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Berry Tramel  


College football predictions: Notre Dame over OU

by Berry Tramel Modified: September 27, 2013 at 10:05 am •  Published: September 26, 2013
Forty years ago this week, Sept. 29, 1973, an OU quarterback made his second career start on a rather big stage. No. 1-ranked Southern Cal in the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Steve Davis completed just one of six passes that night, but he rushed for over 100 yards and the Sooners as a team ran for 330. If the Sooners on Saturday can rush for half that total, again with a quarterback making his second career start, they will leave another hallowed college ground with something Davis and Barry Switzer did not. A victory.

That 7-7 tie with USC was OU’s last-non win for 21/2 years. Are the Sooners headed for anything close to that kind of success with Blake Bell? Time to find out.

Oklahoma at Notre Dame: Fighting Irish 20-18. Fool me nine times, shame on you. Fool me 10 times, shame on me.

Oklahoma State at West Virginia: Cowboys 55-21. Think about this. Clint Chelf could have transferred earlier this year without penalty of sitting out, since he’s graduated with a year of eligibility remaining. We all wondered about him going to Southern Miss to bail out Todd Monken. Looks like Chelf could have gone to West Virginia and been a godsend.

Iowa State at Tulsa: Golden Hurricane 27-21. Evidence mounts that the Cyclones could be worse than Kansas this season.

SMU at TCU: Horned Frogs 28-17. Just about anytime TCU wants to start playing like it’s a Big 12 contender, fine by me. The Frogs haven’t shown much since the third quarter of the LSU game.

LSU at Georgia: Bayou Bengals 28-27. In crossover games against the SEC East, LSU plays Georgia and Florida. Alabama plays Tennessee and Kentucky. And you think Texas has sway in the Big 12. 

Ole Miss at Alabama: Crimson Tide 38-24. Put this game in Oxford, and it would be must-see TV. But in Tuscaloosa, I just don’t see the Rebels sticking close.

Texas A&M at Arkansas: Aggies 53-17. Sorry, Bret Bielema, they don’t have quarterbacks like Johnny Football in the Big Ten.

Florida at Kentucky: Gators 31-7. Florida moves on without quarterback Jeff Driskel, but the UF defense remains.

South Carolina at Central Florida: Golden Knights 25-24. Upset special. George O’Leary has UCF playing well. The Gamecocks could be looking for a breather, which this is not.

Arkansas State at Missouri: Tigers 52-23. Mizzou football seems long ago and far away.

Alabama-Birmingham at Vanderbilt: Commodores 39-10. Beating an SEC team would be huge for Garrick McGee, but I don’t see it happening.

South Alabama at Tennessee: Volunteers 62-7. South Alabama is the Texas-San Antonio of the South. A startup program with some things to build with. Only not as good.

Southern Cal at Arizona State: Sun Devils 28-21. Win this game, and Lane Kiffin’s team has a pulse. Not to mention a decent shot at the Pac-12 South title.

Stanford at Washington State: Cardinal 35-18. Upset alert. I’m picking Stanford, but Mike Leach has the Cougars improved. If he could find a quarterback — which historically has not been the problem in Pullman — WSU could get competitive.

Arizona at Washington: Huskies 42-35. This has the potential to be the game of the day. UW is much better, but Rich Rodriguez’s offense never can be counted out.

Colorado at Oregon State: Beavers 44-19. I don’t know why I picked a rout. Oregon State seems intent on sticking close with mediocre teams.

California at Oregon: Ducks 56-24. Oregon is the team with the best chance to win the national championship, and it’s not really close.

Wisconsin at Ohio State: Buckeyes 42-20. A quarterback controversy in Columbus? Something has to occupy Ohio State minds. Certainly Big Ten opposition can’t.

Iowa at Minnesota: Hawkeyes 26-23. The question is not why Iowa is down. The question might be, why was Iowa ever up? How have the Hawkeyes spent the last 30 years being better than the Gophers?

