There are some juicy potential BCS bowl game matchups shaping up nearing the end of the 2013 college football season.
Nothing is set in stone yet, as there are still key games yet to be played, but the stage is set for a brilliant finale to what has been a brilliant regular season.
After missing out on a chance to fight Alabama for the national championship last season, Oregon appears ready to give it another shot this year, but a battle with Stanford on Thursday night is looming.
Speaking of 'Bama, the Crimson Tide still have to take down LSU and Auburn to make it to the BCS National Championship Game.
A lot can happen between now and the month of January. However, this is one man's interpretation of how the five BCS bowl games will go down.
BCS National Championship Game: Alabama vs. Oregon
Florida State will take Oregon's place if the Ducks fall to Stanford and the Seminoles win out, but that's not how I see things playing out.
Alabama has won the BCS National Championship Game three out of the last four years, and Nick Saban's club has gotten progressively stronger as the season wears on. Featuring a potent roster with the nation's top recruits at nearly every position, the Crimson Tide just keep rolling along.
Oregon has been rolling along too, however, sporting the nation's No. 2-ranked scoring offense and an underrated defense that held UCLA's high-powered offense to just 14 points a couple of weeks ago.
Marcus Mariota's quick-strike abilities, combined with his insanely talented group of receivers and running backs, will be too much for even Alabama's vaunted defense to handle.
Predicted Score: Oregon wins 45-31.
Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. UCF
Provided Oregon wins out, Florida State will be relegated to the Orange Bowl even if it finishes the season undefeated.
However, while losing out on a shot at the national title game would be tough for the Seminoles to stomach, fans could be treated to an interstate contest featuring FSU and Central Florida, which knocked off Louisville recently and nearly took down South Carolina.
As impressive as UCF has been this year, the Knights don't have a shot against the high-powered Seminoles, led by redshirt freshman phenom Jameis Winston.
This FSU squad has already humiliated the likes of Maryland, Clemson and Miami, and UCF won't fare any better than those three excellent teams did.
Projected Score: Florida State wins 45-24.
Sugar Bowl: South Carolina vs. Wisconsin
Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks know how to scrap, and a game against Wisconsin would be a perfect opportunity to show off the team's feisty, never-say-die attitude.
Both teams have a couple of blemishes on their record, but they both lost to worthy opponents.
South Carolina utilizes a balanced offensive approach to work the clock and move the chains, and Connor Shaw is having a phenomenal season as the team's trigger man behind center. Jadeveon Clowney is one of the nation's most impactful superstars, but he's struggled against teams that can run the ball, which is what he'd face against Wisconsin.
The Badgers feature one of the nation's top offensive playmakers in running back Melvin Gordon, who has already rushed for over 1,000 yards this year with 11 touchdowns. He and James White give Wisconsin a formidable backfield capable of carrying the Badgers past most opponents.
Projected Score: Wisconsin wins 31-28.
Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs. Fresno State
Talk about an offensive explosion.
If the football gods are kind to us, then Baylor will take on Fresno State in this year's Fiesta Bowl.
Baylor features the nation's No. 1-ranked scoring offense, and Fresno State settles in at No. 8. Combined, these two teams average 107.8 points per game.
Derek Carr, who is the kid brother of former No. 1 draft pick David Carr, leads the Bulldogs' explosive aerial attack, and Bryce Petty does the same for Baylor. These two quarterbacks have combined to throw 46 touchdowns this year, and if they meet up in the Fiesta Bowl you can be sure they'll light it up.
To this point in the season, it appears Baylor has the edge on defense, which is the deciding factor in this matchup.
Projected Score: Baylor wins 55-49.
Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Stanford
As far as consolation prizes go, it's never a bad deal to end up playing at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena in January.
Ohio State will likely miss out on a shot at the national title even if it finishes the season undefeated, thanks to its Big Ten schedule. Stanford would be a worthy opponent, however, and the matchup between these two powerhouses would be intense.
The Cardinal bring one of the nation's most imposing defenses and rushing attacks to every game, and Stanford has already taken down UCLA's high-powered offense this year.
However, the Buckeyes have been shutting down opposing offenses this year, too, allowing just 17 points per game, and Braxton Miller is more trustworthy than Kevin Hogan.
Projected Score: Ohio State wins 35-28.
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