It has finally arrived! The first full slate of the 2017 college football season is here. With it comes a clean slate for nearly every team in the land as they chase their College Football Playoff dreams. But as is the nature of a sport with more than 120 teams playing for the same goal, things are going to get a little crazy. You could even say, things are going to get OUTRAGEOUS!* And it all starts Thursday night.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for Week 1
Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow tops 400 yards passing against Ohio State
Rarely will you see a Big Ten conference game on opening weekend, but that's what we'll get Thursday night when the Buckeyes travel to Bloomington to open both the regular and Big Ten season for both teams. The Buckeyes lost a ton of talent in the secondary to the NFL draft, and there is little doubt that they'll reload with more talented players. That said, Richard Lagow is one of the nation's most underrated quarterbacks. He'll be slinging the ball all over the field to a talented group of wideouts led by All-America hopeful Nick Westbrook. It'll take some time for the new Buckeye defensive backs to get acclimated – especially on the road in the season opener. Look for Lagow to get rid of the ball quickly all night, keeping Indiana in the game and keeping the rest of us on the edge of our seats.
Maryland upsets Texas
Everyone is talking about the job Tom Herman is going to do at Texas. In the meantime, nobody is talking about the job DJ Durkin has quietly done at Maryland since his arrival. He has instilled a quiet confidence into the Terrapin football program, blending his defensive expertise with what is shaping up to be a pretty solid rushing attack. Look for Maryland to be the more mature, focused club when the Terps take on the Longhorns and steal a big win in Austin to open the season.
Appalachian State upsets Georgia
The Mountaineers came real close to taking down Tennessee a year ago in Knoxville. That Tennessee team might have been more talented than this year's Georgia squad. In the meantime, Appalachian State returns the core of the team that went 10-3 last season. I expect senior quarterback and Georgia native Taylor Lamb to lead his team "between the hedges" and go blow-for-blow with the Bulldogs. Look for a big play on special teams late in the game to turn the tide and secure the win for the Mountaineers.
The SEC loses at least six games
You just read about one of these losses in the last paragraph. The Southeastern Conference booked itself quite the slate of games in Week 1, and it may not work out for nearly half of its teams. Look for five of these six teams to stumble in their respective games, joining Georgia in the loss column: Texas A&M, Alabama, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Ole Miss.
Two FCS teams log wins over Power 5 programs
Youngstown State and Eastern Washington are two of the blue bloods of the FCS. Bo Pelini's Penguins – coming off of a loss in last season's FCS title game – have an "anyone, anytime, anywhere" mentality. Plenty of Youngstown faithful will make the short trip to the Steel City to watch them upset Pitt. In Lubbock, look for Eastern Washington to stun the Red Raiders, winning on a late field goal.
*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. He also covers the Big Ten for Black Heart Gold Pants, Iowa's SB Nation blog. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.