Bowl Projections 2013: Highlighting Most Exciting Potential Matchups
My, my, how the college football season flies by.
It's bowl game projections time, and there are some juicy potential matchups to fantasize about heading into the final stretch of the 2013 season.
Chances are, things will change between now and late December. However, if the season ended today, these are the games with the best potential to titillate your senses.
BCS Title Game: Alabama vs. Oregon
This is the matchup everyone wanted to see last season, but Oregon's loss to Stanford stymied the big event in its tracks. The Ducks still have the Cardinal to slay this season to earn a chance to play for the national championship, but for the sake of this ideal matchup, we'll just assume Oregon gets the "W" this weekend.
Alabama appears unbeatable right now.
Featuring the nation's toughest defense, allowing just 9.8 points per game, the Crimson Tide are leaving bloody footprints on the road to another national championship. However, Johnny Manziel almost scored enough points to beat 'Bama earlier this year, and if Texas A&M featured even the slightest hint of a defensive presence, the Aggies would have won that game.
Which team would win?
Oregon's defense is spectacular—especially when combined with the explosive nature of the team's offensive attack. The Ducks rank No. 9 nationally in points allowed, with just 16.9 per game. Many believe (myself included) that Oregon's defense would be good enough to hold Alabama's offense to a reasonable score while its offense bombarded 'Bama's defense with scores.
One thing's for sure: This is a game the football gods must condone.
Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Stanford
Even if Ohio State ends the season with an undefeated record, the Buckeyes won't make it to the national championship game unless both Oregon and FSU lose a game.
That's not happening.
The next best thing, however, isn't bad.
Stanford features a stifling defense that just held the nation's top passer, Sean Mannion, to 4.8 yards per attempt. The week prior, Brett Hundley of UCLA was similarly bottled up.
It would be fascinating to watch this team attempt to shut down Braxton Miller, who has been coming on strong since missing two games earlier this year with an injury.
Stanford has the potential to grind out a huge statement win against the high-powered offense of Urban Meyer's Buckeyes.
Cotton Bowl: Baylor vs. LSU
Baylor's offense is excitement in a bottle. The Bears score more points than any team in the nation, averaging 63.9 per game.
Quarterback Bryce Petty averages 13.9 yards per passing attempt, which leads the nation by a wide margin. For comparison's sake, Jameis Winston of FSU is second, averaging 11.9 yards per attempt.
Would LSU be able to shut down Baylor's incredible offense?
However, Baylor hasn't faced a defense like the one LSU features, and the Tigers finally have a bit of offensive firepower to counter as well.
After years of conservative play-calling, new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has injected life into the team's offense, helping Zach Mettenberger blossom into a competent passer in the process.
These two teams would produce a highlight reel full of big plays on both sides of the ball, making this season's Cotton Bowl one to remember.
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