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How To Football: Week 4

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What games to watch, why you should watch them, and how you watch them.

Purdue v Notre Dame
when it’s hoodie and shorts weather
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images
WatsonTiger Excel Productions, LLC.

Thursday Herd Shift

  • Marshall-App State: The Thundering Herd lost their first game of the Charles Huff Era to an improving East Carolina. The road doesn’t get any easier for Marshall as they now face one of the best teams in the G5.
  • Alcorn State-UAPB: Who isn’t down for the some Thursday night SWACtion?

Coastal Middle Class Shift

  • Wake Forest-Virginia: Both programs are historical also-rans in the ACC, but in recent history have carved out nice lives for themselves by capitalizing on what talent they do get and developing well. Last week the Demon Deacons got a pretty huge proof of concept with a resounding 35-14 victory to Florida State. It’s not the sexiest game but it should be pretty good regardless.
  • Liberty-Syracuse: ugh. Just...ugh.
  • Middle Tennessee State-Charlotte: Will Healy’s a good coach and he got a big one to open the season against Duke but he dropped a clunker to Georgia State 20-7 and has a toss-up against MTSU this week. The longer Charlotte takes to get going, the harder the job that on paper should be pretty turn key becomes. These are games Charlotte need to start winning.
  • Brown-Harvard: Hell yeah Friday night Ivy League football turn the hell up baby.
  • UNLV-Fresno: In case you were asleep like a normal person, you missed the most heroic performance from Jake Haener in Fresno’s upset of UCLA. The Bulldogs will win this game, so I just want to sing the praise of Haener who played like he was in a movie:

Full Noon Shift

  • LSU-Mississippi State: The good news: the last time LSU played in Starkville the most interesting thing to happen was seeing Joe Burrow’s ass. The bad news: the last time LSU played Mississippi State, the defense completely blue screened and it seems like the same vulnerabilities still exist along with even worse injuries. Should be fine, though.
  • Notre Dame-Wisconsin: Being played in Chicago for some reason, I think after three EXTREMELY unconvincing wins the house of cards comes down for the Irish. On the other hand, Wisconsin hasn’t looked as great as we were all expecting them to be, but this could be the point where they turn it around.
  • Texas Tech-Texas: I know Texas just got runned over by Arkansas but SP+ only liked the Longhorns by 9 points against the Red Raiders and that...feels pretty generous on behalf of Texas Tech. I guess we’ll see for sure.
  • SMU-TCU: SP+ says this will be a pretty similar game, but I’m inclined to believe it here given how with SMU’s resurgence the Iron Skillet Battle has heated up, with the Mustangs snapping a seven-game losing streak in 2019.
  • Missouri-Boston College: It’s football and SP+ says it’ll be a field goal game. Take what you can.

Jerry World Shift

  • Arkansas-Texas A&M: Still played in AT&T Stadium for some reason, this is interesting for a number of levels. We (the royal we, referring to the college football general) are high on Arkansas for they did to Texas and low on Texas A&M for looking like ass against Colorado, but we find out exactly how much we need to adjust our expectations for both teams based off this game.
  • Louisville-Florida State: ..hoo boy. Let’s just say that in this game while one team has to win the game, there’s no real winners, just someone who doesn’t lose by as much. If it’s possible to have an anxiety bowl without the threat of firing your coach, this one would be it.
  • Iowa State-Baylor: After taking a minute to get settled (and struggling with Texas State week one), Dave Aranda has posted two good wins over teams he should beat, 66-7 over Texas State and 45-7 over Kansas. Things ratchet up when Matt Campbell’s mob come to Waco this weekend, though.
  • UTSA-Memphis: Jeff Traylor has the UTSA program pointed up and this could be a big pelt on his wall, arguably bigger than beating Illinois to start the season.
  • Clemson-NC State: After last week, we’re keeping a close eye on Clemson. It’s like how if you’re admitted to the hospital you HAVE to leave in a wheelchair. Just monitor and assess the situation.

Hadrian’s Paywall Shift

  • Oklahoma State-Kansas State: So here’s a bummer on multiple levels: this is probably going to be the best game of the night and it’s locked away behind the ESPN+ paywall. I have it and honestly you should too, but it’s still a bad look for the entire shift.
  • Nebraska-Michigan State: Mel Tucker has the Spartans on the up and up, cracking the top 20 in the rankings while Scott Frost is starting to circle the drain in Lincoln. It’d take an absolute implosion from Michigan State for Nebra-SPARTY NOOOOOOO!
  • UAB-Tulane: Another heater of the game and the G5 game of the week, also locked away behind the ESPN+ paywall. Who organized this week.
  • Tennessee-Florida: Yiiiiiiiiikes.
  • North Carolina-Georgia Tech: Probably nothing here in terms of an upset, but like Clemson we’re taking a second look at the Yellow Jackets to confirm last week wasn’t just a flash in the pan, which it definitely was but we have to clear this shift somehow.

Robert Kekaula Memorial Shift

  • Cal-Washington: Okay, here’s the situation - this entire shift sucks. All of it is garbage, bin it. This is by far the most interesting game of the shift and it’ll likely be a two score affair for most of it...
  • Oregon State-USC: ...now because I said that, these two games are going to be batshit insane games with unprobable endings.
  • Colorado-Arizona State: However, I feel very confident these games will be cut and dry.
  • Arizona-Oregon: It’s football.
  • USF-BYU: It’s football.