2010 College Football Week 4 Predictions

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 11: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on from the sidelines against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 11, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Last week was the first time I posted predictions for the new college football season and after going 3-1, I’m fired up for a reversal of fortune this Saturday. (The college football prediction gods can be a very fickle bunch, not unlike their cousins, the NFL prediction gods.)

Ohio State, Alabama and Arizona State were winners in Week 3, while Texas Tech was my only loser. Here are my predictions for Week 4.

No. 1 Alabama –7 vs. No. 10 Arkansas, Saturday, 3:30PM ET
This game makes my head hurt. I can absolutely see a good Razorback team staying with the Tide for four quarters before finally succumbing to defeat and I wouldn’t be completely shocked if Arkansas pulled off the upset entirely. But now that Alabama is back at full strength with Mark Ingram’s return, something tells me Nick Saban’s squad flexes its muscles this weekend. ‘Bama held quarterback Ryan Mallett to only 160 passing yards last year and intercepted him once. Mallett is a better quarterback then he was in September of last year (where the Tide cruised to a 35-7 victory), but ‘Bama has the second best pass defense in the country and I think the Razorback QB is going to have a tough go of things again this year.

Temple +13.5 at No. 23 Penn State, Saturday, 3:30PM ET
No longer are the Owls just a patsy for the Nittany Lions, who have often scheduled Temple early in the year as a tune up game. Temple is 3-0 and coming off a two-touchdown win over a Connecticut team that people had high hopes for entering the year. Penn State routed Kent State 24-0, but are just two weeks removed from a brutal effort against Alabama. Freshman quarterback Robert Bolden is still trying to find his way and has turned the ball over at least once in each of his first three games. The Lions haven’t lost to Temple since 1941, but I think this game will be closer than people expect.

No. 12 South Carolina +3 at No. 17 Auburn, Saturday, 7:45PM ET
With this game being played in Auburn, the line is set right. But I still feel as though South Carolina isn’t getting the respect it deserves. The Gamecocks routed a better-than-average Southern Miss team on opening night, then dominated Georgia 17-6 before waxing Furman, 38-19. Auburn, meanwhile, took it to Arkansas State in the first weekend, barely edged college football’s equivalent of the Seattle Mariners (Mississippi State) in Week 2 and then had to come from behind to top Clemson last week. Thanks to Cameron Newton, Onterio McCalebb and Michael Dyer, the Tigers can run the football but South Carolina has the sixth-best run defense in the nation and I see them containing the Tigers’ offensive attack. Again, the line is set right but I like the Gamecocks.

No. 22 West Virginia at No. 15 LSU -10, Saturday, 9:00PM ET
The Tigers are a very quiet 3-0 right now. After nearly blowing a win against North Carolina in the opening week, their defense has looked solid the past two Saturdays in wins over Vanderbilt and Mississippi State. The Tigers have won 28 consecutive home games against non-conference foes, although they have lost their past three home games against top 25 opponents. Still, West Virginia has had issues with turnovers the past three weeks and needed overtime to beat Marshall two weeks ago. Noel Devine will have a tough time finding room against the 16th-best run defense in the nation and Jordan Jefferson should have no problem moving the ball through the air against the Mountaineers’ suspect secondary.

Season Record: 3-1

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