College football predictions: Can Upset Specials continue?
Not a bad week for me last week. Both of my Upset Specials came through — Kansas State over Miami and Temple over Maryland. Actually, not a bad season.
I count an upset special as anything with at least a five-point spread. The only exception to that was I picked UCLA to beat Texas, when the ‘Horns were 31/2–point favorites. There was scant few options in the Big 12 that week, so I had to pick something. And I didn’t win that one anyway.
This year, I’m 2-2 in Big 12 Upset Specials, losing Northern Iowa over Iowa State (almost) and UCLA-Texas. I won KSU-Miami and Kansas over Northern Illinois (easy pickings). I’m 4-0 on national Upset Specials: Maryland over Miami, Auburn over Mississippi State, Utah over BYU and Temple over Maryland.
So the pressure’s on to keep the streak alive. Here are this week’s games.
Ball State at Oklahoma: Sooners 55-14. Bad timing for Ball State. The Sooners seem mad — Bob Stoops included — just as the Cardinals come to town.
Bowling Green at West Virginia: Mountaineers 41-17. Pay no attention to West Virginia’s 500-plus total yards against LSU. Yards are overrated.
Air Force at Navy: Midshipmen 29-21. Underrated rivalry. Really good programs. Possible future Big East foes.
Penn State at Indiana: Nittany Lions 28-14. Man, Kevin Wilson is off to a horrible start at IU. Losses to Ball State and North Texas. But as colleague John Shinn of the Norman Transcript said, if it was such a cushy job, it wouldn’t have come open for Wilson.
Georgia Tech at North Carolina State: Yellowjackets 26-16. I watched the N.C. State-Cincinnati game last week, and if the Wold Pack was in the Big 12, it would finish higher than no one except possibly Kansas. And I say possibly.
Texas Tech at Kansas: Jayhawks 28-27. Upset special in the Big 12. KU can’t stop anyone inside, but it’s not like Tech is the 1967 USC Trojans. Tech barely survived mediocre Nevada.
UCLA at Stanford: Cardinal 49-20. Andrew Luck is the Heisman front-runner, but until the Oregon game, will he play on a stage that anyone watches?
Texas at Iowa State: Longhorns 24-21. I listened to the 2010 UT-ISU game while driving from Kansas City to Columbia, Mo. Kudos to the Cyclone radio crew. Big play after big play kept Iowa State in front, and you’d have thought the Cyclones were playing Ball State. I don’t know how those guys kept their excitement level down.
Michigan State at Ohio State: Buckeyes 17-16. Ohio State clearly was not ready for an extreme makeover, team edition.
Alabama at Florida: Gators 20-19. National Upset Special. I’m a believer in Will Muschamp. I don’t know if I’m a believer in Charlie Weis and John Brantley, but I’m a believer in Will Muschamp.
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas at Arlington, Texas: Aggies 30-29. Will the loss to OSU beat A&M again? I’m betting no in this SEC rivalry preview.
Arizona at Southern Cal: Trojans 51-31. Where’s the defense? That’s the biggest surprise to me about the Mike Stoops era. The longer he’s there, the better his offense, the worse his defense.
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