Breaking down Week 4 of the 2017 college football schedule

By Amy Daughters -

Week 4 of the 2017 college football schedule features 59 games – one on Thursday night, two on Friday, 55 on Saturday, and one on Sunday.

The unusual Sunday game—East Carolina at UConn—was originally slated for Nov. 4, but was moved to accommodate schedule changes due to Hurricane Irma. It can be seen at Noon EST on ESPNU.

FBS vs. FCS contests dwindle all the way down to just three this week – a far cry from the 46 in Week 1. It represents just five percent of the total games on offer.

Though there’s only one Ranked vs. Ranked game slated for Saturday night, don’t forget about (4) Penn State at Iowa (7:30PM EST on ABC) and Notre Dame at Michigan State (8pm EST on FOX).

RANKED vs. RANKED (2)

  • (16) TCU at (6) Oklahoma State – Saturday, 3:30pm EST, ESPN
  • (17) Mississippi State at (11) Georgia – Saturday, 7pm EST, ESPN

OFF THIS WEEK (15)

  • Big Ten: Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern, (9) Wisconsin
  • Big 12: Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas
  • C-USA: Marshall, Southern Miss
  • Independents: BYU
  • MAC: Northern Illinois
  • Mountain West: Colorado State, Fresno State
  • Pac-12: Oregon State
  • SEC: Ole Miss

FIRST-EVER MEETINGS (5)

  • Akron at Troy
  • Georgia Southern at Indiana
  • Old Dominion at (13) Virginia Tech
  • UNLV at (10) Ohio State
  • UMass at Tennessee

REUNITED…And it feels so good.

  • Cincinnati at Navy (last played in 1956).
  • Kent State at (19) Louisville (last played in 1973).
  • Toledo at (14) Miami Fla. (last played in 1987).

STREAKERS

8: UTEP has won 8 straight over New Mexico State (last loss in 2009).

9: (11) Georgia has won 9 straight home games vs. (17) Mississippi State (last loss there in 1956).

9: Stanford has won 9 straight over UCLA (last loss in 2009).

10: (24) Oregon has won 10 straight over Arizona State (last loss in 2005).

12: (5) USC has won 12 straight over Cal (last loss in 2004).

21: (1) Alabama has won 21 straight over Vanderbilt (last loss in 1984).

30: (20) Florida has won 30 straight over Kentucky (last loss in 1986).

NEVER-LAND

  • Arkansas has NEVER beaten Texas A&M in SEC play (0-5).
  • (16) TCU has NEVER won a Big 12 game vs. (6) Oklahoma State in Stillwater (0-3).
  • Colorado has NEVER beaten (7) Washington in Pac-12 play (0-5).

PERFECT STORMS

(23) Utah at Arizona (Thursday, 10:30pm EST, FS1)

This one ought to be a slug fest – Arizona’s No. 6 ranked rushing attack being tested by Utah’s rush D, the second-best unit in the FBS. The Utes have given up an average of only 49.33 ground yards in their first three outings – that vs. the Wildcats’ average of 328 rushing yards gained. Check out Utah senior linebacker Sunia Tauteoli (#10) who leads the team in tackles and tackles for a loss. On the other side of the ball, keep your eye on Arizona junior quarterback Brandon Dawkins (#13), his five rushing touchdowns tie him for the third most in the FBS.

Arkansas State at SMU (Saturday, 7pm EST, ESPN3)

This one may not look sexy on the surface, but it features the No. 8 passing attack in college football (Arkansas State) taking on the No. 117 ranked pass defense (SMU). The Mustangs coughed up 424 air yards to North Texas in Week 2 and then allowed another 365-last week vs. (16) TCU. The Red Wolves are led by junior quarterback Justice Hansen (#15), averaging 375.5 yards per game he’s the No. 6 QB in the FBS.

Ball State at Western Kentucky (Saturday, 7pm EST)

Another hidden gem, Ball State’s senior defensive lineman Anthony Winbush (#98) leads the entire nation in sacks, posting 6.5 in three games. It includes scoring three at Illinois in the opener, a narrow 24-21 loss. Usher in Western Kentucky, which has allowed a whopping 10 sacks in three games, tied for the fifth most in the FBS ranks. NFLDraftScout.com has Winbush at No. 32 among the 238 outside linebackers available for the 2018 NFL Draft.

UCLA at Stanford (Saturday, 10:30pm EST, ESPN)

Only six teams have given up more rushing yards than UCLA has this season, averaging 275 yards allowed per game. This sets up well for Stanford, despite it’s 1-2 start the Cardinal have the No. 2 rusher in the FBS, junior running back Bryce Love (#20) who’s averaging 174.67 yards per game. He’s also ranked No. 2 nationally in total yards (524) and No. 3 in yards per carry (12.19). The Bruins will have to batten down the hatches to rebound after last week’s loss to Memphis.

HARDWARE UP FOR GRABS

The Megaphone Trophy – Notre Dame at Michigan State – series started in 1897 – Notre Dame leads 46-29-1 and has won three of the last five.

The Irish and Spartans met consecutively from 1959-94 and 1997-2013. The Megaphone Trophy debuted in 1949, courtesy of the Detroit based alumni clubs of both schools. As advertised, the award is a megaphone, with a red stripe painted down the middle listing the years the two have met. Each team’s contribution to the score is painted on their side of the prize. Notre Dame has won the Megaphone 34 times vs. Michigan State’s 26. They aren’t scheduled to meet again until 2026/2027.

