By this time next week, we'll know which four teams are headed to the College Football Playoff, as well as which teams are headed to New Year's Six bowls. This coming weekend — championship weekend — will be what decides all of that once and for all.
There are narratives and projections aplenty, and with them come discussions of chaos and controversy in anticipation of the results of this weekend's games. If there is one thing we know for certain, however, it's that the 2016 college football season does not care about narratives and projections. The entire season has been quite outrageous, and championship week will be no different.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for Championship Week
Ohio upsets Western Michigan in the MAC title game
I've been driving the P.J. Fleck train all season, begging the Broncos to get more attention and touting the young head coach as an option for some of the biggest job openings in the land (some of which are not yet vacant). That said, in a one game, winner-take-all scenario, I like Ohio head coach Frank Solich to have his squad up to the task of taking down the top Group of Five team in the land. Bobcats freshman quarterback Quinton Maxwell is a future star in the MAC and likely beyond. I like his playmaking ability and Ohio's underrated defense to be the difference as the Bobcats shock Western Michigan and take home the conference crown.
Colorado upsets Washington
The Buffaloes are one of the hottest teams in the country right now — riding a six-game winning streak. They have established an identity as one of the meanest, most physical teams on both sides of the ball — something you need to be in order to defeat a very good Washington team. Colorado's ability to take care of the football on offense, take away the ball on defense and control the tempo with the running game will keep this a lower-scoring affair that many are projecting. In the end, however, look for a couple of big plays by Buffaloes wide receiver Shay Fields to be the difference.
Oklahoma State blows out Oklahoma in Bedlam
The Sooners are still thinking they have an outside shot of cracking the College Football Playoff. Unfortunately for Oklahoma, the Cowboys are getting healthy at the right time. Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph has been hanging some gaudy numbers as of late. He'll be foaming at the mouth to get after a Sooner secondary that gives up more than 287 passing yards per game. I see the Cowboys as the more physical team in this one. Look for them to take Dede Westbrook off the table as a consistent option for OU quarterback Baker Mayfield, forcing other playmakers to beat them. Once that happens, the Cowboys will have turned the game into a boat race where Oklahoma is unable to keep up.
Wisconsin beats Penn State by double digits
We're all so focused on what happens if Penn State wins the Big Ten and how that impacts Ohio State — possibly opening the door for the old conference to get two teams into the College Football Playoff. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Badgers sit off in the corner, quietly favored in this game. We know all about Wisconsin's elite defense, but Paul Chryst's bunch looks to have used the last three games of the season to fine-tune its offensive attack. The Badgers are averaging more than 42 points per game during that stretch. If they can put up two thirds of that and just allow their defense to do what it does, I'm not sure Penn State is built to win a game like that. Wisconsin running back Corey Clement will be the star in this one, adding to his four-game streak of 100 yards or more on the ground.
Virginia Tech shocks the world, takes down Clemson
It's been a roller coaster of a first year for Justin Fuente in Blacksburg, but it's safe to say Virginia Tech made the right choice in hiring him. Fuente's high-octane offensive attack has been installed and is now a dangerous complement to Bud Foster's always-solid defense. The Hokie defense is good enough to allow its corners to play on islands, opening the doors for the front seven to pin its ears back and go after Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson like nobody has this season. This too will be a lower-scoring game than most think, thanks to two of the finest defensive coordinators in the land doing what they do best. In true Virginia Tech fashion, however, look for a special teams play to be the difference that wins the game and the ACC title for the Hokies.
— 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.
(Justin Fuente photo by Dave Knachel - Virginia Tech Athletics)