Since I am a fairly new writer on here, I am starting a new weekly tradition for myself. Every Monday or Tuesday I am going to write a "Bold Predictions" article where I try to predict what will happen this week/weekend in College Football.
I will mostly discuss top 25 games but will occasionally discuss other interesting or publicized games that could affect the rankings. With that, here we go.
*** Some of you may not agree, but that's okay—that's why it is called "Bold Predictions." Just my opinion on how the weekend will turn out.
1. No. 17 Boise St. vs. Louisiana Tech
Boise St. will win but it will be closer than people think—the blue turf will be just enough of an advantage for Boise to hold on.
31-26, Boise St.
2. No. 10 South Florida vs. Pittsburgh
Thursday night college football is exciting and fun but typically isn't as much fun for the ranked teams. I am warning USF right now...you better come out ready to play and fired up, or you will see your top 10 ranking disappear. Pitt's running back McCoy goes for 150 yards. I think USF holds on but they are on UPSET ALERT
24-21, South Florida survives.
3. No. 15 Utah vs. Oregon St.
The Beavers just upset the No. 1 team in the country last Thursday night and are playing again this Thursday night vs. another ranked opponent. The Beavers do it again. They start slow every year and eventually find themselves. Oregon St. found a new star running back and their defense has growing confidence.
Oregon St. upsets Utah 27-21.
4. No. 8 BYU vs. Utah St.
This one is over midway through the first quarter...BYU puts up 55 points and their QB throws for five touchdowns.
BYU wins 55-13.
5. No. 6 Penn St. at Purdue
Penn State is the better team—therefore they win this game. However, it will not be as dominant as some of their other games, and Purdue keeps it somewhat interesting for a while. Curtis Painter has a much better week than last week vs. the Irish but Penn State is simply the better team and will pull away.
Penn St. wins 34-21.
6. No. 1 Oklahoma at Baylor
The Sooners will easily remain number one and will dominate Baylor throughout. After the first quarter Oklahoma will be up 17-0 and never look back. Bradford goes 18-23 for 303 yards and four TDs.
Oklahoma wins 49-10.
7. No. 12 Florida at Arkansas
Tebow will have a huge game and the Gators will bounce back with a dominating win over a pathetic Arkansas team. Tebow will go 17-25 for 295 yards and three TDs along with one rushing TD. Percy Harvin will have two TDs and over 200 yards of total offense. Brandon James will return one punt return OR one kick return all the way for a TD.
Urban Meyer will run up the score with a throwing TD pass near the end of the fourth quarter, and Bobby Petrino won't like it one bit.
Gators win 56-14.
8. No. 16 Kansas at Iowa St.
Sorry, Iowa St. fans hoping for an upset...not this game. Kansas is too sound on both sides of the ball to lose to you guys. Kansas should win this rather easily. Todd Reesing will throw for 350 yards for four TDs.
Kansas kills Iowa St. 41-17.
9. No. 20 Virginia Tech vs. Western Kentucky
Closer than people would think for a little while, but Virginia Tech's athleticism will dominate in the second half. VT QB Taylor throws for over 200 yards and two TDs. Taylor also runs for 100 yards on the ground with one TD, maybe two.
VT wins 31-14.
10. Stanford at Notre Dame
Be careful, Irish faithful—you guys aren't the only improved team from last year. Coach Harbaugh has done a terrific job with this Cardinal team, and they will come to play.
The home field advantage will be the big difference but this is another UPSET ALERT. I think the Irish hold on to win due to a big defensive touchdown...and despite Clausen turning the ball over two times.
Notre Dame wins in a close game, 31-27.
11. No. 2 Alabama vs. Kentucky
Both teams come into this game undefeated but only one will remain...Bama. I think they will be a little slow to start for the first time this season because of their huge win last week at UGA. However, they have a good enough defense and explosive running game to beat UK.
I believe John Parker Wilson will throw two TDs to Julio Jones, but this will be Parker's first subpar game...he will throw two INTs also. Bama pulls away, but it won't be as decisive as people think...
12. No. 8 Texas Tech at Kansas St.
If this was the late '90s KSU would win, but unfortunately for Wildcats' fans it is not. Texas Tech will score more than 55 points, and QB Graham Harrell will throw for close to 500 yards and six TDs. Crabtree will have near 200 receiving yards and two, maybe three TDs.
Texas Tech blows out Kansas St. 62-21.
13. Arizona St. at Cal
Cal is an underrated team who lost on the road to an underrated Maryland team by only eight points. Cal has a lot of quickness, and their team chemistry is much better this year. They are a much better team with QB Riley in than with Longshore.
Arizona State has a solid offense but relies too much on the pass, especially with a roughed-up backfield...Cal stops a one-dimensional ASU team enough to outscore them and win. Riley throws for two TDs and 300 yards. Best will have more than 250 yards of offense for the Bears as well.
ASU QB Carpenter will have a decent game and throw for over 300 yards, but he will also have two INTs.
