It’s week four of the College Football season- and that means two things: It’s time to start releasing scouting reports AND Luke Irwin is back with his witty take on the games to watch this weekend.

Thursday September 24

7:30
Ole Miss @ South Carolina: ESPN

Friday September 25

9:00
Missouri @ Nevada: ESPN

Saturday September 26

Noon
Michigan State @ Wisconsin: ESPN
Indiana @ Michigan: ESPN2
Southern Miss @ Kansas: FSN
USF @ Florida State: ESPNU
Minnesota @ Northwestern: BigTen

3:30
Arkansas @ Alabama: CBS
California @ Oregon: ABC
Illinois @ Ohio State: ABC/ESPN
Miami @ Virginia Tech: ABC/ESPN
UTEP @ Texas: FSN
Pitt @ NC State: ESPNU
Western Kentucky @ Navy: CBSCollege

6:00
Florida @ Kentucky: ESPN2

7:00
Arizona State @ Georgia: ESPNU
Ball State @ Auburn: FSN

7:30
Arizona @ Oregon State: Versus
Louisville @ Utah: CBSCollege

8:00
Iowa @ Penn State: ABC
Notre Dame @ Purdue: ESPN

9:15
Texas Tech @ Houston: ESPN2

10:15
Washington State @ USC: FSN
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(Due to my Notre Dame fandom, I don’t include ND in any individual game profiles. Figure I’d save you the homerism.)

Game of the Week (Non-ND Game I’m Most Looking Forward To):
Miami @ Virginia Tech. Sure I’d love to see Iowa romp all over PSU, but I’ll be busy watching Notre Dame then. Miami and Va Tech, the two teams that were supposed to make the Atlantic Coast Conference THE powerhouse in football and crush the Big East. Well that didn’t exactly happen. Sure, Virginia Tech has been a very good team the last 5-6 years since coming over, but that’s more due to an anemic ACC than pure talent. It appears that FINALLY a team in the ACC has enough offense to overcome BeamerBall. The Hokies will still win their share of 16-15 games, but no offense in the ACC has been complete and efficient enough to counter Va Tech’s defense and special teams. Miami may be that team. I know everyone is on the Jacory Harris bandwagon right now, and we’ll see what he can do in the future (Hell, even Kirby Freeman and Kyle Wright had a few decent games). Time will tell, but it’s looking like this may finally be Miami’s time to claim their destiny, and they go up against the most consistant force in the ACC for half a decade.

Upset Pick of the Week:
Texas Tech over Houston. Much thanks to my guys in the NES forums for congrats on picking Washington over USC in this here very column last week. But as they say in college football, every week is a season, so I can’t dwell on that win too much, especially since I got blown out in my Buffalo over Pitt pick. So I’m going with the old guard of the spread, taking on the young bucks. Yes, I’m aware Houston has been running a version of the spread/Run-and-shoot for quite some time, to the days of Andre Ware and David Klinger and so forth, but Texas Tech almost rode that bad boy to the National Championship last year on the back of Michael Crabtree’s batshit-nutty ass. Everyone’s down on TTU. They’re unranked, they lost Crabtree, they’re breaking in a new QB in Taylor Potts, but when it comes to the Texas Tech offense, they don’t rebuild, they reload. Texas Tech under Mike Leach has lost a lot of great quarterbacks, but each new gent under center seems to be better than the last. Even if Potts nearly had his head removed by Sergio Kindle last week, they still played Texas tough on the road and their defense was surprisingly stout. I say TTU crushes Houston’s BCS hopes (unfortunately), and gets back on track.

Don’t Touch That Dial (Game you will, inexplicably, be fascinated by deep into the fourth quarter):
Southern Miss @ Kansas: Two very good teams that you’d probably never imagine you’d see playing each other. USM has been the #2 go-to in Conference-USA after TCU for over a decade. After beating Virginia, this is their chance to make a serious push in the mainstream. Kansas, notorious for having an incredibly weak non-conference schedule (the Penn State of the Big 12, if you will), finally have a load on their hands. This will probably end up being a 28-27 game where Todd Reessing dives into the endzone head-first to win the game and the hearts of Jayhawk nation.

