College games to watch:
Eddie Timanus picks winners, Danny Sheridan provides lines for Alabama-Texas A&M, Stanford-Oregon, others.
Games to watch in Week 4:
No. 22 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama
Sept. 22, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Danny Sheridan’s line: Alabama by 25
There are five — count ’em, five — ranked teams in the Southeastern Conference West Division. The Crimson Tide (3-0, 1-0 SEC) take on the first of those four potential division challengers after a stunning 62-7 win at Mississippi. The Aggies, who came up just short against second-ranked Clemson a couple of weeks ago, try again for a stunner of an upset.
This time, however, the Aggies (2-1) will be in hostile environs. The venue has mattered little to Alabama, which has its attack humming whether QB Tua Tagovailoa or Jalen Hurts is running it. Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond can challenge the Tide secondary, but he’ll need rocksolid protection.
Prediction: We’ve yet to see how Alabama reacts if things are close at all after intermission. Will that happen this time? Perhaps, but we aren’t inclined to think so.
No. 14 Mississippi State at Kentucky
Sept. 22, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2 Danny Sheridan’s line: Mississippi State by 10
As previously mentioned, the Bulldogs (3-0) have a lot of company in the SEC West. They have, however, done everything right in holding up their end of making the division tough. The Wildcats’ 3-0 start includes a historic win against annual nemesis Florida and gives them a 1-0 SEC mark. Whether that means they’re ready to challenge East Division favorite Georgia remains to be seen, but this home test could help answer that question.
Mississippi State hasn’t been quite as dominant as the Tide, but it’s been close. The Bulldogs handled a potentially tricky test at Kansas State with ease in Week 2 and hasn’t been pushed in their other two tuneups. QB Nick Fitzgerald and RB Kylin Hill lead the most accomplished attack UK has encountered to date. The good news for the Wildcats is QB Terry Wilson and RB Benny Snell Jr. are capable of uncorking big plays themselves.
Prediction: But the bad news for UK is the Bulldogs defense doesn’t allow many big plays, just eight of 20 yards or more through three games. Kentucky has been good in that regard as well, but the Bulldogs have more weapons.
Mississippi State, 28-17
No. 7 Stanford at No. 19 Oregon
Sept. 22, 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Danny Sheridan’s line: Stanford by 1
The Cardinal (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) might not be flashy, but they’re winning. The Ducks (3-0) would like to be flashy again. They aren’t quite there yet, but they’ve handled their non-conference slate well enough to set up this first league test in what figures to be a competitive Pac-12 North.
Oregon QB Justin Herbert is healthy again and has shown why he was missed last season (12 TD tosses in 2018). He’s not getting much ground support, however, and Stanford has surrendered only 23 points through three games, the stingiest scoring defense in the FBS. Stanford QB K.J. Costello has been steady, though he might need to open the passing game up a bit on the road.
Prediction: Stanford’s star RB Bryce Love hasn’t broken out yet this season, and he was held out of last week’s contest against UC-Davis with an undisclosed injury. He should be back, and he’ll make a difference against the Ducks.
No. 16 Wisconsin at Iowa
Sept. 22, 8:30 p.m. ET, Fox Danny Sheridan’s line: Wisconsin by 31⁄2
The Badgers (2-1) might have had this trip to Iowa City on their minds when they were tripped up by Brigham Young in the first big stunner of the season. The Hawkeyes (3-0) have given up very little and haven’t had to leave home yet, but they’re almost certainly ready for what could be a lowscoring battle with Wisconsin, the first Big Ten game for both teams.
Iowa QB Nate Stanley doesn’t put up huge numbers, but he usually takes care of the ball and can count on a wellschooled defense that always plays well in Iowa City. The Badgers’ backfield tandem of QB Alex Hornibrook and RB Jonathan Taylor have been turnover prone, a trend that must not continue if they hope to contend in the Big Ten.
Prediction: Night games in Iowa City often spell trouble for visitors, and that might be too much for the reeling Badgers to overcome.
Arizona State at No. 12 Washington
Sept. 22, 10:30 p.m. ET,
Danny Sheridan’s line: Washington by 18
The Sun Devils (2-1) got a bit of a reality check last week, following a last-second win against Michigan State with a road setback at Mountain West contender San Diego State. That result didn’t bode well heading into this trip to Washington (2-1, 1-0 Pac-12), still at least the cofavorite with Stanford in the Pac-12 North.
On the plus side for ASU is its defense, which has for the most part held steady against experienced signal callers. But Huskies QB Jake Browning seems due for a breakout performance after facing some stiff competition early on. RB Myles Gaskin, who had a solid outing in last week’s hard-hitting affair at Utah, will also be there to help. The Sun Devils offense has been largely one-dimensional with QB Manny Wilkins doing most of the damage through the air. He has weapons downfield, but he’s sure to face multiple pressure looks from the Washington front.
Prediction: With a conference win in hand, the Huskies should take care of business at home, even if it does have potential to be a #Pac12AfterDarkSpecial.
Washington quarterback Jake Browning has passed for 764 yards and four touchdowns in leading the Huskies to a 2-1 record.