Table of Contents

    By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast

    Week Four: Lock, Load and Fire

    This is the one. With all due respect to weeks zero to three in the young college football season, week four has a spread of matchups so jaw-dropping you may need to take a seat. The scheduling gods told us that this was the Saturday to dream of, the one we’ve visualized for months and months…and it’s here. A whopping SIX matchups featuring two top 25 ranked teams, some top-ranked in big-time TRAP games, and of course the Coach Prime hysteria is one of those stories we just can’t shake – a 2023 Ted Lasso remake in real life. All of that adds up to you canceling the apple picking and saving the fall decorating for Sunday morning, cause this week’s four buffet of games is fully loaded and ready to rock.

    Our week three plays…in a word…were dismal. The board did not fit our vision by any means, and the favorites were far from covering the spread. With this week’s trap games and several games to speak of, what better way to bounce back than with a banger of a Saturday? Let’s go into the games:

    Must Watch “Main Screen” Games

    #6 Ohio State @ #9 Notre Dame (+3) – 7:30 pm ET – The Sam Hartman Heisman train rolls on as the Irish host their biggest opponent in terms of stature this year. Undoubtedly this game was circled twice on the calendar, and Ryan Day and the Buckeyes are surely going to be looking for Marvin Harrison Jr. downfield – this has a shootout written all over it.

    #19 Colorado @ #10 Oregon (-20) – 3:30 pm ET – Coach Prime gets bumped to the second biggest game of the day only in favor of Ohio State vs. Notre Dame, but the hype has only doubled since this time last week. After a week of celebrity-filled hype and circus in Boulder, the Buffs nearly let it slip and got beat by Colorado State at home until they pulled a rabbit out of a hat. Admittedly the spot does not set up well for Coach Prime’s crew to stay unbeaten, as they face a sturdy Ducks team ready for the talent matchups. Still, no respect with that point spread – sheesh!

    #15 Ole Miss @ #13 Alabama (-7) – 3:30 pm ET  – As Alabama toils at QB off of another less-than-stellar effort vs. USF, public money will surely flow in on the Rebels and Jaxson Dart to take advantage of the moment. If you’re a CFB picking traditionalist you’ll play Bama to bounce back like always…or is this just the beginning of the end in front of our eyes?

    #14 Oregon State @ #21 Washington State (+2.5) – 7 pm ET – A sneaky awesome matchup of PAC 12 powerhouses (yeah I said it) in the Beavs and the Cougs  – what a world. Remember D.J. Uiagalelei from Clemson? He’s now running the show at Oregon State and has found new life out west. I like his chances to keep it rolling and surprise Wazzou on the road – D.J. is battle-tested.

    Tier Two “Second Screen” Games

    #24 Iowa @ #7 Penn State (-14.5) – 7:30 pm ET – A little CBS Big Ten prime-time action featuring the Hawkeyes trying to slow down the Nittany Lions at any cost. I can already see how annoying this game will be for viewers and bettors, as Iowa should pull James Franklin into the mud long enough for this to be low-scoring and full of punts.

    UCF @ Kansas State (-7.5) – 8 pm ET – Don’t look now, but UCF is here and they’re 3-0…now they head to the Little Apple to play a KSU team that was stunned at the buzzer by Missouri. If R.J. Harvey gets going for the Knights this could be a juicy clash of styles on offense.

    Arkansas @ #12 LSU (-18)  – 7 pm ET – Jayden Daniels and Milk Nabers might be the best QB-WR duo in the SEC or even the nation. Now they face a more stern test on defense than Mississippi State last week…but I’m expecting similar results.

    #4 Florida State @ Clemson (+1.5) – 12 pm ET – The two trap games of the week are #4 Texas heading to Baylor and this ACC doozy. Florida State almost got clipped by Boston College and now they head to Death Valley to face a Clemson program in flux. Keep your peepers peeled for Baylor and Clemson to give 12-round fights to tougher opponents in the conference.

    The “Tablet Game” Night Capper

    California @ #8 Washington (-21.5) – 10:30 pm ET – Contrary to my belief, Michael Penix Jr. did not flinch last week. His offense is cooking and they host an overmatched Bears team that likely doesn’t have the firepower to compete.

    **Midnight Snack Game is New Mexico State @ Hawaii kicking off at 11:59 pm ET – Aloha!

    Week Four Plays To Watch

    Notre Dame +3 – Could be a Sam Hartman national spotlight moment incoming, I don’t hate the over in this shootout of offenses.

    Colorado +20.5 – No cover last week but I still think the Buffs have the chops to stay close in Eugene.

