Every week during college football season, I publish a handful of OUTRAGEOUS* predictions that — for the most part — go against both conventional thinking and popular opinion. Be that as it may, I stand by every attempted prediction, and I never make a prediction that I don't honestly think could happen.
When you take that approach, you're going to be wrong a lot. Of the five predictions I make every week, I might hit on one of them. But when it comes to those four misses, they are are not all created equal.
Here are my biggest failed outrageous predictions of the 2018 college football season.
Michigan State wins the Big Ten East
I thought the Spartans had everything in place: coach, quarterback, stingy defense. I thought they had it more together than the usual suspects in the Big Ten East. I believed Ohio State had too many off-field distractions and that Penn State lost too much. And I never believe in Michigan. All of that came back to bite me, as the Spartans not only failed to win the Big Ten East, they finished fourth.
Boise State goes to the College Football Playoff
Looking at the 2018 schedule, I thought Boise State would be favored in every game. Due to the hoopla surrounding UCF's playoff snub last season and subsequent national title claim, I figured the Broncos would be a lock, just so the selection committee could stop listening to people whine. As we now know, Boise State was essentially eliminated from playoff contention when the Broncos lost to Oklahoma State in September. They would lose again to San Diego State and eventually fall in the Mountain West title game to Fresno State. As far as the committee worrying about the noise created by an unbeaten Group of 5 team? They showed us all once again that no Group of 5 team will ever receive serious consideration in a four-team playoff.
Washington scores 40 on Auburn
I didn't think Auburn was going to be very good this year — and truth be told — the Tigers weren't. The problem was that I assumed Washington would be way better than they were. Sure, the Huskies won the Pac-12, but I thought they would run the table and get into the playoff as the No. 1 or No. 2 seed. Instead, they opened the 2018 campaign by laying an egg against an average SEC squad, losing to the Tigers 21-16.
Nebraska beats Michigan
I thought Michigan was slow and predictable on offense. I thought Nebraska was about to hit its stride in Scott Frost's system. I thought the Cornhuskers would notch the first big win of the Frost era. I thought wrong. On Sept. 22, the Huskers entered the Big House and had their lunch handed to them by way of a 56-10 beatdown.
Mississippi State takes Alabama to overtime
I was one of those fools who kept waiting for Alabama to collapse this year. I never gave the Crimson Tide full credit for how good they were in 2018. I've seen Mississippi State teams play the Tide tough recently, and I liked what Joe Moorhead brought to the program as a head coach. I truly believed it would be a dogfight. Instead, Nick Saban's club took care of business to the tune of 24-0.
*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.