We're now only days away from the kickoff of the 2016 college football season. The polls have been released and most predictions have been made.
Well — most predictions.
Over the last couple of weeks, I brought you my Outrageous Predictions for the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC. You read them. You shared them. In some cases you had a laugh at their expense. But truth be told, those predictions aren't any more outlandish than most of the others you'll see by the time this season is over. That's what so great about college football. With so many possible outcomes, there's really no such thing as an accurate, expert prediction.
Now, all that's left is to make the outrageous predictions for how this wide-open 2016 college football season is going to unfold.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for the 2016 Season
No team from last season's College Football Playoff will make the final four this season
I made this exact prediction last year and missed it thanks to one team — Alabama. This year, I won't need to worry about the Crimson Tide, as they'll finish September with two losses. Michigan State will finish third in its own division. Clemson will be the runner-up in theirs and Oklahoma's Playoff dreams will be crushed after a loss to Oklahoma State to end the season. Another season, another crop of new contenders.
Boise State will run the table and miss the Playoff
As it stands — thanks largely to preseason polls and its unspoken clout in the minds of the College Football Playoff committee — Houston is the only Group of Five team that stands a chance of crashing the Playoff party. Boise State is starting off too low in most polls and play what is perceived to be too weak of a schedule to make a case nationally (a notion I've always disagreed with). The Broncos will roll through every game on their schedule on the strength of the best quarterback-running back combo in the nation and will receive a second-hand, New Year's Six bowl berth for their efforts.
Two Power Five conferences will be shut out of the Playoff
The ACC and Big Ten champions will both have at least two losses due to having more parity than the rest of the Power Five. They'll both be left out in favor of an unbeaten Pac-12 champion, a one-loss Big 12 champion, a one-loss SEC champion and a one-loss Notre Dame team.
Iowa's Desmond King will win the Heisman Trophy
He'll ride the hype of being the only returning major award winner from 2015 (Thorpe Award) and clearly establish himself as the nation's best cornerback. Normally, teams simply wouldn't throw his way, but they won't have a choice against the Hawkeye defense in 2016. Opposing offenses will have to take any shot they get, leaving King with more opportunities to pile up more picks. With so many solid running games in the Big Ten, King also will have ample opportunity to put his tackling skills on display. He'll seal the deal with a couple of kick returns for touchdowns, capitalizing on a year when the current favorites for the award get knocked around early and often while Iowa rolls through its schedule.
USC wins the national championship
There may not be a more talented starting-22 in the land, and the Trojans will have the chance to prove it during their opening weekend tilt against Alabama at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. This veteran Trojan team will take advantage of a largely distraction-free offseason and use the momentum from the win over the defending national champions to run through their schedule unblemished. USC will face Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff semifinals — a rematch of their regular-season finale. After dispensing of the Fighting Irish for a second time, it'll be on to the national championship game to face an Ole Miss team coming off its own Playoff win against Oklahoma State. JuJu Smith-Schuster shines when it matters most, as the Trojans pull away in the fourth quarter and bring college football's ultimate prize back to the City of Angels.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.