    Oregon State -2.5 – It could drop as the week goes and become a true pick’em, which is even better news!

    UCF +7.5 – The Knights are my sneaky team to watch that’s getting no attention.

    Florida State/Clemson Over 55 – feels like a sound number to attain, and if it’s a close game it should get there with ease.

    CFB FAQs

    How are college football bowl games determined?

    Only bowl-eligible teams are selected for College Football Bowls. At the NCAA Division I FBS level, the standard by which teams become available for selection in bowl games varies. For example, in 2018-19 season, the team had to have at least as many wins as overall losses. Wins against non-Division I teams do not count toward the number of wins.

    How do you play college football pick'em pools?

    Simply pick winners from the games each week selected by the Pool Commissioner, either straight up or against the spread. Whichever member has the most points at the end of the season wins

    What is a football pool?

    "Football Pool" is a broad term for a group of people competitively guessing the outcome of one or more football games. There are many types of formats, each assigning winners differently. They can be played informally between friends or through a more formalized system. They are often considered a great alternative to fantasy football given the ease of playing, although there are fantasy football pools as well.

    How to run a football pool?

    How you decide to run a football pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.

    How to play squares football pools?

    Football squares are played by creating a grid, in which Team 1 takes the column and Team 2 the rows. In some cases, participants may claim as many squares as they like. In others, commissioners limit them to one. At the quarter times and end of the game, the winner is decided at the point the scores final digit intersect.

    How do you setup a college football bowl pool?

    To set up a college football bowl pool, you'll need to first choose if you will include all the games or specific ones. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As commissioner, you'll implement rules to ensure everything runs smoothly during the bowl games. Many use pool sites like RunYourPool to make the process easier.

    What is a college football squares pool?

    In a college football squares pool, a commissioner starts with a 10x10 grid of 100 squares (though commissioners decide to use smaller 5x5 pools). Members pick one or more squares in that grid. Winners are determined based on the score of each team after each quarter and at the end of the game.

    How many squares in a football pool?

    In a traditional football squares pool, a grid is sectioned off into 100 squares with 10 columns and 10 rows. This accounts for a direct relationship between each possible digit from 0 to 9 on both the X and Y axis. For smaller square grids like 5x5, multiple numbers can be assigned to each column and row.

    How to read a football squares pool sheet?

    In Squares formats, football pool sheets include a grid, where one team is the column and one is the row. Winners are determined at the end of each quarter when the last number in the team’s score (on each side) is matched to the numbers on the grid, and the intersecting square wins.

    How do you setup a college football bowl pool?

    To set up a college football bowl pool, you'll need to first choose if you will include all the games or specific ones. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As commissioner, you'll implement rules to ensure everything runs smoothly during the bowl games. Many use pool sites like RunYourPool to make the process easier.

    How do you win college football confidence bowl pool?

    The winner of a college bowl confidence pool is the member with the most points after all games have ended. Members rank each game based on how confident they are in their pick (44 points = most confident, 1 point = least confident). For each game picked correctly, members receive the number of points they assigned.

    What is a college football bowl confidence pool?

    Players try to pick the winner of every bowl game, assigning a point value to each game. Picks are made "straight up," not using a point spread system. Members rank each game based on how confident they are (44 points = most confident, 1 point = least confident). A winner is determined by totalling the point values assigned to correctly picked games.

    How do you setup a college football bowl pool?

    To set up a college football bowl pool, you'll need to first choose if you will include all the games or specific ones. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As commissioner, you'll implement rules to ensure everything runs smoothly during the bowl games. Many use pool sites like RunYourPool to make the process easier.

    How do you win college football bowl pick'em pool?

    As you might expect, the player who selects the most bowl winners will win their pick'em pool. You can win your college football bowl pick'em pool by choosing winners wisely, based on past performance, player starting status and other "intangibles."

    What is a college football bowl pick'em pool?

    In a College Bowl Pick'em pool members attempt to pick the winner of every College Bowl game (or a subset of games determined by the Pool Commissioner). Picks are made using the point spread system or "straight up", as assigned by the Pool Commissioner.

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    About Author

    Alex Lauzon

    Lauzon is a podcast host, live broadcaster, analyst and betting extraordinaire for the Course of Life brand. After earning a degree in broadcast journalism at Quinnipiac University, he worked in ESPN and ESPN radio newsrooms. He has interviewed athletes and celebrities from all walks of life who often love to play golf. When he's not playing golf or talking about the game on Course of Life, Lauzon enjoys time with his wife and dog, checking off the next island vacation destination or counting down the days to the next Dell Match Play in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

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