Week 4 of the 2016 college football season is jam-packed with 59 games—one on Thursday night, three on Friday night, and a super-Saturday featuring 55 contests.
It’s the least amount of games played in any week thus far, the number driven down by a whopping 17 teams taking the week off.
Additionally, FBS vs. FCS games drop to a mere 12% of the schedule this week. That’s down from 54% in Week 1, 39% in Week 2, and 18% last week. By conference, one team each from the ACC, Big 12, and SEC have a FCS foe this week while the MAC and Sun Belt both have two apiece.
The Big Ten and Mountain West both kick-off conference play in Week 4. The Big Midwesterners have four league games on tap while the Mountain Men have one—Air Force at Utah State.
Contests featuring two ranked teams are static at four, the same number as last week and Week 1. Week 2 holds on as the only week thus far not to feature a ranked vs. ranked match-up.
Here’s a wild ride through the Week 4 slate. As always, the facts are unique to this week and are limited to FBS vs. FBS action.
OFF THIS WEEK (17)
- Georgia State
- (15) Miami (Fla.)
- New Mexico
- NC State
- (2) Ohio State
- (25) Oklahoma
- (22) San Diego State
- (21) Texas
- Texas Tech
- Washington State
RANKED vs. RANKED (4)
- (12) Georgia at (23) Ole Miss
- (11) Wisconsin at (8) Michigan State
- (19) Florida at (14) Tennessee
- (17) Arkansas at (10) Texas A&M
FIRST-EVER MEETINGS (6)
- Appalachian State at Akron
- Ball State at Florida Atlantic
- BYU vs. West Virginia (at Landover, Md.)
- Iowa at Rutgers
- Mississippi State at UMass
- Nevada at Purdue
LONGEST/OLDEST SERIES OF THE WEEK
Cincinnati and Miami (Ohio) play for the 121st time this Saturday afternoon. The series dates all the way back to 1888, the same year Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh cut off his left ear and sent it to a prostitute for safe keeping.
The two have met consecutively since 1945, Cincinnati hasn’t lost to the Redhawks since 2005.
REUNITED (and it feels so good)
- Iowa State and San Jose State play for the first time since 1980.
STREAKS OF THE WEEK
6: Oregon has won 6 straight over Colorado.
8: (7) Stanford has won 8 straight over UCLA.
10: (12) Georgia has won 10 straight over (23) Ole Miss and Cincinnati has won 10 straight over Miami (Ohio).
11: (19) Florida has won 11 straight over (14) Tennessee.
MOST-LIKELY WEEK 4 WINNERS BASED ON HISTORY (FBS vs. FBS only):
American: Temple (1-0 all-time) vs. Charlotte
ACC: Virginia (1-0 all-time) vs. Central Michigan
Big 12: Iowa State (3-0 all-time) vs. San Jose State
Big Ten: Minnesota (3-0 all-time) vs. Colorado State
CUSA: Old Dominion (1-0 all-time) vs. UTSA and Western Kentucky (1-0 all-time) vs. Vanderbilt
MAC: Eastern Michigan (1-0 all-time) vs. Wyoming
MWC: Fresno State (4-2 all-time) vs. Tulsa
Pac-12: USC (8-2 all-time and 4-1 in the last five) vs. (24) Utah
SEC: (1) Alabama (1-0 all-time) vs. Kent State
Sun Belt: Georgia Southern (1-0 all-time) vs. Western Michigan
HARDWARE UP FOR GRABS
The Victory Bell – Cincinnati and Miami (Ohio) – series started in 1888 – Miami leads 59-54-7 all-time, but Cincinnati has won the last 10 straight.
According to legend, the original Victory Bell was taken from Miami’s campus by Cincinnati fans in the 1890’s, establishing the tradition of the winning team retaining the bell. Today, the original bell is back on Miami’s campus with a replica bell awarded to the winner of the annual game.
The Iron Skillet – TCU and SMU – series started in 1915 – TCU leads 48-40-7 all-time and has won 14 of the last 16.
According to Louis Ojeda Jr. at Fox Sports Southwest,
“The tradition of the ‘Battle for the Iron Skillet’ began in 1946 to prevent vandalism by fans a year after more than $1,000 in damage had been done to both TCU and SMU campuses. But why a piece of cookware? There’s a myth that it was sparked by an SMU fan who was frying frogs’ legs in a skillet at a tailgate. The tradition died over the years, but it was revived in 1993 with the introduction of a new Iron Skillet.”
