Every week during college football season, I publish a handful of OUTRAGEOUS* predictions that — for the most part — go against conventional thinking and popular opinion. Be that as it may, I stand by every prediction, and I never make one that I don't honestly think can happen.
Most of the time I'm wrong — but when I get one right — it's glorious.
I got a bunch right this year, but as with most things, you only get attention when you fail. Today, however, we are shining a light on my five best outrageous predictions of the 2018 college football season.
LSU beats Miami by double digits
Most of this had to do with a lack of trust in Mark Richt in big games. Some had to do with the fact that I think Ed Orgeron is an underrated coach. Either way, I was confident from the get-go that the 2018 Miami Hurricanes were nowhere close to being the No. 8 team in the country — which is where both the AP and Coaches polls had them ranked in the preseason. I also was confident that the Hurricanes couldn't keep it close with LSU on a neutral field.
Troy upsets Nebraska
Someday, people are going to stop viewing Troy as a cupcake and starting looking at the Trojans as a solid college football program. That was not the case this season, as I was one of the only writers in the country who thought that a young Nebraska team going through a major coaching and schematic change — as well as playing without its starting quarterback — would have some trouble winning this one. Many in Husker Nation looked at this game as a fluke, but looking at how both teams finished, it went just about how it should have.
Notre Dame beats Stanford by three scores
I watched Stanford struggle early. I could tell this wasn't the same Stanford team we'd seen in recent years. They weren't physical on either side of the ball and looked lost and vulnerable against four average teams to start the year. Notre Dame — on the other hand — had a newfound explosive offense with Ian Book under center and the return of Dexter Williams at running back. Between Book, Williams and what appeared to be one of the best defenses in the country, I figured there was no way Stanford would keep it close — and I was right.
Oklahoma State beats Texas
A lot of people put too much stock in Texas' win over Oklahoma in one of the most heated rivalries in the sport. They also seemed to ignore the six-point win over Baylor the following game. I had Texas as a pretender from the start, and there was no way they were going into that hostile environment in Stillwater and coming away with a win.
Northwestern beats Wisconsin
Going off what we now know, this doesn't seem too outrageous. At the time, however, we knew Wisconsin had some flaws, but many assumed the Badgers would get it together. They did not, and Northwestern did. I saw it coming, as Northwestern had begun to pile up some unimpressive-yet-confidence-building wins. The Wildcats were on a roll, and the Badgers were reeling. The shot was there, I took it, it paid off.
*Remember, "outrageous" can be defined as “wildly exaggerated or improbable,” and “very bold, unusual, and startling.” These are "outrageous" predictions and should be treated as such.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! SBNation and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.