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College football predictions: National eyes on Stillwater

by Berry Tramel Modified: November 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm •  Published: November 21, 2013

Berry Tramel says go with Oklahoma State against Baylor ... but not by much. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Berry Tramel says go with Oklahoma State against Baylor ... but not by much. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

After four straight weeks of OSU or OU playing in the second- or third-biggest game of the college football weekend, the cycle is broken. Baylor comes to OSU in clearly the nation’s biggest game.

How big is the game? One of the biggest games in Stillwater history. Josh Newkirk, a self-proclaimed OSU psycho, sent me a list of the top games in OSU history, by rankings. Here are the top 12 (using the AP rankings, except when BCS rankings are applicable):

1. 1984: No. 3 OSU at No. 2 OU — Sooners won 24-14.

2. 2011: No. 3 OSU vs. No. 4 Stanford in Fiesta Bowl — Cowboys won 41-38 in overtime.

3. 2008: No. 6 OSU at No. 1 Texas — Longhorns won 28-24.

4. 2008: No. 9 OSU at No. 2 Texas Tech — Red Raiders won 56-20.

5. 2011: No. 10 OU at No. 3 OSU — Cowboys won 44-10.

6. 2013: No. 4 Baylor at No. 10 OSU.

7. 1985: No. 9 Nebraska at No. 5 OSU — Cornhuskers won 34-24.

8. 2011: No. 7 OSU at No. 8 Texas A&M — Cowboys won 30-29.

9. 1945: No. 6 OSU vs. No. 9 St. Mary’s in Sugar Bowl — Cowboys won 33-13.

10. 1984: No. 9 OSU vs. No. 7 South Carolina — Cowboys won 21-14.

11. 1984: No. 9 OSU at No. 8 Nebraska — Cornhuskers won 17-3.

12. 1988: No. 10 OSU at No. 7 Nebraska — Cornhuskers won 63-42.

So this game is just the third in Boone Pickens Stadium/Lewis Field history matching top-10 teams.

Let’s get to the games.

Baylor at OSU: Cowboys 31-28. The Bears have played two road games. At Lawrence. At Manhattan. Now Stillwater. Tough place to play, tougher team.

OU at Kansas State: Sooners 28-27. I’m not all that excited about the Sooners, but KSU’s defense looked shaky against TCU.

Kansas at Iowa State: Jayhawks 29-28. Can someone say two-game winning streak?

Texas A&M at LSU: Aggies 40-31. Jameis Winston has done the impossible. He’s turned Johnny Manziel into a sympathetic Heisman contender.

Missouri at Ole Miss: Tigers 42-33. Mizzou goes to the SEC title game if it beats the Rebels this week and A&M next week. Tall order.

Mississippi State vs. Arkansas at Little Rock: Razorbacks 23-20. Bulldogs need this one and a victory next against Ole Miss to make a bowl.

Kentucky at Georgia: Bulldogs 41-20. Hard to believe a team as good as Georgia is 6-4.

Vanderbilt at Tennessee: Volunteers 31-17. Tennessee still can make a bowl, but it must beat Vandy this week and Kentucky next week.

Coastal Carolina at South Carolina: Gamecocks 38-6. The SEC scheduling philosophy — sprinkle in I-AA foes in late November — stinks.

Chattanooga at Alabama: Crimson Tide 38-6. As I was saying.

Georgia Southern at Florida: Gators 38-6. See what I mean?

Arizona State at UCLA: Bruins 33-31. Why is ASU favored? Bruins’ only losses were to Stanford and Oregon, and both by a respectable showing.

Washington at Oregon State: 29-24. I don’t see a dime’s worth of difference in these teams.

Oregon at Arizona: Ducks 51-23. I see 10,000 dimes worth of difference between these teams.

Utah at Washington State: Cougars 30-18. A virtual bowl elimination game. WSU needs one more win (it has Washington next week). Utah needs two more wins (it has Colorado).

Southern Cal at Colorado: Trojans 33-14. Ed Orgeron is more popularity than Mike D’Antoni or Don Mattingly in the city of angels.

California at Stanford: Cardinal 48-17. Man, did Cal get bad quick.

