Berry Tramel

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College football predictions: Where are the good games?

by Berry Tramel Modified: September 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm •  Published: September 19, 2013
UT hosts K-State this weekend in Austin. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
UT hosts K-State this weekend in Austin. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The worst week of the college football season has arrived. No state games – OU, OSU and Tulsa all are idle Saturday. No nationally prominent games – the only game matching ranked teams is No. 23 Arizona State at No. 5 Stanford, and the Sun Devils are ranked only because of the ASU-Wisconsin fiasco of last Saturday. The week is so bad, ESPN’s GameDay is boldly going where it’s never been – North Dakota State, which hosts Delaware State.

Let’s get to the games:

Kansas  State at Texas: Longhorns 34-31.Texas has lost five straight to KSU, last winning in 2003, and UT shouldn’t have won that time. It’s a coaching mismatch, but the truth is, the ‘Cats are struggling themselves.

West Virginia vs. Maryland at Baltimore: Mountaineers 21-20. Some are wondering if WVU could have won in Norman had Dana Holgorsen gone to redshirt freshman quarterback Ford Childress. I say no, but who knows?

Louisiana Tech at Kansas: 28-20. Hey, the Bulldogs are coming to Norman in 2014 for a season opener. Until three weeks ago, the only Louisiana teams OU ever had played were LSU and Centenary.

Louisiana-Monroe at Baylor: Bears 56-20.ULM gave Baylor a scare last season and actually beat WakeForest last week. But the Bears are rolling.

Texas  State at Texas Tech: Red Raiders 41-14. Tech might stay unbeaten for awhile. Its next three games after this are at Kansas, Iowa  State, at West Virginia.

Tennessee at Florida: Gators 28-14. Remember when this was a big game? Maybe the nation’s biggest.

Auburn at LSU: Bayou Bengals 34-17.Auburn is showing some signs of life under Gus Malzahn. But not this much life.

Missouri at Indiana: Tigers 38-36. Second straight year I’ve seen this game and thought, Big Ten Conference matchup. Mizzou has an identify problem.

SMU at Texas A&M: Aggies 54-14. If the A&M defense doesn’t slow down Garrett Gilbert, I don’t know what to tell the Aggies.

Arkansas at Rutgers: Knights 25-23.Rutgers won last year in the Ozarks. No reason to think it won’t win in Jersey.

Colorado  State at Alabama: Crimson Tide 42-16.Reunion game. The Rams got their coach, Jim McElwain, from Nick Saban’s staff.

Troy at Mississippi  State: Bulldogs 34-15. The Trojans’ time has passed.

Vanderbilt vs. Massachusetts at Foxboro, Mass.: Commodores 51-14. UMass becomes New England’s third Division I-A team, along with BostonCollege and Connecticut.

North Texas at Georgia: Bulldogs 59-10. Someone suggested that the Mean Green’s win over Ball  State was the biggest in school history. Do people have no concept of history at all? North Texas beat Tennessee in 1975. Beat OSU in 1978. Beat Texas Tech four times; three times since 1988, including 1999, a season in which Tech beat OU.

Utah  State at Southern Cal: Aggies 24-20. USC is favored in this game. I have no idea why. I picked it close, but Utah  State could win big.

Arizona  State at Stanford: Cardinal 32-28. Sun Devils are as good a pick as any to win the Pac-12 South, but Stanford remains the Pac-12’s best team this side of Oregon.

Utah at Brigham Young: Cougars 29-23. BYU, 1-1, would be sitting pretty if it had somehow beaten Virginia.

Oregon  State at San Diego  State: Beavers 35-21. The 2-1 Beavers are precariously close to a 1-2 start. A bowl game is not assured.

Idaho  State at Washington: Huskies 63-6. Steve Sarkisian is getting it done. UW is ranked 17th.

Idaho at Washington  State: Cougars 33-6. Wow. Can you think of what Mike Leach would be doing in Pullman if he had an offense?

New Mexico  State at UCLA: Bruins 45-10. UCLA is headed for a letdown after its Nebraska conquest, but it won’t matter against the hapless Aggies.

