Here’s how you know the good part of the college football season has arrived. Two weeks ago, predicting games straight up, I went 45-4. Forty-five and four! Last week, with most of the games against overmatched I-AA foes gone, I was 29-14. Which is more like it. Let’s get to the games.
TCU at OU: Sooners 27-14. I still think the Frogs have one of the better teams in the Big 12. Of course, that probably says more about the Big 12 than it does the Frogs.
Kansas State at OSU: Cowboys 35-21. Maybe OSU just laid a clunker in Morgantown. Maybe isn’t that good. We start finding out which with this game.
Texas at Iowa State: Longhorns 28-21. No David Ash? This game gets really interesting. Lose, and Mack Brown might resign over the weekend.
West Virginia at Baylor: Bears 56-20. Baylor might get the 63 it scored last season on West Virginia. But no way do the Mountaineers get near the 70 they scored on Baylor.
Texas Tech at Kansas: Jayhawks 20-17. Upset special. I’m just not sold on Tech. Quarterback issues galore.
Georgia at Tennessee: Bulldogs 48-14. What a series this once was. Makes you sort of sad for the Volunteers.
LSU at Mississippi State: Bayou Bengals 38-20. Les Miles has a heck of a team. Good enough to go into Tuscaloosa and win in early November.
Arkansas at Florida: Gators 24-14. Can Florida win with defense in the SEC? Yes in 2012. But probably not in 2013.
Ole Miss at Auburn: Tigers 27-25. In 2004, Hugh Freeze was head coach at Briarcrest Christian High School in Memphis and Gus Malzahn was head coach at Springdale (Ark.) High School. Now Freeze is head coach at Ole Miss and Malzahn head coach at Auburn.
Georgia State at Alabama: Crimson Tide 48-0. The only thing these programs have in common is that Bill Curry was head coach of both. An absolute atrocity that this game is being played.
Missouri at Vanderbilt: Commodores 27-26. The James Franklin Bowl. The Mizzou quarterback and the Vandy head coach share the same name.
Kentucky at South Carolina: Gamecocks 31-13. Stoops vs. Spurrier! Stoops vs. Spurrier. Oh, wait. Wrong Stoops.
Washington at Stanford: Cardinal 42-23. Stanford coach David Shaw chuckled that Barry Sanders Jr.’s mopup touchdown against Washington State was the SportsCenter highlight. More footage will be shown of this battle of unbeatens.
Notre Dame vs. Arizona State at Arlington, Texas: Fighting Irish 30-21. Upset special. Brian Kelly growing a little testy. He was charming in his office last week, but he snapped at NBC sideline reporter Alex Flanagan at halftime of the OU game, and now Kelly has declared no more singing of the alma mater by his players after home defeats. Seems to me that’s a little negative thinking.
UCLA at Utah: Bruins 35-30. UCLA flying under the radar. Lose in Salt Lake City, and that won’t change.
Oregon at Colorado: Ducks 62-17. If someone made me pick a national champion at this point, I’d go with Oregon.
Washington State at California: Golden Bears 31-21. A Texas Tech coaching icon (Mike Leach) against the son (Sonny Dykes) of a Texas Tech coaching icon.
Maryland at Florida State: Seminoles 41-15. The Terrapins are ranked 23rd. We’ve got to get rid of this top 25 stuff. Got to go back to a top 20.
Georgia Tech at Miami: Hurricanes 30-20. Al Golden has Miami playing well. Win this game, and the ‘Canes should be undefeated going to Florida State on Nov. 2.
North Carolina at Virginia Tech: Hokies 20-18. Virginia Tech’s defense is big-time. Too bad the Hokies don’t have an offense to match.
Clemson at Syracuse: Tigers 51-21. Strange matchup. Sort of like Nebraska-Indiana, Missouri-Florida and Texas Tech-West Virginia. Sometimes conference realignment leads to weird games.
North Carolina State at Wake Forest: Wolfpack 30-14. N.C. State figures to be 5-1 going to Florida State on Oct. 26. And 5-2 leaving Florida State.
Ball State at Virginia: Cavaliers 48-12. Non-conference games in October can be cool. They also can be boring.
Army at Boston College: Eagles 33-24. Sure hope this game gets played.
Ohio State at Northwestern: Buckeyes 34-12. Between this game and the Nov. 30 game at Michigan, Ohio State’s schedule is Iowa, Penn State, at Purdue, at Illinois, Indiana. In other words, this is Ohio State’s last chance to lose for a long time.
Michigan State at Iowa: Spartans 19-7. Iowa is 4-1, but the schedule’s about to toughen up. Wish Ohio State had Iowa’s schedule.
Penn State at Indiana: Hoosiers 31-30. These aren’t the Nittany Lions of old, but this would be a nice win for Kevin Wilson.
Minnesota at Michigan: Wolverines 42-16. The Gophers are 4-1, but the schedule’s about to toughen up. Wish Ohio State had Minnesota’s schedule.
Illinois at Nebraska: Cornhuskers 45-24. The Illini actually has some offensive power. This might not be the answer for Nebraska’s defensive woes.
Louisville at Temple: Cardinals 67-7. Temple lost to Idaho last week. Idaho is an excellent choice for worst I-A program of the last 10 years.
Rutgers at SMU: Scarlet Knights 26-21. What was that I was saying about conference realignment creating stange bedfellows.
Cincinnati at South Florida: Bearcats 41-14. Jim Leavitt, wherefore art thou?
Central Florida at Memphis: Golden Knights 39-10. UCF figures to be Louisville’s chief threat in the American Athletic Conference.
Air Force at Navy: Midshipmen 30-20. Sure hope this game gets played.
Brigham Young at Utah State: Aggies 38-28. The Utah state championship already belongs to the Utes. So this game is to make someone go home with a bronze medal.
New Mexico State at New Mexico: Aggies 29-20. Why not go with the beleaguered Aggies. New Mexico stinks this year.
San Jose State at Hawaii: Rainbows 24-23. Norm Chow could use a win. Hawaii is 0-4.
Fresno State at Idaho: Bulldogs 38-6. Don’t sleep on Fresno State making the Fiesta Bowl.
Nevada at San Diego State: Aztecs 39-30. Both programs have seen better days.
Rice at Tulsa: Golden Hurricane 23-17. Lose this game, and Tulsa’s season has gone south in a hurry.
East Carolina at Middle Tennessee: Pirates 38-34. Middle. What a cool geographic name. Wouldn’t Central Oklahoma or Central Arkansas sound cooler if they were Middle Oklahoma or Middle Arkansas?
Florida International at Southern Miss: Golden Eagles 25-17. Somone is going to get their first win of the season. Hope it’s Todd Monken at Southern Miss.
North Texas at Tulane: Mean Green 31-22. North Texas has been quite competitive this season, particularly at Georgia.
Louisiana Tech at Texas-El Paso: Miners 26-14. Just La Tech’s luck. It gets out of the Western Athletic Conference and into a better geographic fit, and its first Conference USA road trip is 900 miles to El Paso.
Texas-San Antonio at Marshall: Thundering Herd 54-17. The stunning development of Texas schools playing in West Virginia continues.