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WEEK FOUR: The SEC Takes Shape


There might not be a lot on the national scene this week -- but the shape of the SEC division races and the viability of Georgia as a national contender might very well be determined by the end of Saturday.

This might be a pick only for C&F, but he is intrigued by the Friday, Sept. 18 prime-time game on ESPN, as West Virginia at Colorado hits the air at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Buffaloes are one of C&F's surprise teams this year, and the tilt with the Moutaineers starts a four-week stretch in which Colorado also plays Florida State (in Jacksonville), Texas and at Kansas. Oh, and those West Virginia guys are pretty good.

Week Four also marks the point at which times start to get sketchier. Notre Dame at Michigan State is slated for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on ABC. It's a rivalry that has caused the Irish heartburn in recent years.

Saturday brings Florida at Tennessee and LSU at Auburn. Both games will go a long way toward shaping their division races. A Florida loss would open the field up to determine who will be Georgia's lead competitor for the SEC East title. Barring a surprise, the LSU-Auburn clash will serve as a de facto SEC West title game. One of these will likely end up as the 3:30 p.m. game on CBS and the other will air at 7:45 p.m. on ESPN.

If there is such a thing as an interesting ACC game, this week's would be Wake Forest at Florida State. Wake handed Pappy Bowden his first home shutout with the Seminoles. Revenge much? Only if FSU's going to have a rebound season. Possible landing spot: 3:30 on ABC.

Jeff, I want us to score this time! Jeff? Where's Jeff? Dadgummit, that boy...

Boise State at Oregon could give us a look at two would-be contenders from the West. Boise will be trying to prove Hawaii's WAC championship was just a blip and not the first sign that the Broncos are losing their ironclad grip on the conference. Oregon will be trying to reassert itself in the Pac-10. Also a possible ABC afternoon game.

The day ends with a much-anticipated nonconference showdown: Georgia at Arizona State. For the spelling-challenged Dawgs, its a chance to show that the preseason No. 1 buzz is more than talk. Arizona State will be trying to show that last season's resurgence wasn't a fluke.