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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.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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