Projection: ULM returns some good experience, but won't have the guns to hang with OU in Norman. Oklahoma 56, ULM 23
When: Saturday, Sept. 14
Where: Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman
Head coach: Bill Blankenship (19-8 in two seasons)
All-time series vs. OU: 7-17-1
2012 record: 11-3 (7-1 Conference USA)
Outlook: The Golden Hurricane must replace eight starters on defense, but return lots of offensive firepower, including quarterback Cody Green, tailback Trey Watts and receivers Keyarris Garrett and Thomas Roberson.
Projection: Blankenship has made Tulsa a consistent winner, but the Sooners' talent will be too much. Oklahoma 41, Tulsa 24
When: Saturday, Sept. 28, 2:30 p.m.
Where: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Ind.
Head coach: Brian Kelly (28-11 in three seasons)
All-time series vs. OU: 9-1
2012 record: 12-1
Outlook: The Irish lost Heisman Trophy finalist linebacker Manti Te'o, but still returns lots of strong talent defensively, including standout defensive linemen Stephon Truitt and Louis Nix Jr. Notre Dame must replace the production of lost top running backs Cierre Wood and Theo Reddick, and tight end Tyler Eifert, a first-round NFL Draft selection last month.
Projection: Despite Golson's departure, Tommy Rees gives Notre Dame an edge at quarterback. OU has only beaten Notre Dame once — in 1956 — and at this point, a 2013 victory seems unlikely. Notre Dame 27, OU 24