Week 4 really gets college football cooking as the majority of the sport heads into conference play. With three weeks under our belts, we should have a better idea of where everyone stands. But whether it's Indiana traveling to a tricky Conference USA locale or a Mountain West school quietly making its triumphant return to contention, there's chaos to be found.
Each week, I'll bring you five potential upsets based on favorable matchups, outside factors or just good old fashion gut feel. For maximum upset effect, we'll try to keep our upset picks outside of a field goal's worth of difference – the bigger, the better. These games can come from anywhere on the FBS schedule.
Lock Pod: The Cover 3 crew break down Week 4 slate and give picks for Wisconsin-Notre Dame, Texas A&M-Arkansas, Oklahoma-West Virginia, Clemson-NC State, Top 25 upsets and underdog picks of the week
Our first week of picks got off to a promising start, but with some bad beats at the end. Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams ran for a 51-yard touchdown to put the game against Purdue away – and ruin the obvious cover. On the pick side, we would have been above .500 if only I had been confident enough to pick Michigan State and Fresno State outright.
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Alas, the only way to make up for it is to make more good picks. Here we go!
Important disclaimer: "upset" is determined by Caesars Sportsbook odds, not rankings. All times ET.
When: Saturday, 12 p.m. | Where: Logan, Utah
Why it's listed: Heading into the season, a two-score line made perfect sense. The Aggies have careened downhill since Matt Wells left for Texas Tech – until now. Blake Anderson has the Aggies playing explosive, inspired football in his first season. Utah State is off to a 3-0 start with wins over Washington State and a solid Air Force team.
Star wide receiver Deven Thompkins leads the nation with 454 yards receiving and will provide the most dangerous skill talent this Boise State unit has faced thus far. But perhaps the biggest key to pulling off the upset comes up front. Boise State averages just 2.1 yards per carry. Utah State has given up more than five yards per carry in each of its two FBS games. Something's got to give. If this game becomes a shootout, Utah State can keep up.
ATS: Utah State, SU: Boise State
No. 14 Iowa State at Baylor
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. | Where: Waco, Texas
Why it's listed: Through three games, Iowa State has yet to look like the top 10 team we were promised entering the year. The Cyclones mustered just 16 points against FCS Northern Iowa and 17 against No. 10 Iowa before dropping 48 against UNLV. The defense has been strong, but consistently inconsistent play from quarterback Brock Purdy has made a mess of things.
Baylor has yet to play a meaningful opponent, but improvements on the offensive line look encouraging. The Bears quietly have the nation's top-rated offense through three games and are averaging 8.1 yards per play. It's unlikely that number keeps up against the Big 12's better defenses, but the Bears finally have a competent offense to complement one of the Big 12's better defenses. If things continue to click, Baylor can make a statement Saturday.
ATS: Baylor, SU: Iowa State
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. | Where: Arlington, Texas
Why it's listed: Texas A&M missed two of its starting offensive linemen against New Mexico and the results were not encouraging. Against one of the worst teams in the FBS, the Aggies allowed four sacks and earned a pass blocking grade of just 51.5 per PFF. Both starters are considered day-to-day and should be back this week. But if there's a team that you don't want to face with questions in the trenches, it's Arkansas.
The Razorbacks average 7.7 tackles for loss per game, including a whopping 10 against Texas in a 40-21 upset in Week 2. They made the game so difficult that Texas pulled its young starter for an experienced backup to stop the bleeding. Whether Arkansas can pull off the upset comes down to whether QB KJ Jefferson can consistently stretch out an Aggies defense that leads the nation in passing defense. If Jefferson passes the test, Arkansas has a path to victory.
ATS: Arkansas, SU: Texas A&M
When: Saturday, 6 p.m. | Where: Palo Alto, California
Why it's listed: Stanford has quietly been a different team since former blue-chip recruit Tanner McKee took the reins at quarterback. McKee threw Stanford's lone touchdown in his final drive against Kansas State and then led wins over Power Five foes then-No. 14 USC and Vanderbilt in back-to-back weeks. Stanford has averaged 7.3 yards per play in McKee's two starts.
Now, the Cardinal face off against an overrated UCLA team reeling after blowing several late leads against Fresno State. Against the Bulldogs, the Bruins went away from their elite run game and put the game on QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson's shoulders. Stanford hasn't been great against the run, but if they can get UCLA off schedule, the offense has been consistent enough with McKee at the helm to goad UCLA into pressing.
ATS: Stanford, SU: Stanford
Indiana at Western Kentucky
When: Saturday, 8 p.m. | Where: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Why it's listed: It's been a disappointing start to 2021 for Indiana to say the least. After entering the year ranked No. 17, the Hoosiers have losses to No. 18 Iowa and No. 8 Cincinnati on the schedule with a matchup against No. 6 Penn State coming up in a week. A road trip to Western Kentucky may very well be the kind of bizarre lookahead game that could quickly sneak up on even a talented Big Ten squad.
If you don't know the name Bailey Zappe, learn it. The WKU quarterback transferred from Houston Baptist over the offseason – along with the HBU offensive coordinator and three outstanding receivers. Zappe ranks No. 2 nationally in passing yards per game, including 435 yards and three touchdowns against Army. If Western Kentucky's offense gets off to a hot start, Indiana could quickly find themselves careening down the Hill.
ATS: Western Kentucky, SU: Western Kentucky
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 4, and which Top 25 favorite goes down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,000 in profit over the past five-plus seasons -- and find out.