Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. It’s an old adage that gets re-taught through the years, and Alabama got 2015’s most memorable lesson so far. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Ole Miss is very, very good at football. But I believe Alabama is better.
Yes, I’m choosing to lead off with a quasi-controversial statement, but I believe it’s true. I don’t know that it’s true, but I believe that it is. The Tide turned the ball over 5 times, 3 of which were fumbles. Yes, it takes skill to avoid fumbling in the first place, but it also takes some seriously bad luck to not recover any of the 3. Avoiding fumbling is a skill, but recovering fumbles is not. Research has shown that fumble recovery at every level of football is random. The ball bounces in weird ways, and good teams don’t recover fumbles any better than bad ones. When you’re 3 for 3 in recoveries, there’s some good luck. Then, there was the play. You know the one. It’s the one that featured this ill-advised throw:
The rest went like this:
Yeah, that’s luck. With all that in mind, Bama still only lost by 6 points. 5 turnovers isn’t the norm, even for a team playing a defense as good as Ole Miss, and when you look at the turnovers combined with the fact the Rebels were awarded 6 points after some horrible decision-making on that miraculous touchdown, it’s no stretch to see Alabama as the better team.
The point here isn’t to prop up Alabama, which is the last thing that school needs. The point isn’t to dismiss Ole Miss, which is very clearly one of the best teams in college football. The point here is simply that you shouldn’t equate winning with being the best. One of the greatest things about sports is that the best teams don’t always win. The 2001 Patriots weren’t better than the 2001 Rams. Likewise, the 2007 Giants weren’t better than the 2007 Patriots. The 2006 St. Louis Cardinals were a very mediocre team and walked away with a championship. It happens. It’s why we watch. It’d be boring otherwise.
This serves as a segue to my college football rankings. It’s still a week or two too early to post them, due to limited data, but I can go ahead and tease the process. My rankings do not seek to find the best team. They are an attempt to find the team that has accomplished the most. As we saw with Alabama/Ole Miss, those aren’t always the same thing. If I did the rankings after Week 3, Ole Miss would easily be ahead of Alabama, likely #1; regardless of who’s better, winning is the accomplishment that everybody wants. I don’t necessarily think my method a superior way of ranking teams, but I do think it’s pretty different than most other ranking systems (most try to determine “best” by using resume as a guide, whereas I only use the resume), which is the only reason I bother. It’s nice to have a variety of ways of looking at things. Keep an eye out for those possibly as early as next week, but more likely after the first October games.
It’s really up to you to decide which matters more to you, accomplishments or ability. I don’t know that there’s a wrong answer. I think everyone would prefer their team rack up accomplishments, but when judging teams, I’m not sure which process is best. The only important thing, in my opinion, is to make and acknowledge the distinction between “accomplished” and “best” to begin with.
Now, on to Week 4.
The Ten Closest Matchups of Week 4
- Northern Illinois at Boston College: Both teams are coming off weeks in which they kept things close against top 10 opponents. Whether those games were blips on the radar for Ohio State and Florida State remains to be seen, but this should be a decent game. F/+ sees next to no difference between the two. ESPN’s FPI likes BC by around 5 points, and Vegas likes BC as well by 4.
- BYU at Michigan: Are we to the point where every BYU game is pretty much a lock for entertainment? If not, we’re not far. I think we kind of know what Michigan is – a good defense with a middling offense that’s hoping to improve. With all the dizzying finishes, I don’t know that we really have a good handle on BYU. They may be merely a top 50 team, or they could be top 30. This one might tell us.
- Indiana at Wake Forest: I think the ranking systems might be a bit too kind to Wake here, but then again, Dave Clawson is a good coach, and Indiana has issues as well. Both are bad but not awful teams, and need this game badly for their bowl hopes.
- California at Washington: Last week Cal/Texas made this list, and it was decided by a missed extra point. Washington we know. They’re a slightly above average team that is in every game and seemingly never looks like a contender. Cal, on the other hand, is still a team worth watching to figure out. By per play value, they’re a top 25 team. By F/+ standards. they’re down with Washington in the 50’s.
