It wasn't easy, but we've made it to Championship Week of the 2020 college football season. We've had conferences start late, players opt out, and games get canceled. But through it all, we had the majority of FBS teams playing football and marching toward the College Football Playoff.
Now, some of those teams face one last hurdle before getting to the playoff, a New Year's Six Bowl, or just a regular bowl game. We think we know who the top four teams are. We think we know who the best Group of 5 teams are.
But as college football proves to us every season — we don't anything until it's over.
Let's get OUTRAGEOUS*.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for Championship Week
Tulsa upsets Cincinnati
We've heard some people lobby for Cincinnati to get into the College Football Playoff. The Bearcats' resume is unblemished, and their wins have been impressive. The problem is, they haven't played in nearly a month. Now they face a Tulsa team who hasn't lost a game since opening the season against Oklahoma State. The Golden Hurricane have reeled off six wins since then — including two over teams that were ranked at the time. Tulsa brings a solid rushing attack to the table, and I see the Golden Hurricane controlling the tempo of the game with it. The matchup between these teams was postponed and then canceled in the regular season. Now, with the AAC title on the line, look for Tulsa to end Cincinnati's New Year's Six dreams.
Jaret Patterson runs for 300 yards against Ball State
Patterson might be the best back in the nation, but he plays in the MAC, so the only time we get to hear about him is when he does something like running for 409 yards in a game — which he did against Kent State a couple of weeks ago. Now, on a national stage and playing for a conference title, look for Patterson to put on one last show in 2020 and announce his presence to the entire college football world en route to a blowout win in the MAC Championship Game for Buffalo.
Iowa State beats Oklahoma by double digits
The Cyclones are one of the most complete teams in the country, and they've been playing like it, too. They've rolled off five wins in a row and are winning games in a variety of ways. Oklahoma has won six in a row, with their last loss coming to the Cyclones back in October. I don't think that was a fluke. I believe Iowa State's offense is good enough to put 40 points on the Sooner defense, and I'm not sure Oklahoma's offense can match it against Matt Campbell's defensive scheme. I like Iowa State to win the Big 12 crown convincingly.
Notre Dame beats Clemson again
We heard the excuses before the first game was even played. If Notre Dame beat Clemson, it was going to be because Trevor Lawrence did not play. Well, that was the case, but all his backup did was throw for 439 yards. And all Notre Dame's defense did was hold Travis Etienne to 28 rushing yards on 18 carries. I expect the gameplan to be the same this time around for the Irish. Clemson's offensive attack is at its best when Etienne is gashing teams on the ground. When you take him away, the Tigers become slightly more human — and as we saw in South Bend in early November — beatable. At the same time, I've seen Notre Dame figure out some things offensively that have made them the most complete team in the country not named Alabama. I like the Irish to beat Clemson again, subsequently eliminating the Tigers from the College Football Playoff and securing the No. 2 seed for themselves.
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, USA Today and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.
(Top photo courtesy of @NDFootball)