We are at the point in the college football season where the contenders make statements and the pretenders fall by the wayside. A handful of teams have their eyes on conference championship game appearances with outside shots at berths in the College Football Playoff. For three of those teams, Week 12 will mark the end of what were shaping up to be dream seasons, thanks to some outrageousness.
Here are the Outrageous College Football Predictions for Week 12.
Penn State takes down Michigan
Would this be a giant upset? No, but it would certainly increase the degree of difficulty for the Wolverines to get to the Big Ten title game. Look for Penn State's defense to stymie an inconsistent Michigan offense, getting to Jake Rudock early and often. On the other side of the ball, an ever-improving Penn State running game is going to loosen up the Michigan secondary, allowing Christian Hackenberg to have his way. The loss would mean that Michigan no longer controls its own destiny in the Big Ten East Division.
Virginia Tech upsets North Carolina
The Tar Heels can taste the ACC title game, and with it, an outside shot at the College Football Playoff. The Hokies will be playing for pride when they host North Carolina on an otherwise sleepy fall afternoon in Blacksburg. Look for the Virginia Tech defense to keep Frank Beamer's squad in the game, matching the intensity of the Tar Heels' D. In the end, it'll be Beamerball that prevails, as a special teams play by Virginia Tech seals the upset.
Cal ends the dream for Stanford
Just like Oregon, Cal likes to score and score fast. Look for quarterback Jared Goff to constantly challenge the Cardinal secondary all day, eventually breaking through and opening the game up. Once that happens, Stanford will find itself in yet another track meet that the Cardinal aren't built to win. A second conference loss won't keep them from playing for a Pac-12 title, but it will end any hopes the Cardinal had of sneaking into the College Football Playoff.
Iowa blanks Purdue
Of course Iowa will win, but look for the Hawkeyes to take out their frustrations on the Boilermakers — imposing their will and attempting to demonstrate that they belong in the national title conversation. Iowa matches up perfectly on defense to shut down basically everything Purdue wants to do. Combine that with Iowa's elite, clock-killing run game and the Boilermakers have little-to-no shot of putting together any sort of scoring drive. The Hawkeyes will be out to show that they can put away inferior teams the way a contender is supposed to.
Derrick Henry carries the ball only once against Charleston Southern
This is a case where the national championship far outweighs the Heisman Trophy. Henry is the consensus front-runner for college football's most prestigious award, but he's also the biggest reason Alabama looks like the team to beat. Nick Saban is smart enough to know better than to risk any damage to the biggest hammer he has. Look for Henry to take the first carry of the day to the house for a touchdown — adding to his Heisman-highlight reel — and coming out of the game immediately after.