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College football predictions: Finally, the Big 12 takes the big stage

by Berry Tramel Modified: October 24, 2013 at 3:35 pm •  Published: October 24, 2013

Finally, the Big 12 enters the national stage. Four college football games Saturday showcase two top-25 teams — 10th-ranked Texas Tech at N0. 15 OU, No. Stanford at No. 25 Oregon State, No. 21 South Carolina at No. 5 Missouri and No. 12 UCLA at No. 3 Oregon. Let’s get to the picks:
Texas Tech at OU: Sooners 27-20. The Red Raiders are not as overrated as I thought. They’re ranked 11th (average) in the computer polls. That’s not so far off Tech’s slot of ninth in the human polls.

OSU at Iowa State: Cowboys 28-14. I say Clint Chelf plays most of the way, J.W. Walsh spells him in some short-yardage situations and Rennie Childs does NOT start at tailback.

Texas at TCU: Longhorns 20-13. The Horned Frogs can’t throw. Can’t throw at all. I don’t see how you can win without throwing some.

West Virginia at Kansas State: Mountaineers 23-22. Big 12 upset special. West Virginia isn’t very good but has played some solid teams tough. Eventually, that’s got to pay off. 

Baylor at Kansas: Bears 42-14. Baylor isn’t the same team on the road. And Kansas isn’t terrible at home. Which is why this game won’t be 71-7.

South Carolina at Missouri: Tigers 24-20. Fool me twice, shame on you. I’ve picked against Mizzou twice in a row. Not anymore.

Vanderbilt at Texas A&M: Aggies 45-20. Johnny Manziel remains the nation’s best quarterback, even if no one wants to admit it.

Tennessee at Alabama: Crimson Tide 35-3. The Volunteers are getting better. But there’s better, then there’s Alabama.

Kentucky at Mississippi State: Bulldogs 29-7. Mark Stoops has a long hill to climb.

Florida Atlantic at Auburn: Tigers 42-6. This SEC practice of a bunch of rumdum late in the season is very unappealing.

Idaho at Ole Miss: Rebels 56-16. See what I mean?

Furman at LSU: Bayou Bengals 61-7. And this is worse.

UCLA at Oregon: Ducks 61-29. Here’s how good Oregon is. UCLA could play well and still lose 61-29.

Stanford at Oregon State: Beavers 30-24. An Oregon State win could take the luster off Oregon-Stanford, which will be played the same Thursday night as OU-Baylor.

California at Washington: Huskies 49-21. Cal has a chance to sink to the bottom of the Pac-12. The Jeff Tedford glory days seem a long time ago.

Utah at Southern Cal: Utes 19-14. Utah State dang near won on the LA Coliseum. And Utah beat Utah State.

Arizona at Colorado: Wildcats 38-25. The Pac-12 South could turn into quite the horse race. I guess I’d favor Arizona State, but anyone this side of Colorado could win it.

Wake Forest at Miami: Hurricanes 26-10. Who’s more overrated? Tech or Miami? I might vote for Miami.

North Carolina State at Florida State: Seminoles 48-14. N.C. State knocked Florida State from the unbeaten ranks last year. Not going to happen this year.

Clemson at Maryland: Tigers 48-10. The ACC and the SEC both have some excellent teams at the top. The difference? The SEC’s middle teams are quality; the ACC’s stink.

Duke at Virginia Tech: Hokies 21-20. Man, I almost pulled the trigger on a Blue Devil upset. I don’t know if the Hokies can score.

Boston College at North Carolina: Tar Heels 26-21. Larry Fedora messed up UNC’s game against Miami. Bad game management. I don’t recommend that too many times.

Georgia Tech at Virginia: Yellowjackets 33-7. Virginia is a train wreck of a program and didn’t even need NCAA violations to do it.

Pittsburgh at Navy: Panthers 27-24. Could this be the year that Army gets Navy? The Midshipmen lost to Toledo last week.

Northwestern at Iowa: Hawkeyes 24-21. Give Kirk Ferentz credit. Iowa is getting better. And give Pat Fitzgerald blame. The Wildcats are getting worse.

Nebraska at Minnesota: Cornhuskers 31-30. I almost pulled the trigger on an upset. Minnesota isn’t playing half bad without Jerry Kill.

Michigan State at Illinois: Illini 26-17. Upset special. The Spartans can’t score. Literally can’t score. Fourteen points on Purdue.

Penn State at Ohio State: Buckeyes 38-13. Wonder if this game ever will get big again?

Houston at Rutgers: Scarlet Knights 27-14. Actually a big game in the American Athletic Conference. Neither team has been eliminated from a BCS bowl berth.

Louisville at South Florida: Cardinals 38-9. Louisville squandered a primrose path. Maybe the ‘Ville just isn’t that good.

Connecticut at Central Florida: Golden Knights 31-10. Central Florida could be BCS bowl bound.

Temple at SMU: Mustangs 39-21. Rutgers, UConn, Temple. That’s a heck of a conference SMU finds itself in.

Boise State at Brigham Young: Broncos 28-27. What an excellent matchup; only 380 miles, but they’ve never been in the same conference.

Notre Dame at Air Force: Fighting Irish 33-14. Quietly, Notre Dame is having a decent year. At 5-2, the Irish still could make a BCS bowl.

Fresno State at San Diego State: Bulldogs 31-30. Fresno State’s toughest remaining game in trying to go undefeated.

Nevada-Las Vegas at Nevada: Wolf Pack 27-14. Nevada has won eight straight in the series over their pals from Vegas.

Wyoming at San Jose State: Cowboys 38-30. Lots of parity in the Mountain West.

Colorado State at Hawaii: Rainbows 30-20. I can’t get excited about Hawaii in the Mountain West. Just can’t do it. Wish the Rainbows would get good. Then we’d have relevant games to watch all the way to 3 a.m.

Tulsa at Tulane: Green Wave 31-20. Tulane is one of the surprise teams in college football. The Wave can knock Tulsa from Conference USA title contention.

Texas-El Paso at Rice: Owls 28-10. Rice and Tulane are on a collision course for Conference USA’s West Division title.

North Texas at Southern Miss: Mean Green 27-15. Take Bob Stoops’ old pal (Dan McCarney) over Mike Gundy’s old pal (Todd Monken).

Louisiana Tech at Florida International: Bulldogs 31-21. Take Lou Holtz’s son (Skip) over Norv Turner’s brother (Ron).

Alabama-Birmingham at Texas-San Antonio: Roadrunners 42-34. Take the OU offensive coordinator from 1990-92 (Larry Coker) over the OU quarterback from 1994-95 (Garrick McGee).

Marshall at Middle Tennessee: Thundering Herd 44-34. Marshall is in the driver’s seat in Conference USA’s East Division.

Last week: 23-18. Season: 304-89.


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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