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UPSET PICKS FOR THIS SEASON
August 19, 2004

SCS.com
QB Bryan Randall and VT may be getting overlooked this season.
courtesy hokiesports.com
Many schools will have to pass by teams this upcoming season that normally you wouldn't think would win due to rankings, better talent, etc. But every season, more and more upsets seem to take place. This is due to parity in college football. Teams like Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, Miami, USC, LSU, and many others will have to try to avoid the "upset bug" this season. Here are some of my upset picks.

Virginia Tech defeats USC - August 28 - Yes, this would be a big upset in my opinion, but the Hokies have tons of talent and Frank Beamer has recruited great since Virginia Tech has become a powerhouse. USC has a few question to answer on the defensive side of the ball, and the Hokies, led by Bryan Randall, are poised for the upset.

Score Prediction:
USC - 21
Virginia Tech - 28

Memphis defeats Mississippi - September 4 - The Memphis Tigers have a good enough squad this season to possibly make it to a BCS Game and be the first mid-major to do so. The Tigers would most likely have to go undefeated, but I don't see one game in which they will lose. Mississippi has lost Eli Manning, and right there, they have lost this game in my opinion. The Rebels will be breaking in a new QB, and this game will be early in the season. Just like last year, Memphis will beat Ole Miss and shock the Oxford crowd in, yes, a blowout.

Score Prediction:
Memphis - 34
Ole Miss - 17

Oregon State defeats LSU - September 4 - This game has all the makings of an upset. The Tigers are coming off a huge season in which they won the BCS Championship and won a share of the National Championship. The Tigers will be starting a new QB in JaMarcus Russell and breaking in a few different players, while the upset minded Beavers have improved what was a bad defense a year ago. Oregon State QB Derrick Anderson has struggled in big games, but this could be the one time he gets lucky and comes up with a big win. I really believe Oregon State will stun the Tigers in "Death Valley" in a very close game.

Score Prediction:
Oregon State - 34
LSU - 31

Arkansas defeats Texas - September 11 - Last season, Matt Jones orchestrated one of the biggest upsets of the season, as the Razorbacks defeated the Longhorns in Austin. The Razorbacks have only three returning starters from last season and just one on offense, but Matt Jones is that one returning offensive player and he makes a huge difference. Matt Jones will not be denied in his senior season, as he will lead the Razorbacks to one of the biggest upsets of the season when the Hogs will knock off the Longhorns in Fayetteville.

Score Prediction:
Texas - 24
Arkanasas - 28

Virginia Tech defeats West Virginia - October 2 - In my opinion, this shouldn't be considered an upset at all. Virginia Tech has out recruited West Virginia the past few seasons, and you could argue that Virginia Tech has the more talented team. The Hokies have lost the past two games to the Mountaineers and will want to win this one badly as it could quite possibly be the last "Battle of the Black Diamond Trophy." The Hokies have something to prove to the Mountaineers since last seasons 28-7 thrashing, and in my opinion, Virginia Tech will rout West Virginia; WVU's "weak schedule" up until this game will cost them.

Score Prediction:
West Virginia - 17
Virginia Tech - 38

Arkansas defeats Florida - October 2 - The Hogs will come into this game as heavy underdogs, but Arkansas Head Coach Houston Nutt has thrived in that position, ala the 2002 LSU game when the Hogs defeated LSU on the unbelievable hail mary pass to turn around what had been a 1-4 start to go to the SEC Championship Game. Florida has an extremely young team, as Arkansas does, but the difference again will be Matt Jones. Jones changed the whole game last season as the Florida defense had trouble stopping the run, and that means trouble when facing a QB like Matt Jones, who will tuck the ball and run at any time. Jones and the Razorbacks will stun the Gainesville crowd and defeat the Gators in a close game.

Score Prediction:
Arkansas - 34
Florida - 27

Clemson defeats Miami - November 6 - The 'Canes have lost a bit of their magical touch the past few seasons and had a bunch of close calls last season that could've easily been losses. Brock Berlin will need to prove he can be the star that he was thought to be when he transferred to Miami from Florida after destroying Maryland in the 2001 Orange Bowl, stepping for a suspended Rex Grossman. Charlie Whitehurst and the Tigers won't be denied, as they will defeat the 'Canes in Miami this season.

Score Prediction:
Clemson - 31
Miami - 24

Virginia Tech defeats Miami - December 4 - The Hokies hammered Miami 31-7 last season and the 'Canes will be looking for revenge, but I don't see it happening with questions for Miami on both sides of the ball. Will Brock Berlin still be at QB? Or will it be heavily recruited Kyle Wright? There are so many questions on the Miami squad, and although Virginia Tech has questions of their own, QB Bryan Randall and RB Cedric Humes will be out to prove a point and send a message to their rival, the Miami Hurricanes. The Hokies defeat the Hurricanes in Miami in what isn't really a close game.

Score Prediction:
Virginia Tech - 31
Miami - 17

As you can see, I have picked some games where some might think, "What is he thinking?" Yet every season, more and more games like I picked seem to take palce with the underdog coming out on top, just like we saw last season when Marshall defeated Kansas State. It seems strange to most that a school like Marshall can defeat a Kansas State and then turn around next week and lose at Troy State. It just doesn't make sense....but that's what makes college football fun. Every fan loves parity and loves to see the underdog win a big game when no one thought they could. Those were just some of the possible upsets this season, and in my opinion, there will be many more.

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