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This Weekend’s Big 5

Jameis Winston will miss the first half of Saturday's game against Clemson.

Jameis Winston will miss the first half of Saturday’s game against Clemson.

Week 4 of the college football season got off to a start Thursday with No. 5 Auburn squeezing past No. 20 Kansas State in the first of two matchups between ranked teams this weekend.

The second of those ranked matchups just happens to top our list of the five biggest college football games coming your way this weekend.


No. 22 Clemson at No. 1 Florida State

Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL (Sat, 8:00 p.m. ET)

Following a week of rest, Florida State (2-0, 0-0 ACC) will resume its bid to win the ACC, book a berth in the College Football Playoff, and successfully defend its national championship on Saturday with a potentially tricky matchup against Clemson (1-1, 0-0 ACC).

The Tigers were on the wrong end of a 51-14 shellacking when these sides met in Clemson, S.C., a year ago, and came up short against another ranked side, Georgia, in Week 1. They’ll enter the game as a three-touchdown underdog. Dabo Swinney’s side has also had a week off to prepare, but will it be enough to upset the applecart?

The Seminoles will be without reining Heisman award winner Jameis Winston for the first half of the game. How much difference will that make?

Odds & Trends


Florida at No. 3 Alabama

Bryant Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL (Sat, 3:30 p.m. ET)

After a fairly easy run of things to begin the season, Alabama (3-0, 0-0 SEC) opens the conference portion of its schedule on Saturday with a visit from Florida (2-0, 1-0 SEC).

The game marks the first real chance for the Crimson Tide to impress the AP voters and, by extension, the playoff committee, but Nick Saban’s side will need to keep its eye on the prize to avoid a slip up against a Gators side that has a lot of potential this season.

Florida got a rude awakening a week ago, requiring triple-overtime and, some would say, a controversial call from the officials to get past Kentucky. Alabama on the road promises to be a much tougher prospect, as demonstrated by the Tide’s two-touchdown advantage on the spread.

Odds & Trends


No. 4 Oklahoma at West Virginia

Mountaineer Field, Morgantown, WV (Sat, 7:30 p.m. ET)

Fourth-ranked Oklahoma (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) faces its first real test of the season on Saturday, hitting the road for a conference opener against West Virginia (2-1, 0-0 Big 12).

The Sooners have made short work of the teams placed in front of them so far but will have to work hard to retain a high ranking. The Mountaineers ran Alabama close in their season opener, before earning a close win over rivals Maryland last weekend.

Oklahoma will enter as a rare road favorite, but West Virginia have the talent to score an upset (and break the top 25) in this one.

Odds & Trends


Mississippi State at No. 8 Louisiana State

Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA (Sat, 7:00 p.m. ET)

The SEC’s early dominance, at least in regards to the AP poll, and future championship hopes will be tested by how much its sides beat each other in conference play. Saturday sees two unbeaten sides go head-to-head as Mississippi State (3-0, 0-0 SEC) visits Louisiana State (3-0, 0-0 SEC).

The Tigers are considered a threat to win the SEC West this season, while the Bulldogs have emerged as something of a dark horse.  Both schools will get a chance to show off their pedigree at Death Valley.

LSU is a 10-point favorite heading into this one, and history doesn’t back Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have lost 14 straight games to the Tigers, and 21 of the last 22. They haven’t won in Baton Rouge since November 1991, a stretch of 11 consecutive losses. Could this be the year they defy the odds?

Odds & Trends


California at Arizona

Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ (Sat, 10:00 p.m. ET)

While the Pac-12 has yet to show its hand, the general consensus is that the conference is Oregon’s to lose. Two of the teams hoping to defy this thinking meet in the desert on Saturday night.

California (2-0, 0-0 Pac-12) earned a solid road win over Northwestern in Week 1 before getting the better of FCS opposition last week. The Golden Bears will now look to begin their conference campaign with a victory, throwing their proverbial hat into the ring in the process.

Arizona (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) is a candidate to win the Pac-12 South title, especially with inconsistent play from Stanford and Southern California. Saturday’s game represents a good opportunity for the school to show off what it’s got.

The Wildcats are close to being a double digit favorite, having won the two previous meetings, and four of the last six, with Cal.

Odds & Trends


For a comprehensive list of College Football odds, click here.

Up-to-date College Football Futures, courtesy of Bovada, can be found here.

A selection of team prop bets can be found here.

A selection of player prop bets can be found here.

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