It's finally here!
After waiting nearly eight long months, the game — America's game — college football, is back!
A new season means a new slate of games that will decide whether or not the College Football Playoff dreams of every team live on or turn into nightmares. Things are going to get interesting — and in some cases — outrageous.
Here are five OUTRAGEOUS* predictions for the first full week of the 2018 college football season.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for Week 1
San Diego State upsets Stanford
If this game were later in the season, I wouldn't be calling for this upset. As it stands, this is a Stanford team adjusting to the losses of some key contributors at some positions that are instrumental in establishing the Cardinal's physical identity. The San Diego State Aztecs, on the other hand, enter the season with a deep, experienced and talented squad ready to fire out of the gate on all cylinders. Look for ultra-efficient Aztec quarterback Christian Chapman — behind an offensive line that returns four starters — to dink and dunk all over the Stanford defense early, giving San Diego State a lead that this Cardinal team is not yet equipped to overcome.
Washington scores 40 on Auburn
I don't know how much better this season's Auburn defense will be than the one that gave up a combined 62 points to Georgia and UCF to end the season last year. What I do know is that the 2018 Washington Huskies will field one of the more explosive offenses in college football. An inexperienced Auburn secondary will open the door for Washington quarterback Jake Browning to have a huge day and get his Heisman campaign off on the right foot. Chris Petersen will outcoach Gus Malzahn in every facet of the game and won't take his foot off the gas until the game is well in hand. There will be a stadium full of sad Tiger fans fans in Atlanta, after they watch their team lose its third consecutive game dating back to last season.
Michigan doesn't score a touchdown against Notre Dame
We've heard a whole lot about the Michigan defense, but nobody is giving much love to a Notre Dame defense with NFL prospects and All-America candidates at all three levels. Shea Patterson is probably the best quarterback that Jim Harbaugh has had since he arrived in Ann Arbor, but there isn't much that the Wolverines bring to the table offensively that the Irish can't match up with and shut down with relative ease. Look for an underrated offensive line to lead Notre Dame to a low-scoring win in which Michigan fails to put the ball in the end zone.
Tennessee stuns West Virginia in Charlotte
There are two keys to Tennessee pulling off this upset: Keller Chryst's experience in big games and new Volunteers head coach Jeremy Pruitt's defensive prowess. Chryst will be in full control of a physical offense perfectly designed for his skill set and far different from what Dana Holgorsen's Mountaineers face every week in the Big 12. Look for Tennessee's offense to take care of the ball and wear down the Mountaineers defense. When WVU has the ball, expect an exotic combination of blitzes and coverages from Pruitt designed to force quarterback Will Grier into difficult decisions and subsequent dangerous throws. The country roads of West Virginia will be worn out by the upstarts from Rocky Top on the first Saturday of September.
LSU beats Miami by double digits
Talking to fans and writers across the country, the consensus is that the Hurricanes might be a little overrated heading into the 2018 campaign. In the meantime, many people are sleeping on Ed Orgeron's Tigers. For the first time in a while, it looks like they have an actual answer at quarterback in Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow as opposed to a band-aid. His dynamic ability makes LSU's offense much more difficult to stop, especially when you combine it with the young talent at the skill positions. In the end, this will be another case of some SEC physicality getting the best of a more finesse team.
*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.