The complete bowl game schedule has been announced (you can check that out right here), and there are a ton of intriguing matchups that will showcase some of the brightest young stars in college football.
Let’s take a look at some of the bigger names that are gearing up to cement their incredible 2012 campaigns with a monster performance on the brightest of stages.
Manti Te’o, Notre Dame Fighting Irish—BCS National Championship Game vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Te’o made a name for himself after an incredible Heisman-nominated season, and he has a chance to put the exclamation point on his career by winning a national title against the reigning champions.
The senior linebacker is the captain and the heart and soul of the Irish defense, leading the team in tackles (103) and interceptions (seven). If he can continue to hawk down ball-carriers and be a menace as a pass defender, Notre Dame has a real chance to upset ‘Bama.
We predict the championship game is going to be a low-scoring affair, and the Tide will have trouble rolling through a tenacious defender like Te’o.
Johnny Manziel, Oklahoma Sooners—Cotton Bowl vs. Oklahoma Sooners
Johnny Football put together arguably the most amazing single-season performance in SEC history, and he did it all as a redshirt freshman.
The 19-year-old is a favorite to win the Heisman on Saturday night and could add more to his trophy collection by knocking off the Sooners in the prestigious Cotton Bowl.
After watching Manziel shred a number of vaunted SEC defenses, included Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide in a thrilling upset, it’ll be interesting to see what he has in store for a Sooners D that allows 24.2 points per game and isn’t exactly known for locking down its opponents.
Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois Huskies—Orange Bowl vs. Florida State Seminoles
The Huskies QB helped his team bust into the BCS, and now the nation will get to see this unheralded junior in a marquee matchup against the ‘Noles.
Lynch led NIU to a 12-1 record and won the MAC, but hasn’t seen an opponent anywhere near the caliber of FSU.
It’s certainly worth watching this David vs. Goliath showdown to see who comes out ahead, and we predict that Lynch’s performance will have a huge impact on the final score.