The home team in the Arizona-Washington series has won eight-straight
The last time the visiting team won an Arizona-Washington game was in 2007, when the Wildcats outlasted the Huskies 48-41 in Seattle.
Since then, Arizona has dropped four straight at Husky Stadium and No. 9 Washington has lost four consecutive in Tucson.
This Saturday night’s game is at Arizona Stadium.
Baylor plays its first power opponent since last season
Baylor’s home game against Oklahoma State this Saturday night is the first time it will have faced a Power 5 team since knocking off North Carolina in the Russell Athletic Bowl last December.
The Bears opened this season with wins over Northwestern State, SMU, and at Rice.
The only other Power teams without a Power opponent thus far in 2016 are: 3-0 Miami (Fla.) (off this week), 2-1 NC State (off this week), 2-0 Indiana (vs. Wake Forest), 1-1 Purdue (vs. Nevada), 1-2 Kansas (off this week), and 1-2 Washington State (off this week).
Bowling Green ventures out of Ohio for the first of only two times
Bowling Green’s road trip to square off with Memphis on Saturday night is the only time it will leave its home state other than a Week 10 date at Northern Illinois.
In total, the Falcons play six home games plus four more inside Ohio state lines.
Central Michigan has NEVER beaten an ACC team (0-13)
After scoring their first-ever win against a Big 12 foe earlier this season, the Chippewa’s get a shot at an even bigger feat in Week 4.
CMU was 0-3 vs. the current Big 12 going into their Week 2 game at Oklahoma State vs. a 0-13 mark all-time against the ACC coming into this Saturday’s clash at Virginia.
The Chippewa’s are 0-3 all-time vs. Boston College, 0-1 vs. Clemson, 0-2 vs. Louisville, 0-2 vs. NC State, 0-3 vs. Syracuse, 0-1 vs. Virginia, and 0-1 vs. Virginia Tech.
Clemson has lost five straight at Georgia Tech
Despite winning four of its last six meetings with Georgia Tech, No. 5 Clemson hasn’t beaten the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta since 2003.
Since then the Tigers dropped games there in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2014.
The two schools meet at Bobby Dodd Stadium this Thursday night at 7:30pm EST on ESPN.
Louisville has dropped four straight to Marshall
In perhaps the most jaw-dropping stat of Week 4, No. 3 Louisville hasn’t beaten Marshall since scoring a 36-0 shutout in 1981.
The Cardinals went 5-6 as independents that season while the Thundering Herd struggled to a 2-9 mark as members of the Southern conference.
Since then, Louisville dropped regular-season games to Marshall in 1987 and 2011 and postseason clashes in the 1998 Motor City Bowl and the 2002 GMAC Bowl.
The two meet again this Saturday night in Huntington, West Virginia.
Purdue has never beaten a Mountain West member
Not only have the Boilermakers never beaten a current member of the Mountain West conference, they’ve only played one such opponent in their 119-year football history.
That game was in 2006, when Purdue traveled to Hawaii during the final week of the season and lost 42-35. Despite that, the Boilermakers managed an 8-6 mark that year including a loss to Maryland in the Champs Sports Bowl.
Purdue hosts Nevada this Saturday at high noon.
Vanderbilt hasn’t beaten Western Kentucky since 1938
The Commodores road trip to Western Kentucky this Saturday afternoon is the back end of a home-and-home series that started last season. Vandy dropped that game 14-12 at home.
It was the first time the two schools had met in 78 years. The Commodores won all three previous meetings, all in Nashville, all while WKU was a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
Wisconsin kicks off its own version of Murderers’ Row
No other Big Ten West program has a tougher cross-division schedule than No. 11 Wisconsin, which not only drew the most difficult three teams from the East, it got them consecutively.
The Badgers’ road trip to No. 8 Michigan State on Saturday begins a stretch of six brutal weeks. Take a look—Week 4 at (8) Michigan State, Week 5 at (4) Michigan, Week 6 Bye, Week 7 vs. (2) Ohio State, Week 8 at Iowa and Week 9 vs. (20) Nebraska.