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Berry Tramel  


College football predictions: Big 12 out of the spotlight

by Berry Tramel Modified: October 17, 2013 at 5:05 pm •  Published: October 17, 2013

Mike Gundy might take exception to Berry Tramel's upset pick this week in college football.
Mike Gundy might take exception to Berry Tramel's upset pick this week in college football.
Another great Saturday of college football awaits, with four matchups involving top-25 teams. Alas, none of the four is a Big 12 showdown. The Big 12 is afflicted with A) mediocrity; and B) its best matchups backloaded near the end of the season, when no one outside a few campuses will care. Let’s get to the games.
TCU at OSU: Horned Frogs 23-20. Upset special. The Cowboys had trouble moving the ball on West Virginia and Kansas State. TCU’s defense is a big upgrade on that.

OU at Kansas: Sooners 28-7.  KU’s defense isn’t half bad. The Sooners might struggle offensively for a third straight week.

Texas Tech at West Virginia: Red Raiders 27-21. Tech’s first-ever trip to Morgantown. West Virginia seeks revenge for the loss that burst its bubble in 2012.

Iowa State at Baylor: Bears 49-20. Beating Baylor in Waco is becoming increasingly more difficult. The Bears have won 16 of their last 17 at Floyd Casey Stadium, losing only to TCU early last season.

Florida at Missouri: Gators 21-18. What was shaping up as a special season in Columbia hit a snag with the news that quarterback James Franklin had a separated shoulder. Still, it won’t take a ton of points to beat Florida. Win this game, and Mizzou is in the driver’s seat for the SEC East.

LSU at Ole Miss: Bayou Bengals 38-27. LSU always is dangerous when it has an offense. And LSU has an offense.

Auburn at Texas A&M: Aggies 45-19. I really don’t see how Johnny Manziel won’t win another Heisman. He’s clearly the nation’s best player.

South Carolina at Tennessee: Gamecocks 24-17. South Carolina was more than happy to fill the power broker void left by the Volunteers in the SEC East.

Georgia at Vanderbilt: Bulldogs 52-16.  Georgia will be angry. Its loss to Missouri is easily explainable. The Bulldogs were playing an NFL-type schedule. Every week could go either way. Georgia opened with Clemson, South Carolina, North Texas, LSU, Tennessee and Missouri. The two easy games — UNT and Tennessee — were tough on the ‘Dawgs.

Arkansas at Alabama: Crimson Tide 39-3. Bret Bielema could be playing Illinois this week.

UCLA at Stanford: Bruins 28-19. Upset special. I like UCLA. And I don’t like Stanford. The Cardinal has not been impressive this season. It’s possible Stanford just isn’t that good.

Washington State at Oregon: Ducks 51-10. Mike Leach put up a good fight most of the season. Then came the fourth quarter against Oregon State, when a 24-24 game became 24-52 really quickly. Speaking of really quickly, Oregon can put a hurting on you faster than you even know it.

Washington at Arizona State: Huskies 40-36. Really good game. Wish it was on late-night ESPN instead of the Pac-12 Network. 

Oregon State at California: Beavers 42-40.  Oregon State opened the season with a loss to I-AA Eastern Washington. Win that game, and the Beavers would be unbeaten and ranked in the top 15.

Utah at Arizona: Utes 30-27.  Utah showing its first sign of life as a Pac-12 member, but the Utes still are 8-13 in conference play since jumping from the Mountain West. 

Southern Cal at Notre Dame: Fighting Irish 24-17.  Do the Trojans have any life after Lane Kiffin? I’d vote no.

Charleston Southern at Colorado: Buffaloes 48-10. Who cares more about football these days? Kansas or Colorado?

Florida State at Clemson: Tigers 28-27. What a game. I have no idea who will win or how it will go. But what a game. The kind of game that could get Brent Venables a head coaching job.

