Tramel: College football predictions include Navy over Brigham Young


    College football has arrived. The Austin Peay-Central Arkansas game was staged last Saturday in Montgomery, Alabama, sort of a Division I-AA version of those season openers in grand stadiums like in Arlington and Atlanta.

    Central Arkansas-Austin Peay was fun to watch — UCA won 24-17 with a late touchdown — proving that any kind of college football will due in the time of pandemic.

    This weekend, no Power 5 teams are playing, but no matter. Some mid-majors are kicking it off, and most every game gives us a reason to watch:

    Brigham Young at Navy: Midshipmen 23-20. Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo has the most wins in Midshipmen history, 98. He’s a Hawaii graduate who also is a Mormon. Niumatalolo has been prominently mentioned as a potential BYU coach. The Cougars’ current coach, Kalani Sitake, grew up in Hawaii, as did Niumatalolo.

    Arkansas State at Memphis: Tigers 31-30. Quality game. I’d give this game a look even if some Power 5 games were being played. Arkansas State plays at Kansas State next week in a game that will be no pushover for the Wildcats.

    Central Arkansas at Alabama-Birmingham: Blazers 27-13. UAB vs. UCA, on Thursday night. Which means the Bears will play two games before every other team in America (except Austin Peay and UAB) play one.

    South Alabama at Southern Mississippi: Golden Eagles 27-19. It’s 96 miles from Mobile to Hattiesburg. That’s the kind of road trip needed during a pandemic.

    Eastern Kentucky at Marshall: Thundering Herd 33-13. Eastern Kentucky plays at West Virginia next week, completing a 1-2 punch of Mountain State opponents. WVU and Marshall don’t play anymore, so fans will be comparing scores.

    Middle Tennessee at Army: Cadets 20-19. The Blue Raiders get to play at West Point, but not the Sooners. Bummer.

    SMU at Texas State: Mustangs 52-16. Shane Buechele, who quarterbacked Texas in its 2016 season-opening upset of Notre Dame, still is playing college football, as the QB for SMU.

    Houston Baptist at North Texas: Mean Green 38-10. The Southland Conference canceled competition this fall, but several of its teams forged ahead with a schedule. Including Houston Baptist, which next week plays at Texas Tech.

    Stephen F. Austin at Texas-El Paso: Miners 28-26. Your typical in-state rivalry. But don’t think of this as OSU-Tulsa. It’s 796 miles from Nacogdoches, Texas, to El Paso. Nacogdoches to Athens, Georgia, is 763 miles.

    Austin Peay running back CJ Evans Jr. (23) breaks a long touchdown run against Central Arkansas during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in Montgomery, Ala. (Jake Crandall/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

    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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