- Cincinnati at Memphis: Cincy has disappointed this year, and Memphis still looks better than the rankings give them credit for, but the AAC always has some weird goings-on. Cincy should be better than they’ve played, and Thursday night in prime time seems as good a time as any to get things back on track.
- Fresno State at San Jose State: They’re both really bad, but if you check out previous iterations of this weekly list, many of the best matchups have featured the worst teams.
- Mississippi State at Auburn: It’s getting tough to trust your instincts with Auburn, unless your instinct says that Jeremy Johnson shouldn’t throw the ball. Gus Malzahn is trusting that instinct this week, so who knows what to expect with a new starter behind center?
- Middle Tennessee at Illinois: Ok, F/+, I hear you, but I’m still not watching.
- Bowling Green at Purdue: Bowling Green is very watchable these days, with at least 75 combined points scored/allowed in each game of the year. Purdue is starting to come back to respectability too. This could be a fun shootout.
- USC at Arizona State: F/+ sees this as two top 25 teams looking for a signature win to help offset an early, deflating, multi-score loss. ESPN’s FPI, on the other hand, sees it as a top 10 team visiting a top 50 at best Sun Devil squad. There aren’t many cases of extreme disagreement between the two ranking systems, but they’re pretty far apart on Arizona State. That, not to mention the fact that this is a major Pac-12 South game, makes this one interesting to me.
Your Hour By Hour Viewing Guide
Helping you, your TV, and your remote’s recall button plan your weekend.
7:30 – Cincinnati at Memphis on ESPN. I like this matchup of American contenders a lot. Cincy already lost to Temple, so another loss could nix that contender label quickly, but they’re still one of the more talented teams in the AAC. Memphis, on the other hand, is worth a watch because if you haven’t, you should familiarize yourself with HC Justin Fuente. I don’t know that there is a coach in college football that has done a more impressive job in his current situation than Fuente at Memphis. There’s really no reason Memphis should be a top 100 school, and he has turned Memphis into a top 60 or top 50 team. If your favorite team fires its coach this offseason, you will want them to take a long, hard look at Fuente. Thursday is your chance to do the same.
8:00 – Boise State at Virginia on ESPN. This one had some preseason intrigue, but both teams have been a little underwhelming. Boise’s defense has looked every bit as good as advertised. It would have been good enough to take the Broncos to the playoffs, but the passing game and sophomore QB Ryan Finley (6.0 ypp, 1 TD, 4 INT) in particular, have crippled the team’s big plans for this year. Boise, a pretty good team being held back by its passing game, is the near opposite of Virginia, a squad that has had virtually nothing go right this year except for the play of QB Matt Johns (66.7%, 7.7 ypp, 6:3). I figure Boise can win pretty easily, but it’s an odd dynamic at play, so tune in because nothing else is on, yet.
10:00 – Stanford at Oregon State on Fox Sports 1 gives you a second game; if Boise/UVA is close, make the Pac-12 game your backup. If not, switch over because Stanford is the best team playing on Friday. I’ve been hard on Stanford this year, and I’m starting to ease off. Their opening loss to Northwestern was infuriating, and I still have no plans to relinquish my David Shaw punting jokes, but despite all that, Stanford looks like a top 20 team. They played pretty flawlessly against UCF and beat USC by double digits. In typical Stanford fashion, they’re winning with good QB play from Kevin Hogan (63%, 8.0 ypp, 5:1) and good all around defense. Oregon State looked awful against their only Power 5 competition so far, a 35-7 loss at Michigan. Whether that was just an off-day or that’s how they are going to look against teams that aren’t Weber State and San Jose State remains to be seen.
