Week 4 was filled with nail biting contests with national championship implications, from the very first game on Thursday until late Saturday night. Auburn’s narrow victory over Kansas State was undeserved — Kansas State dominated the game from start to finish, but ultimately committed too many unforced mistakes to be able to take home the win. The Tigers’ run game finally looked vulnerable, as the Wildcats were able to hold them to just 20 points despite Auburn’s consistently good field position. I don’t know how Auburn will be able to run through their gauntlet of a schedule without losing at least twice. You only get so many miracles and I fear the Tigers used all of theirs up in 2013.
Alabama’s 42-21 drubbing of Florida was much worse than the scoreline indicated — Alabama turned the ball over four times and allowed Florida to score all of their points off of Crimson Tide turnovers. Quarterback Blake Sims and new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin have been revelations, chucking the ball around the field with reckless abandon like never before under Nick Saban. Kiffin is coaching his way into another head job, and Sims could be headed for the NFL after his one campaign. Alabama’s offense looks positively devastating. They could be on a collision course with Florida State.
Speaking of the Seminoles, they looked awful sans Heisman winner Jameis Winston on Saturday night, barely eking out a 23-17 overtime victory at home over Clemson due to a plethora of Tiger mistakes. However, when push came to shove, the Seminoles showed up. It called to mind the BCS National Championship Game from last January against Auburn, where FSU overcame a similar late deficit. I don’t see the Seminoles struggling again this season as long as Winston stays on the field. If he does not, though, I fear they might be in trouble.
Dak Prescott and Mississippi State stormed into Baton Rouge and took down LSU by a score of 34-29 in a game that was much more of a blowout than the final tally indicated. The Bulldogs probably aren’t going to run through their own SEC West gauntlet with enough steam to get into the SEC Championship, but this was a big win for a program on the rise. Prescott looks like a star and could be a dark horse contender for the Heisman ceremony. Either way, the NFL will be calling him soon enough.
Oklahoma and Oregon slogged their way through unconvincing road wins against middling conference foes, with the Ducks looking much the worse for wear. Washington State has struggled throughout this season, and Oregon’s terrible performance did nothing to silence their critics. However, The Pac-12 still appears exceedingly weak this season, so I don’t foresee any issues for the Ducks until the playoff. Oklahoma overcame an early deficit to take down West Virginia in Morgantown, but they’ll need to improve their defensive performance if they want to run with Baylor.
There’s been a nice head start to the week and I’ve already made some significant moves on quite a few sides. Good luck.
115 Minnesota +12.5 (MGM)
123 Kent State +27.5 (Stations)
141 Wake Forest +21.5 (Westgate)
144 Boston College -7 (MGM)
146 Buffalo U -5 (MGM)
180 Miami Florida -6.5 -115 (MGM)
2014 Season to Date
NCAA FB: 23-18