College football Week 4: Massive games for Notre Dame, Clemson, Pac-12

Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

The buzz is palpable. The best teams in the country have underachieved to date. Alabama's offense has fallen apart to such a degree that the Crimson Tide fell out of the AP top 10 after a win. Colorado's drawing ridiculous ratings. Washington is playing like the best team in the country. Texas is back. And USC. Florida State, too. And maybe Penn State and Miami?

Now comes the buzziest weekend imaginable, with six ranked-versus-ranked matchups and seven unbeaten-versus-unbeaten games. Notre Dame has a major statement opportunity. Alabama's playing in its most desperately important game in quite a while. Florida State has a chance to officially seize control of the ACC from Clemson's grasp. The first of many Pac-12 battles royale gets underway.

This weekend is almost too much. Almost. But here's everything you need to follow during one of the bigger September Saturdays we've seen.

Jump to a section:
Opportunity in South Bend
A weighty Bama game
Searching for Clemson playmakers
Pac-12 royal rumble, Part 1
Best bets
| Week 4 playlist
Small school showcase

Opportunity awaits in South Bend

No. 6 Ohio State at No. 9 Notre Dame (7:30 p.m., NBC)

Notre Dame vs. Ohio State will always feel enormous. For all of the Fighting Irish's history with Big Ten opposition, meetings with the Buckeyes have been rare. Notre Dame won a pair of big games in the 1930s, but Ohio State has won each of their other five meetings, all as the favorite, over the past 28 years. This is one hell of an opportunity for either team to present best-in-the-country bona fides. Notre Dame's even wearing its special-opportunity green jerseys!