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Loaded slate of college football on Saturday, despite lack of marquee game

Ohio State vs. Tulane is a noon game masquerading as a 3:30 game.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Texas Christian Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s be honest, this afternoon’s Ohio State vs. Tulane contest, is really a noon game masquerading as a 3:30 game. The No. 4 Buckeyes are a 38-point favorite, and the Green Wave will be lucky to keep it close. However, if this matchup had been properly slotted into the noon ET window, as Buckeye fans, we wouldn’t have to suffer through a completely uninteresting first round of games.

However, since we do have to watch something at noon, the four games featuring ranked opponents seems like the logical place to start. No. 2 Georgia will likely destroy Missouri on the road on ESPN, but No. 8 Notre Dame could be in a bit of trouble when they travel to Wake Forest on ABC. Irish head coach Brian Kelly has said that he will play both of his quarterbacks Brandon Wimbush and Ian Book this week, and coming off of a close win over Vanderbilt last week, this could be a spot where the Domers drop their first game of the year.

Also at noon, the 19th-ranked Team Up North hosts Nebraska. In all likelihood Jim Harbaugh’s squad should run away with this one, but in the unexpected situation that freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez is healthy enough to go for the Huskers, it could prove interesting. And finally, No. 23 Boston College travels to West Lafayette, Ind., at noon, and even though the Eagles are off to an impressive start to the season, Purdue is not the pushover that it once was, despite being 0-3 on the year.

The Boilermakers have lost their first three games to Northwestern, Eastern Michigan (yea, that one hurts) and Missouri by a combined score of 91-83; so if a couple of bounces of the ball had gone their way, they could be 3-0. This would be a nice situation for them to break through.

Then as the Buckeyes get underway at 3:30 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network, that’s when things get a bit more interesting across the board. Over on CBS, the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide hosts Jimbo Fisher and the No. 22 Texas A&M Aggies. This is the first time that Nick Saban’s former Padawan will try to beat his Jedi Master as a member of the SEC. Saban is 12-0 all-time against former assistant coaches who have gone on to lead their own teams; and will likely be 13-0 after today.

Also at 3:30, No. 2 Clemson travels to Atlanta to face the Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech on ABC. Tigers’ coach Dabo Swinney has not given much information about injured quarterback Kelly Bryant, so we don’t know if he will continue to split time with Trevor Lawrence or not. But, if Lawrence gets the bulk of the reps today, it would be a nice moment for the true freshman, as he is from Cartersville, Ga., a little more than an hour away (strike that, with Atlanta traffic, probably closer to three).

A final 3:30 p.m. ET kick to keep an eye on is Bill Snyder’s Kansas State Wildcats traveling the country roads to No. 12 West Virginia on ESPN. Mountaineers’ quarterback Will Grier is getting a lot of early season love in the Heisman discussion, and KSU is a more than a two-touchdown dog. Seems like a great spot for a Snyder-led team to pull the upset to me.

Then at 4:30 p.m. ET, because FOX just has to be different, Ohio State’s opponent from last week takes on a former Ohio State assistant as the No. 17 TCU Horned Frogs battle Tom Herman’s Texas Longhorns. The ‘Horns are coming off of a big win over USC last week, but TCU is looking to rebound after giving the game away in a four-minute span to the Buckeyes last Saturday.

In the evening window, No. 24 Michigan State (how are they still ranked?) travels to Indiana at 7:30 p.m. ET on BTN. This will likely be a contrast in styles, as IU’s offense takes on MSU’s defense. I would not be surprised if Sparty leaves Bloomington 1-2 tonight.

Then at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC, No. 20 Oregon will host No. 7 Stanford. The Ducks really haven’t played anyone of note this year, and a win over a top-10 Cardinal team could signal that they are back. For Stanford’s part, they have a trip to South Bend, Ind. next week to play Notre Dame, so if David Shaw doesn’t have his guys focused on the Ducks, it could be a bad day for Stanford.

