BCS Bowl Predictions 2012: Teams That Will Cruise to Victory

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 01:  EJ Manuel #3 of the Florida State Seminoles reacts after his team scores a touchdown against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the 2012 ACC Championship game at Bank of America Stadium on December 1, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

With most of college football fans across the country anxious to see how the BCS National Championship Game between No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama will unfold, some other lackluster BCS matchups are going unnoticed. 

It's no surprise interest is low when you consider that the Rose Bowl will feature a team that went 4-4 in the Big Ten this season and the Orange Bowl will include a team from the MAC. 

But forget about the highly questionable matchups.

Here are my picks for BCS teams set to cruise to season-ending victories this January. 


Stanford Cardinal

Not only does the Stanford Cardinal boast one of the best defenses in college football this season, but it's the only BCS team taking on a five-loss team this January. 

Stanford will face off against Big Ten champion Wisconsin on New Year's Day in the Rose Bowl. I like the Cardinal in this matchup, especially since it should be able to stop what the Badgers do best offensively. Wisconsin ranks 12th in the nation in rushing offense, averaging nearly 238 yards on the ground per game. But Stanford ranks third in rush defense, holding opponents to under 88 rushing yards per game in 2012.

I expect Montee Ball to struggle going up against Stanford's formidable front seven. And when Ball struggles, so does Wisconsin. The Badgers may have put up 70 points against Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship Game, but they should still be considered lucky to be playing in the Rose Bowl this years at 8-5.


Florida State Seminoles

Florida State can't be excited about its Orange Bowl matchup this January. The Seminoles are stuck playing Northern Illinois after the Huskies won the MAC title, finishing 12-1 overall and 15th in the BCS rankings

Unfortunately for the Huskies, they have yet to face an opponent as lethal as the Seminoles, who rank second in the nation in total defense, allowing fewer than 254 total yards per game. 

Offensively, Florida State is as balanced as college teams come, and should have its way against Northern Illinois, who is surrendering more than 356 total yards per game this year. The 'Noles are averaging nearly 40 points per game as well, as if you or I needed any more reason to pick Florida State. 


Florida Gators

The Florida Gators are Sugar Bowl bound, and that means that Louisville is in trouble come January 2. Florida has lost just one game all season long and is in the midst of a four-game winning streak. 

In addition, the Gators boast the nation's third-ranked scoring defense, holding opponents to fewer than 13 points per game in 2012. Florida also ranks fifth in total defense, giving up fewer than 283 total yards despite playing in the SEC.

The Cardinals may be Big East champions, but they have ugly losses at Syracuse and against Connecticut, two teams that don't come close to matching Florida in terms of strength and firepower.

Louisville should be proud of its season in 2012, but it has shown us twice why it won't beat Florida and that its 10-2 record is the product of a weak schedule and a depleted Big East conference. Look for the Gators to shut down the Cardinals inside the Superdome.


Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter