A week of talking college football scandal nears an end. Not a moment too soon. We’re all ready for some ballgames. Let’s get to the predictions:
Tulsa at OU: Sooners 31-10. If OU doesn’t win easily with Blake Bell, is it Kendal Thompson’s turn?
Lamar at OSU: Cowboys 67-7. Nobody needs a game more than Oklahoma State fans.
Ole Miss at Texas: Longhorns 34-27. Who will quarterback Texas? Who will coordinate the defense? Who will drive Mack Brown to the bus station if he loses?
TCU at Texas Tech: Horned Frogs 27-24. Last time TCU went to Lubbock, it took a 21-0 lead. And lost 70-35. But Mike Leach is long ago and far away.
Georgia State at West Virginia: Mountaineers 52-0. There are few universities in America with less reason to have a football team than Georgia State.
Massachusetts at Kansas State: Wildcats 45-7. The Minutemen now are Division I-A, playing in the Mid-American Conference. No, neither one makes a lick of sense.
Kansas at Rice: Jayhawks 24-21. Big 12 upset special. Lose this game, and it’s a long, long year for KU. The other nine teams in the Big 12 are better than Rice.
Iowa at Iowa State: Hawkeyes 19-14. I promise you, if we didn’t have overtime, I’d have picked a tie.
Alabama at Texas A&M: Crimson Tide 27-20. Funny how many ties these schools have. Bear Bryant went from A&M to Bama. Gene Stallings went from A&M to eventually Bama. Dennis Franchione went from Bama to A&M. Hey, let’s start a rumor. Kevin Sumlin, next Alabama coach.
Tennessee at Oregon: Ducks 56-27. Great matchup, if the Volunteers still played big-time football. Alas, they don’t. And Oregon does.
Mississippi State at Auburn: Tigers 26-21. Tyler Russell returns at quarterback for Miss State, after a concussion against OSU. The Bulldogs need this one, if they’re going to make a bowl.
Southern Miss at Arkansas: Razorbacks 45-10. This would have been an interesting game played anytime before 2012. The bottom has fallen out of Southern’s program.
Kent State at LSU: Bayou Bengals 39-7. Les Miles talked tough in response to Sports Illustrated allegations. He could use a football game, too.
Louisville at Kentucky: Cardinals 49-17. Mark Stoops is recruiting well for UK. He’d recruit even better with a win here.
Vanderbilt at South Carolina: Gamecocks 37-20. This might come as a shock to Jadeveon Clowney, but Steve Spurrier’s primary goal is to win football games, not Clowney a Heisman Trophy.
UCLA at Nebraska: Cornhuskers 37-27. Bruins dealing with the death of a player. That’s never easy.
Stanford at Army: Cardinal 41-9. The Cadets cover the scheduling spectrum. They played Morgan State last week, Stanford this week.
Boston College at Southern Cal: Trojans 17-7. That’s one bad offense in Los Angeles. Seven points vs. Washington State. Think about this. OU and USC have been perhaps the two best quarterback schools of the last 12-15 years, and here we are in Week 3, and neither has settled on a QB.
Fresno State at Colorado: Bulldogs 42-23. Derek Carr is the real deal for Fresno State.
Washington at Illinois: Huskies 33-28. Big win for Tim Beckman last week, when Illinois beat Cincinnati. Win this game, and the Illini will really have a new attitude.
Ohio State at California; Buckeyes 30-20. Something seems a tad off in Columbus. Maybe it’s no more complicated than Braxton Miller getting healthy.
Southern Utah at Washington State: Cougars 44-14. Great start for Mike Leach. Plays tough at Auburn, wins at Southern Cal.
Oregon State at Utah: Beavers 41-31. The Utes don’t leave the state of Utah until Oct. 19.
Wisconsin at Arizona State: Badgers 28-26. National upset special. The Pac-12 South favorite against a school that’s been to three straight Rose Bowls. ASU is a 51/2-point favorite.
