The battle royale weekends are underrated. As the college football season progresses, the storylines get whittled down a bit, focusing more on national title and conference races and a couple of particularly big games. At this point in the season, though, we're still going wherever the remote control takes us.
Just as we didn't expect to end up watching quite as much of App State-Troy, Syracuse-Purdue or USF-Florida as we did last week, there are lots of games that could end up commanding our attention in Week 4. But it's a huge weekend in the Pac-12, we've got a Southwest Conference-themed slate in Texas (Arkansas-A&M! Texas-Texas Tech! TCU-SMU! Rice-Houston!) and the narrative potential of games such as Tennessee-Florida is off the charts.
Let's see where Week 4 takes us. Here's everything you need to follow.
Tennessee has a chance to make a statement
No. 20 Florida at No. 11 Tennessee (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)
Sept. 21, 2002. Two weeks after a blowout loss to Miami, Ron Zook's Florida Gators found their footing. Or at least, the fourth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers lost theirs. In a downpour in Knoxville, the Vols fumbled seven times in the first half, Florida's Rex Grossman somehow threw for 324 yards (albeit with the customary two interceptions), and the Gators ripped off 24 points in a five-minute span late in the second quarter to cruise 30-13.
In the past 40 years, that's the only time Tennessee has been favored by at least five points over Florida. The Vols have been favored eight times in all, and they've won only three of those games. Hell, they've won only once in the past 17 years in this series, favored or not.
It's jarring, then, to see that the Vols are 10.5-point favorites over the Gators on Saturday. This must be a trap, right?