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College football forecast: Gus Malzahn, Marshall on the rise, Will Muschamp, Michigan in decline

Football 2014: The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel projects the national college football picture.
by Berry Tramel Published: August 28, 2014

Projecting the 2014 college football season:

College Football Playoff Final Four: Florida State, Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma.

Title game pick: Florida State 27, Alabama 17

Game of the year: Oregon-UCLA, Pac-12 championship game, which could cost the league a berth in the Football Four.

Upset of the year: Indiana stuns Michigan State as Kevin Wilson gets the biggest win of his head coaching career.

Coach on the rise: Gus Malzahn. He could get Auburn back into a major bowl, a year after the Tigers went worst-to-first in the SEC.

Coach on the way out: Florida’s Will Muschamp. Not much positive is happening in Gainesville.

Team on the rise: Marshall. The Thundering Herd gets the mid-major bid available for one of the New Year’s Six bowls.

Team on the decline: Michigan. The Wolverines have to work to beat out Penn State and Nebraska for this distinction in the Big Ten’s Sunset Boulevard-of-a-conference.