Next, over on FOX at 8:30 p.m. ET, the No. 18 Wisconsin Badgers, fresh off of a shocking loss to BYU, travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to play the Hawkeyes. The Badgers had high hopes for a College Football Playoff run this season, but after falling to the Cougars last weekend, that seems impossible now. However, if they don’t right the ship, and quickly, their hopes for a Big Ten Title could evaporate as well.

For football of the late-night variety, you’ve got the Fighting Herm Edwardses of Arizona State traveling north to take on No. 10 Washington at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Week 4 Saturday Schedule

Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
#2 Georgia at Missouri 12:00 PM ESPN
#8 Notre Dame at Wake Forest 12:00 PM ABC
Nebraska at #19 Michigan 12:00 PM FS1
#23 Boston College at Purdue 12:00 PM ESPN2
Kent State at Ole Miss 12:00 PM SEC Network
Buffalo at Rutgers 12:00 PM BTN
Minnesota at Maryland 12:00 PM BTN
Akron at Iowa State 12:00 PM Fox Sports Net
Ohio at Cincinnati 12:00 PM ESPNU
Nevada at Toledo 12:00 PM CBSSN
Navy at SMU 12:00 PM ESPNews
Pittsburgh at North Carolina 12:20 PM ACC Network
Louisville at Virginia 12:30 PM ACC Network
Western Michigan at Georgia State 2:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Miami (OH) at Bowling Green 3:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Western Kentucky at Ball State 3:00 PM None
Illinois State at Colorado State 3:00 PM AT&T SportsNet
Maine at Central Michigan 3:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
#22 Texas A&M at #1 Alabama 3:30 PM CBS
#3 Clemson at Georgia Tech 3:30 PM ABC
Tulane at #4 Ohio State 3:30 PM BTN
Kansas State at #12 West Virginia 3:30 PM ESPN
#13 Virginia Tech at Old Dominion 3:30 PM CBSSN
Florida Intl at #21 Miami 3:30 PM ESPNU
Gardner-Webb at Appalachian State 3:30 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Charlotte at UMass 3:30 PM Eleven Sports/NESN+
North Carolina Central at Duke 3:30 PM ACC Network
Northern Illinois at Florida State 3:30 PM ESPNU
Kansas at Baylor 3:30 PM FS1
Arizona at Oregon State 4:00 PM Pac-12 Networks
South Carolina at Vanderbilt 4:00 PM SEC Network
UConn at Syracuse 4:00 PM ESPNews
#17 TCU at Texas 4:30 PM FOX
McNeese at #25 BYU 6:00 PM None
North Texas at Liberty 6:00 PM None
Army at #5 Oklahoma 7:00 PM Fox Sports PPV
Louisiana Tech at #6 LSU 7:00 PM ESPNU
#14 Mississippi State at Kentucky 7:00 PM ESPN2
Texas Tech at #15 Oklahoma State 7:00 PM FS1
Rice at Southern Mississippi 7:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Texas State at UTSA 7:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
UNLV at Arkansas State 7:00 PM None
Coastal Carolina at Louisiana 7:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Troy at UL Monroe 7:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
NC State at Marshall 7:00 PM CBSSN
Florida at Tennessee 7:00 PM ESPN
Arkansas at #9 Auburn 7:30 PM SEC Network
#24 Michigan State at Indiana 7:30 PM BTN
New Mexico State at UTEP 7:30 PM None
#7 Stanford at #20 Oregon 8:00 PM ABC
East Carolina at South Florida 8:00 PM ESPNews
Texas Southern at Houston 8:00 PM None
South Alabama at Memphis 8:00 PM None
#18 Wisconsin at Iowa 8:30 PM FOX
Arizona State at #10 Washington 10:30 PM ESPN
Air Force at Utah State 10:30 PM ESPN2
Eastern Michigan at San Diego State 10:30 PM CBSSN
Duquesne at Hawai'i 11:59 PM Spectrum Sports PPV