Chris Seward/Associated Press
In Week 3, Miami played in the first ranked matchup of the 2020 college football season. Not only that, but the Hurricanes went on the road and defeated ACC rival Louisville, earning an impressive 47-34 victory to improve to 2-0 and move up to No. 12 in the AP Top 25 poll.
Miami will look to keep it going in Week 4. And ESPN’s College GameDay crew will be on site to preview the Hurricanes’ game for the second straight week. They are set to host unranked Florida State at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday night (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC). And College GameDay, beginning at 9 a.m. ET, will have a lot more than just the Seminoles-Hurricanes matchup to preview.
Not only are ACC and Big 12 teams in action, but Saturday also marks the first day of the season for the SEC. All 14 of the conference’s teams will be playing their first games of their revised 10-game, conference-only schedules.
Here’s a look at the schedule for ranked teams in Week 4, along with predictions for each matchup.
Week 4 Top 25 Schedule, Predictions
Saturday, Sept. 26
Kansas State at No. 3 Oklahoma, noon, Fox
No. 5 Florida at Ole Miss, noon, ESPN
No. 23 Kentucky at No. 8 Auburn, noon, SEC Network
No. 13 UCF at East Carolina, noon, ABC
Georgia Southern at No. 19 Louisiana-Lafayette, noon, ESPN2
No. 24 Louisville at No. 21 Pittsburgh, noon, ACC Network
Mississippi State at No. 6 LSU, 3:30 p.m., CBS
No. 8 Texas at Texas Tech, 3:30 p.m., Fox
No. 22 Army at No. 14 Cincinnati, 3:30 p.m., ESPN
West Virginia at No. 15 Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m., ABC
No. 4 Georgia at Arkansas, 4 p.m., SEC Network
No. 2 Alabama at Missouri, 7 p.m., ESPN
Vanderbilt at No. 10 Texas A&M, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network Alternate
Florida State at No. 12 Miami, 7:30 p.m., ABC
No. 16 Tennessee at South Carolina, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network
NC State at No. 20 Virginia Tech, 8 p.m., ACC Network
Troy at No. 18 BYU, 10:15 p.m., ESPN
All times ET. Picks in bold.
Week 4 Preview
While No. 1 Clemson won’t be in action, there’s no shortage of highly ranked teams on Saturday’s schedule. And many of them will be taking the field for the first time in the 2020 season, which gives us an opportunity to see how they are set to fare this year.
That includes No. 2 Alabama, which is opening the season at Missouri on Saturday night. The Crimson Tide are coming off a disappointing 2019 campaign (by their standards) in which they missed the College Football Playoff for the first time since the format was introduced for the 2014 season, although they still went 11-2.
Junior Mac Jones will be Alabama’s starting quarterback and is back to lead the offense after getting substantial playing time last year when Tua Tagovailoa suffered a season-ending hip injury. There will be some talented playmakers around Jones in the Tide’s offense, including senior running back Najee Harris, senior wide receiver DeVonta Smith and junior wide receiver Jaylen Waddle.
Alabama should have no trouble opening its season with a win. Nor should several of the other top-ranked SEC teams, such as No. 4 Georgia (at Arkansas), No. 5 Florida (at Ole Miss) and No. 6 LSU (vs. Mississippi State).
LSU is coming off a 15-0 season that culminated in the national championship, a remarkable campaign led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow. But Burrow is gone, and redshirt junior Myles Brennan will be the Tigers’ starting quarterback, leading a unit that will be without top wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, who opted out of the season and declared for the 2021 NFL draft.
It will be interesting to see how LSU fares this season, although it should open with a win against Mississippi State, which will be playing its first game under new head coach Mike Leach.
One of the more competitive matchups of the week could come from the SEC, as No. 8 Auburn is set to host No. 23 Kentucky. It’s one of three ranked matchups in the country Saturday, along with No. 24 Louisville at No. 21 Pittsburgh and No. 22 Army at No. 14 Cincinnati.
After a slow start to the college football season as schedules were changed because of the coronavirus pandemic and conferences figured out how best to proceed, Week 4’s slate of games should be the most entertaining thus far.