BCS Bowl Predictions: Predicted Winners for Final Games

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIJanuary 3, 2013

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 17:  Manti T'eo #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish encourages the crowd to cheer during a game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Notre Dame Stadium on November 17, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Wake Forest 38-0.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

With just two BCS Bowl games left, it seems they've saved the best for last. The Fiesta bowl is sure to be a electric shootout, while the Championship game will be a hard nosed fight to the bitter end.

Both matchups are about as even as you can get, and should make for great games.

That makes coming up with predictions all the more difficult but if you look at the stats—and the season as a whole—you can find enough reason to pick a winner.


Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State vs. Oregon


Predicted to be the biggest shootout on this season's BCS schedule, the Fiesta Bowl shouldn't fail to disappoint.

With such high flying offenses, chances are neither team is held under 30 points.

Both teams are incredibly well matched. Oregon averages 550.1 yards and 50.8 points a game on offense. Kansas State in comparison averages 410.4 yards and 40.7 points.

Oregon allows 381.8 yards and 22 points a game, while Kansas State is slightly better at 375.8 yards and 21.1 points.

Want to talk about turnovers?

Oregon gains an average of 1.58 turnovers per game. Kansas State gains 1.75. While the Ducks are opportunistic on defense, the Wildcats are fundamentally sound on offense.

How about role players?

KSU is built around Collin Klein. The senior had a stellar season, passing for 2,490 yards while rushing for 890. All-in-all he created 37 total touchdowns (22 rushing and 15 passing).

Oregon lives off its crop of rushers, built around the ever explosive Kenjon Barner. He posted 1,624 rushing yards this season with 21 touchdowns, averaging 6.5 yards per carry.

How does one draw a line between these two teams? How can you differentiate the winner?

The best deciding factor is momentum, and at first it's hard to draw a line between that. Both teams are 11-1 and lost in the same exact week of the season.

But the Wildcats had been avoiding close calls for some time, and needed a huge fourth quarter rally to bounce back against Texas to close out their season.

Meanwhile, the Ducks have virtually eviscerated every opponent they have faced this season.

And that's how you find your winner.

Prediction: Oregon 44, Kansas State 35


National Championship: Notre Dame vs. Alabama


A polar opposite matchup when compared to the Fiesta Bowl, the BCS Championship game will be a hard nosed fight of the defenses.

On one side of the spectrum there's Alabama. The Crimson Tide has the Nation's best defense, allowing opponents just 246.1 yards and 10.7 points a game. They have four shutouts on the season.

Then there's Notre Dame, fighting to regain respect for their prolific football program. The Fighting Irish hold the nation's sixth best defense, allowing 288.1 yards and 10.3 points a game.

Both teams' defenses are great, there's no doubt about that. So it will come down to the offenses to make a difference.

And that's where Alabama can find its edge.

The Crimson Tide are a physical force on offense. Tailback Eddie Lacy can constantly pound the ball up field, and averages 6.4 yards per carry.

With A.J. McCarron behind center, Nick Saban's offense is a well oiled machine. The junior is as accurate as they come, currently completing 66.8 percent of his passes with just three interceptions.

Notre Dame is certainly no slouch on offense either. They average over 200 rushing yards a game, and quarterback Everett Golson was a force down the stretch—he's averaging 248 passing yards a game over his last four matches.

But the Irish (26.8 points per game) don't have nearly the penchant for the end zone that the Crimson Tide (38.5 points) do.

While this should be a great game, 'Bama's slight edge on offense is impossible to ignore—especially when they already have the superior defense.

Prediction: Alabama 20, Notre Dame 17