Berry Tramel

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College football predictions: Welcome to Rivalry Week

by Berry Tramel Modified: November 28, 2013 at 2:05 pm •  Published: November 28, 2013

It’s the final weekend of November, which means most of college football settles into four varieties:

* The ACC/SEC Challenge Series. Florida State-Florida. Georgia Tech-Georgia. South Carolina-Clemson. Even Wake Forest-Vanderbilt, children of a lesser football god.

* In-state rivalries. Alabama-Auburn. Whoever’s playing Texas on Thanksgiving night. Oregon State-Oregon. Washington State-Washington. Kansas State-Kansas. Ole Miss-Mississippi State. Arizona State-Arizona. Duke-North Carolina. Virginia Tech-Virginia. Northwestern-Illinois. Purdue-Indiana. 

* City rivalries. Southern Cal-UCLA. Florida International-Florida Atlantic. (I couldn’t resist.)

* Border rivalries. Ohio State-Michigan. Tennessee-Kentucky. Arkansas-LSU, Iowa-Nebraska.

Bedlam was a regular on this weekend back in the ancient days when the Big 12 had a championship game. Alas, OSU-OU is becoming  a December staple. Let’s get to the games.

Texas Tech at Texas: Red Raiders 34-30. Upset special. I said it early, I said it late, I said it when the moon is shining bright. The Longhorns just aren’t that good.

Baylor at TCU: Bears 34-17. Baylor is not good on the road. It’s also not as good when some of its best players are out with injuries.

Kansas State at Kansas: Wildcats 48-10. This game used to be played in October. Now I guess it’s moved to rivalry weekend because of the demise of the KU-Missouri series.

Iowa State at West Virginia: Mountaineers 41-21. You don’t think bowl games are important? WVU is 4-7. If West Virginia was 5-6 and needed this for a bowl, I would watch. Now I won’t.

Alabama at Auburn: Crimson Tide 23-13. I bet it’s been a fun week in the Yellowhammer State.

Clemson at South Carolina: Gamecocks 28-27. I’ll bet it’s been a fun week in the Palmetto State.

Texas A&M at Missouri: Aggies 38-37. Upset special. Johnny Manziel’s playing for another Heisman Trophy. Missouri’s playing for a trip to the SEC title game. More pressure on the Tigers.

Ole Miss at Mississippi State: Rebels 33-20. The Egg Bowl. Not a great name for a game. Makes you embrace Bedlam all that much more.

Arkansas at LSU: Bayou Bengals 49-14. I’m just wondering here, but what if the Big 12′s grand plan for expansion is to somehow talk these two into revolting and coming aboard? Seems like the longest of longshots, but maybe that’s the plan.

Florida State at Florida: Seminoles 48-14.  Between Will Muschamp and Jameis Winston, it’s hard to know who’s had the toughest week. I hope it’s been Winston. I hope he knows the severity of the situation.

Georgia at Georgia Tech: Yellowjackets 34-24. This is actually Tech vs. the Georgia JV.

Tennessee at Kentucky: Volunteers 27-14. The Volunteers have three SEC victories the last three years; 13 SEC victories the last six years. At some point, you wonder if Tennessee football is going to get up.

Wake Forest at Vanderbilt: Commodores 28-14. You’d think James Franklin would get a good job, but people better hurry, else he’ll turn Vandy into a good job.

UCLA at Southern Cal: Trojans 27-26. My favorite uniform game of the year, annually. SC in cardinal, Bruins in powder blue. If they still do that. I haven’t watched much in recent years.

Notre Dame at Stanford: Cardinal 37-14. What a season for Stanford. What a three weeks for Stanford. Beat Oregon to take over the Rose Bowl lead. Lose to USC to lose the Rose Bowl lead. Hear that Arizona routed Oregon, putting Stanford in the Rose Bowl lead.

Arizona at Arizona State: Sun Devils 41-26. If Arizona State wins this game, the Sun Devils host Stanford in the Pac-12 title game. Two things: 1. Who saw that coming? 2. The Mid-American Conference championship game is played on a neutral field (Detroit) but the Pac-12′s isn’t? That’s weak.

Oregon State at Oregon: Ducks 56-22. Oregon lost 42-16 to Arizona last week — and had a much better week than Oregon State, which lost at home to Washington 69-27 after trailing 62-6.

Washington State at Washington: Huskies 45-30. If WSU somehow pulls the upset here, it finishes with the same record as UW; 7-5.

Colorado at Utah: Utes 28-19. Just when you think TCU and West Virginia are the worst additions to a league, remember the Pac-12 and these millstone teams.

Miami at Pittsburgh: Panthers 29-21. Remember when Miami was a top-10 team? The voters were lemmings.

