A regular season so full of drama has laid the groundwork for an outrageous bowl season
After one of the more exciting college football seasons in recent memory, it's time to park yourself in your favorite couch or recliner over the holidays and take in all that is bowl season.
Sure — until we hit the New Year's Six bowls and College Football Playoff games — most of these bowls mean very little to anyone outside of the players and fans of the respective teams. That said, many of the games are worth tuning in for, and it will still be interesting to watch the outrageousness unfold throughout December.
Outrageous Predictions for College Football Bowl Season
The Mountain West runs the table
No, the seven teams from this Group of Five conference aren't favored in every game, but that won't matter. You could make the argument that the Mountain West was the most underrated conference in the country this season. They had three teams consistently hanging around the Top 25 all year. They a had a fourth team win the Commander in Chief's Trophy for the fourth time since 2010. The conference also will likely be able to claim the NCAA's all-time leading rusher by the time San Diego State is done handing the Houston Cougars their fourth loss of the season.
The MAC doesn't win a single bowl game
Thanks to the success that P.J. Fleck's Western Michigan Broncos had in 2016, the MAC may have received an unmerited bump in prestige in the eyes of many fans and media members. As I scan the MAC-tion bowl slate, I have a difficult time finding a single game where the MAC team has the more talented roster.
Iowa beats Florida by double digits
Early lines coming out of Vegas have the Gators as a slight favorite in the Outback Bowl. If you dare take gambling advice from a guy that makes outrageous predictions, jump on it. One could argue that nobody is playing better football than the Hawkeyes right now. Their powerful running game is clicking and their defense — with future NFL starters at all three levels — has been solid all season. In the meantime, the Gators have gotten boat-raced in three of their last five games and must find a way to get motivated for what in their eyes is a ho-hum bowl game less than two hours from campus.
Tennessee steamrolls Nebraska
You might be inclined to think the Volunteers are vulnerable in this one, given that the game is only a bus ride away from campus and the notion that there are some culture issues within the program. Once you get past that, you'll see that this is a matchup between a physical and athletic Tennessee team and a wounded Nebraska squad that went 0-3 against the best three teams on its schedule. The Cornhuskers could be down to their third quarterback and will be without arguably their most talented wide receiver following a meniscus injury suffered by Jordan Westerkamp in practice. It's going to be tough for Mike Riley's bunch to move the ball consistently. That will lead to a methodical beatdown by Tennessee in a game that will look a lot like the one Nebraska lost to Iowa to end the regular season.
Christian McCaffrey tops 400 all-purpose yards against North Carolina
Somehow, McCaffrey's amazing season went largely unnoticed by the masses. He averaged more yards per carry than he did a season ago and found the end zone more often. He'll lead his under-the-radar 9-3 Stanford squad into a matchup with North Carolina — a team whose defense is firmly among the bottom half in the country. Look for a memorable performance to cap off the career of one of the most electric players college football has ever seen.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.