Clemson at North Carolina  State: Tigers 41-31. ESPN has provided some memorable Thursday night upsets. Could this be another one?

North Carolina at Georgia Tech: Yellowjackets 40-31. One of the harder games to pick. Who knows what to expect out of either one of these teams?

Marshall at Virginia Tech: Hokies 39-29. The Thundering Herd will throw it around, but V-Tech is hard-boiled.

Pittsburgh at Duke: Panthers 27-14. Pitt gets its first ACC victory ever. They won’t all be this easy.

Wake Forest at Army: Deacons 22-21. Jim Grobe once was one of the nation’s hottest coaches. But it’s hard to sustain success at Wake.

Tulane at Syracuse: Orange 26-21. The Green Wave is getting better – it beat Louisiana Tech last week.

VMI at Virginia: Cavaliers 38-0.Virginia’s win over BYU looks pretty good.

Bethune-Cookman at Florida  State: Seminoles 63-9. FSU quarterback Jamies Winston looks better than his two predecessors, and Christian Ponder and E.J. Manuel are NFL starters.

Savannah  State at Miami: Hurricanes 73-0. When will we ever learn, when will we ever, learn.

Michigan  State at Notre Dame: Fighting Irish 20-19. I wouldn’t recommend the Sooners try to win a close one at South Bend. Notre Dame seems to have lots of experience at tight fits.

Purdue at Wisconsin: Badgers 34-16. Goal No. 1 for Wisconsin football – find a kicker who can make a 30-yard field goal from the right hash.

Michigan at Connecticut: Wolverines 55-7. Finally, the ultimate definition of irony. Having a football team keeps UConn from where it wants to be, the old Big East with Georgetown and St. John’s and the like. But UConn football stinks.

Kent  State at Penn  State: Nittany Lions 30-17. For Penn  State, the road is long, with many a winding turn. Kent  State is no pushover.

San Jose  State at Minnesota: Golden Gophers 24-21. Jerry Kill is back on the sidelines, but he’s now had a seizure three times since being named Minnesota’s coach. I don’t see how he can continue.

Florida A&M at Ohio  State: Buckeyes 48-7. Rattlers might not even win the battle of the bands. Ohio  State has a good one.

Maine at Northwestern: Wildcats 55-14. I’ve always been a Maine fan, ever since the Black Bears made the College World Series 30 years ago.

South Dakota  State at Nebraska: Cornhuskers 46-21. Bad news for Bo Pelini – the Jackrabbits aren’t half bad.

Houston at Rice: Cougars 31-28. I don’t know why I picked Houston. I really like Rice. Win this game, and the Owls are having, for them, a monster season.

Cincinnati at Miami-Ohio: Bearcats 37-13. You don’t find many arch-rivals who are separated by class. But these are, though Cincy is falling back with the demise of Big East football.

Arkansas  State at Memphis: Red Wolves 45-22. Rough going for Memphis coach Justin Fuente.

Northwestern Louisiana at Alabama-Birmingham: Blazers 36-24. It appears Garrick McGee’s program is a little ahead of Fuente’s.

Florida International at Louisville: Cardinals 62-14. Teddy Bridgewater has no Heisman chance with so many games like this.

Middle Tennessee at Florida Atlantic: Blue Raiders 26-24. You talk about a wide open league; Conference USA could be won by any one of 10 teams.

Texas-San Antonio at Texas-El Paso: Roadrunners 34-32. Same inter State (10), same  State, but these schools are a long way apart.

Boise  State at Fresno  State: Bulldogs 35-30. These teams could meet in the Mountain West title game, but here’s the twist. Fresno  State has the better chance to get there.

Wyoming at Air Force: Cowboys 38-28. Seems like a down year for the Falcons.

Hawaii at Nevada: Wolf Pack 38-12. Long year for Norm Chow.

Western Illinois at Nevada-Las Vegas: Rebels 34-24. The Rams used to train on WIU’s campus in Macomb? Wonder why no NFL team trains in Vegas?

Last week: 43-9. Season: 142-30.

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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