Gambling Locks o’ the Week (Except for my upset pick, natch.)
Last Week: 2-1
Season: 4-2

Memphis -1.5 Marshall
Miami +2 Virginia Tech
Washington +9 Stanford

Gameday Food of the Week

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GREEK DOGS!

We’re gonna keep it easy and low-key this week. Whereas ribs require days of prep, these gorgeous things only need 15 minutes of your time. Normally, I’m 100% burgers over dogs, but when there’s cheese, greek sauce, and onions involved, all bets go out the window. Everyone has hotdogs at a tailgate. Spice yours up a bit. Also, seeing girls trying to be feminine and ladylike eating a greek dog, before finally giving up and attacking it a wild animal scavenging their last meal on the plains is freaking awesome. You may have a keeper depending on your girl’s greek dog-eating tendency. Bonus points if she has green sance all over her face and the best way to get it off is grabbing you and kissing you. Girls are awesome sometimes.

Gameday Drink of the Week:

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MILLER HIGH LIFE!

When I first got into this whole “drinking” racket when I was 17, this was all my friends and I would drink. My tastes have matured since then, but High Life always has a special place in my heart. The best part about High Life? Besides the fact that it goes extremely well with greek dogs and that greek dogs make you crave a beer in the best way? It’s always a conversation starter. ALWAYS! Between the distinctive bottle, the “Champagne of Beers” motto, the unique fraternity of people who also started their drinking regimine with Miller High Life, there’s always a story to be told. I have met so many people (guys and girls), who walked up to me at a party/tailgate/reception/baptism/funeral/war/circumcision/hospital (some of these may not be true), and said something along the lines of “Hey! High Life! Kickass! There was this one time I was hammered off High Life, and there was this midget…” or “Champagne of Beers huh? What’s the occasion? First day of parole?”, and conversations like those. I still talk to alot of the people (mostly the girls), I’ve encountered while making small talk about The Champagne of Beers.

Gameday Jersey of the Week:

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Here’s what’s awesome about college jerseys: I bought this in 2006, when Tom Zbikowski was an absolute animal for Notre Dame. Unfortunately, he had Zach Mills Syndrome and declined every single year he played for Notre Dame. But I had this awesome #9 jersey…so what happened in 2008? Two of my favorite players decided to honor it proudly. Tight End Kyle Rudolph, and DE/DT Ethan Johnson both wear the #9 and represent it well. So instead of my looks of scorn for wearing the jersey of a man who peaked his sophomore year, I know get smiles and high-fives because two fantastic ND players wear it. College jerseys are awesome like that.

Gameday Pep Talk of the Week:

Men, this is what we prepared for. We are now in what’s commonly referred to as a “clusterfuck”. Who’s your Number 1, soldier? Florida? They’ve beaten nobodies and only beat an unranked and rebuilding Tennessee team by 10. Texas? Whose feasted on weak non-conference opponents and just skated by an unranked and rebuilding Texas Tech team? Alabama? Do you really think they’d beat Florida? Miami? After only playing two games? California, Penn State, or Ole Miss? Neither team has yet to win against a ranked team. So here we are. College football is fantastic, and this is why. We have no idea who the best team in the country is, and this week will help to shape that. Florida didn’t run over UT by 50 as we thought. The Longhorns had far more trouble with the Red Raiders then we thought. Florida State beat BYU, Washington beat USC, and now we’re in a state of turmoil. The chaos is what fuels us, men. Every week is a season, and this week may decide who is the lead horse in the race. Not a lot of big-time games this week, but enough competitiveness where we might see some shifts happen. Be on the lookout, I think after this week, we may come closer to knowing who the best in the land is. Or maybe…we’ll get further. YOU KNEW THIS WAS A POSSIBILITY WHEN YOU SIGNED UP TO FOLLOW COLLEGE BALL! NOW LET’S REVEL ON THE CHAOS AND GET WASTED! HOO-RAH!