A look at five games to watch during Week 4 of the college football season:
No. 11 Michigan (2-0) at No. 13 Wisconsin (2-0), Saturday, Fox, 9 a.m. PDT
Michigan’s offseason was about creating change its fans can believe in. Jim Harbaugh relinquished control over the offense and hired new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis from Alabama to install a spread attack that takes advantage of “speed in space.” The first two games, the Wolverines showed flashes but were held back by turnovers and inaccuracy from senior quarterback Shea Patterson. After an off week, Michigan needs to show competency at a minimum. Wisconsin won its first two games 110-0, a show of strength that has turned the Badgers into a favorite in this early-season Big Ten barometer game.
No. 8 Auburn (3-0) at No. 17 Texas A&M (2-1), Saturday, CBS, 12:30 p.m. PDT
Auburn stole its prime-time opener against Oregon late in the fourth quarter thanks to some magic from freshman quarterback Bo Nix. But the sense was that the Tigers had plenty to work on. Texas A&M went to Clemson and predictably was shut down by a more seasoned roster. But the Aggies still have a proven leader in quarterback Kellen Mond and a young, talented group around him. The winner keeps up with Alabama and Louisiana State in the Southeastern Conference West Division.
No. 22 Washington (2-1) at Brigham Young (2-1), Saturday, ABC, 12:30 p.m. PDT
BYU coach Kalani Sitake can do no wrong right now in Provo, where the faithful are still celebrating back-to-back wins over Tennessee and USC. A win over Washington would surely earn Sitake a lengthy contract extension and a chance to build the program long-term. But odds are, the Cougars revisit reality, as they did in their season-opening loss to Utah. Washington doesn’t beat itself like USC and Tennessee did, and the Huskies have more talent top to bottom.
Oklahoma State (3-0) at No. 12 Texas (2-1), Saturday, ABC, 4:30 p.m. PDT
This one shapes up as the first Big 12 shootout of the season, and, while it will be overshadowed in its time slot by a top-10 battle in Athens, Ga., it’s likely to be the most entertaining game of the day. Texas was bested by an LSU team that was just on fire offensively. Oklahoma State has some explosion too, with running back Chuba Hubbard and wide receiver Tylan Wallace, but this will be a big stage for freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders. It would be quite a statement for him to win a duel with Texas’ Sam Ehlinger.
No. 7 Notre Dame (2-0) at No. 3 Georgia (3-0), Saturday, CBS, 5 p.m. PDT
The season’s first top-10 matchup went to LSU over Texas. Who will take this one and join the Tigers with a top resume-builder for the College Football Playoff? Georgia is a two-touchdown favorite for good reason. The game will be played between the hedges in Sanford Stadium, and the Bulldogs have the look of a title contender with junior quarterback Jake Fromm leading an efficient offense that takes a backseat to a dominant defense. Notre Dame is still an unknown this year, and the Fighting Irish will have to play the game of their lives to win.