12:00 – This time slot works out perfectly, as there are only two games worth keeping an eye on, and they both seem equally appealing:
- BYU at Michigan, ABC: I’m still trying to figure out BYU, which so far has been a team that is greater than the sum of its parts. You look at any facet of BYU and it’s hard to find something that’s carrying them to success. The OL does a nice job making sure running plays usually get something, but even that feels like I’m reaching for something. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be THAT impressed. Yes, they’re a Hail Mary away from 3-0, but they’re two Hail Marys away from 0-3. Still, they played pretty well against Nebraska and Boise, and the analytic rankings (F/+, FPI) seem to like them. Michigan has played really well since the opening night loss to Utah, thanks to stifling defense (particularly vs the run) and efficient, if unexciting, offense. DE Chris Wormley already has 7 tackles for loss.
- Georgia Tech at Duke, ESPN 2: I think we learned last week that Tech isn’t likely to be a National Championship contender, but I also think it’s too early to dismiss their ACC chances. Tech played really poorly at Notre Dame, but a lot of that was self-contained. Yes, the Irish defended the option pretty well, but it’s not like they were the first team to figure out assignment football. The Jackets have made good defenses look pretty silly over the years, and when they looked silly on Saturday, it was as much their own doing as Notre Dame’s. All that is just my way of saying I agree with the statistical rankings – Tech is still a top 20 team. Duke isn’t that, but Duke is probably good enough to make this game interesting. If Duke can jump out to a good lead like Notre Dame did, and force Tech to throw the ball, they’re in good shape: Duke’s pass defense has been excellent, though untested to an extent.
- Also, only because I make a point to always talk about Georgia, let me talk about Georgia. They’re playing Southern. Not Georgia Southern, which is colloquially known as Southern, but Southern, which is officially known as Southern. Because about a dozen people have asked me, I’d like to mention that Southern is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and have a large jungle cat as a mascot. So, it’s kind of exactly like playing LSU. The only must-see TV here is the halftime show.
1:00 – If either of the noon games are no longer interesting, you can head to the Watch ESPN app for Northern Illinois at Boston College, a game which I swear won’t be as boring as the names of the schools make it sound.
3:30 – Two games to watch at this time with a clear hierarchy of watchability. #1 is clearly Tennessee at Florida, CBS. This is historically an important SEC game, and I don’t think that’s untrue in 2015. I think there are some preconceived notions about both that aren’t entirely true. Here are some questions that I would have almost assuredly missed if asked:
- Which team has had the two best individual games according to S&P+, including the only game either has played that ranked in the 90th percentile or better?
- Per S&P+, which defense has been better?
- Which team is both more explosive on offense and allows more explosiveness from opponents?
- Which one is dominating the field position battle, with a +15.5 yard advantage over opponents when starting drives?
- Per S&P+, which has the better passing attack?
I would seriously have gone 0-for-5 on those. The answers? Florida, Tennessee, Florida, Tennessee, and Florida. The Gators’ dominating win over New Mexico State is the most complete game either has played this year. Both defenses have looked good so far, but Tennessee’s is buoyed a bit by the fact that Bowling Green is scoring loads of points against everyone, so UT holding them to 30 looks really good by comparison; the stats say Tennessee is better defensively, but I think we know Florida is. The 3rd answer stunned me – Florida is getting and allowing more big plays so far this season. The main thing that sticks out to me is Tennessee’s rushing attack – Jalen Hurd is picking up a solid 5.1 yards per play, thanks to some very good blocking from his offensive line, but he’s not creating big plays once he’s beyond what the OL has provided. Kelvin Taylor isn’t either, for what it’s worth, but I would have guessed Hurd to be an explosive open field runner so far, and he hasn’t been.
