25 Bold Predictions for the 2012 BCS Games
Bowl season is already under way, but the best of those games are to come at the beginning of 2013.
Those games are highlighted by the five BCS bowl games. There is no question that these are five of the premier games of the bowl season.
Here are 25 bold predictions for the BCS bowl games.
Who knows, some of them might even come true.
Wisconsin Will Finally Win a Rose Bowl
This will be the third straight Rose Bowl appearance for the Wisconsin Badgers, and this will finally be the time they get that elusive victory.
They come in an underdog against Stanford but appear to have finally hit their stride.
Even though former head coach Bret Bielema jumped ship for Arkansas, the Badgers will still be more than prepared with Barry Alvarez running the show.
After losing the past two seasons by a combined total of nine points, Wisconsin realizes just how important this game is.
The Badgers have the perfect person leading them. Alvarez has won a few Rose Bowl games in his day (more on that later).
Jordan Lynch Will Have the Best Performance of the BCS Bowl Season
Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch is one of the truly unique talents in the entire country and will finally get a chance to showcase those talents on a national stage.
He is responsible for 43 touchdowns this season as well as over 4,700 yards of total offense. Those are some of the best numbers in the country, and Florida State will have trouble with this kid.
Look for Lynch to have the best game of all the BCS players.
It will be a chance for him to make a name for himself and become an early Heisman contender for the 2013 season.
Florida Will Intercept Teddy Bridgewater Three Times
The Florida Gators not only have one of the best defenses in the country, allowing less than 13 points a game, but the secondary is full of ball hawks.
Florida ranks sixth in the country with 19 interceptions and Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has thrown one in each of the past three games.
While he has not thrown three picks in a game all season, he has not seen a defense like the Florida's.
Look for three picks and a Gators victory in this one.
Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas Will Each Go over 100 Yards
Oregon running backs Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas are two of the most explosive running backs in the country. These two make the Oregon offense go.
The Fiesta Bowl has the opportunity to be the highest scoring of all of the bowl games, and that will be due in large part to the running abilities of these two speedy backs.
Barner has already rushed for more than 1,600 yards on the season and Thomas has reached nearly 700.
Expect a big game out of these two running backs and an Oregon victory because of it.
Alabama and Notre Dame Will Combine for Only 30 Points
Alabama and Notre Dame have the two best defenses in the country. That was the case last year as well when Alabama and LSU played for the national championship.
That game did not feature a lot of points, and there is a good chance the same thing is going to happen in this national championship game.
Both teams are going to have some trouble moving the ball on the very talented defenses they are going up against.
For those fans who enjoy points, this is not going to be the most exciting of games.
Montee Ball and James White Will Each Go over 150 Yards
Montee Ball and James White might be the best running back combination in the entire country.
The duo will be going up against an outstanding defense in the Stanford Cardinal. Bad thing for Stanford is the Wisconsin offense is finally hitting its stride.
Ball and White are going to get a steady dose of the carries, and if each is given the ball enough times, picking up big chunks of yardage will not be a problem.
The Wisconsin offensive line has no difficulties opening up holes for these two backs.
Look for both to finish the day with over 150 yards.
Northern Illinois Will Shock Florida State
There is no question that Northern Illinois is the darling of the bowl season.
It is not every year that a team from a non-BCS conference reaches a bowl game like the Orange Bowl.
Northern Illinois will be going up against a very inconsistent Florida State team in a game that the Huskies have the ability to hang around in.
With quarterback Jordan Lynch running the show, Northern Illinois has plenty of talent to contend with a team like Florida State.
If it can limit turnovers, Northern Illinois could pull off a shocker on New Year's Day.
Florida Will Hold Louisville to Single Digits
The Florida defense has held five of its 12 opponents this season to single digits. The Sugar Bowl will be the sixth such game.
Louisville has played a few talented defenses, including Rutgers' and Cincinnati's, but has not seen a team close to the talent level of Florida.
The Gators will not only force turnovers, but they are also very stingy when it comes to allowing yards.
Look for Florida to not only keep Louisville out of the end zone, but to also hold the Cardinals under 10 points.
Collin Klein Will Score Four Touchdowns
Collin Klein has been a touchdown machine for most of the season. He likes to do it with his feet when the Wildcats get close to the goal line.
He already has 37 touchdowns this season and has had some huge games.
The Fiesta Bowl against Oregon will be more of the same as Klein will end his collegiate career with another outstanding game.
It, however, might not be enough for Kansas State to knock off a very talented Oregon team.
Notre Dame Will Lose by Double Digits
Notre Dame has played excellent football all season, but the Fighting Irish might have met their match in the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The Alabama defense is so talented and Notre Dame has struggled at times on the offensive side of the ball.
If Notre Dame is going to come out on top, the Fighting Irish are going to have to win the turnover battle and also find a way to score off them.
Chances are that is not going to happen and Notre Dame is going to fall in the national championship by at least 10 points.
Stanford and Wisconsin Will Go to Overtime
Stanford might appear to be a favorite coming into the Rose Bowl, but with the way Wisconsin is playing right now, this game is going to be closer than many expect.
These two teams love to run the football and control time of possession, which should make for a very interesting game.
We are going out on a limb here, but do not be surprised if this one goes to overtime.
E.J. Manuel Will Total Four Touchdowns
E.J. Manuel is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the nation.
While some say he has not lived up to his potential, there is still plenty of talent there.
This will be his final game at the collegiate level and a chance for him to show off his skills for NFL scouts one last time.
Northern Illinois is talented, but it has not seen an offense with nearly as much talent as Florida State's.
Look for four scores from Manuel in what should be a very entertaining game.
