College Football Bowl Picks 2012: Predicting Straight Up Winners in BCS Bowls

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College Football Bowl Picks 2012: Predicting Straight Up Winners in BCS Bowls
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It’s an exciting time for big college football fans as bowl season is here, and a number of great matchups are happening throughout the month of December.

However, the real action doesn’t take place until New Year's Day, when two of the five BCS games take place, and the rest follow shortly after.

Let’s take a closer look at these contests and pick some winners for each.

 

Rose Bowl: Stanford over Wisconsin

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

While Wisconsin is in the Rose Bowl for the third straight season, this appearance should come with an asterisk. They made the granddaddy of them all of the Big Ten tie-ins because undefeated Ohio State and a scrappy Penn State squad were both deemed postseason-ineligible by the NCAA.

Stanford is making its first showing in this prestigious BCS bowl since 2000, and we expect David Shaw’s group to put together a performance representative of their amazing season in the Pac-12.

Remember, the Cardinal only lost to Notre Dame and Washington this year, while they beat No. 2 USC, No. 11 Oregon State, No. 2 Oregon and No. 16/17 UCLA (in the season finale and Pac-12 Championship).

These unranked Badgers lost to a number of weaker programs and will be shellacked in Los Angeles.

 

Orange Bowl: Northern Illinois over Florida State

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The Huskies came crashing into the BCS as the winners of the MAC championship, and we think they are going to burst the Seminoles bubble in the Orange Bowl.

No one expected NIU to be here, and no one is expecting them to win, which makes it all the more likely they will pull off this incredible upset.

We don’t think FSU is going to take this matchup as seriously as they should, while Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch will show he’s the real deal and his incredible 2012 campaign was no fluke.

 

Sugar Bowl: Florida over Louisville

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The Gators' resurgence will be capped off by a dominant victory over the Cardinals in this BCS bowl.

Coach Will Muschamp has quickly turned around a program that was marred by the losses of Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer in consecutive seasons (2009 and 2010). He’s made them a group of winners, and they will likely be in contention for the national title next season.

We expect them to build momentum for 2013 by taking care of this lowly Big East opponent in blowout fashion.

 

Fiesta Bowl: Oregon over Kansas State

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Call this the “Runner-Up Bowl,” because the Ducks and Wildcats both made compelling cases for a national championship appearance until late-season struggles derailed their dreams.

Both teams have a single loss on their records and are looking to avenge it with a win out in Arizona this January.

It may become one of the highest-scoring postseason collegiate games in history, with Oregon and Kansas State averaging a ton of points per game (50.8 and 40.7, respectively).

While KSU has Heisman-finalist Collin Klein under center, Oregon has a better defense and an unstoppable attack led by elite running back Kenjon Barner. We are giving them the edge, but it’ll be a close one.

 

BCS National Championship Game: Alabama over Notre Dame

This matchup between two of the most historically prominent teams in college football promises to be one of the better national championship showdowns in recent history.

Who will win?

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Nick Saban is leading his Crimson Tide against Brian Kelly’s Fighting Irish, and neither team wants to concede a single inch on defense.

It’ll be a low-scoring affair in which the outcome will depend on whichever side can create the most opportunities to score points via big plays and turnovers.

Alabama has been the better of the two in those categories in 2012, so we are giving them the nod. The Tide will roll to a second straight national title come January 7.

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