Duke at North Carolina: Blue Devils 38-30. Historic game in the Research Triangle. A Duke-UNC football game that is bigger than any basketball game they are likely to play. If the Blue Devils win, the Coastal Division is theirs.

Maryland at North Carolina State: Terrapins 30-17. If this is 1974 and we’re on the hardwood, we’re talking one of the great college sporting events of all time. Football? Pass.

Virginia Tech at Virginia: Hokies 42-12. Frank Beamer got to VPI two years before Bill Snyder got to Kansas State. That would make a good bowl matchup some day, don’t you think? KSU vs. Virginia Tech.

Boston College at Syracuse: Orange 34-31. Syracuse is playing for bowl eligibility. BC is playing for tailback Andre Williams’ Heisman candidacy. Williams has 2,073 yards rushing this season. Don’t know how to vote for problem children Winston or Manziel? Don’t know if A.J. McCarron or Jordan Lynch is worthy of your support? Go with Williams.

Ohio State at Michigan: Buckeyes 24-14. This seems like a prime spot for a Michigan upset. Something along the lines of 1969. But if you’ve seen the Wolverines play, you know that’s silly.

Iowa at Nebraska: Hawkeyes 27-20. They’re doing all they can to make this a rivalry. Keep plugging away.

Minnesota at Michigan State: Spartans 26-14. The Gophers are 8-3 and have made roses out of thorns. Interim Minnesota coach Tracy Claeys has performed wonders. Especially since he has no offense.

Penn State at Wisconsin: Badgers 41-10. Do you realize how close Wisconsin is to a great season? The Badgers are 9-2 and lost at Arizona State 32-30 on that officiating snafu at the end of the game and lost 31-24 at Ohio State. Wisconsin has won every other game by double digits.

Northwestern at Illinois: Wildcats 26-24. It is very difficult to find a college football game on Thanksgiving Saturday between two major-conference schools, neither of which can get bowl eligible. But every league seems to have one. This is the Big Ten’s.

Purdue at Indiana: Hoosiers 52-22. A chance for Kevin Wilson’s crew to take out some frustrations.

South Florida at Central Florida: Golden Knights 31-10. If UCF wins this one, it clinches the American Athletic Conference title and is BCS-bound. To the Sugar Bowl, probably, but maybe the Fiesta. Does OSU-Central Florida grab you?

SMU at Houston: Cougars 25-24. I have to admit. The new American/old Big East didn’t do much for me this year.

Rutgers at Connecticut: Scarlet Knights 21-13. Rutgers needs this to get bowl eligible. Man, the Knights are headed for trouble in the Big Ten, and the Big Ten stinks.

Temple at Memphis: Tigers 27-24. Quite a basketball matchup.

North Texas at Tulsa: Mean Green 41-22. Give credit to Bill Blankenship. He got his team off the mat last week. But I don’t see it this week.

East Carolina at Marshall: Thundering Herd 45-42. Winner is the Conference USA champ and hosts the league title game.

Louisiana Tech at Texas-San Antonio: Roadrunners 38-28. UTSA holds out hope for a tie atop Conference USA’s West Division.

Tulane at Rice: Owls 19-14. If the Green Wave win, we could have a three- or four-way tie atop the C-USA West.

Texas-El Paso at Middle Tennessee: Blue Raiders 27-17. Rough year for the Miners. And I liked the Sean Kugler hire.

Southern Miss at Alabama-Birmingham: Blazers 34-20. Two old pals, Todd Monken vs. Garrick McGee. Monken walked into a mess.

Florida International at Florida Atlantic: Owls 35-24. Florida Atlantic can get bowl eligible with a victory here.

Fresno State at San Jose State: Bulldogs 38-34. This game won’t be easy for Fresno State, which could be playing for a Fiesta Bowl berth. The Spartans are a tough out.

Wyoming at Utah State: Cowboys 31-27. Wyoming is playing for a bowl berth. Aggies already have secured the Mountain West’s Mountain Division title.

Air Force at Colorado State: Rams 42-16. Whatever happened to Air Force football?

Brigham Young at Nevada: Cougars 44-28. I wish BYU was back in the Mountain West. That would be a heck of a conference.

New Mexico at Boise State: Broncos 31-14. Boise State has fallen on hard times. By its standards, at least; 7-4.

San Diego State at Nevada-Las Vegas: Aztecs 28-26. The overtime loss to Fresno State will haunt San Diego State.

Army at Hawaii: Cadets 31-20. The Rainbow Warriors are winless. Wonder if we could get a Southern Miss-Hawaii matchup?

Last week: 39-12. Season: 474-143.

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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