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Outrageous College Football Predictions for Week 13

Author:
Kerryon Johnson

Kerryon Johnson

It's the weekend of leftover turkey as we settle into our couches and watch some of the most storied rivalries in college football play out before our eyes. This year, these rivalry games seem to carry more weight in the grand scheme of things than they normally do. The 2016 season has been one of the more more exciting and unpredictable in recent memory.

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I have good news. That's not about to change in Week 13.

Some big-time games are going open the door for outrageousness to walk right in and make itself at home over this holiday weekend. Strap in — and perhaps loosen the belt after gorging on Aunt Peggy's green bean casserole. You're in for a fun ride.

Outrageous College Football Predictions for Week 13

Michigan beats Ohio State by double digits

All of the chaos scenarios for the College Football Playoff have Ohio State winning this game. In fact, chaos or not, I haven't heard anyone outside of Michigan loyalists predict the Wolverines to win this one. As a good friend of mine always says, "When everyone is leaning one way, more often than not, the game tends to go the other way." I like Michigan to stifle the Buckeye running game early, forcing J.T. Barrett to take to the air. When that happens, I like the Wolverine secondary to win that matchup. This low-scoring, high-profile battle will come down to the running games and the defenses — and I think Jim Harbaugh's group wins both of those battles. Look for a 21-10-type of score as the Wolverines clinch the Big Ten East and eliminate Ohio State from playoff contention.

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Michigan State upsets Penn State

Sticking in the Big Ten, most are just assuming that Penn State is just going to roll through the Spartans. Having watched Michigan State give both Ohio State and Michigan all they could handle this season, I like Sparty's chances. Their record may not show it, but this 2016 version of Michigan State is still a hard-nosed Mark Dantonio-coached squad that will be ready for a fight. Penn State has some stars, but it will be the Nittany Lions' lack of depth — especially on defense — that costs them the battle for the Land Grant Trophy.

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Air Force takes down Boise State

The Falcons are tough to game plan for and Colorado Springs is a tough place for opponents to win in. I can see altitude playing a factor in this game. The Broncos like to spread it and run. Air Force wants to slow it down and pound the rock. I like the Falcons' stable of solid backs to wear down the Boise defense for three quarters and control the tempo. On the other side, I like Weston Steelhammer and the Air Force defense to neutralize Bronco running back Jeremy McNichols and limit Boise State's big-play ability. In the end, it will be Falcons wide receiver Jalen Robinette making the big play that seals the deal.

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Iowa State continues its winning streak

The Cyclones' Joel Lanning was an absolute beast last weekend against Texas Tech. His new role (co-quarterback, used mostly as a running threat) in what appears to be a born-again Iowa State offensive attack was the difference in the blowout win over the Red Raiders. Kliff Kingsbury's group had no answer, and you can bet Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell changes very little heading into the West Virginia game. The Mountaineers were embarrassed and may have had their spirits broken last weekend in the home loss to Oklahoma. I see them traveling to Ames and trying to win simply by going through the motions. Not on this day. Iowa State finishes its season with a three-game winning streak.

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Auburn wins the Iron Bowl

Well, this will throw a wrench in the whole process now won't it? All bets are off when these two teams face each other. Alabama is great, but the Crimson Tide have flaws. Some of those flaws are ripe to be exposed by an Auburn team every bit as motivated — perhaps even more so — than the Tide. Nick Saban has morphed his defense into one with smaller, faster defenders in order to keep up with some of the more wide-open offenses in the game today. One problem: Auburn still pounds the rock downhill. The Tigers will have Kerryon Johnson on the field for sure, but if Kamryn Pettway can play as well, Alabama is in big trouble. Toss in the emergence of Kam Martin as a playmaking scat back and the Tigers won't be short of options to attack Alabama on the ground, thus controlling the pace of the game. Limiting the possessions of Lane Kiffin's offense will help make the home crowd in Tuscaloosa less of a factor. With the way Florida is playing as of late, the SEC won't be comfortable with a one-loss Alabama heading into the SEC Championship Game.

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— 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.