The 4th answer helps clear up a statistical oddity – how is Tennessee, an SEC school scoring 46 points per game, only ranked a middling 43rd in offense by S&P+? Thanks to their special teams units, they’re playing on much shorter fields than their opponents. When you start drives with an average field position advantage of +15.5 yards, a first down and a half, you don’t have to be as good to score as much. If you and your opponent both convert, say, 4 first downs a drive, having that 15 yard advantage means you’ll get to try long field goals where they punt, you get easy field goals where they kick long, and you get touchdowns when they have to take 3. Special teams are often dismissed by fans to an extent, and while they are less important than offense and defense, they’re still really, really important, and Tennessee’s dominance in field position so far shows us one how. Finally, Florida’s passing game has been better, thanks mostly to Will Grier’s superior 68% completion rate; the Gators get 7 yards per drop back compared to Josh Dobbs’ 5.4. Given how little I seem to know about either team, that makes this game a must-watch on Saturday afternoon.
As for a backup game, Oklahoma State is at Texas on ESPN. Touchdowns, fireworks, etc.
4:45 – TCU at Texas Tech, FOX – TCU has looked better since the opening week close win over Minnesota, but they still haven’t looked so good that they really demand to be in the playoff conversation. The offense is wildly efficient, with their success rate (getting 50% of needed yards on 1st down, 75% on 2nd, and 100% on 3rd/4th) over 50% in both facets of the game. Tech is even more efficient, ranking 1st nationally in rushing success rate and 8th through the air. If you like scoring, watch this game, or at least set it as the backup behind Florida/Tennessee.
7:00 – Texas A&M at Arkansas, ESPN – Once the 3:30 games are done, I’d make this the backup to TCU/TTU. Arkansas has played worse each progressive week so far, and they’ve been a bit of a punchline over the last 5 days. Bert needs to turn things around quickly or it will get very ugly – the 8 toughest opponents on the schedule haven’t played them yet. Once TCU/TTU is over, make Vandy/Ole Miss on ESPN U the backup.
7:30 – Mississippi State at Auburn, ESPN 2 – I am not yet prepared to comment on Auburn. I want badly to say they stink. Oh, the joy it would give me to say they stink. But I am as suspicious of their poor on-field results as anyone normally should be about their off-field actions. This is probably a battle between fringe top 25’s, but who knows… I’d still give TCU & A&M games precedent here, but this looks better than Ole Miss’ annually scheduled tuneup.
8:00 – UCLA at Arizona, ABC – UCLA might be the best team in the Pac-12 South, but the schedule does them no favors, with 4 road games against top 40 teams. The first of those is Saturday in Tucson against an erratic but dangerous Arizona team. I think I like this over either SEC game on the docket.
8:30 – Utah at Oregon, FOX – With so many similar games Saturday night, I’m not sure where to really rank this one. Probably even with the UCLA game, to tell you the truth. Utah and Oregon are collectively better teams than UCLA and Arizona, in my opinion, but UCLA’s being on the road provides more chance for an upset. I don’t love Utah’s odds of coming out of Eugene with a victory, but the Utes have been very consistent so far, as we’ve gotten pretty much the same game from them each week. Consistency has not been Oregon’s game so far, but they’re still loaded with talent.
10:30 – USC at Arizona State, ESPN – Boy, the Pac-12 is really bringing some strong matchups in Week 4. As I mentioned earlier, this one is interesting because of how differently the ranking systems see Arizona State. FPI (43rd) is bearish while F/+ (20th) is still very much a fan. This is a late night game to watch not just because it’s the only game still on. It should actually be pretty good.
The Full Slate
A quick explanation of a couple of columns. I’ve dropped S&P+, which is already factored into F/+, and I’ve added ESPN’s FPI:
F/+: F/+ is Football Outsiders’ method of ranking team strength. It’s presented as a percentage and all set against an average FBS team. So, if Team X has a F/+ rating of 12.3%, that means that, by this metric, they’re 12.3% better than the average FBS squad. It encompasses many things that make teams successful, like drive success, explosiveness, and efficiency, all weighted for quality of opponent, but it isn’t an end-all, be-all metric. There’s no such thing. It’s just a far more helpful metric than the collected votes of a bunch of middle-aged beat writers. For the first 4 weeks of the season, they mesh 2015 results with the preseason projections.