The Florida Defense Will Score Twice
In big games the Florida defense shines more than ever. This is one of the biggest games of the season, and the Florida defense will certainly show up in force.
The Gators rank 14th in the country with 29 turnovers forced.
Teddy Bridgewater is going to have his hands full. Florida is not only going to force multiple turnovers, but it is also going to turn them into points.
Expect the Gators to score two touchdowns on the defensive side of the ball.
Oregon and Kansas State Will Combine for 100 Points
There will be plenty of points being scored in the Fiesta Bowl, and while it is not likely, there is a chance we could see a combined 100 points.
Oregon's offense has as much talent as almost every offense in the country and Kansas State is not far behind.
While these teams are not awful on the defensive side of the ball, the offenses are so good that the defenses should have major problems.
At 51 points a game, Oregon is second in the country. Throw in the 41 points that Kansas State averages and 100 does not seem out of the question anymore.
This one should be fun to watch.
The Crimson Tide Defense Will Score a Touchdown
The Alabama defense is not only one of the best in the country, but it is also going up against a Notre Dame offense that still has trouble against talented defenses.
If the Crimson Tide win the turnover battle, they will have no problem winning this one.
A defensive touchdown would almost certainly seal the deal.
It might come from a fumble recovery or an interception, but the Alabama defense is going to score on its way to a victory.
Barry Alvarez Will Outcoach David Shaw
Former Wisconsin head coach Barry Alvarez is back in the Rose Bowl. This is a game he has dominated in previous years.
During his coaching tenure he was 3-0 in the Rose Bowl, and he is coaching for the departed Bret Bielema.
He will have to come up with a solid game plan as Stanford head coach David Shaw is one of the best young coaches in the country.
Not many coaches have the Rose Bowl experience that Alvarez does, and that will give Wisconsin the advantage.
Two Florida State Running Backs Will Go over 100 Yards
Florida State loves to run the football and has plenty of talented players to hand the ball to.
The injury to starter Chris Thompson did set them back a little bit, but with the depth of talent that has not seemed to be an issue.
The Seminoles rank 26th in the country averaging 203 rushing yards a game.
There are a few players who could go over 100 yards for Florida State, but the most likely seem to be Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr.
These two running backs have enough talent to break free for a few huge runs against Northern Illinois.
Both Louisville and Florida Will Finish Under 250 Yards
The sheer talent of the Florida defense makes it tough for any team to score points.
It will be no different for Louisville in the Sugar Bowl.
The Cardinals have struggled at times to move the ball. Those struggles will be multiplied against a talented Gators defense.
For Florida, the offense has had its issues this season. Not many teams know Florida like former defensive coordinator and Louisville head coach Charlie Strong.
That should help the Louisville defense and make for a low-scoring game with very few yards to be had.
Marcus Mariota Will Throw Five Touchdown Passes
The Oregon offense is no stranger to putting points on the board, and while it loves to run the football, quarterback Marcus Mariota is the main reason for the success of the offense.
Mariota has only achieved this feat one time all season. The Fiesta Bowl will be the second such occurrence.
He threw six touchdowns in a road win against California, but has put up four or more touchdowns passes four times this season.
After scoring a few touchdowns on the ground, Oregon will open it up and Mariota will shine.
Everett Golson Will Throw Three Picks
Everett Golson has improved steadily this season and has a very promising career.
He has never gone up against a defense with the amount of talent Alabama's possesses, though. Except maybe in practice against his own team.
Golson has only thrown five interceptions all season long with only two coming in the final seven games he played.
He is due for a bad game, and Alabama has the potential to give him fits.
This could be one of those nights for Golson.
Kevin Hogan Will Throw Three Touchdown Passes
Stanford freshman quarterback Kevin Hogan has come on strong at the end of the season, and the decision to put him in the starting lineup has been one of the biggest reasons for the late-season success of the Cardinal.
In five starts he has posted nine touchdown passes with only three interceptions.
The Cardinal are also 5-0 in those games with four wins coming against ranked teams.
Stanford loves to run the football, but it might be able to surprise the Wisconsin defense a little bit by throwing the football.
Three passing touchdowns is a distinct possibility for Hogan.
Northern Illinois and Florida State Will Go to Overtime
The only thing better than one overtime BCS game is two.
While many consider Florida State a heavy favorite, this game might be closer than a lot are expecting.
Overtime is never something to expect, but with how evenly matched these teams are when compared without the name on their jerseys, overtime could very well happen.
This would make for two overtime BCS games on New Year's Day if both predictions come true.
Jeff Driskel Will Be Held Under 150 Yards Passing
Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel has been more of a game manager this year than a big-time thrower, and there have been seven games this season where he has been under 150 yards passing.
This is gong to be the eighth such game.
That is pretty remarkable for a team that has had so much success.
He has not thrown for 220 yards in a game all season, but he should be much better in 2013.
The Sugar Bowl will just not be the beginning of that.
John Hubert Will Rush for over 150 Yards
Kansas State running back John Hubert has only rushed for 892 yards this season, but has 15 touchdowns on only 172 carries.
He is averaging over five yards a carry, but has only gone over 100 yards four times and over 150 once.
The Wildcats are going to try to control the time of possession with the talented Oregon offense itching to get on the field.
Expect Hubert to receive more carries in this one than he has in any single game all season.
That could be excellent news for the Kansas State offense.
No Passing Touchdowns in the National Championship Game
Last year the national championship game featured virtually no offense to speak of.
This year will not be much different, and while there is a good chance we could see more points, do not expect them to be through the air.
There is going to be a steady dose of the running game from both sides of the ball, and the clock is going to be moving quickly for a good portion of the game.
Expect all points scored in this one to be courtesy of the running game (with the potential of a defensive touchdown as well).