Bowl Predictions 2012: Teams That Will Be Overmatched in BCS Bowls
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Since the BCS National Championship Game's inception in 2007, the SEC has won every single national championship, often times overmatching its opponent.
It isn't just in the championship game, however. The SEC has overmatched its opponents in most bowls, BCS or not.
This year, as the BCS Bowl games continue to take shape, there appears to be many potential mismatches where one team will be heavily favored and win in a lopsided victory.
Here is a list of teams that will be overmatched in their BCS Bowl (based on BCS Bowl predictions):
Tostito's Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State vs. Oregon
Oregon would be playing in the BCS National Championship Game if not for an overtime loss to Stanford. The Ducks have an impressive resume aside from that one three-point loss, defeating four top-25 teams and winning every other game they played.
Led by all-purpose back De'Anthony Thomas and freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota, Oregon has arguably the most high-powered offense in the country.
It finished the regular season second in the country in points for with 50.8 points per game.
Although Kansas State is no push-over on defense, it has struggled of late and has allowed 24, 52 and 30 points in three of its last four games. It plays No. 18 Texas on Saturday, which will be a true test for this Kansas State team before its bowl game.
When push comes to shove, I think that Oregon is a legitimate National Championship-caliber squad, while Kansas State is a BCS bowl-worthy team but nowhere near the level Oregon is at.
This will be a blowout, with Oregon running up the score and Collin Klein's Wildcats struggling to catch up.
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Discover Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Louisville
The Orange Bowl is losing credibility fast as the Big East becomes a laughing stock among college football.
The Big East is by far the worst "major" conference, and its champion, Louisville, has not faced a challenge like Florida State all season.
With a 9-2 record and a win against Rutgers last night, Louisville has momentum. However, it has not played a ranked team all season. This could be problematic when it plays the current No. 13 team in the country, who is sure to move up after a probable win over Georgia Tech this weekend.
Florida State's resume includes a strong competition against SEC powerhouse Florida and a win over then-No. 10 Clemson. Florida State is one of the strongest non-SEC teams in the country, ranking seventh in points for with 41.5 points per game and eighth in points against, allowing only 15.1.
Senior quarterback E.J. Manuel should have no problem against a weaker Louisville defense and should be able to blow FSU's Big East counterpart out of the water in January.
BCS National Championship Game: Notre Dame vs. Alabama
Notre Dame has had an impressive year.
It finished the year 12-0, beating then-No. 10 Michigan State, then-No. 18 Michigan, then-No. 17 Stanford and then-No. 8 Oklahoma.
It is currently the No. 1 team in the BCS standings.
However, I expect the SEC to assert its dominance once again in the BCS National Championship Game. There is very little in the numbers that would suggest that Alabama is a significantly better team than Notre Dame, but looking deeper, we find that there is evidence of this.
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Although Notre Dame played a very hard schedule, Alabama's was slightly harder.
Alabama has impressive wins over then-No. 8 Michigan, then-No. 5 LSU and then-No. 11 Mississippi State. Its one loss came to then-No. 15 Texas A&M and Heisman Trophy candidate Johnny "Johnny Football" Manziel.
Also, to advance to this game, it will have to get past No. 3 Georgia.
Alabama has the best defense in the country, allowing only 9.3 points per game against one of the hardest schedules in the country. This is where the game will be won for the Crimson Tide, as Notre Dame's weakness is its sometimes-inconsistent offense, led by redshirt freshman quarterback Everett Golson.
Notre Dame has often relied on its impressive running-back duo, Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick, but Alabama's size and strength up front causes problems for any running game in college.
Notre Dame wins football games by capitalizing on turnovers.
This is also problematic as Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron has only thrown two interceptions all season.
Looking at the only team that both teams played, the Michigan Wolverines, and the result of each game, we can also learn a little more about these two teams. Michigan was annihilated by Alabama, losing 41-14 on opening weekend and never had a chance beyond the first quarter.
Notre Dame, just a few weeks later, beat Michigan just 13-6.
However, the game easily could've been won by the Wolverines. Despite a historically bad game from Denard Robinson, who threw four interceptions and no touchdowns, Michigan had the ball with a chance to tie the game at the end of the fourth quarter.
On that weekend, Michigan looked like a team that was very even with Notre Dame despite an abysmal performance from its star quarterback.
Notre Dame has been a great story and is definitely back on the national stage to stay under head coach Brian Kelly, but Alabama's SEC pedigree and overwhelming size and speed will be too much for the Fighting Irish to handle.
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