Previewing the Top Games of 2012: Week Four

14 more weeks until the college football season begins.

We're now in the fourth week of the 2012 season preview, a week in which Notre Dame will be preparing for a night game against Michigan.

If you've missed the first three installments check out the OFD archives.

The top games of 2012 in week four after the jump.

Thursday

BYU at Boise State

How many times do you think these two teams have played? I would have guessed more than two.

Boise State won the 2003 matchup on the road 50-12, but sneaked by BYU on the blue turf 28-27 thanks to a late 4th quarter touchdown in 2004. 8 years later these programs meet again as the Cougars look for their first win in the series.

Saturday

Arizona at Oregon

I've got the feeling that Rich Rod is going to pull an upset of Oklahoma State a couple weeks before this game and come into Eugene undefeated. Of course, the Ducks should be undefeated as well.

By law I am required to tell everyone that offense will be showcased in this game.

California at USC

This game probably shouldn't be on here. Last year the Golden Bears hung around in a really sloppy and boring game that USC eventually ended up winning by 21 points. That was back when we thought USC might not be very good, and then the night game happened.

Cal hasn't beat USC since 2003, and that losing streak likely continues.

Clemson at Florida State

There's lots of talk lately about FSU winning the national championship in 2012 and this will be one of the tough games out of a not-that-difficult schedule for the Seminoles.

Florida State won 11 straight in the series from 1992 to 2002, but have lost 6 out of the past 9 meetings, including last year at Clemson 35-30. This should be one of the more entertaining early-season games.

Kansas State at Oklahoma

Bob Stoops owns Kansas State, as does Oklahoma overall with a 70-17-4 series lead even with K-State winning 5 straight in the series in the late 90's. The Sooners under Stoops have averaged 38 points against the Wildcats and dropped 58 last year and in 2008.

The lesson is one that Notre Dame may learn later in the season: It's really hard to win in Norman.

LSU at Auburn

Gritty SEC football live from Auburn. LSU won this game easily last year but they'll probably still have some questions at quarterback coming into this game. Not that it's really mattered for LSU in the past with their suffocating defense, but you've got to figure that this could be an upset if LSU has a really bad game moving the ball.

Bayou Bengals have won 4 of the past 5 meetings, and remember that Cam Newton game was awfully close. I'm pretty interested to see how Auburn fares over the next few seasons under Chizik---this is one of those games that could bring the program back to elite level.

Miami at Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech has a winning record against Miami, but they did have the luxury of missing all those top 1980's and 90's Hurricane teams. They've now lost three straight to Miami heading into 2012.

How long of a leash will Al Golden get at Miami? When does the pressure really turn up? And how good is Georgia Tech really? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Missouri at South Carolina

New SEC football for y'all to vibe with. This will be the third meeting between these two programs and first during the regular season. Missouri has won both meeting in 2005 and the 1979 Hall of Fame Bowl.

Decent odds that the Gamecocks gets off to a good start this season, but Missouri might not be so fortunate. This will be their second SEC game in the first four weeks while they play Georgia in week two.

Rutgers at Arkansas

Funny how two programs who get very similar uniform makeovers will be playing each other for the first time ever this season. It's like Nike planned this or something.

I envision Rutgers getting a rude awakening in Fayetteville after beginning the season with a soft collection of Tulane, Howard, and South Florida.

Temple at Penn State

Temple is going to win this game eventually, I swear!

Virginia at TCU

This is a bit of a strange matchup, wouldn't you say? These teams have played twice before---once in 2009 (Frog win) and back in 1994 (Cavalier win)---and this game just got a little easier for Virginia as TCU running back Ed Wesley left school on Sunday.

What games are you looking forward to?

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