The O’Rourke-McFadden Trophy – Boston College at (2) Clemson – series started in 1940 – Clemson leads 15-9-2 and has won the last six.

The O’Rourke-McFadden dates back to 2008 and is named in honor of the two All-American quarterbacks who played in the first-ever clash between the two schools in the 1940 Cotton Bowl. Clemson’s “Banks” McFadden led his Tigers to a 6-3 win over Boston College’s “Chuckin’” Charlie O’Rourke. The loss was the last-ever in O’Rourke’s collegiate career, the next season he led BC to an 11-0 record and a national championship, the only in school history. The Eagles have only won the trophy once, in 2010.

The Paniolo Trophy – Hawaii at Wyoming – series started in 1978 – Wyoming leads 13-9 and has won six of the last seven.

“Paniolo” is the Hawaiian word for cowboy. The Paniolo Trophy originated in 1979 with both schools were WAC members and was awarded consecutively until 1997. The original award went missing and was replaced in 2013 when the schools reunited as members of the Mountain West. The newer version features Hawaiian cowboy Ikua Purdy roping a bull. Purdy, who won for steer-roping at the Frontier Days Rodeo in 1908, became the first Hawaiian to be inducted into the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1999.

The Silver Spade and Brass Spittoon – UTEP at New Mexico State – series started in 1914 – UTEP leads 57-35-2 and has won the last eight.

The winner of the “Battle of I-10” doubles up with two awards. The original Silver Spade – an old prospector’s shovel from an abandoned mine – dated back to 1947 and was upgraded to the current version in 1955. The Brass Spittoon – officially the Mayor’s Cup – debuted in 1982 when the mayors of El Paso and Las Cruces collaborated to present a second award to the rivalry. UTEP has won 44 Spades and 22 Spittoons vs. New Mexico State’s 23 shovels and 10 spit cups.

The Southwest Classic TrophyArkansas vs. Texas A&M (at Arlington, Texas) – series started in 1903 –  Arkansas leads the all-time series 41-29-3, but Texas A&M has won the last five.

Though Texas A&M didn’t join former fellow Southwest Conference member Arkansas in the SEC until 2012, the Southwest Classic kicked-off in 2009, when the Aggies were still in the Big 12. Except for a home-and-home in 2012-13, the two have met in Arlington, Texas every year since 2009. The Aggies have won five Classics vs. Arkansas’ three.

The Victory Bell – Duke at North Carolina – series started in 1888 – North Carolina leads 59-39-4, the two have split the last four.

One of seven bells awarded in FBS rivalries, the Victory Bell has been a part of the North Carolina-Duke series since 1948. Established by a cheerleader from each school to “foster friendly relations and eliminate vandalism between the two neighboring schools” the Tar Heels have won the Bell 45 times vs. the Blue Devils’ 23.

In 2016, the cart which holds the Bell was permanently painted to honor both schools. This negated the long-standing tradition of the winning team painting the cart their unique shade of blue. The change was made, presumably, to maintain those “friendly relations.” In 2014, when the Tar Heels took the cart back from the Devils after a 45-20 win in Durham, UNC players not only painted the cart Carolina blue, they slathered it all over the visitor’s locker room at Wallace Wade as well as Duke’s practice field.

The Wooden BootUL Monroe at UL Lafayette – series started in 1951 – ULL leads 27-24 and has won nine of the last ten.

Referred to as “The Battle of the Bayou,” ULM and ULL have played annually since 1997. They also met consecutively from 1953-71, under their previous names. In 1999, Northeastern Louisiana University (NLU) became the University of Louisiana at Monroe and the University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL) became the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The Wooden Boot trophy debuted 2002 – the Ragin’ Cajuns have won the boot nine times vs. the Warhawks’ six.

MIND-BLOWER

Of Week 4’s 59 total games, five (or 8%) are rematches of recent title games:

(7) Washington at Colorado – rematch of the 2016 Pac-12 Championship – (4) Washington defeated (9) Colorado 41-10. Washington leads all-time 10-5-1. The two also met in the 1996 Holiday Bowl (Colorado’s most recent win) and the 1985 Freedom Bowl.

(22) San Diego State at Air Force – rematch of the 2015 Mountain West Championship – SDSU defeated Air Force 27-24. Air Force leads all-time 19-15. The two also met in the 1981 Mirage Bowl in Tokyo, Japan – the Falcons won 21-16.

(15) Auburn at Missouri – rematch of the 2013 SEC Championship – (3) Auburn defeated (5) Missouri 59-42. The series is tied 1-1, the only other meeting was the 1973 Sun Bowl, Missouri won 34-17. This week’s game is the first-ever in the regular season.

UCLA at Stanford – rematch of the 2012 Pac-12 Championship – (8) Stanford defeated (17) UCLA 27-24. UCLA leads all-time 45-40-3. The 2012 title game marks the only time the two have met outside of the regular season.

Miami (Ohio) at Central Michigan – rematch of the 2007 MAC Championship – CMU defeated Miami 35-10 in Detroit. The all-time series is tied 13-13-1. Like UCLA/Stanford, the title game is the only time in history the two played in the postseason.

Historical data courtesy of Sports Reference-College Football. Statistics courtesy of CFBStats.com.

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Comments (3)

These message boards seem to have gotten a lot quieter. I wonder if it is because SEC nation has finally realized their conference has fallen off a cliff (outside of Alabama).