Duke at Wake Forest: Blue Devils 41-31. Duke is two wins away from winning the ACC Coastal Division.

Virginia at Miami: Hurricanes 31-11. Where have you gone, George Welsh?

Pitt at Syracuse: Panthers 26-17. Big East brothers reunited in the ACC, where they’ve made little splash.

 Boston College at Maryland: Golden Eagles 21-20. BC has a coach in Steve Addazio.

East Carolina at North Carolina State: Pirates 39-31. East Carolina has a better program.

Idaho at Florida State: Seminoles 63-7.  It’s too bad Ohio State isn’t more of a threat. It would be cool to see a team penalized for playing an opponent like the Vandals.

Old Dominion at North Carolina: Tar Heels 48-14. Larry Fedora’s team has rebounded from a bad start.

Alabama A&M at Georgia Tech: Yellowjackets 44-9. Hey, Tech, you’re not in the SEC.

Citadel at Clemson: Tigers 49-10. You neither, Clemson.

Wisconsin at Minnesota: Badgers 35-30. Gophers trying to pull off the feel-good story of the year, their rallying behind benched coach Jerry Kill.

Michigan at Iowa: Hawkeyes 17-16. Ugh. What a terrible game between teams with decent records. Michigan 7-3, Iowa 6-4.

Nebraska at Penn State: Cornhuskers 32-21. Ugh. What a terrible game between teams with decent records. Nebraska 7-3, Penn State 6-4.

Michigan State at Northwestern: Spartans 19-15. How snake-bitten can one team be? Northwestern is trying to teach us.

Illinois at Purdue: Illini 30-17. I told you Kansas was better than Purdue.

Indiana at Ohio State: Buckeyes 62-31. Kevin Wilson’s bowl hopes die with this game.

Rutgers at Central Florida: Golden Knights 34-24. Golden trumps Scarlet.

Cincinnati at Houston: Bearcats 30-20. Cincinnati is not out of the running for the American Athletic title.

SMU at South Florida: Mustangs 38-29. SMU has had a competitive first season in the AAC. Who saw that coming?

Memphis at Louisville: Cardinals 55-20. What a basketball game this will be come winter. Football, not so much.

Connecticut at Temple: Owls 13-12. Speaking of wishing this was basketball, UConn is 0-9, Temple is 1-9.

Tulsa at Louisiana Tech: Bulldogs 31-13. Terrible season for Tulsa continues.

Rice at Alabama-Birmingham: Owls 27-14. Rice still in the running for the West Division of Conference USA.

New Mexico State at Florida Atlantic: Owls 31-21. Hey, in a four-game span, I’ve picked Owls to win three times. Temple, Rice, FAU. That’s got to be an NCAA record.

Texas-San Antonio at North Texas: Mean Green 26-16. If the Roadrunners win, the West Division becomes wide open.

Texas-El Paso at Tulane: Green Waves 40-21. Miners ought to be better than they are.

Marshall at Florida International: Thundering Herd 55-18. If Marshall wins this one, it sets up a showdown with East Carolina next week for the Conference USA’s East Division.

Middle Tennessee at Southern Miss: Blue Raiders 42-15. Wish Southern Miss could play Connecticut.

Brigham Young at Notre Dame: Fighting Irish 23-19.  You know, Notre Dame doesn’t get a lot of national respect anymore. The Irish have beaten Michigan State, Arizona State and Southern Cal. Lots of ranked teams don’t have three good wins.

Navy at San Jose State: Spartans 45-34. The Midshipmen have been playing better, but so has San Jose State.

Boise State at San Diego State: Broncos 34-24. I miss Boise State on the national landscape.

New Mexico at Fresno State: Bulldogs 39-27. Fresno State is three wins away from the Fiesta Bowl — this one, at San Jose State and in a possible Conference USA championship game.

Nevada-Las Vegas at Air Force: Rebels 25-15. UNLV is going bowling. Good for Vegas.

Colorado State at Utah State: Aggies 28-23. Utah State still has a shot at winning the Mountain West’s Mountain division.

Hawaii at Wyoming: Cowboys 35-32. The Mountain West plays interesting games.

Last week: 32-11. Season: 435-131.

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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