Bowl Predictions 2012: Breaking Down Biggest Matchups of the New Year

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2012

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 17:  Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish talks with Manti T'eo #5 during a game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Notre Dame Stadium on November 17, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Wake Forest 38-0.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

With the 2012 college football regular season out of the way, it’s time to break down which bowl matchups even the most casual fans won't want to miss in 2013.

While there are some great games to be played in December, the most illustrious bowl games will be played once the calendar changes over to January; that's when the action really heats up!

If you love college football, there is nothing better than the new year bowl matchups that will make the start of 2013 amazing.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

No. 4 Oregon vs. No. 5 Kansas State

When the Oregon Ducks take on the Kansas State Wildcats in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the game will be one of the best offensive showcases in college football postseason history.

With Oregon averaging over 50 points per game and Kansas State averaging over 40, there is a great chance that 100 points or more could be scored on the national stage of a BCS bowl game.

This isn’t your grandfather’s college football anymore.

After the dust settles from the epic offensive assault of the Ducks and the Wildcats, it will be the more dynamic weapons from Oregon that pull off the huge win. While Kansas State QB Collin Klein will have a monster statistical day, it will still result in a loss.

Prediction: Oregon 54, Kansas State 37

AT&T Cotton Bowl

No. 9 Texas A&M vs. No. 11 Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Sooners are one of the most overrated teams in college football, and they will be exposed on the national stage of the Cotton Bowl by the red-hot Texas A&M Aggies.

Oklahoma hasn’t had much of a problem scoring this season (40.3 points per game), but the team has yet to face the caliber of defense they will square off against when they line up with Texas A&M (allowing just 22.5 points per game).

The real difference-maker in this matchup will be the dual-threat ability of the Aggies' freshman star QB, Johnny Manziel, and the impact he can have on the game.

With Texas A&M boasting the third-best offense in the sport (44.8 points per game), the Sooners don’t stand a chance at stopping the young phenom.

Prediction: Texas A&M 33, Oklahoma 24

BCS National Championship

No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Alabama

When the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish face off against the always tough Alabama Crimson Tide, the matchup will be the polar opposite of the offensive showcase expected in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

This national championship will be a defensive battle won by the team that capitalizes on the few chances they’re given.

Alabama boasts the No. 2 defense in the nation (allowing just 10.7 points per game), but may have met its defensive match in the Fighting Irish’s No. 1 ranked defense (allowing 10.3 points per game).

In what is destined to become a battle of the field goals, Alabama has the rushing attack to wear down Notre Dame and eventually kick just one more field goal than its opponent from South Bend.

Prediction: Alabama 12, Notre Dame 9

Check back for more on the NCAA Football as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s College Football page to get your fill of college football.