There has been a downtick in ground-shaking outrageousness in 2017. That will change in Week 4.
I don't know about you, but the 2017 college football season doesn't seem like it has the same "wow" factor at this point that it's had in recent years. We've had some big games with some big moments, but we really haven't had a game or event that flipped the table on the season.
That could all change in Week 4, as some upstart programs get their shots at some blue bloods with serious question marks. Let's take a look at this week's OUTRAGEOUS* predictions.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for Week 4
Rutgers beats Nebraska in Lincoln
The Cornhuskers are reeling right now, following a 21-17 home loss to Northern Illinois last weekend. Fingers have been pointed, excuses have been made and advice has been offered on local talk radio and in local newspapers. All that aside, it's up to the guys on the field to change this narrative and right now, Nebraska is not a very good football team. Enter Rutgers – looking for a statement win and smelling blood in that Sea of Red at Memorial Stadium. I like the Scarlet Knights’ linebackers and secondary to keep Nebraska's passing game in check all day, putting the pressure on an offensive line that has struggled to consistently open running lanes this season. Look for Janarion Grant to be the difference with a couple of big returns on special teams as Rutgers comes away with a close, yet satisfying victory.
Colorado over Washington by double digits
The fans in Boulder will be fired up and out for revenge against the Huskies after the beatdown Washington put on Colorado in last season's Pac-12 title game. Look for two of the best defenses in the land to battle it out early before the Buffaloes eventually wear down the Huskies with the run. That will allow quarterback Steven Montez to take to the air in the fourth quarter and drop a couple of long touchdown passes over top of the Washington secondary.
Toledo shocks Miami
The Rockets look like the class of the MAC right now, sporting a freakishly balanced offensive attack that's generating 553 yards per game. Miami hung some gaudy numbers on FCS opponent Bethune-Cookman in its only game of the year so far, but Toledo is a different animal. When push comes to shove, look for the Rockets' solid pass defense to make the Hurricanes one-dimensional and unable to keep up in the track meet that this game is almost certain to turn into.
TCU and Oklahoma State threaten the 90-point barrier
The over/under for this one is set right around 70 points. I don't often offer betting advice in these weekly predictions, but if that's your thing, take the over. Oklahoma State is averaging 54 points per outing, while TCU is averaging 39. Southern Methodist scored 36 points just last week on the Horned Frogs, while an average Oklahoma State defense has yet to face an offense the caliber of what TCU brings to the table. If you like scoring, tune into this one. For the record, Oklahoma State is my pick to win.
Purdue stuns Michigan
We really don't know how good Michigan's defense is. The Wolverines shut down a broken Florida squad and turned in pedestrian performances against two otherwise underwhelming offenses. We know they can rush the passer, as evident in their Big Ten-leading 13 sacks on the year. We also know this: Purdue is the most diverse and explosive offense the Wolverines have faced this season. The Boilermakers have had 15 different skill position players touch the ball this season. They already have five receivers record 100 yards on the year, and the offense is averaging more than 35 points per game. Michigan's offense, meanwhile, has not impressed and looks fairly vanilla. That could mean trouble against the Boilermakers, who field one of the most efficient defenses in the land — just behind Michigan. I'm betting Purdue defense get more stops than Michigan's, as the Boilermakers secure the program's biggest win in years.
*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. He also covers the Big Ten for Black Heart Gold Pants, Iowa's SB Nation blog. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.