FPI: Provided by ESPN, FPI bases everything around Expected Points Added, which measures how much each play contributes to scoring points. A touchdown isn’t just the product of the scoring play, but rather all the plays that led to it. By awarding expected points based on what the average team does at the same field position and down/distance, a point value can be placed on each individual play based on the changes from the old ball spot to the new. FPI is opponent-adjusted, and focuses on predicting outcomes, which it did better than Vegas handicappers last year.
Final note: Some teams in the table will be linked to statistical pages provided by FootballStudyHall.com. These pages are in-depth, the source of many excellent statistics, and highly recommended by me.
|Visitor||ESPN FPI||F/+||Home||ESPN FPI||F/+||Favorite||Time||TV|
|Cincinnati||1.1 (63rd)||-3.2% (64th)||Memphis||6.5 (47th)||1.6% (59th)||Memphis (-10.0)||Thursday - 7:30||ESPN|
|Boise State||10.1 (33rd)||30.5% (21st)||Virginia||2.6 (58th)||-6.8% (69th)||Boise (-2.5)||Friday - 8:00||ESPN|
|Stanford||16.7 (17th)||41.9% (15th)||Oregon State||-5.3 (87th)||-14.4% (85th)||Friday - 10:00||FS1|
|Kansas||-13.6 (114th)||-49.5% (125th)||Rutgers||-3.7 (85th)||-23.0% (96th)||Rutgers (-12.5)||Saturday - 12:00||Big Ten Network|
|BYU||9.5 (38th)||24.2% (28th)||Michigan||9.6 (37th)||22.9% (31st)||Michigan (-5.5)||Saturday - 12:00||ABC|
|Central Michigan||-7.0 (96th)||-16.2% (91st)||Michigan State||17.1 (16th)||46.7% (8th)||MSU (-26.5)||Saturday - 12:00||Big Ten Network|
|Southern Miss||-5.7 (88th)||-34.5% (113th)||Nebraska||9.9 (34th)||23.4% (30th)||Nebraska (-22.0)||Saturday - 12:00||ESPN News|
|Georgia Tech||19.2 (12th)||39.3% (17th)||Duke||6.2 (50th)||16.8% (37th)||GT (-8.5)||Saturday - 12:00||ESPN 2|
|Southern||n/a||n/a||Georgia||24.9 (3rd)||55.9% (3rd)||Saturday - 12:00||SEC Network|
|UCF||-7.5 (98th)||-9.4% (77th)||South Carolina||7.5 (44th)||20.0% (33rd)||SC (-15.0)||Saturday - 12:00||ESPN U|
|LSU||25.0 (2nd)||49.9% (5th)||Syracuse||-1.0 (72nd)||-10.4% (80th)||Saturday - 12:00||ESPN|
|Navy||-1.1 (73rd)||7.9% (50th)||Connecticut||-9.9 (105th)||-24.4% (98th)||Navy (-6.5)||Saturday - 12:00||CBS SN|
|Bowling Green||-2.2 (77th)||-4.3% (65th)||Purdue||-2.4 (79th)||-12.8% (83rd)||BGSU (-1.5)||Saturday - 12:00||Big Ten Network|
|Delaware||n/a||n/a||North Carolina||13.5 (24th)||13.5% (42nd)||Saturday - 12:30||ESPN 3|
|Indiana||-1.8 (75th)||-14.6% (86th)||Wake Forest||-5.8 (89th)||-17.6% (92nd)||Saturday - 12:30||ESPN 3|
