We're nearly a month in to the 2018 college football season, and already we've seen plenty of surprising — if not outrageous — outcomes and performances.
Week 4 brings with it plenty of possibilities for more outrageous outcomes. Now, however, as conference play gets into full swing, the outcomes carry more weight than they may have a couple of weeks ago.
Some teams are looking to stay in the hunt for the College Football Playoff. Some teams are looking for their first win. Others are simply looking to avoid being on the wrong end of an OUTRAGEOUS outcome.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for Week 4
Northern Illinois keep Florida State under .500
The Seminoles are reeling after getting knocked around at Syracuse last week. This team is having a hard time protecting its quarterback and slowing down opposing offenses. Northern Illinois comes to Tallahassee looking for its second win of the season. The Huskies have already gone toe-to-toe with Iowa and Utah — two teams flat-out better than Florida State — on the road. The Huskies will not be intimidated. Look for a suffocating defense and some big plays on special teams to lead to the third loss of the season for Willie Taggart's club.
Indiana beats Michigan State
It seems like forever since the Spartans took a loss in Tempe to Herm Edwards' Arizona State team. They'll be excited to get back on the field and on the winning track this weekend. The problem is, we've seen Michigan State struggle to slow down one team and score on another. Indiana has shown the ability to do both when it needs to. The Hoosiers are undefeated and coming off of a blowout win over a team that Notre Dame struggled with. Look for Indiana to quickly turn this game into a shootout, essentially making the Spartans one-dimensional and forcing them to play a game outside of their control.
Kansas keeps its winning streak alive
This whole "winning football games" thing is new to most of the people with a vested interested in Kansas football. After dropping its opener to an FCS foe, the Jayhawks have rebounded with two straight wins over FBS teams. Now they'll travel to play an average Baylor squad that is probably looking past this matchup and ahead to the tilt with Oklahoma next weekend. By the time the Bears know what hit them, Kansas running back Pooka Williams will have already set the tone in this game. Watch out — the Jayhawks have tasted victory, and they like it.
AJ Dillon rushes for 300 yards against Purdue
Purdue gave up 168 yards on the ground to Missouri's Larry Rountree III last weekend. Now, the Boilermakers will be asked to slow down one of the top three running backs in the nation as Dillon and the Boston College Eagles make their way to West Lafayette. Look for Dillon to gash the Boilermakers from the start, piling up more than 300 yards on the ground, pushing his way to the front of the Heisman Trophy race.
Nebraska stuns Michigan
Adrian Martinez was a game-time decision for Nebraska last week. He didn't play, and the Cornhuskers fell to 0-2 to begin the Scott Frost era. That won't be the case this week. Nebraska's offense has the potential to be very good with Martinez under center. He has the ability to take advantage of aggressive edge rushers, turning their mistakes into huge plays both through the air and on the ground. Toss in the fact that Nebraska heads to Ann Arbor with nothing to lose in search of its first win of the season, and the recipe for a major upset is there. If Martinez does indeed play, this Nebraska team has the ability to score enough points to best what has been a relatively pedestrian Michigan offense in 2018.
*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.