Last week's college football slate was highlighted by South Carolina's upset win over the Georgia Bulldogs. The result of that game altered the potential path to the College Football Playoff for Georgia as well as a handful of other teams.
This weekend, there are plenty of tricky matchups that leave the door open for a repeat of what we saw last weekend in Athens. As we get deeper into the heart of the conference schedules, we're seeing more matchups and rivalries where the records don't matter. That creates a petri dish for OUTRAGEOUS* outcomes, especially in the Big Ten.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for Week 8
Purdue upsets Iowa
The Hawkeyes have dropped two in a row and their offense has forgotten how to get the ball in the end zone. Now they'll turn around and take on a feisty, battered and banged-up Purdue team that is coming off a big conference win. The Boilermakers are playing with house money, and the Hawkeyes don't have much to play for at this point in terms of conference or division titles. Motivation will be a factor, and Purdue will have the edge in that category.
Illinois takes Wisconsin to overtime
Wisconsin has been destroying teams left and right this season and put themselves in the College Football Playoff conversation. The Illini have quietly taken a step in the right direction by becoming competitive in games where they haven't been in recent years. Nearly every Illinois game this season has been interesting and Saturday will be no different. Look for Lovie Smith's group to play the role of Rocky Balboa to Wisconsin's Apollo Creed and have the Badgers looking for the exits.
Penn State shuts out Michigan
The Nittany Lions are much better than people realize — they may be the most complete team in the Big Ten not named Ohio State. They'll be looking to show this against a Michigan team that hasn't really looked great all season. Look for the crowd to be a factor as Penn State rolls and blanks the Wolverines.
South Carolina does it again
This one is all about momentum. The Gamecocks just pulled off one of the biggest wins of the season and are a fired-up bunch. The Gators are coming off of a gut-punch and reality check of a loss to LSU. I see this being one of those times when one game leads to two losses. South Carolina tasted the spotlight and liked it, while Florida will still be reeling.
Louisville stuns Clemson
This will be his week's South Carolina-Georgia. The Cardinals have surprised this season. Scott Satterfield has fielded a competitive squad that has won some big games and scared some good teams. Clemson — on the other hand — hasn't looked like the world-beaters we thought the defending national champions would be. The Cardinals saw what happened in Athens last weekend, and now it's their time to shine. Look for Clemson to struggle with the Louisville option attack, which will impact all levels of the Tigers' defense. Cardinals win and completely change the College Football Playoff picture.
*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, USA Today and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.