Texas-San Antonio at Arizona: Wildcats 50-14. UTSA wasn’t half bad. But RichRod’s offense will go bonkers.
Bowling Green at Indiana: Hoosiers 30-28. Kevin Wilson still has some growing paints at IU.
Akron at Michigan: Wolverines 44-12. One of three Bigt Ten/Mid-American matchups this week. The MAC is usually good for an upset of a Big Ten team.
Western Illinois at Minnesota: Gophers 48-14. Man, this Minnesota schedule is weak. UNLV, New Mexico State, now Western Illiniois. San Jose State awaits. Then the Gophers open Big Ten play with Iowa. If one of the polls puts 5-0 Minnesota in the top 25, I’m not going to be pleasant to live with.
Youngstown State at Michigan State: Spartans 26-14. Michigan State has scored 47 points combined against Western Michigan and South Florida. Don’t know why that trend wouldn’t continue.
Western Michigan at Northwestern: Wildcats 44-15. The Big Ten’s N&M Division — Nebraska, Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State and Minnesota, plus Iowa — is up for grabs. Why not Northwestern?
Notre Dame at Purdue: Fighting Irish 27-7. Tommy Rees is proving to be a solid quarterback, though Everett Golson is better.
Central Florida at Penn State: Golden Knights 28-24. Nittany Lions have been unimpressive so far, and the Penn State name remains a big-game catch for a mid-major like UCF.
Virginia Tech at East Carolina: Hokies 36-24. Dangerous game for VPI. Greenville, N.C., is no easy place to play.
Louisiana-Monroe at Wake Forest: Demon Deacons 37-31. A very instructive game for OU. If Wake handles UL-Monroe, the shine of the Sooners’ domination lessens a bit.
New Mexico at Pittsburgh: Panthers 30-15. Strange matchup, don’t you think? Why would these two teams be playing?
Nevada at Florida State: Seminoles 42-22. Jameis Winston for Heisman! Jameis Winston for Heisman!
Georgia Tech at Duke: Yellowjackets 49-17. I fear the Blue Devils peaked in 2012.
Wagner at Syracuse: Orange 38-6. This sounds more like a first-round NCAA Tournament game in Buffalo.
Maryland at Connecticut: Terrapins 29-7. UConn is the Kansas of the East, except KU has a stable home.
Eastern Michigan at Rutgers: Knights 31-12. Hey, can I count this as another Big Ten/MAC matchup?
Fordham at Temple: Owls 31-16. Hey, shouldn’t this be played at the Palestra?
Florida Atlantic at South Florida: Bulls 38-14. FAU plays one of its first six games at home.
Northwestern Louisiana at Cincinnati: Bearcats 40-7. The entire American Athletic Conference needed Cincy to beat Illinois last week.
Memphis at Middle Tennessee: Blue Raiders 35-26. Justin Fuente’s team played Duke tough, but a trip to Murfreesboro won’t be fruitful.
Air Force at Boise State: Broncos 31-30. This sounds like a much better matchup than it will be.
Cal Poly at Colorado State: Rams 34-8. When I was a kid, I always thought Cal Poly was the coolest name.
Northern Colorado at Wyoming: Cowboys 49-21. Pretty country at both schools.
Weber State at Utah State: Aggies 62-21. Utah State is an undertold success story.
Central Michigan at Nevada-Las Vegas: Rebels 20-18. There is very little reason for UNLV to be as bad as it’s been the last several decades.
Tulane at Louisiana Tech: Bulldogs 63-13. The Green Wave lost to I-A yearling South Alabama last week.
Ball State at North Texas: Mean Green 23-21. Wonder what UNT will do with that old stadium across I-35 from the new stadium?
Marshall at Ohio: Bobcats 42-40. This could be the game of the day.
Texas-El Paso at New Mexico State: Miners 29-21. Close in proximity, close in college football tradition.
Last week: 55-6. Season: 99-21.