Bowl Predictions 2013: Projecting Most Compelling Potential Matchups

Jesse ReedCorrespondent INovember 12, 2013

TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 02:  Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles looks on 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

College football's bowl season is almost upon us, and there are some juicy potential matchups shaping up for the holiday season. 

Stanford's huge upset win over Oregon last weekend shook up the BCS standings a bit at the top. For the most part, however, the top teams remained hot in Week 11, setting up an epic finale to what's already been an exciting season.

There are still some huge games on the schedule for some top teams that could completely shake up those rankings. Alabama has a date with Auburn, FSU has Florida upcoming, Ohio State still has to take down Michigan, and Baylor still has a couple of big tests against Oklahoma State and Texas. 

For now, however, it's fun to dream about matchups we'd love to see when the bowl games start kicking into high gear after Christmas. With that in mind, here's a few compelling matchups that would be incredibly entertaining to watch.

 

BCS National Championship Game: Alabama vs. Florida State

Assuming both teams handle their business at the end of the season, Alabama and Florida State will compete for the national championship this season, and you couldn't ask for a more thrilling matchup to end the season.

'Bama dispatched LSU last weekend with an impressive 21-3 second-half performance to run away with the game 38-17. The game was touted as a potential upset special, but the only thing special was the execution and talent displayed by the Crimson Tide. 

Featuring the nation's top defense and an incredibly balanced offense, Nick Saban's team appears ready to three-peat as national champs. 

However, Florida State has been knocking down barriers all year long. The team's dismissal of Clemson was breathtaking, and FSU put together another dominant performance against Miami. 

Oct 19, 2013; Clemson, SC, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (1) catches the ball for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Clemson Tigers at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Freshman quarterback Jameis Winston has played like a seasoned veteran throughout most of the year, and he's surrounded by a phenomenal cast of talented role players who complement one another brilliantly.

If any team is equipped to take down the repeat champions, then FSU is it. 

Projected Score: Florida State wins 38-31.

 

Orange Bowl: Oregon vs. Clemson

If we can't have Oregon in the title game, then we might as well watch the Ducks go up against another high-octane offensive-minded team like Clemson. 

Based on how many points both teams score per game on average, the final score of this contest should hover right around the 90-points mark. If that isn't must-see television, then I don't know what is. 

Stanford provided the blueprint for other teams going up against Oregon. All teams have to do to win is possess the ball for well over 40 minutes of the contest, which is much easier said than done. 

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 19:  Tajh Boyd #10 of the Clemson Tigers during their game at Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Senior Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd will be singing his swan song at this game. He's left quite a legacy with the Tigers, and a huge win against Oregon to finish out his college career would significantly add to it. 

Of the two defenses, Oregon has been the more consistent this year. Factor in the explosive nature of the Ducks offense, and it's not looking pretty for the Tigers. 

Projected Score: Oregon wins 49-35.

 

Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs. Fresno State

WACO, TX - NOVEMBER 07:  Bryce Petty #14 of the Baylor Bears throws the ball against the Oklahoma Sooners at Floyd Casey Stadium on November 7, 2013 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Barring a catastrophic series of events to the top teams in the current rankings, undefeated Baylor is going to get shut out of the national championship game.

Make no mistake about it, though—this team is a legitimate contender and would give FSU, Alabama, Ohio State or any other top team a run for its money.

Another team not getting the credit it deserves is Fresno State, which is also undefeated. Playing in the Mountain West, however, the Bulldogs simply don't face the same level of competition as the rest of the top teams.

Both teams are capable of lighting up the scoreboard.

Baylor leads the nation in scoring, averaging 61 points per game. Fresno State isn't far behind, though, averaging 44.3 points per game, which ranks No. 8. 

Sep 20, 2013; Fresno, CA, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr (4) prepares to throw a pass against the Boise State Broncos in the third quarter at Bulldog Stadium. The Bulldogs defeated the Broncos 41-40. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Carr is one of the most prolific quarterbacks playing college football right now. His 32 passing touchdowns leads the nation, and he's second only to Sean Mannion in terms of yardage. 

But could he keep up with the high-powered offense of Baylor? 

Likely not. 

Projected Score: Baylor wins 55-49.

 

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