|Northern Illinois||-2.3 (78th)||1.4% (60th)||Boston College||2.2 (61st)||2.3% (58th)||BC (-4.0)||Saturday - 1:00||ESPN 3|
|Nicholls State||n/a||n/a||Colorado||1.1 (62nd)||-15.7% (90th)||Saturday - 1:30||Pac 12 Network|
|FIU||-6.8 (94th)||-23.3% (97th)||Louisiana Tech||6.1 (51st)||7.1% (52nd)||LT (-14.5)||Saturday - 2:30|
|New Mexico||-10.5 (107th)||-31.7% (109th)||Wyoming||-20.3 (128th)||-45.5% (123rd)||NM (-3.0)||Saturday - 3:00|
|Maryland||-2.6 (80th)||-11.7% (81st)||West Virginia||16.1 (20th)||24.4% (27th)||WVU (-17.5)||Saturday - 3:00||FS1|
|Rice||-2.8 (82nd)||-31.1% (107th)||Baylor||23.6 (5th)||42.7% (13th)||Baylor (-34.5)||Saturday - 3:00|
|North Texas||-15.4 (117th)||-44.5% (122nd)||Iowa||6.4 (48th)||11.0% (45th)||Iowa (-24.5)||Saturday - 3:30||ESPN U|
|Ohio||-1.0 (71st)||-10.0% (79th)||Minnesota||2.5 (59th)||16.6% (38th)||Minnesota (-10.5)||Saturday - 3:30||Big Ten Network|
|Oklahoma State||13.2 (26th)||19.8% (34th)||Texas||8.2 (41st)||4.0% (56th)||OK St (-3.0)||Saturday - 3:30||ESPN|
|Virginia Tech||13.8 (23rd)||28.9% (22nd)||East Carolina||-5.9 (90th)||-6.7% (68th)||VT (-8.0)||Saturday - 3:30||ABC / ESPN 2|
|Tennessee||18.3 (13th)||27.1% (25th)||Florida||13.5 (25th)||13.0% (44th)||Florida (-1.5)||Saturday - 3:30||CBS|
|Appalachian State||-1.1 (74th)||-7.3% (70th)||Old Dominion||-13.4 (113th)||-31.6% (108th)||App (-7.5)||Saturday - 3:30|
|Massachusetts||-10.3 (106th)||-33.6% (111th)||Notre Dame||21.3 (9th)||48.6% (7th)||ND (-29.0)||Saturday - 3:30||NBC|
|Western Michigan||-2.0 (76th)||-15.7% (89th)||Ohio State||22.8 (6th)||64.2% (2nd)||OSU (-31.0)||Saturday - 3:30||ABC / ESPN 2|
|San Diego State||-7.9 (101st)||-12.6% (82nd)||Penn State||7.5 (45th)||15.5% (41st)||PSU (-15.0)||Saturday - 3:30||Big Ten Network|
|Marshall||-0.4 (68th)||9.9% (48th)||Kent State||-12.3 (111th)||-24.5% (99th)||Saturday - 3:30||ESPN 3|
|Miami OH||-17.2 (125th)||-39.2% (117th)||Western Kentucky||2.3 (60th)||9.0% (49th)||WKU (-20.5)||Saturday - 3:30||CBS SN|
|Nevada||-8.1 (103rd)||-15.0% (87th)||Buffalo||-7.7 (99th)||-26.8% (103rd)||Buffalo (-1.5)||Saturday - 3:30||ESPN 3|
|ULM||-7.4 (97th)||-27.2% (104th)||Alabama||24.5 (4th)||71.8% (1st)||Alabama (-38.0)||Saturday - 4:00||SEC Network|
|Middle Tennessee||4.8 (56th)||-9.7% (78th)||Illinois||5.6 (52nd)||-1.3% (62nd)||Illinois (-6.0)||Saturday - 4:00||ESPN News|
|TCU||22.1 (8th)||44.1% (10th)||Texas Tech||13.1 (27th)||5.9% (54th)||TCU (-7.5)||Saturday - 4:45||FOX|
