The 2016 college football season was one of the more exciting seasons the sport has had recently. With that being the case, it should come to the surprise of no one that the subsequent bowl season has been just as entertaining. Some unforgettable touchdowns and some very unexpected outcomes have made a usually pedestrian bowl season worth the price of admission.
Now, it's time for the big boys to play.
The New Year's Six bowls — which include the two College Football Playoff games — offer some very interesting matchups that could yield some outrageous results.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for the New Year's Six Bowls and Playoff Games
Florida State beats Michigan by double digits
After getting clobbered early on by Louisville and stumbling through the middle portion of their season in the weeks that followed, the Florida State Seminoles have righted the ship and finished off things by "boat-racing" their last three opponents. The secondary has been playing at another level, which is bad news for a Michigan passing attack that hasn't exactly been dominant this season. Look for Florida State's front four to control the line of scrimmage in what ends up being a defensive battle. The Seminoles ride to a sound win on the back of an efficient performance by quarterback Deondre Francois.
Western Michigan upsets Wisconsin
The Broncos are much more physical on both sides of the ball than they are given credit for. Look for P.J. Fleck's bunch to trade body blows with the Badgers all day before hitting on a couple of big plays to All-American wide receiver Corey Davis. That will be the difference as Western Michigan walks away victorious by one score.
Penn State proves it's for real; stuns USC
The Nittany Lions are about a touchdown underdog in this one. After winning the conference championship of college football's toughest conference, they were told they weren't good enough for the College Football Playoff. They are facing a team in USC that many thought might be among the nation's best at this point in the season. While some are expecting a repeat of the Pac-12 over Big Ten beatdown we saw in last year's Rose Bowl, I like Penn State to play on fire — especially on defense. Looks for James Franklin to have his team pressuring Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold all afternoon, throwing off the timing of USC's passing attack. After that, expect a heavy dose of Penn State running back Saquon Barkley to control the tempo and allow his team to leave Pasadena with a close win.
Auburn's defense is too much for the Sooners
Oklahoma lives and dies with one of the most explosive offenses in college football. Winners of nine in a row, the Sooners haven't seen a defensive unit as physical as Auburn since September. Points and yards won't come easy for Bob Stoops' bunch in this one, as they'll be held to season lows in both categories. When Auburn has the ball, look for a big day on the ground from both Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson as the Tiger faithful celebrate into the night on Bourbon Street.
Clemson blows out Ohio State
Given a month to get healthy and prepare for one another — when all else is equal — I always favor the more talented football team. The Clemson Tigers and the season they've had remind me a lot of Ohio State in 2014. Dabo Swinney has a roster full of NFL studs, but the difference-maker in this one will be tight end Jordan Leggett. He's a big-time matchup problem — even for Ohio State — and the extra attention he requires is going to open everything else up for the Clemson offense. The end result will be a shootout that the Buckeyes are not equipped to win.
Washington shocks the world
If you let me have one head coach in college football to prepare a team for one game over the course of an entire month, I'd pick Washington's Chris Petersen every day of the week and twice on Sunday. His Huskies will present Alabama with the most physical test the Crimson Tide have seen all season on both sides of the ball. This will be an explosive, hard-hitting affair that will eventually be won by the aggressive play of Washington's defensive line and the consistent execution of its power-running game.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.