Cal wins 34-24 and is ranked 23 by next week.
14. Illinois at Michigan
The Wolverines pulled off an amazing comeback against a highly ranked Wisconsin team last week. However, the Badgers are a one-dimensional team and have no passing game, so it is hard to tell if Michigan played well or Wisconsin was finally exposed as being weak.
I think Illinois will win this game, but it will be close for a while. Juice Williams will have over 300 yards of total offense and will contribute three to four TDs. Michigan's offense will struggle still, and their defense will play too many minutes on the field to hold off Illinois.
The Illini win 28-14.
15. Florida St. at Miami
Two historic programs who are trying to return to glory. FSU is a little ahead of the Hurricanes in progress. The Canes' running back J. James is still injured, and although Cooper is a great running back, I don't think they will have huge success running the ball.
Florida St. has a solid defense, and their offense is still not great but looked much better last week vs. Colorado. Ponder looked much better, and RB Antawn Smith looked like the guy they had recruited a few years ago.
Miami is much improved but still has a weak secondary and no passing game. The Canes' QB will be good in the future but they do not have enough weapons to beat FSU. Marve will throw two or three INTs to the FSU secondary and the Noles will capitalize. Bowden, in his 501st coached game, will get the win.
Noles beat the Canes 27-17.
16. No. 13 Auburn at No. 19 Vanderbilt
Two teams that have to play extremely hard every snap to win games. Auburn has an ugly and terrible offense but has a fairly strong defense. Vandy is the opposite—they have a decent defense and a fairly good offense.
I think the key to this game is home field advantage for Vandy and the fact that Auburn QB Chris Todd will throw two key interceptions. Vandy will take an early touchdown lead and Auburn will tie it. At the half I expect a 10-10 game.
Second half, Vandy will score a touchdown and keep the seven-point advantage. Early fourth quarter Vandy will kick a FG and extend the lead to 20-10. Auburn will respond with a FG of their own and cut the lead again to seven, 20-13. Vandy's defense will hold off Auburn's shaky offense just enough for the upset.
The Tigers fall 20-13 to Vandy—field position will rule.
17. No. 23 Oklahoma St. vs. Texas A&M
Cowboys have an incredibly explosive and powerful offense. Gundy's team will play like men, and no breakdown at a press conference will be necessary.
Texas A&M fans better realize their program has a new coach and he is rebuilding their team. This one will not be pretty for the Aggies—the Cowboys will continue to ride their undefeated horses...they will have more than 550 yards on offense.
Oklahoma St. wins 48-17.
18. No. 24 UConn at UNC
Another top 25 team goes down. Undefeated UConn has surprised a lot of people in a few of their games, specifically last week. Their luck is going to run out this week as they face a hungry Tar Heels team that looked pretty impressive last week vs. Miami.
UNC enjoys the home cooking, and UConn's offense will struggle big time in this game. UConn's only hope to win is for a rainstorm to blow into Chapel Hill on game day.
UNC wins 24-10.
19. Washington at Arizona
The Wildcats have a ton of talent but typically underachieve. I think they will have a fairly good season this year in the Pac-10 though, and I believe they go to a decent bowl game.
Washington, on the other hand, is young and not very good. Their best player is by far QB Jake Locker. Arizona has a good QB of its own. Arizona will be far too much for Washington, especially on the road.
Arizona will have over 450 yards of offense and will win easily, 42-16 Wildcats.
One Wildcats player will score a TD and throw the ball in the air and no penalty will be called—poor Huskies, poor Willingham.
20. No. 5 Texas at Colorado
I am telling Longhorn fans this right now—watch out for the Buffaloes of Colorado this week...especially because it is in Boulder. Colorado plays average teams average and plays good teams great.
I look for Colorado to really challenge the Longhorns, who have not been tested at all this season. Colorado, especially at home, plays with a gunslinger mentality and shows no intimidation. This is an UPSET ALERT.
McCoy is a great QB and can actually run the ball fairly effectively. I still have some question about Texas' defense, but Colorado also has a lot of questions defensively (although they're better at home). I think the Longhorns survive, but I would not be shocked if CU pulled another upset at home.
Longhorns squeak by 34-27.
21. No. 9 USC vs. No. 23 Oregon
OK, OK, USC lost last Thursday night to a hungry Oregon State squad. That doesn't take anything away from how talented of a group these young men are. Carroll and staff know they blew it last week and that they were not prepared well enough for the Beavers. I expect USC to come out with a chip on their shoulder and with something to prove.
Oregon is an explosive team and coming into the season were expected to have a very strong secondary. The secondary has struggled in a few games this year, specifically vs. Boise St. This USC team has more options at wide receiver than the past, and if the offensive line can make adjustments, they should be able to run the ball effectively.
The spread offense has hurt USC in the past, but this year Oregon is down to its fourth QB, and USC will dare him to throw the ball. USC will come out and score on their first two drives to make a statement. At half I think it will be 17-7 USC.
