Bowl Predictions 2013: Most Fan-Friendly Potential Matchups

Kenny DeJohn@@kennydejohnAnalyst IIINovember 6, 2013

TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 02:  Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles warms up during a game against the Miami Hurricanes at Doak Campbell Stadium on November 2, 2013 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The college football season has been stellar in 2013, and if that's indicative of anything, then the bowl season should offer some pretty exciting matchups for the fans.

In previous seasons, there have been bowl games that simply haven't been as competitive as the fans would have liked to see. Games like last season's National Championship Game between Alabama and Notre Dame have left fans craving more well-balanced matchups in the future.

This year, it appears as if that might happen.

There are several strong candidates for some of the nation's most important bowl games this season, and that will make for some of the best college football of the year.


National Championship Game: Alabama vs. Florida State

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 26:  AJ McCarron #10 and T.J. Yeldon #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 26, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

A national championship matchup between Alabama and Florida State would be the perfect ending to an exciting season of college football.

The Crimson Tide have been one of the most dominant teams in the sport over the past few seasons, and Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston is quickly becoming one of the most recognizable players in the game. Needless to say, this game would be highly anticipated.

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 19:  Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles during their game at Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Winston is on his way to becoming one of the top players in the ACC. He has put his name in the Heisman Trophy discussion with superb numbers through eight games. He has thrown 24 touchdowns and just six interceptions while leading his Seminoles to a perfect 8-0 record.

Having one of the top players in the sport on the national stage would be great for the fans, especially considering the fact that Winston will still be at Florida State for at least the next few seasons before declaring for the NFL draft.

Alabama will be looking to win its third-straight national championship, and that's enough of a story on its own to attract attention.

A title game of Alabama against Florida State would be the best that college football can offer.


Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Oregon

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 26:  Quarterback Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes calls a play against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium on October 26, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

If you like offense, then there's no better matchups for the Rose Bowl than Ohio State against Oregon.

Braxton Miller and Marcus Mariota should combine for big numbers through the air. Ohio State ranks 10th in the nation in defense, but Oregon's second-ranked offense at 55.6 points per game will be able to put points on the board.

Mariota, one of the top pro prospects in the nation, will be looking to give NFL teams one final look at him before entering the draft. He has 20 touchdowns and no interceptions through eight games, and his stock rises higher and higher after each successful game.

EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 26:  Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Oregon Ducks runs against the UCLA Bruins  on October 26, 2013 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Miller also has NFL aspirations, tossing 15 touchdowns to just three interceptions through nine games. He has successfully led Urban Meyer's offense for most of the season, with the only exception being when Kenny Guiton took over for a brief stint earlier in the year.

The best part of this potential matchup would be the potent offenses against the solid defenses. Whichever quarterback is more effective at solving the opposing defense will lead his team to victory, and that's a tossup given the quality of defense that we'd be seeing.


Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs. Texas A&M

WACO, TX - OCTOBER 19: Bryce Petty #14 of the Baylor Bears drops back to throw a pass against the Iowa State Cyclones on October 19, 2013 at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

A game pitting the Baylor Bears and Texas A&M Aggies against each other would be as high scoring as it would exciting. Both offenses rank within the top four in the nation, and Baylor's offense ranks first overall.

Baylor's defense ranks sixth in the nation, but it's yet to play an offense as explosive as the Johnny Manziel-led Aggies. Manziel would be able to put up points and rack up big-time yards against the Bears defense, though it may not be enough to make up for the defensive woes of his own team.

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 02:  Johnny Manziel #2 of the Texas A&M Aggies scrambles out of the pocket against the UTEP Miners at Kyle Field on November 2, 2013 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Aggies allow 29.8 points per contest, a mark that ranks them 80th in the nation. Bryce Petty and Lache Seastrunk will have their way with the Aggies, and that will lead to some big scoring numbers for Baylor.

That being said, Manziel will certainly do his best to keep his team in the game. He's one of the top players in college football and always seems to pull exciting plays out of his back pocket. This unpredictability gives Texas A&M a hidden advantage.

If nothing else, watching Manziel in the Fiesta Bowl would be enough to make this game fan friendly. Past that, this game has the potential to be a surprisingly tight one. Fans can only hope that these teams are pitted against each other.