BCS Bowl Games 2012-13: Bold Predictions for College Football's Top Matchups

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2012

MANHATTAN, KS - NOVEMBER 3: Quarterback Collin Klein #7 of the Kansas State Wildcats looks to pass during a game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium on November 3, 2012 in Manhattan, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Fans wait the entire season for the BCS bowl season. The top games in the sport are always filled with great teams matching up perfectly. 

However, the big atmosphere and the month of preparation often lead to a lot of surprises.

While it makes things tougher to predict, it is not impossible. Here's how the BCS games should end up looking by the time the final gun sounds.


Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Stanford

Prediction: Montee Ball Gets Shut Down

It seemed like Montee Ball had a down year after completely torching defenses a year ago, but the Wisconsin running back still put up some big numbers this season.

He was one of only three players in college football to rush for at least 1,700 yards with 20 touchdowns, and he was named a first-team All-American by the Associated Press.

However, the running back has been a little inconsistent this year, and the Badgers have suffered mightily because of it. 

When Wisconsin faced Oregon State and Michigan State—two top run defenses—Ball only averaged 53.5 yards per game on 2.9 yards per carry. This was way below his season mark of 5.2 yards per carry.

Stanford has the No. 3 run defense in the nation, allowing less than 88 yards per game. Opposing running backs average only 2.8 yards per attempt against this tough front.

This will continue as the Cardinal shut down Ball and the Wisconsin offensive attack.

Final Score: Stanford 24, Wisconsin 17


Orange Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Florida State

Prediction: Northern Illinois Cannot Rally Without Head Coach

Dave Doeren, who led the Huskies to the biggest game in school history, will not coach in the bowl game after accepting a job at North Carolina State. Instead, offensive coordinator Rod Carey will take over in the interim.

This is similar to when Brian Kelly left Cincinnati after an undefeated regular season. The result: a 51-24 defeat to Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

Northern Illinois will have the same players and plays that led the team to 12 wins in a row with a top-10 offense. However, the team will not be able to make adjustments as well against one of the top defenses in the nation.

Florida State simply has speed and athleticism that the Huskies have not seen this year, and it will lead to a tough day on both sides of the football.

Final Score: Florida State 31, Northern Illinois 14


Sugar Bowl: Louisville vs. Florida

Prediction: Louisville Represents What Is Left of the Big East Well with Good Showing

Florida is currently favored by 14 points in this game, according to Vegas Insider. This is the largest spread of any of the BCS games.

However, the Gators have struggled offensively at times, and it could lead to a close, low-scoring game.

The Cardinals are led by Teddy Bridgewater, who is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the nation. He is very efficient with a 161.6 passer rating, and he can extend plays with his legs.

If he can avoid turnovers—something that is difficult to do against Florida—Louisville should be able to keep this game close.

While there is not a lot of room for moral victories in the BCS, this would be one for the Cardinals and the conference they represent.

Final Score: Florida 17, Louisville 13


Fiesta Bowl: Oregon vs. Kansas State

Prediction: Oregon Rushes for Over 400 Yards

On paper, this might be one of the top games of the bowl season. Two teams that almost reached the national championship game will face off to try to end the year on a high note.

However, these teams showed a lot about themselves when they each lost on Nov. 17.

Oregon was held to only 198 rushing yards by a very good tackling team in Stanford and lost in overtime. Kansas State was blown out by Baylor while allowing 342 rushing yards and five touchdowns.

The Wildcats simply will have no answer for Kenjon Barner, De'Anthony Thomas and quarterback Marcus Mariota, and the trio should be able to run all day long. 

Collin Klein and Kansas State will be able to answer with some scores, but it will not be enough to win.

Final Score: Oregon 45, Kansas State 35


BCS National Championship Game: Notre Dame vs. Alabama

Prediction: Alabama Wins with Offense

In a battle between the two top defenses in the nation, it will be one side's offense that truly impresses.

As well as Notre Dame has played this season, the Irish did not face too many top offensive teams. Many of the teams struggled on that side of the ball all year, and USC was without its starting quarterback.

Oklahoma was the best offense they faced, but the Sooners were all about passing and could not balance it out with a run game.

Conversely, Alabama has one of the top rushing attacks in the nation with two players with over 1,000 yards for the season. The elite offensive line will get push throughout the day and continue to create holes for both Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon.

The only thing that will be able to slow this team down is turnovers, but AJ McCarron is as careful with the football as anyone in FBS.

As a result, Alabama will have no problem scoring against this tough defense.

Final Score: Alabama 27, Notre Dame 10



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