College football week 4 is in the books. After every week fans can take away things from what happened on the field. Here are five things learned from college football week 4.
1. Notre Dame Can Play With Anyone, Just Can’t Beat the Elite
Over recent years, Notre Dame has caught a lot of flack for not being able to win big games. When they lost last season to Clemson in the College Football Playoff (CFP), people counted them out as legit CFP contenders because of the wide margin. On Saturday night, Notre Dame showed they can play with the best, they just can’t beat them.
Outside of Clemson, Alabama and maybe Oklahoma, Georgia is one of the most successful teams in college football over the last few years. Notre Dame went into a hostile environment at Sanford Stadium and lost 23-17. Despite shooting themselves in the foot with 12 penalties, the Fighting Irish had a chance to win the game at the end. While not being able to beat the elite teams in college football is frustrating, the Fighting Irish aren’t too far off.
2. Michigan is not a Big Ten Championship Contender
Michigan came into the weekend with concerns, but left their game in Madison with some major problems. The Badgers look like they have their hopes up for a Big Ten Championship Game after winning 35-14. Michigan, however, doesn’t look like they’ll be good enough this season to get that far.
There is still time to turn things around, but it would take a major improvement for Michigan to compete in big games this year. Quarterback Shea Patterson has been wildly inaccurate and there hasn’t been a consistent run game to lean on. The defense has given up 25.7 points per game and were gashed by Jonathan Taylor in the first quarter. Michigan also had a bye week to prepare for this game, which puts questions into just about everything regarding the team right now.
3. Auburn is for Real
Some may have doubted Auburn after they beat Oregon in the opener. They had won a big game, but were led by a freshman quarterback in Bo Nix, who didn’t complete many passes. After beating Texas A&M this weekend, giving Auburn two big wins on the season and verifying that they are one of college football’s best teams.
Auburn showed again, that they could win despite not having much of a passing game. Nix completed just 10 passes for 100 yards, but it was enough to win. They have the defensive talent and the running game to be able to overcome a lot. This doesn’t mean they will make the CFP necessarily, but after two big wins, they are legit.
4. The Pac-12 is Officially Out of the CFP Again
After four weeks of the college football season, the Pac-12 has just one undefeated team. That team is the Cal Golden Bears. If Cal goes undefeated, they might get into the CFP, but that is unlikely. It was a rough weekend for the Pac-12 that featured some top teams going down.
Utah was the frontrunner in the Pac-12 and had a chance to make the CFP if they won out. They lost to USC on Friday night, ending those chances. Washington State was undefeated and allowed UCLA to pull off one of the craziest upsets in college football history, losing 67-63. Now the Pac-12’s hopes rely on Cal and maybe Oregon who lost the season opener to Auburn. Even if Oregon does win out, they will likely need help to get into the CFP. This isn’t exactly the biggest news, as the Pac-12 is used to being left out of the CFP, with Washington and Oregon being the only programs to make an appearance in the CFP so far.
5. UCF’s Streak is Over
UCF entered the weekend having won two straight seasons’ worth of regular-season games in a row to go along with three wins to start this season. It has included New Year’s Six Bowl appearances, claims from fans that they should be in the CFP and a lot of drama, but the streak is now over. They can still make a New Year’s Six Bowl Game with some help.
The Knights were coming off of a win over Stanford and were playing Pitt for a game against a second straight Power Five team. Pitt went up early, but UCF rallied back fast. The Panthers had the ball late in the game, down six and drove the ball close to the goal line. They decided to run the “Philly Special” as a trick play that saw quarterback Kenny Pickett catch the game-tying touchdown in the endzone. The following extra point gave Pitt the win.
Make sure to check out our college football page for more updates and rankings.