BCS Bowl Schedule 2012-13: Players to Watch in Each Matchup

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 28, 2012

Dec 1, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron (10) throws the vll against the Georgia Bulldogs during the second quarter in the 2012 SEC Championship game at the Georgia Dome.  Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The holidays and the new year are meant to be spent with family, or so the old adage goes.

Of course, if your family members love you so unconditionally, there's no reason why they can't sit down and watch a bowl game with you...or five.

As the rest of the nation makes resolutions and other silly things of that nature, us college football fans will be tuning in to the 2013 BCS bowl matchups and making outrageous bets with our buddies that more often than not make us look like buffoons.

Here's to buffoonery—I present to you the entire BCS bowl schedule, complete with players to watch in each matchup.

All stats via CFBStats.com 

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. No. 6 Stanford

Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA

When: Tuesday, Jan. 1 at 5 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN

Player to Watch: Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

While Stanford has the run defense to combat Wisconsin's rushing attack, it doesn't go both ways.

The Badgers have allowed 3.7 yards per carry this season, 30th in the nation (via CFBStats.com). Considering that Stanford has star Stepfan Taylor (1,442 rushing yards, 16th in the nation), I don't see this going well for Wisconsin.

The best way for the Badgers to win this game is to stop the Stanford rushing attack, but that doesn't seem likely.


Orange Bowl: No. 15 Northern Illinois vs. No. 12 Florida State

Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL

When: Tuesday, Jan. 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN

Player to Watch: Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois

If Northern Illinois expects to outscore Florida State, the Huskies need a huge game out of dual-threat quarterback Jordan Lynch.

Lynch rushed for 1,771 yards (third in the nation, first among quarterbacks) and 19 touchdowns this season, but the Seminoles have allowed just 2.76 yards per carry (fourth in the FBS). That includes holding the explosive Georgia Tech option attack to 3.5 yards per carry in the ACC Championship Game.

Northern Illinois has allowed 19.0 points per game this season, but ceded 34 points to its only ranked opponent in Kent State in the MAC title game. The Huskies will likely need to rack up some points in this one.


Sugar Bowl: No. 21 Louisville vs. No. 3 Florida

Where: Superdome, New Orleans, LA

When: Wednesday, Jan. 2 at 8:30 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN

Player to Watch: Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida

Louisville has allowed 4.33 yards per carry this season (73rd in the country), while Florida senior running back Mike Gillislee has rushed for over 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Gillislee has really turned it on as of late, racking up a combined 262 rushing yards and three touchdowns in his last two contests. That includes scorching Florida State's vaunted run defense for 140 yards and two touchdowns.


Fiesta Bowl: No. 4 Oregon vs. No. 5 Kansas State

Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

When: Thursday, Jan. 3 at 8:30 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN

Player to Watch: Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State

Given Kansas State's run defense can be beat, and given Oregon leads the country in yards per carry (6.06), the Wildcats will likely have to churn out a plethora of points in the Fiesta Bowl to keep up with the Ducks.

That's where Heisman finalist Collin Klein comes in.

The senior dual-threat QB has basically had one bad game all season long (versus Baylor on Nov. 17). He's not only thrown for nearly 2,500 yards with 15 touchdowns to seven interceptions, he's also rushed for 890 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Let's put it this way: USC dropped 51 points on Oregon on Nov. 3 and still lost by 11 points. Klein must have an out-of-this-world performance to outshine Oregon's dominant rushing attack.


BCS National Championship Game: No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Alabama

Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL

When: Monday, Jan. 7 at 8:30 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN

Player to Watch: A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama

Given Alabama and Notre Dame both have elite run defenses, the difference in this ballgame may come down to the difference between the Crimson Tide's A.J. McCarron and the Fighting Irish's Everett Golson.

While Notre Dame is still fantastic against the pass, McCarron may find more success against the Irish than Golson does going against the Tide.

McCarron has averaged 9.3 yards per pass attempt this season (tied for fourth in the nation) while tossing 26 touchdowns to only three interceptions. However, he's coming off a ho-hum performance against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game (162 passing yards, one touchdown, one interception).


What are your thoughts?

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