College Football Top 25: Irish Host Ohio State

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The slate in college football this weekend offers fans across the country tremendous matchups all day long highlighted by Ohio State’s primetime tilt on NBC in South Bend against Notre Dame. The winner takes a massive step towards securing a spot in the playoffs.

Speaking of Prime, the Colorado hype train keeps getting bigger. This week, Coach Sanders and company go Duck hunting in Eugene, Oregon. Should the Buffs upset the Ducks, watch out!

On a weekend featuring five Top 25 matchups, it is ironic that the day begins with a game with huge playoff implications despite involving only one ranked school. #5 Florida State travels to Death Valley to face an unranked Clemson squad that still sees a path to the playoffs if they can defeat the Seminoles.

NBC Sports’ College Football Top 25 heading into Week 4 with explanations from analysts Vaughn Dalzell, Brad Thomas, and Eric Froton:

1 Georgia | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 0-2-1 | Last Week: 1
Next up: Saturday vs. UAB (1-2)

2 Michigan | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 0-3 | Last Week: 2
Next up: Saturday vs. Rutgers (3-0)

3 Texas | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 1-2 | Last Week: 3
Next up: Saturday @ Baylor (1-2)

4 Ohio State | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 1-2 | Last Week: 4
Next up: Saturday @ #9 Notre Dame (3-0)

5 Florida State | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 2-1 | Last Week: 5
Next up: Saturday @ Clemson (2-1)

Dalzell (@VmoneySports): The obvious talking point in the top 5 is the anticipated rise or drop of Ohio State and Notre Dame. However, I think we’re still sleeping on the best offense in college football. How are the USC Trojans not ranked in the Top 5? What does this team have to do for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T?!

Join in the college football conversation Saturdays at 11AM ET. From sides to totals to props, get ready for the weekend of college football with the NBC Sports College Football Betting Q&A.

Thomas (@MrBradThomas): What a week in College Football where we had so many ranked teams struggle on the road to lesser competition. As Vaughn mentioned during the Saturday Q&A, ranked teams on the road are a great fade to unranked teams. Georgia, Michigan, and Texas are the best teams in College Football.

Froton (@CFFroton): The nation’s eyes turn to South Bend for the massive showdown between Notre Dame and Ohio State. The Irish have their best shot at taking out the Buckeyes in years and have the more accomplished quarterback in Wake Forest transfer Sam Hartman. Brad Thomas and I will be in attendance for the epic midwestern showdown. Can’t wait!

6 USC | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 2-1 | Last Week: 6
Next up: Saturday @ Arizona State (1-2)

7 Penn State | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 3-0 | Last Week: 7
Next up: Saturday vs. #18 Iowa (3-0)

8 Washington | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 2-1 | Last Week: 8
Next up: Saturday vs. California (2-1)

9 Notre Dame | Record: 4-0 | ATS: 3-1 | Last Week: 9
Next up: Saturday vs. #4 Ohio State (3-0)

10 Oregon | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 3-0 | Last Week: T11
Next up: Saturday vs. #21 Colorado (3-0)

11 LSU | Record: 2-1 | ATS: 2-1 | Last Week: T15
Next up: Saturday vs. Arkansas (2-1)

12 Alabama | Record: 2-1 | ATS: 1-2 | Last Week: 10
Next up: Saturday vs. Mississippi (3-0)

13 Utah | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 1-1-1 | Last Week: 14
Next up: Saturday vs. #24 UCLA (3-0)

T14 Oregon State | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 2-1 | Last Week: 16
Next up: Saturday @ #20 Washington State (3-0)

T14 Oklahoma | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 3-0 | Last Week: T21
Next up: Saturday @ Cincinnati (2-1)

Dalzell: Alabama or Ole Miss? Washington State or Oregon State? A win for each would bolster their team’s candidacy for the Top 10. Alabama has won seven straight vs Ole Miss and Washington State has prevailed the last four times they have hosted Oregon State. One of those streaks will continue and the other, not so much. Check out our show on Saturday where we will discuss all.

Thomas: How far would Bama fall following their struggles at South Florida? 13th in mine and 12th in the NBC Sports Rankings. It’s hard to put that kind of performance on the field and have the press consider you a Top 10 team. Oklahoma is quietly moving its way up with efficient football. They could disrupt Texas’ Big 12 Championship plans.

Froton: Oklahoma is playing some serious ball in Year 2 of HC Brent Venables’ tenure and is poised to make a run in the Big 12. I have a hard time moving Alabama any higher until they can sort out their tumultuous quarterback position. Ole Miss, Oregon, Oregon State and, of course, Notre Dame all have high profile games this week that will separate the contenders from the pretenders.

16 Mississippi | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 3-0 | Last Week: 17
Next up: Saturday @ Alabama (2-1)

17 North Carolina | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 2-1 | Last Week: T21
Next up: Saturday @ Pittsburgh (1-2)

18 Iowa | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 2-1 | Last Week: 19
Next up: Saturday @ #7 Penn State (3-0)

19 Miami | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 2-1 | Last Week: 20
Next up: Saturday @ Temple (2-1)

20 Washington State | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 2-1 | Last Week: 23
Next up: Saturday vs. #14 Oregon State (3-0)

T21 Colorado | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 2-1 | Last Week: 18
Next up: Saturday @ #10 Oregon (3-0)

T21 Duke | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 2-1 | Last Week: 24
Next up: Saturday @ Connecticut (0-3)

23 Missouri | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 1-2 | Last Week: NR
Next up: Saturday vs. Memphis (3-0)

24 UCLA | Record: 3-0 | ATS: 2-1 | Last Week: 25
Next up: Saturday @ #13 Utah (3-0)

T25 Tennessee | Record: 2-1 | ATS: 1-2 | Last Week: 13
Next up: Saturday vs. UTSA (1-2)

T25 Florida | Record: 2-1 | ATS: 1-2 | Last Week: NR
Next up: Saturday vs. Charlotte (1-2)

Honorable mentions: Clemson, Kansas, Kansas State
Fell out of the Top 25: Kansas State (15)

Dalzell: What the heck, man! Brad and Eric ranked Tennessee at No. 23 and Florida at No. 25, but the Gators just beat them!! The latest AP poll shows the same thing and I think we need to start having serious conversations about obvious errors like that in college sports.

Thomas: I’m glad our team isn’t overreacting to what’s happening with Colorado and over-ranking them. They are a great story, but the notion that they should be inside the top 15 is absurd. If they upset Oregon this weekend, then we can talk.

Froton: Missouri slides into the top-25 with their victory over Kansas State, while Tennessee is hanging on by a thread in the wake of their loss to Florida. After getting beat out by JJ McCarthy and Hendon Hooker, UT QB Joe Milton may not have the complete command of the QB position needed to accentuate his huge arm. We’re going to see a lot of movement in the 16-25 range thanks to the loaded Week 4 slate that features multiple inter-top-25 matchups.

No question this is a must watch week of college football and no question it will be interesting to see how the poll looks next week.

Enjoy the games and enjoy the sweat.

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