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Week 4 College Football Picks: LSU At West Virginia, Arkansas At Alabama, Oklahoma State At Texas A&M

Oklahoma State is my upset pick this week against Texas A&M. (AP photo)
Brad Carroll takes a look at the top college football games of the day
Last Week
: 7-0 (spread); 7-0 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
This Season: 13-7-1 (spread); 19-2 (overall); 1-0 (upset picks)
Craig Carroll's Week: 4-3 (spread)
Craig Carroll's Season: 12-8-1 (spread)

No. 14 Arkansas at No. 3 Alabama, 3:30 p.m., CBS
The Skinny: Arkansas is looking for revenge, while Alabama is looking to continue its quest for a national championship. It’s just another day in the SEC, the best football conference in the land. Last year, Arkansas led Alabama at home by two touchdowns, but the Crimson Tide came back to win 24-20. This year, on the field, it’s all about the Arkansas offense against the Alabama defense. Both units are among the nation’s best, although the edge has to be given to the Crimson Tide. Alabama wins, the only question is by how much. The Pick: Alabama (-12) wins it 31-21.

No. 2 LSU at No. 16 West Virginia, 8 p.m., ABC
The Skinny: The LSU defense is talking a big game, especially safety Brandon Taylor, who says West Virginia won’t score on the Tigers defense. While that may get the Mountaineers offense motivated to prove him wrong, they just might not be able to do it. LSU’s defense is that good. The problem, as always with LSU, besides being coached by Les Miles, is the team's hapless offense. West Virginia, on the other hand, does have a tremendous offense, which brings us to that never-ending question: What wins, offense or defense? The Pick: LSU (-6) wins it 24-17.

No. 7 Oklahoma State at No. 8 Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m., ABC
The Skinny: This is one of those games where you can make an argument for either team and nobody could disagree. This is the first matchup between Top 10 teams at Kyle Field since 1975 and it should come down to the final possession. In fact, since 1997, this game has been decided by five points or less seven times. Oklahoma State has come up the winner the last three years, with the last two by less than a touchdown. The Pick: Oklahoma State (+4.5) wins it 35-34.

No. 11 Florida State at No. 21 Clemson, 3:30 p.m., ESPN
The Skinny: Unfortunately, we probably won’t know if Florida State QB E.J. Manuel is going to play or not until game time. Manuel hurt his left shoulder against Oklahoma last week, so there’s no telling if he will be ready. Clemson, however, will be ready no matter who lines up under center for FSU. Coming off a big win over Auburn, the Tigers are riding high and will have the “Death Valley” crowd behind them. The Seminoles haven't won in Clemson since 2001. The Pick: Clemson (-2.5) wins it 28-24.

Missouri at No. 1 Oklahoma, 8 p.m., FX
The Skinny: Missouri upset top-ranked Oklahoma last year with a stunning fourth quarter performance, scoring 16 straight points to knock the Sooners out of the BCS title game picture. Oklahoma hasn’t forgotten that moment, which is bad news for a Missouri team that lost QB Blaine Gabbert to the NFL and overall is a shadow of last year’s team. Oklahoma will roll to its 38th straight victory at home. The Pick: Oklahoma (-21) wins it 42-14.

No. 23 Southern Cal at Arizona State, 10:15 p.m., ESPN
The Skinny: This game could represent a changing of the guard in the Pac 12. With Southern Cal banned from postseason play, Arizona State as the trendy pick to play in the conference championship game. This is the Sun Devils chance to prove everyone correct. But it’s not going to be easy. Arizona State has lost 11 games in a row to USC. QB Matt Barkley will keep the Trojans in it, but I’m going with ASU. The Pick: Arizona State (-2.5) wins it 27-24.

Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, 12 p.m., ABC
The Skinny: Notre Dame is finally rolling this season, Pittsburgh is not. The Pick: Notre Dame (-6.5) wins it 34-24.
Here are Craig Carroll’s picks for the week: Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma State, Florida State, Oklahoma, USC, Notre Dame.

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