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Context for this question: There have been at least three unranked-over-ranked upsets in Week 4 in each of the last three seasons. Top 10 teams typically survive, but recent history suggests we should expect more carnage than usual in the Nos. 11-25 range.
I don’t think it happens this week, but to play well with the rest of the group, I’ll take Texas over No. 17 TCU, Iowa over No. 18 Wisconsin and Indiana over No. 24 Michigan State. Indiana is the sneaky pick. The Hoosiers have a vastly underrated trifecta in QB Peyton Ramsey, running back Stevie Scott and receiver Donavan Hale. The defense has also been solid, although the Spartans aren’t FIU, Virginia or Ball State.
Beyond my pick of Iowa over Wisconsin, I…am a cowardly picker this week. While my favorite program is Team Chaos, I guess I’ll just be surprised this weekend. Michigan State’s trip to Indiana is dicier than anticipated, and Texas and Purdue are threats at home opposite TCU and No. 23 Boston College, respectively. Otherwise, the flaws of the underdogs seem to match the favorites’ strengths. I’ll be wrong, but let’s find out where.
Well, Iowa-Wisconsin was already forecasted, so there’s one. The magic of Kinnick will be on full display. I also like Texas to validate its win over USC with a mild upset over TCU. The Horned Frogs are in the midst of a tough stretch, and I think the Longhorns will take full advantage of the timing. And I’ll take a stab with Indiana over Michigan State at home. This can be a tricky place to play, and the Hoosiers have been so close in this spot before. Sparty has already proved to be vulnerable, and this spot feels right for one of the Big Ten’s bright spots thus far.
I already picked both No. 16 UCF and No. 18 Wisconsin to lose, and I think No. 23 Boston College lets one slip away at Purdue. It has been nearly a full decade since the Eagles last played a game as a ranked team, so this is uncharted territory for head coach Steve Addazio. And Purdue eventually has to win one of these tight games, right? The Boilermakers lost on last-second field goals in each of the past two weeks and fell just short of completing the comeback in a four-point loss to Northwestern in Week 1. This is where they finally put a one in the win column.
I was a believer in Washington until I watched Jake Browning regress again last week. I still love what Herm Edwards is doing in the desert, despite last weekend’s disjointed loss to San Diego State in which the Sun Devils went 26 second-half minutes without a first down. Give me Arizona State over No. 10 Washington in a resounding road win.
Texas is still far from perfect, but there’s going to be a bit of a hangover for TCU after that emotional loss to Ohio State on a huge stage last Saturday. It’s about time for the Longhorns to play up to the talent they have on their roster, and they’re going to come through with a big-time win this weekend.
Boston College has experienced a nice start to the season, and with AJ Dillon and Anthony Brown taking shots on offense, they’ll score some points. But they’re going to run into the best 0-3 team in the nation this weekend in Purdue. Can the Eagles hang with the Boilermakers? Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm gets his first win this weekend.
Wake Forest has been impressive this year, averaging 36 points and 278 passing yards per game. The Demon Deacons can clamp down on Brandon Wimbush enough keep within striking distance of No. 8 Notre Dame, ultimately pulling off the biggest upset of the weekend.
The most underrated team in the country might be Kentucky right now, while No. 14 Mississippi State has continued to take care of business through three games. Home-field advantage for Kentucky will be a factor this week.
And I don’t feel great about picking Indiana over Michigan State, but Hoosiers running back Stevie Scott has been excellent through their three wins, and the Spartans have continued to look mediocre in the first month of the season.