We had to dig deep to find the potential for outrageousness this week
Normally the college football season presents us with a slate of games every week full of outrageous possibilities. On any given weekend, even the best teams in the country stand a chance of losing to a tough conference foe who may be a significant underdog on paper.
One conference — the SEC — has decided to do all it can to avoid any outrageousness in mid-November. They schedule a handful of FCS and Group of 5 teams, while the rest of the Power 5 pounds it out with conference foes. This happens every year, and it — at least for a week — limits my potential pool of OUTRAGEOUS* outcomes. As a result, I was forced to dig a little deeper in search of some outrageous possibilities in Week 12 of the college football season.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for Week 12
Nebraska beats Michigan State by double digits
After an 0-6 start, the Cornhuskers have won three of their last four, with the lone loss coming by five points at Ohio State. It appears Scott Frost has figured it out and has the program headed in the right direction — thanks in large part to his incredible freshman quarterback, Adrian Martinez. The Spartans — on the other hand — will make their way to frigid Lincoln, Nebraska, on the back of a 20-point loss to the Buckeyes and essentially nothing to play for. I like a big day from the Husker offense and at least five sacks from the defense to lead to a big win for Nebraska.
Oklahoma State takes down West Virginia
The Cowboys could have beaten Oklahoma last weekend in Norman, and already have a win over Texas in Stillwater. Oklahoma State is a feisty team that enjoys the underdog role — especially in front of their raucous home crowd. Look for a defense that normally doesn't do much in the way of stopping anyone to terrorize West Virginia quarterback Will Grier all day, throwing off the timing of the Mountaineer offense. A key turnover late in the fourth quarter will seal the win for Mike Gundy's squad.
Kyler Murray accounts for six scores in the first half
While the SEC beats up on FCS teams, Oklahoma will spend its Saturday beating up Kansas. Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray is right in the thick of a heated Heisman race. He has an opportunity to gain some ground with a big performance. Look for four touchdown passes and two runs for scores in the first half against the Jayhawks, which allows Murray to stay in the Heisman race and rest during the second half.
Arizona upsets Washington State
The Cougars' offense has sputtered a bit in terms of putting up points during the last couple of weeks. Meanwhile, Arizona looks to have figured things out on offense, scoring a combined 86 points in back-to-back wins over Oregon and Colorado. The upset-minded Wildcats need one more win to become bowl eligible. They'll get that win this weekend on the back of a solid defensive effort and a big day from quarterback Khalil Tate.
Cincinnati ends UCF's winning streak
UCF has won 22 consecutive games — the longest active streak in college football. The Knights have been an exciting team to watch and an entertaining story to follow in many ways. On Saturday, it all comes to an end with a visit from Cincinnati. The Bearcats are arguably the most complete football team outside of Auburn that UCF has faced during the last two seasons. They have the ability to score with the Knights, but they also play good defense. They boast two shutouts on the year and are allowing only 14.9 points per game — good enough for seventh in the nation. A couple of early stops are all it takes to give the Bearcats the advantage in this one and keep a lead wire-to-wire.
*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.