All eyes are on Columbus, Ohio, this weekend
We continue to learn more every week of the 2017 college football season. Last weekend, we learned that both Penn State and Notre Dame are exactly who we thought they were by way of a couple of outrageous beatdowns. We also are learning that the ACC could be wide open, as the conference quietly boasts as many as four teams that could qualify for the College Football Playoff.
Week 9 of the 2017 college football season presents us with an intriguing slate of games that promises to deliver more information about the contenders – and more OUTRAGEOUS* outcomes.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for Week 9
Boston College hands Florida State its fifth loss of the season
The Seminoles are having a tough 2017 season. Between cancelled games, injured players and their head coach getting into it with a fan, nothing is going well. It's about to get worse, as Jimbo Fisher's squad heads north to take on a red-hot Boston College team that needs to win two of its last four games to get bowl eligible. Beantown will be rocking under the lights as the Eagles lean on freshman running back AJ Dillon and methodically pound away at the Seminole defensive front en route to a sound victory.
Iowa State proves to be legit, as the Cyclones take down TCU
The win over Oklahoma was no fluke, and the Cyclones are starting to look like a serious threat to win eight or nine games. Senior quarterback Kyle Kempt has filled in marvelously since taking over under center. It doesn't hurt to have a couple of next-level talents to distribute the ball to in running back David Montgomery and wide receiver Allen Lazard. The travel, the atmosphere and the underrated talent will all be too much for the Horned Frogs to handle, as the Cyclone shuffle the top tier of the polls once again.
Notre Dame beats another ranked team by double digits
Two of the hottest teams in the country will square off in South Bend on Saturday. The Irish are favored by about a touchdown over NC State heading into the weekend, but Brian Kelly's squad is firing on all cylinders right now. Running back Josh Adams (above, right) is arguably the most underrated player in the country at the position, and he's been gashing defenses for 9.2 yards per carry all season. An opportunistic defense and a heavy dose of Adams will be all Notre Dame needs to log its third double-digit win over a currently ranked opponent this year.
Georgia Tech hands Clemson its second loss in a row
It was two long weeks ago when we watched Syracuse hobble Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant, knock him out of the game and then pull off the upset over the Tigers. Bryant will likely play against Georgia Tech this weekend, but he's not going to be anything close to 100 percent. In the meantime, Paul Johnson's Georgia Tech offense is built to run straight at the talented Tiger defensive line. Look for the Yellow Jackets to keep it close for three quarters as Clemson struggles to move the ball on offense. In the fourth quarter, expect Georgia Tech to take to the air against a tired Tigers squad for a couple of game-changing big plays to seal the deal.
Penn State routes the Buckeyes
Since losing to Oklahoma, Ohio State has ripped off impressive wins against Army, UNLV, Rutgers, Maryland and Nebraska — not exactly murderer's row. That hasn't kept the national media from forgiving the embarrassing loss to the Sooners and vaulting Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett to the top of many Heisman lists. Urban Meyer's crew plays host to a different animal on Saturday — one that has dominated good teams and won close games in tough atmospheres.
The two-headed monster of QB Trace McSorely and RB Saquon Barkley is unlike anything the Buckeyes' defense has had to deal with this season. By the time Ohio State figures out how to defend that dynamic duo, Barrett and the offense will have quickly learned that Penn State is not Nebraska defensively. The vanilla offensive attack Ohio State has used to shred a slate of below-average opponent's isn't going to cut it against a Nittany Lion defense that only allows 9.6 points per game.
Meanwhile, Penn State wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton will finding openings all night against a young and still suspect Ohio State secondary. It all adds up to a big win for James Franklin's crew, as the Penn State faithful continue to call for a showdown with Alabama.
*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.