Fearless Rick's 2016 College Football Picks - Week 4 early games

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NCAA Week 4 Late Games


WEEK 4 NCAA Football Picks

All times Eastern

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Last Week: Coin: 8-6 Rick: 7-7
Cumulative: Coin: 22-20 Rick: 24-18

Thursday, September 22

7:30 pm Clemson (-9 1/2, 57 1/2) at Georgia Tech - In last week's rousing, 59-0 victory over South Carolina State, the Tigers were actually involved in college football's version of the mercy rule, in which both head coaches agreed to play 12-minute quarters in the second half. Not to mention that many Clemson starters were done after less than three quarters, it appears that the Tigers are seeking another shot at a national championship.

A road win over Georgia Tech would be a signal step toward that end. These two squads met last season in early October at Clemson, the result a 43-24 win for the Tigers. Look for a similar result in this Thursday night snoozer.

Coin Flip: Clemson

Prediction: Tigers 48 Yellow Jackets 18

Friday, September 23

8:00 pm TCU (-20 1/2, 64 1/2) at SMU - After going 2-10 last season, the Mustangs have already equalled their win total with conclusive victories over North Texas and Mercer, though their 40-13 loss to Baylor - while a blowout by most standards - could have been much worse, so SMU is improved and may put up a little more of a fight than many suspect.

TCU already has a loss to Arkansas on its slate, but that was in double overtime. The Mustangs may put up a good fight, but only for a half or three quarters. Once the Frogs start hitting their marks, it's going to be good night Irene.

Coin Flip: SMU

Prediction: Horned Frogs 49 Mustangs 20

9:00 pm USC at Utah (-3, 46 1/2) - Utah has begun their 2016 campaign with three straight wins (Southern Utah, BYU, San Jose St.), but this is the opener of PAC-12 play for them, so the sledding is going to be a bit rougher going from here on out.

The Trojans already have had more than just a taste of real competition, losing 52-6, to Alabama in their season opener, and being jostled, 27-10, at Stanford last week. Not taking anything for granted, the Trojans are probably not as bad as their record would indicate, nor are the Utes as good. These two hooked up last season when Utah was ranked #3, and the Trojans took them out behind the woodshed for a 42-24 whipping. Should be a fun one with SoCal getting the last laugh.

Coin Flip: USC

Prediction: Trojans 36 Utes 30

Saturday, September 24

12:00 pm Georgia at Ole Miss (-7, 61 1/2) - This one has upset written all over it. Ole Miss has blown leads to both Florida State and Alabama, while the Bulldogs have reeled off three straight wins to open their season, last week winning an SEC contest at Missouri, 28-27.

Georgia has all the parts it needs to forge a winning season. How far they go depends on whether the coaches can get everything working at the same time in the same games. All systems seem to be go in Athens.

Coin Flip: Mississippi

Prediction: Bulldogs 31 Rebels 28

12:00 pm Florida State (-5 1/2, 61) at South Florida - The South Florida Bulls may be on their way to greatness after bombing Syracuse last week 45-20, improving to 3-0 on the season.

Seminole fans are still brooding over the brutal, 63-20, beating put on them at Louisville last week and it will be tough for them to get started against an aggressive opponent. This could be another early-day upset in the NCAA.

Coin Flip: South Florida

Prediction: Bulls 30 Seminoles 27

12:00 pm Wisconsin at Michigan State (-5 1/2, 43) - Already having stamped their season a success with a 16-14 win over LSU in their season opener, the Badgers apparently forgot they have to win the rest of their games, squeezing past Georgia State last week, 23-17, moving their mark to 3-0.

No slouches in the success department, the Spartans took down Notre Dame, 36-28, and are 2-0 as they enter Big Ten play. Amazing that Michigan St. is such a huge favorite in what should be a very tough, close game.

Coin Flip: Michigan State

Prediction: Badgers 26 Spartans 24

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