Northern Illinois at Purdue: Huskies 26-20. The Mid-American Conference is always good for taking down a Big Ten team or two per year. This seems like a prime spot for just that.

Miami-Ohio at Illinois: Illini 41-17. Tim Beckman has Illinois playing better. Maybe he will last.

Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech: Yellowjackets 33-21. No one wants to play Georgia Tech. Especially when you’re no better than Frank Beamer’s Hokies.

Virginia at Pitt: Cavaliers 28-27. Remember when the Pittsburgh played great defense but struggled to score? So explain last week, when the Panthers survived Duke 58-55.

Florida State at Boston College: Seminoles 42-13. It’s 1,313 mile from Tallahassee, Fla., to Chestnut Hill, Mass. And you thought it was a long way from Stillwater to Morgantown.

Wake Forest at Clemson: Tigers 49-12. Decades from now, when researchers dust off the history books, they will look at each other and ask, “Did Wake Forest really win an Orange Bowl?”

Miami at South Florida: Hurricanes 36-14. ‘Canes could be unbeaten going into Nov. 2 showdown with Florida State.

East Carolina at North Carolina: Tar Heels 35-30. Larry Fedora’s team is not headed for great things. Not this year, anyway.

Troy at Duke: Blue Devils 48-30. David Cutcliffe is a fine coach. He’s got an outside shot at getting Duke into its second straight bowl.

Central Michigan at North Carolina State: Wolfpack 38-14. In the last 50 years, the state of North Carolina has produced one major bowl team — Wake in 2006. Duke’s last major bowl was the 1960 (season) Cotton. North Carolina’s last was the 1948 (season) Sugar against OU. North Carolina State’s next major bowl will be its first.

Connecticut at Buffalo: Huskies 34-24. Strange team, UConn. Lose to Towson, dang near beat Michigan.

Houston at Texas-San Antonio: Roadrunners 33-31. Huge game for Larry Coker’s program. Win this game, and UTSA could be on the road to becoming Texas’ best mid-major.

Temple at Idaho: Owls 20-10. This is the college equivalent of those high school games where you see a team from eastern Oklahoma go way out West, just to find a game. Like Tulsa Edison at Elk City last week.

Southern Miss at Boise State: Broncos 42-18. After Boise State beat the Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl, we did a project projecting the next Boise State. What mid-major could rise up and challenge the big boys? I picked Southern Miss. Missed it by a mile.

Utah State at San Jose State: Aggies 44-24. After Southern Cal’s defense, every other opponent is going to seem like a breeze for Utah State.

Texas-El Paso at Colorado State: Rams 45-23. UTEP football just can’t get any traction. Must be money. I can’t think of any other reason.

Wyoming at Texas State: Cowboys 52-19. The Wyoming offense is something to see. In fact, I did see it, last week against Air Force.

Nevada-Las Vegas at New Mexico: Lobos 34-24. The Mountain West has seemed to lose a little luster. Losing TCU, Utah and BYU will do that.

Air Force at Nevada: Wolf Pack 35-31. The Mountain West needs these teams to be better. Much better.

Fresno State at Hawaii:  Bulldogs 44-3. Fresno State has a serious chance to run the table. How about the Big 12 champ vs. Fresno State in the Fiesta Bowl?

Middle Tennessee at Brigham Young: Cougars 35-25. Each week, we’re learning that BYU wasn’t that good, Texas was just that bad.

Army vs. Louisiana Tech at Dallas: Cadets 23-20. Talk about giveaway games. Louisiana Tech had Kansas completely beaten but just forgot to lock the door.

Florida Atlantic at Rice: Rice Owls 27-22. There ought to be an NCAA rule prohibiting teams with the Owls nickname from playing each other.

Tulane at Louisiana-Monroe: Warhawks 45-20. Monroe licking its wounds after that Baylor thrashing.

Last week: 45-4. Season: 187-34.


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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