BCS Bowl Projections 2012: Predicting Winners for Every Major Bowl Game

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 10:  Linebacker C.J. Mosley #32 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates during the game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 10, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

There are 35 bowl games in college football, but the true excitement does not pick up until the BCS bowl games. 

The five BCS games feature some traditional college football powerhouses, but there are also a couple of teams that are very new to playing at this level.

Each one brings something unique to the table, and the games should provide enough to keep fans satisfied through the final game.

After these teams spend about a month preparing for their final game of the year, here is how each one will play out. 


Orange Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Florida State

One of the biggest surprises of the entire season was Northern Illinois' inclusion in the Orange Bowl.

It was argued that a non-BCS team with a loss to Iowa on its resume should not even be in consideration for a BCS game over a team like Georgia. However, the current rules gave the Huskies this opportunity.

Unfortunately, head coach Dave Doeren has accepted a position to coach at North Carolina State, so he will not be leading the team in the school's most important game.

Quarterback Jordan Lynch is still incredibly talented, but things will be tougher without the offensive whiz calling the shots.

Florida State has one of the top defenses in the country, and the Seminoles are much more athletic than any team that the Huskies have seen this year. The great offense of Northern Illinois will be shut down without much resistance. 

Prediction: Florida State 31, Northern Illinois 14


Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Stanford

Like Northern Illinois, Wisconsin will have to use an interim coach for the BCS game after Bret Bielema took the head coaching job at Arkansas.

However, Wisconsin will be led by a man who coached the team for over 20 years and has won the Rose Bowl three times.

It will be interesting to see how the Badgers react to having Barry Alvarez at the helm.

The problem is that the team still does not have a consistent quarterback, and Stanford is not going to allow rushing yards as easily as Nebraska did in the Big Ten Championship Game. 

Stanford showed its defensive prowess when it defeated Oregon 17-14 late in the season. It was the only time that the Ducks were held below 40 points all year.

This game should be close, but Stanford should be able to come out on top.

Prediction: Stanford 21, Wisconsin 17


Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Louisville

Teddy Bridgewater might be one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the country.

The Louisville sophomore is seventh in the country in passer efficiency with a rating of 161.6. Only five quarterbacks have a better completion percentage, and he is the main reason why Louisville has reached this point. 

That being said, the Cardinals are completely outclassed in this game. Florida has an elite defense, and it will create problems for its one-dimensional opponent.

Florida running back Mike Gillislee should also have a field day against a defense that allowed 45 points and 524 yards to Syracuse.

The SEC will continue to show its dominance in this one.

Prediction: Florida 35, Louisville 10


Fiesta Bowl: Oregon vs. Kansas State

Besides the national championship game, this is the matchup that people should really want to see.

Both sides had a chance to play for it all but lost to conference opponents on the same night. 

Although Kansas State has put together a great season, it might not be able to match up with Oregon. The offense is too one-dimensional, and the defense has struggled at times against the run.

If Baylor can get 342 rushing yards against the Wildcats, just imagine what Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas will be able to do. Marcus Mariota is also playing extremely well at quarterback in his first year.

Collin Klein will get Kansas State on the board, but it will be too difficult to keep up with the scoring.

Prediction: Oregon 45, Kansas State 35


BCS National Championship: Alabama vs. Notre Dame

The two best defenses in the country will battle for the national championship, but only one side has an offense that can compete on this level.

Alabama features two 1,000-yard rushers in Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon, as well as an experienced quarterback in A.J. McCarron who makes very few mistakes.

As a team, the Crimson Tide average 38.5 points per game and have not been held below 21 points all year.

Conversely, Notre Dame has struggled offensively all year long. The squad only scored more than 22 points in five out of 12 games.

The Fighting Irish had a couple of close calls against Stanford and Pittsburgh, and a couple of inches have been the difference in the season.

Notre Dame has earned its way into the game after an undefeated season, but Alabama has too much talent on both sides of the football to get the win.

Prediction: Alabama 21, Notre Dame 13