|California||13.8 (22nd)||6.5% (53rd)||Washington||6.3 (49th)||2.5% (57th)||Cal (-4.0)||Saturday - 5:00||Pac 12 Network|
|Army||-17.1 (124th)||-34.3% (112th)||Eastern Michigan||-16.1 (119th)||-49.9% (126th)||EMU (-2.5)||Saturday - 6:00||ESPN 3|
|Samford||n/a||n/a||Louisville||5.0 (55th)||13.4% (43rd)||Saturday - 6:00||ESPN 3|
|Texas A&M||20.2 (10th)||36.2% (18th)||Arkansas||12.3 (29th)||24.7% (26th)||A&M (-7.5)||Saturday - 7:00||ESPN|
|Vanderbilt||0.7 (64th)||-9.0% (74th)||Ole Miss||28.6 (1st)||53.2% (4th)||Ole Miss (-24.5)||Saturday - 7:00||ESPN U|
|James Madison||n/a||n/a||SMU||-7.8 (100th)||-30.8% (106th)||Saturday - 7:00||ESPN 3|
|Colorado State||-6.8 (95th)||-0.7% (61st)||UTSA||-17.0 (123rd)||-40.2% (119th)||CSU (-9.0)||Saturday - 7:00||CBS SN|
|Florida Atlantic||-10.6 (108th)||-20.8% (95th)||Charlotte||-18.4 (126th)||-35.7% (115th)||Saturday - 7:00|
|Akron||-13.8 (115th)||-34.7% (114th)||UL-Lafayette||-2.8 (83rd)||-20.1% (94th)||ULL (-8.5)||Saturday - 7:00||ESPN 3|
|Arkansas State||0.4 (65th)||-9.0% (76th)||Toledo||3.4 (57th)||5.2% (55th)||Toledo (-7.5)||Saturday - 7:00||ESPN 3|
|Mississippi State||14.5 (21st)||28.0% (23rd)||Auburn||11.7 (31st)||20.6% (32nd)||Auburn (-2.0)||Saturday - 7:30||ESPN 2|
|Missouri||7.6 (42nd)||24.1% (29th)||Kentucky||7.0 (46th)||-8.8% (72nd)||UK (-2.5)||Saturday - 7:30||SEC Network|
|NC State||9.9 (35th)||7.8% (51st)||South Alabama||-16.1 (118th)||-36.8% (116th)||NC St (-17.0)||Saturday - 8:00||ESPN News|
|UCLA||16.6 (18th)||43.1% (12th)||Arizona||11.1 (32nd)||15.9% (39th)||UCLA (-3.5)||Saturday - 8:00||ABC|
|Ball State||-5.9 (91st)||-6.3% (67th)||Northwestern||9.1 (40th)||15.9% (40th)||Saturday - 8:00||Big Ten Network|
|Incarnate Word||n/a||n/a||UTEP||-15.2 (116th)||-50.1% (128th)||Saturday - 8:00|
|Hawaii||-8.5 (104th)||-32.9% (110th)||Wisconsin||13.1 (28th)||32.6% (19th)||Wisc. (-24.5)||Saturday - 8:00||Big Ten Network|
|Texas State||-7.9 (102nd)||-28.7% (105th)||Houston||-0.6 (70th)||-8.8% (73rd)||Houston (-16.5)||Saturday - 8:00||ESPN 3|
|Utah||9.3 (39th)||17.1% (36th)||Oregon||17.4 (15th)||45.0% (9th)||Saturday - 8:30||FOX|
|Georgia Southern||-0.4 (67th)||-3.0% (63rd)||Idaho||-19.0 (127th)||-50.1% (127th)||GSU (-16.0)||Saturday - 9:00||ESPN 3|
|Idaho State||n/a||n/a||UNLV||-16.6 (121st)||-41.5% (120th)||Saturday - 9:00|
|Fresno State||-11.5 (109th)||-26.5% (102nd)||San Jose State||-6.8 (93rd)||-19.9% (93rd)||SJSU (-4.5)||Saturday - 10:30||CBS SN|
|USC||22.5 (7th)||42.0% (14th)||Arizona State||7.6 (43rd)||30.8% (20th)||USC (-5.5)||Saturday - 10:30||ESPN|