Berry Tramel

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College football predictions: Sooners face more than a physical test

by Berry Tramel Modified: November 14, 2013 at 10:10 am •  Published: November 7, 2013
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Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell (10) takes off on a 55-yard keeper in the fourth quarter for a touchdown against Baylor and the longest run by a quarterback in the Stoops era during an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Oklahoma won 42-34. Baylor linebacker Brody Trahan (15) pursues. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) ORG XMIT: OKSO112
Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell (10) takes off on a 55-yard keeper in the fourth quarter for a touchdown against Baylor and the longest run by a quarterback in the Stoops era during an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Oklahoma won 42-34. Baylor linebacker Brody Trahan (15) pursues. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) ORG XMIT: OKSO112

The college football weekend begins a little early for Oklahomans. OU at Baylor on Thursday night in a top-10 showdown. Not a bad way to spend a Thursday night.

OU at Baylor: Bears 34-30. This is more than a football test. This is a real character test. One of the biggest games in Baylor history. The penultimate game in Floyd Casey Stadium history. The Sooners a 14 1/2-point underdog. Can OU stand up to those forces?

Kansas at OSU: Cowboys 34-7. It only gets tougher for OSU from here on. Enjoy it while you can.

TCU at Iowa State: Cyclones 23-21. Upset special. The Frogs are in disarray. Iowa State pulls it together.

Kansas State at Texas Tech: Wildcats 28-27. K-State is playing really well. Tech is not.

Texas at West Virginia: Longhorns 26-13. The Mountaineers can still make something of their season. But they need to start now.

LSU at Alabama: Crimson Tide 27-20. Remember when Florida-Tennessee was the South’s best game? That’s been supplanted.

Auburn at Tennessee: Volunteers 25-24. Upset special. Gus Malzahn has done a great job in Year 1 at Auburn. But Butch Jones has done a solid job with Tennessee in Year 1, too.

Mississippi State at Texas A&M: Aggies 42-19. Johnny Manziel still has time to make a Heisman Trophy defense campaign.

Vanderbilt at Florida: Gators 30-20. Dangerous game for the Gators. They ought to win, but they could lose.

Arkansas at Ole Miss: Rebels 41-17. I assume the Razorbacks are still happy with Bret Bielema, but man, what a difficult transition. 

Missouri at Kentucky: Tigers 45-10. Mizzou’s last breather. The Tigers go to Ole Miss, then host A&M.

Appalachian State at Georgia: Bulldogs 38-10. The SEC loves these I-AA November games. For the life of me, I can’t understand why.

Oregon at Stanford: Ducks 42-28. The Cardinal won in Eugene last year. Expect retribution.

Southern Cal at California: Trojans 27-20. Ed Orgeron has done a quality job with SC. He’s 3-1, with the only loss a tight one at Notre Dame.

UCLA at Arizona: Bruins 33-24. This is an elimination game. The Pac-12 South is really anybody’s division. Arizona State has a one-game lead over ‘Zona, USC and UCLA.

Arizona State at Utah: Sun Devils 38-28. Strange. Utah is 1-4 in the Pac-12; its only win was over Stanford.

Colorado at Washington: Huskies 49-22. Wonder if Rick Neuheisel ever looks back at any of these Pac-12 matchups and wonders, what if?

Notre Dame at Pittsburgh: Fighting Irish 31-20. Give Brian Kelly credit. His team is winning the close ones. The Irish have beaten Purdue by seven, Michigan State by four, Arizona State by three, Southern Cal by four and Navy by four.

Virginia Tech at Miami: Hurricanes 26-14. If Miami wins this one, it has the inside track on the Coastal Division. But if the Hokies can win — a mighty big if — then the division is a mess, with 5-2 Georgia Tech leading. And the Yellow Jackets still have to play Clemson.

Florida State at Wake Forest: Seminoles 45-14. Florida State has routed every foe by four touchdowns, with the exception of Boston College.

Virginia at North Carolina: Tar Heels 34-20. It’s been a disappointing year for Larry Fedora, but his 3-5 Tar Heels could finish strong — Virginia, at Pittsburgh, Old Dominion, Duke.

North Carolina State at Duke: Blue Devils 32-17. Duke hosts Miami on Nov. 16. The Blue Devils, 2-2 in the ACC, still have a legit shot at winning the division.

Syracuse at Maryland: Orange 26-17. Maryland is the worst 5-3 team in America.

Boston College at New Mexico State: Eagles 21-20. What a strange game. Can you name two more different places in America than Las Cruces and Chestnut Hill?

Nebraska at Michigan: Wolverines 26-24. You want to know how bad is the Big Ten? Both these teams are a total mess — and they’re both 6-2.

Iowa at Purdue: Hawkeyes 32-14. If Kansas played Purdue, I’d take the Jayhawks and give you 10 points.

Penn State at Minnesota: Gophers 28-16. Jerry Kill and his coaching staff are one of the success stories of the year.

Illinois at Indiana: Hoosiers 38-35. Kevin Wilson vs. Tim Beckman. I like Wilson in this one.

Brigham Young at Wisconsin: Badgers 35-16. Fascinating November game. Gary Andersen, late of Utah State, against his old in-state rival.

Louisville at Connecticut: Cardinals 52-7. Louisville went from top 10 to total irrelevancy with one simple loss.

SMU at Cincinnati: Bearcats 30-25. Tommy Tuberville’s first game coaching Texas Tech was against SMU, a 35-27 Tech win.

Houston at Central Florida: Golden Knights 31-28. The American Athletic Conference’s final two unbeaten teams.

Tennessee-Martin at Memphis: Tigers 39-19. Justin Fuente’s Memphians have been competitive in every game but are 1-6.

Tulsa at East Carolina: Pirates 34-8. A disastrous season for the Golden Hurricane continues.

Texas-El Paso at North Texas: Mean Green 36-21. UNT has emerged as the favorite in Conference USA’s West Division.

Southern Miss at Louisiana Tech: Bulldogs 42-17. After La Tech, Southern gets Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee at home, then goes to Alabama-Birmingham. Can Todd Monken find a win in that quartet to end the Golden Eagles’ two-year losing streak. 

Tulane at Texas-San Antonio: Roadrunners 34-31. Don’t look now, but Larry Coker’s UTSA squad is in the Conference USA title race. The Roadrunners are 3-2, trailing three 4-1 teams in the West. But they get to play two of those — Tulane and North Texas.

Alabama-Birmingham at Marshall: Thundering Herd 50-38. Marshall has three losses, by a combined six points.

Florida International at Middle Tennessee: Blue Raiders 36-20.  FIU is having a miserable year; its only win was 24-24 over Southern Miss.

Air Force at New Mexico: Falcons 28-24. The Falcons have not fared well in recent years. Do they miss Fisher DeBerry? 

Nevada at Colorado State: Rams 33-21. Colorado State is 4-5. Half the 12 teams in the Mountain West have either four or five wins.

Fresno State at Wyoming: Bulldogs 42-32. Fresno State has a legit chance to make the Fiesta Bowl.

Utah State at Nevada-Las Vegas: Rebels 35-25. UNLV is having a breakout season, at 5-4. The Rebs haven’t had a winning season since 2000.

San Diego State at San Jose State: Spartans 34-20. Circle the date. Nov. 29. San Jose State hosts Fresno State.

Hawaii at Navy: Midshipmen 40-27. The last two weeks, Navy has beaten Pitt and taken Notre Dame to the wire. Earlier in the year, Navy lost at Western Kentucky.

Last week: 34-8. Season: 367-111.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
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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