The polls are out. The odds are set. The pundits and prognosticators have all had their say. I've made my preseason OUTRAGEOUS* predictions for the Power 5 conferences and the Heisman race. There's nothing left to do before the 2018 college football season kicks off, right?
Who am I kidding?
For better or worse, it's time to wrap up this year's series of preseason outrageous predictions by going macro -- covering the big picture nationally.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for the 2018 Season
Boise State goes to the College Football Playoff
The Broncos can thank UCF and their national championship claim from a season ago for their spot in the four-team tournament. The committee doesn't want that headache again, and the undefeated Broncos will be ready to give it to them in the event that Boise State is left out. For the first time since its inception, the College Football Playoff will include a Group of 5 team.
Notre Dame loses its opener, still makes the College Football Playoff
One of the benefits of being Independent in college football is the ability to schedule whoever you want -- for the most part. The Irish will open with what is sure to be a slobberknocker against Michigan. After dropping a close one at home, look for them to run the table through arguably the toughest schedule in the country, earning a chance to play for a national title.
Three Power 5 conferences are left out of the College Football Playoff
This only makes sense. One spot went to Boise State, one spot went to Notre Dame. We still have two spots to fill and all five Power 5 conferences on the outside looking in. Look for the SEC, ACC and Big 12 champions to all have two or more losses, which will be enough to keep all three champions out.
Scott Frost repeats as Coach of the Year
There are a bunch of awards given to the best coach in college football. Frost won most of them last year and he'll clean up the hardware again this season. Look for him to turn around the Nebraska program faster than anyone could have imagined, winning nine games in the regular season and avoiding the blowout losses that have plagued the Cornhuskers for the last decade.
Washington wins the national championship
Chris Petersen has arguably his most talented team since taking over in Seattle. He'll have a veteran, star quarterback under center, and NFL running back in the backfield, a loaded offensive line full of upperclassmen and a defense that returns nine starters. When you factor in the manageable schedule, the Huskies will cruise into the playoff healthy and join three other teams that simply don't match up well win them.
*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 two-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.