Stanford-Oregon highlights list of games to watch in Week Four

Steve Helwick

There's no shortage of high-profile matchups and potential upsets slated for this weekend, from Texas A&M-Alabama to Stanford-Oregon and more.

Here are the top picks for games to watch in Week Four:

No. 2 Georgia at Missouri 

Saturday, 11 a.m., ESPN 

The two most prolific offenses in the SEC East will trade blows in Columbia, Missouri, on Saturday morning. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock is fresh off of a breakout 2017 campaign where he led the entire FBS with 44 passing touchdowns. The 6-foot-4-inch senior is off to a similar start in 2018, leading the Tigers to a 3–0 record with 11 touchdown passes and 354 yards per game. Despite finishing No. 2 in the country last season, Georgia is experimenting with two quarterbacks: sophomore Jake Fromm and freshman Justin Fields. However, the Bulldogs have asserted dominance under both signal callers, winning their first three outings by an aggregate score of 135-24.

No. 22 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama 

Saturday, 2:30 p.m., CBS 

Is this the week Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide finally face a challenge? Texas A&M has not topped Alabama since Heisman-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel raided Tuscaloosa and left victorious in 2012. But there is reason for optimism in Aggieland, as the Maroon and White nearly bested No. 3 Clemson in a Week Two showdown, falling 28-26. As usual, Alabama seems to be in another class from the rest of college football. The Crimson Tide made their conference rival Ole Miss look like an FCS team a week ago, disposing of the Rebels 62-7 in their fifth-straight week of holding No. 1 in the AP Poll.

Texas Tech at No. 15 Oklahoma State 

Saturday, 6 p.m., FS1 

Defense lovers, beware. The final score of this game shouldn’t be anything a defensive coordinator is proud of. Last week, Texas Tech yielded 49 points to Houston and still managed to emerge with a victory thanks to a 63-point offensive clinic. The Red Raiders’ ensuing opponent up north experienced a similar offensive explosion in Week Three. Oklahoma State vaulted up nine spots in the rankings after derailing Boise State’s promising season in 44-21 fashion. Junior running back Justice Hill sprinted for 123 yards and one touchdown while Mason Rudolph’s successor, Taylor Cornelius, is performing solidly at the quarterback position. This matchup between two of the highest-scoring teams of the decade should be an interesting spectacle to start Big 12 play.

No. 7 Stanford at No. 20 Oregon 

Saturday, 7 p.m., ABC 

Remember the days when this matchup always determined the Pac-12 North and often came with national championship implications? Stanford and Oregon have both launched the young season with 3–0 records, but only one team can claim perfection after the rivalry resumes in Eugene on Saturday night. Stanford knocked off a talented San Diego State team in Week One and stifled USC’s offense in a 17-3 Week Two win. With reigning Heisman runner-up Bryce Love returning from injury, Stanford’s offense is all set to pull off its second ranked Pac-12 win of the year. Oregon counters with some advantages though: junior quarterback Justin Herbert and the backing of 54,000 fans at Autzen Stadium.

No. 18 Wisconsin at Iowa 

Saturday, 7:30 p.m., FOX 

Do you like fullbacks, walk-on linebackers and the playing style that defined football in the 1940s? If so, this Big Ten West fight will be an appealing game at Kinnick Stadium. Wisconsin is coming off of a major upset loss to BYU at home, but the Badgers haven’t lost consecutive games since 2016. Not many ranked teams can survive a Saturday night in Kinnick Stadium, the same place Michigan and Ohio State laid their playoff hopes to rest in the past two seasons. Wisconsin’s powerful offensive line will look to pave a solid path for sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor, or else the Badgers could find themselves at 2–2.