Miami at North Carolina: Tar Heels 30-20. Larry Fedora’s team has got to start playing well some time. Miami is the most overrated team in America.

Syracuse at Georgia Tech: Yellowjackets 35-28. Just when you start to get excited about the ACC, you realize this is the kind of game the league offers up on a consistent basis.

Maryland at Wake Forest: Terrapins 33-14. Do you remember the movie “Awakenings”? Robin Williams starred, maybe 25 years ago. About a bunch of virtual comatose mental patients were given some experimental drug and many of them came to life. Alas, they eventually drifted back to their prior state. That’s Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons actually went to the Orange Bowl in 2006. But now they’re Wake Forest again.

Duke at Virginia: Blue Devils 41-31. I assume Tennessee regrets never hiring David Cutliffe as head coach.

Old Dominion at Pitt: Panthers 48-0. This would make a much better first-round NCAA Tournament game than an October football game.

Iowa at Ohio State: Buckeyes 28-3. You know what’s so disturbing about Bob Stoops’ Sooners the last two weeks? They’ve played two straight games in which they look like Stoops’ alma mater. Iowa is always putting out teams like this. Scratch out a win here, lose a game there because there’s just not enough offense. 

Wisconsin at Illinois: Badgers 33-28. Wisconsin has played two straight emotional games. Agonizing loss to Ohio State, big win over Northwestern. Good spot for Tim Beckman to spring an upset.

Indiana at Michigan: Wolverines 41-31. Kevin Wilson’s Hoosiers actually could win this game. That would be quite a coup — beating Penn State and Michigan in the same season.

Purdue at Michigan State: Spartans 31-0. If Purdue played Kansas, I’d take the Jayhawks and give you 13 points.

Minnesota at Northwestern: Wildcats 28-12. Jerry Kill steps aside with the Gophers, after so many seizures kept him from attending or finishing games. There was no other outcome to this story.

Central Florida at Louisville: Cardinals 31-21. The ‘Ville’s last decent chance to lose.

Connecticut at Cincinnati: Bearcats 35-23. The two schools hardest hit by conference realignment.

Brigham Young at Houston: Mormons 37-22. Interesting game. Houston isn’t very good, but Cougar High is unbeaten. Win here, and Houston might stay that way until it goes to Louisville on Nov. 16.

SMU at Memphis: Tigers 32-31. Justin Fuente is 1-4, but his Tigers are playing teams tough.

Army at Temple: Owls 19-14. Sudden thought. Why isn’t Army in the American Athletic Conference? The Cadets could compete in that league.

Navy at Toledo: Midshipmen 28-26. Side note to Army. Navy is joining the AAC.

Colorado State at Wyoming: Cowboys 42-34. Wyoming can score. The Cowboys can score on Nebraska and on Mountain West teams and apparently on anyone this side of Texas State (21 points in a 42-21 loss).

Nevada-Las Vegas at Fresno State: Bulldogs 45-18. I’m telling you. Fresno State could be Fiesta Bowl-bound. Baylor-Fresno State! Get your tickets now.

Nevada at Boise State: Broncos 28-25. Remember when the Wolf Pack stunned the Boise State in overtime back in November 2010? Cost Boise State a Rose Bowl berth that instead went to TCU.

Utah State at New Mexico: Aggies 26-24. You know, for such a smallish state with no great football pedigree, the state of Utah produces some decent programs. BYU, Utah, now Utah State is competitive.

Southern Miss at East Carolina: Pirates 33-16. You know, Southern Miss best be careful. Another 0-12 season isn’t out of the question.

North Texas at Louisiana Tech: Mean Green 21-20. They must play fast games at North Texas. Coming home from OU-Texas on Saturday night, we drove past the Eagles’ new stadium at probably 9:15 p.m., and the place was cleared out from a 6 p.m. kickoff. Must be nice.

Rice at New Mexico State: Owls 31-24. Rice is putting together a nice season.

Last week: 32-10. Season: 281-71.


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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