BCS Bowl Predictions 2012: Projecting Winners of Each Matchup

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BCS Bowl Predictions 2012: Projecting Winners of Each Matchup
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It's early December, which means it is now the awkward phase between the end of the regular season and the bowl game extravaganza of late December and January.

The BCS games kick off after the New Year and each game presents a unique matchup, although they aren't the most exciting slate of games the BCS has ever produced.

Still, matchups like Oregon-Kansas State and stories like Northern Illinois make these BCS games worth tuning into.

So let's examine each matchup and pick a winner in each contest.  

Rose Bowl

Wisconsin vs. No. 6 Stanford

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The "granddaddy of them all" isn't exactly the brightest matchup in this BCS lineup.

Both teams are arguably only the second best team in their respective conference—Oregon in the PAC-12 and Ohio State in the Big 10.

However, it still sets up to be an entertaining game for those who enjoy smash-mouth football. Each team relies on a steady diet of rushing attempts to kick start their offense. And both have defenses capable of winning a game for them.

But a two-loss Stanford is much better equipped to outlast a Wisconsin team with five loses.

Prediction: Stanford 27, Wisconsin 14

Discover Orange Bowl

No. 15 Northern Illinois vs. No. 12 Florida State

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Northern Illinois threw a wrench into the BCS by finishing in the Top 16 of the standings and knocking Oklahoma out of the picture.

Now, the underdog from the MAC will head into Florida to take on the Seminoles.

It's a David vs. Goliath story if there's ever been one, and not many expect the Huskies to hang with Florida State.

But they will.

Northern Illinois is led by standout quarterback Jordan Lynch, who keeps his team in games. They're an explosive offense, and feature an opportunistic defense.

More importantly, though, Florida State will likely be apathetic about this matchup. Much like the Bosie State-Oklahoma upset in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, the favorite might take the underdog for granted. Plus, Florida State has a tendency to play down to its competition.

It'll be close, but Florida State will edge out Northern Illinois.

Prediction: Florida State 42, Northern Illinois 38

Allstate Sugar Bowl

No. 21 Louisville vs. No. 3 Florida

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This matchup might be the most lopsided of them all.

It features a one-loss Florida team that was thisclose to being undefeated on the year and a Louisville squad that struggled to take the Big East crown in a conference that can't even hang onto its own teams.

Florida will suffocate the Cardinals' attack defensively and just run circles around them offensively. The Gators are just too fast and too talented for Louisville to handle.

Prediction: Florida 45, Louisville 14

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

No. 4 Oregon vs. No. 5 Kansas State

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This game features the pair of teams many, only a few weeks ago, thought would play for the national title.

However, a pair of upsets struck on the same weekend and sent both of these teams to the Fiesta Bowl. And college football fans should be happy it happened, because this will be a great game.

It's a mashup of the high-flying and quick-strike attack of Oregon against Kansas State's plodding, grind-it-out assault.

The teams are almost the antithesis of one another. Yet they're similar in many ways.

Both teams feature running quarterbacks, explosive offenses and outstanding head coaches.

It will be close, but once again, look for the Big 12 team to edge the PAC-12 representative in the Fiesta Bowl.

Prediction: Kansas State 38, Oregon 34

Discover BCS National Championship Game

No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Alabama

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The matchup everyone is waiting for.

It features an Alabama team seeking its third national championship in the past four seasons and the Irish, who are looking to restore Notre Dame back to its prestigious position on the college football landscape.

It should be a great game as two teams with mirroring styles line up across from one another.

Notre Dame and Alabama respectively are No. 1 and 2 in the nation in scoring defense, and suffocate their opponents with a rugged front seven.

Neither team in particularly dominant offensively, relying on their defenses to stay in football games.

However, Alabama does have one advantage, and it's an important one: quarterback.

Junior AJ McCarron has already led his team to a national championship, and is capable of marching his team down the field in a late-game situation. His opposition, Everett Golson, a sophomore, is much less experienced. This is only his first year to start, and only now is he coming into his own as a leader, let alone a playmaker.

It will be that quarterback play that makes the difference.

Prediction: Alabama 21, Notre Dame 14

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