt’s Final: UCLA 51, Stanford 42 (UCLA)