The 2017 college football season is flying by, as we prepare for the last weekend in September. We are starting to learn a lot more about every team, including who the contenders and pretenders are. We're seeing a couple of teams quietly overcome every obstacle put in front of them.
We're also starting to figure out which coaches are sitting in seats that are perhaps a little warmer than they'd like. When that happens, you start to see coaches and teams pull out all the stops. And then you get to see some outrageousness.
Outrageous* College Football Predictions for Week 5
Duke cruises over Miami
The Blue Devils are quietly 4-0, including three double-digit wins over Power 5 teams. Head coach David Cutcliffe has a virtual coach on the field in quarterback Daniel Jones. The sophomore signal-caller's skill set and maturity beyond his years keeps the Blue Devil offense running efficiently, while a stingy defense – one of the best in the country – has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher. Look for the Duke defense to snuff out the Miami rushing attack and harass Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier while Jones and Co. march methodically up and down the field all day.
Tennessee takes down Georgia
The Bulldogs are getting a lot of love right now, while things are getting a little, well rocky, on Rocky Top for Butch Jones. I like the Volunteers to rally around their head coach, sensing the urgency in the air, and play their best game of the season in front of the orange and white-clad faithful at Neyland Stadium. Running back John Kelly proves to be the best player on the field, dominating the game and leading Tennessee to a huge conference win.
Northern Illinois upsets San Diego State
The last time we saw the Huskies, they were walking out of Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska, with a win over the Cornhuskers. They've had two weeks to prepare for the Aztecs, and I expect their gritty defense to be dialed in on shutting down San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny in this battle between two of the best Group of 5 programs in the country.
J.K. Dobbins rushes for 250 yards against Rutgers
This has more to do with Urban Meyer than Dobbins, really. It's all about ego, and I'm not sure Meyer’s ego enjoyed all of the love Saquon Barkley got for his amazing performance last week at Iowa. Look for the Buckeyes to run their entire offense through Dobbins and showcase him in a way that ends up being possible to ignore –both with the eye test and on the stat sheet.
Wake Forest stuns a reeling Florida State
A win is a win and with every win, you gain confidence. Wake Forest has logged four wins so far this season and still has a goose egg in the loss column. The Demon Deacons jumped out to a fast start by pounding the rock on the ground effectively and taking care of the football through the air. Don't be fooled by the one-point win against Appalachian State – that's a tough place for any team to come away with a win. It only added character to this upstart squad. On the flip side, Florida State is battered, beaten, winless and away from home yet again. This game will turn into a battle of wills, and unfortunately for the Seminoles, they may have lost their mojo when they lost quarterback Deondre Francois. Look for Wake Forest to wear down the Seminoles with a punishing rushing attack for four quarters and send a message to the rest of the ACC.
*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.