College Football Bowl Predictions 2013: Likely Destinations for Top Teams

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIINovember 18, 2013

Nov 16, 2013; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) warms up before the start of the game against the Syracuse Orange at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Unless something unforeseen happens, the No. 2 Florida State Seminoles seem like a lock to play in the BCS national championship. The Noles have Idaho, a struggling Florida Gators team and the ACC championship game ahead of them.

Their likely opponent will be Duke, a team that isn't even in the top 25 of the BCS standings. For all intent and purpose, the Noles would have to collapse against a far lesser opponent to miss out on a chance to win it all. 

The Alabama Crimson Tide are No. 1 in the BCS Standings, but two tough games await them before they can punch their ticket to Pasadena, Calif. 

The Tide still have to get by No. 6 Auburn in the Iron Bowl and a meeting with either No. 8 Missouri or No. 11 South Carolina. As of now, we have to have them penciled in as the Noles' opponents in the BCS title game. 

This is really the one game that every college football fan should want to see. While the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes are undefeated—as are the No. 4 Baylor Bears, there is still a good deal of doubt that those two teams could hang with Bama.

The Noles not only have the horses in the trenches and at the skill positions. They also have one of the most dynamic players in the country under center in Jameis Winston. The potential front-runner for the Heisman taking on the two-time defending national champions, what could be better?

The following table is a bowl projection from CBS Sports BCS expert Jerry Palm. The projections are based on each postseason contest criteria. 

2013 Bowl Projections
BCS Bowl Games
BCS Title GameJan. 6Alabama vs. Florida State
OrangeJan. 3Clemson vs. Wisconsin
SugarJan. 2Auburn vs. UCF
FiestaJan. 1Baylor vs. Fresno State
RoseJan. 1Ohio State vs. Oregon
Non-BCS Games
GoDaddy.comJan. 5N. Illinois vs. W. Kentucky
BBVA CompassJan. 4Vanderbilt vs. Cincinnati
CottonJan. 3Oklahoma State vs. LSU
OutbackJan. 1Nebraska vs. South Carolina
Capital OneJan. 1Michigan State vs. Texas A&M
Heart of DallasJan. 1Boston College vs. Rice
GatorJan. 1Minnesota vs. Ole Miss
Chick-fil-ADec. 31Miami (FL) vs. Missouri
LibertyDec. 31Marshall vs. Tennessee
SunDec. 31North Carolina vs. UCLA
IndependenceDec. 31Arizona vs. Georgia Tech
HolidayDec. 30Arizona State vs. Texas
AlamoDec. 30Oklahoma vs. Stanford
Music CityDec. 30Syracuse vs. Georgia
Armed ForcesDec. 30San Diego State vs. Navy
Buffalo Wild WingsDec. 28Texas Tech vs. Michigan
Russell AthleticDec. 28Louisville vs. Virginia Tech
BelkDec. 28Houston vs. Duke
PinstripeDec. 28Notre Dame vs. Rutgers
Fight HungerDec. 27Washington vs. BYU
TexasDec. 27Kansas State vs. Iowa
MilitaryDec. 27Maryland vs. North Texas
PoinsettiaDec. 26Utah State vs. Buffalo
Little CaesarsDec. 26Ball State vs. Washington State
HawaiiDec. 24Colorado State vs. Middle Tenn.
Beef O'Brady'sDec. 23Toledo vs. East Carolina
New OrleansDec. 21La.-Lafayette vs. Tulane
Famous Idaho PotatoDec. 21Bowling Green vs. Arkansas State
Las VegasDec. 21Boise State vs. USC
New MexicoDec. 21San Jose State vs. Oregon State
Jerry Palm of CBS Sports

Here's a breakdown of two of the more intriguing potential matchups.

Rose Bowl - Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Oregon Ducks

CHAMPAIGN, IL - NOVEMBER 16:  Reilly O'Toole #4 of the Illinois Fighting Illini fumbles the ball in the end zone as he is hit by Christian Bryant #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes at Memorial Stadium on November 16, 2013 in Champaign, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Winning the Rose Bowl may be the consolation prize the Buckeyes are forced to settle for. Unless the Noles or Bama slip up, Urban Meyer's team doesn't have a difficult enough schedule ahead to leapfrog Florida State or Alabama.

Even if the Bucks make the Rose Bowl, defeating the Ducks won't be an easy task. Oregon will represent the stiffest competition Ohio State has faced this season by far. Stanford was able to contain Oregon and hand them their only loss in Week 10. But the question is, does Ohio State have the front seven to stop the Ducks' running game the same way?

The statistics suggest they have a great chance. Stanford is fourth in the nation against the run allowing just 91.6 yards per game, but Ohio State is right behind them surrendering just 92.6.

That ability to stuff the run is the reason Ohio State would appear to be a good match for Oregon. Winning the Rose Bowl isn't what an undefeated team in a major conference hopes for, but it is the next best thing to a BCS title.

Capital One Bowl - Michigan State vs. Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 09:  Johnny Manziel #2 of the Texas A&M Aggies drops back to pass in the first half during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Kyle Field on November 9, 2013 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Hallera
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Johnny Manziel and Co. surely had aspirations of contending for a national championship in 2013, but with two losses and teams like Baylor and Missouri overachieving, a BCS bowl game is even a long shot.

As of now, it seems the Aggies would land in an interesting battle with the stingy Michigan State Spartans in the Capital One Bowl—barring some major shifting. The Spartans' defense has been stellar all season. Texas A&M is only allowing 57.3 yards per game on the ground and 171 yards through the air.

Those numbers are impressive, but there are no offenses quite like A&M's in the Big Ten. Can the Spartans defense contain Manziel and Co? The Aggies are averaging 578 yards of total offense per game, which is third in the nation.

This could be an entertaining battle between two extremes. 


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