Hello again, college football fans! If I seem a bit chipper, it's because I am. Last Saturday was about as great a day of college football action as you could ask for (unless you root for Clemson, Michigan or Washington). The College Football Playoff projections were tossed out the window, and I couldn't be happier for a couple of reasons. For one, I love chaos, and we now have plenty of it. Additionally, I love being right. And when you write a weekly article in which you make five predictions that should all be wrong, going 3-for-5 last weekend has me on cloud nine!
Here's the thing: I've gotten at least one of these so-called "outrageous" predictions right nearly every week. What does that mean, exactly? Well, if I've got your team lined up to receive the short end of the stick, you might want to take a deep breath and pay more attention to your team's upcoming matchup before firing off that angry tweet at me. Then again, I do enjoy those as well.
In any event, sit up, buckle up and pay attention. Here are my outrageous predictions for this weekend.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for Week 12
Houston officially ends Louisville's College Football Playoff dream
As of now, the Cardinals have a shot. On Thursday, however, they'll travel to Houston to play a game that we all had our eyes on before the season began. Louisville has the best player in the country in quarterback Lamar Jackson. He's going to do what he does and Tom Herman's Cougars will be mostly helpless to stop it. But as for the other positions on the field, Houston has more than enough horses to give Louisville problems on both sides of the ball. Herman wins this one in the film room this week, as he devises a scheme that leaves Jackson alone on an island looking for help en route to a Cougar win.
Maryland beats a wounded Nebraska
We wondered last week whether or not Tommy Armstrong would be cleared to play as a result of a head injury. He did, and the Huskers needed every ounce of effort from him to beat Minnesota. This week, it's even less likely Armstrong takes the field for Nebraska against the Terrapins. Maryland is coming off of back-to-back blowout losses to Michigan and Ohio State. But the thought of playing a Nebraska team that might be without its best player has got to be music to Maryland head coach DJ Durkin's ears. It's the perfect time for his team to regroup and get back to focusing on the long process of building a competitive program in College Park. I like the way Maryland's secondary matches up with Nebraska's receivers. I see a close game, where Durkin out-coaches Mike Riley and the Terps seal the win with a turnover.
Ohio State scores 60-plus points for a third consecutive game
Yes, football is a just a sport, but to Urban Meyer, this is not a game. His team is in no position to get comfortable, as the Buckeyes — despite their current position in the College Football Playoff rankings — can't just simply win games and lock up a playoff spot. This is about impressing judges. This is about slaying an arena full of competitors and then asking the masses if they are entertained. This is about Meyer giving himself a chance to go get his title belt back from Nick Saban. I pity the Spartans.
Indiana upsets Michigan
Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines lost more than just a game in Iowa City — they lost starting quarterback Wilton Speight to a reported broken collarbone. Now they'll need to gather themselves and get ready to take on an Indiana team that has been game for every challenge placed in front of it this season. The Wolverines are playing for their playoff lives, while the Hoosiers are playing for bowl eligibility. Indiana would rather not wait for the season finale against Purdue to clinch a spot in the postseason. This is not yesterday's Indiana defense. It'll likely be John O'Korn under center for the Maize and Blue, and he'll have his hands full against an underrated Hoosier front seven.
Wake Forest stuns Clemson
Clemson finally paid the price for living on the edge last weekend. The Tigers still control their own destiny in the ACC, but they no longer have any room for error. Enter Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are hard to get a bead on this season. They are bowl eligible and have beaten some decent teams. They also have some head-scratching losses. At the end of the day, Wake Forest is playing a night game at home with house money. Clemson is vulnerable, and the Tigers have trouble taking care of the football. Wake Forest — on the other hand — is among the best in the nation at taking it away. This is a recipe for disaster for Dabo Swinney's Tigers.
— 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.