Sanchez will go 17-25 for 285 yards and two TDs. McKnight will run for 90 yards and a TD. Stafon Johnson will run for 105 yards as well. Damien Williams will catch a TD pass, and USC will separate itself from Oregon in the third quarter.
USC will look impressive again and win 34-17.
22. No. 14 Ohio St at No. 19 Wisconsin
This is going to be an ugly game to say the least, which is what Wisconsin wants, especially at home, where they are 16-0 with their head coach at the helm.
Terrelle Pryor should have a pretty good game on the ground. I expect around 75-85 yards rushing from him. However, I think he will show how inexperienced he is when the Buckeyes try to throw the ball. I expect him to turn the ball over two times. Beanie Wells is back, yes, but I think Wisconsin will keep him in check.
Wisconsin, I believe, will pull the upset and knock off the Buckeyes in a fairly low-scoring game. Pryor goes 13-25 for 147 yards, one TD and two INTs. Beanie will get 24 carries for 86 yards and one TD. Hill for the Badgers gets 30 carries for 168 yards and two TDs.
Wisconsin wins in a close and ugly battle, 21-17.
SEC fans everywhere are cheering.
23. No. 4 Missouri at Nebraska
Although Nebraska is much improved from last year, and Pelini will have the Cornhuskers regularly in the top 25 in a couple of seasons, Missouri is simply too good. I think this will be Missouri's toughest test yet, especially for their offense. Ultimately though, Missouri should win fairly easily and maintain their position in the polls.
Daniel will throw for about 310 yards and three TDs. Nebraska will run the ball fairly effectively but have no chance at the upset.
The Tigers beat the Huskers 35-16.
24. No. 22 Fresno State vs. Hawaii
Hawaii will enjoy their nice five-hour flight over the Pacific to central California. However, they will not enjoy the flight back after a very physical Fresno St. team pops them in the mouth and runs all over them. I expect Fresno St. to have around 250 yards rushing combined with three different backs. Hawaii will fly back bruised, sore, tired, and beat...
25. Tulsa at Rice
If you enjoy offense...you will LOVE this game. Two passing games that are near the level of Texas Tech's and Missouri's. The question is, who will play just enough defense to win the game? This game will have over 900 yards of offense and over 80 points combined.
This is an UPSET ALERT. Tulsa is undefeated and many people think they will run the table due to their weak schedule. I think Rice SHOCKS Tulsa and all of the experts on their home field.
Rice wins in an up and down game with little defense...48-42.
Tulsa loses their undefeated season.
UPSET ALERTS RECAP OR TEAMS THAT SHOULD BE CAREFUL
No. 17 Boise State vs. Louisiana Tech
UPSET ALERT—Boise St. will win 31-26 but L-Tech could very well pull the upset here.
No. 10 USF vs. Pittsburgh
UPSET ALERT—USF wins 24-21, but don't be shocked if Pitt pulls the upset on Thursday night!
No. 15 Utah vs. Oregon State
UPSET ALERT—the Beavers knock off two straight top 15 undefeated teams. Oregon State upsets the Utes 27-21...again.
Stanford at Notre Dame
UPSET ALERT—two improved teams and a Stanford team not intimidated by anyone. The Irish survive 31-27, but again, the upset here may happen.
No. 2 Alabama vs. Kentucky
Be CAREFUL—Alabama will win and will pull away from UK, but don't be surprised if the game is closer than expected. Bama won't be as energetic as last week but will win 33-20.
No. 13 Auburn at No. 19 Vandy
UPSET ALERT—Auburn's horrible offense will catch up to them because of two or three bad turnovers by the QB. Their defense will play well again, but they can't win every game for them. Vandy plays tough at home and upsets Auburn 20-13.
No. 24 UConn at North Carolina
UPSET ALERT—UNC is more talented and is playing at home. They have confidence from beating Miami last week and should upset UConn 24-10.
No. 5 Texas at Colorado
UPSET ALERT—Texas should hold on and win in a tight game, but folks, do not be surprised to see this game close throughout. CU is tough at home and play wild and inspired football. Longhorns win 34-27, but watch this one.
No. 19 Wisconsin vs. No. 14 Ohio State
UPSET ALERT—Ugly game favors Wisconsin. Pryor forced to throw and makes couple of mistakes. Badgers upset Buckeyes 21-17 and their coach moves to 17-0 career at home.
Tulsa at Rice
UPSET ALERT—Two high scoring teams with not much defense. This will be an exciting and fun game to watch. I think Rice upsets Tulsa in an up and down game...48-42 Rice ends Tulsa's undefeated season.
OTHER NOTABLE GAMES
UCLA over Wash St. 35-20
Maryland over Virginia 38-14
Navy over Air Force 31-28
UCF over SMU 27-24
Ole Miss over South Carolina 21-14
Michigan St. over Iowa 30-13
West Virginia over Rutgers 37-18
Hope it was interesting and we'll see if I have any accurate predictions... Feel free to let me know any upsets you see.
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