College Football Bowl Predictions 2013: Likely Destinations for Top Teams

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College Football Bowl Predictions 2013: Likely Destinations for Top Teams
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
Bowl Date Prediction
BCS Title Game Jan. 6 Alabama vs. Florida State
Orange Jan. 3 Clemson vs. Wisconsin
Sugar Jan. 2 Auburn vs. UCF
Fiesta Jan. 1 Baylor vs. Fresno State
Rose Jan. 1 Ohio State vs. Oregon
Non-BCS Games Jan. 5 N. Illinois vs. W. Kentucky
BBVA Compass Jan. 4 Vanderbilt vs. Cincinnati
Cotton Jan. 3 Oklahoma State vs. LSU
Outback Jan. 1 Nebraska vs. South Carolina
Capital One Jan. 1 Michigan State vs. Texas A&M
Heart of Dallas Jan. 1 Boston College vs. Rice
Gator Jan. 1 Minnesota vs. Ole Miss
Chick-fil-A Dec. 31 Miami (FL) vs. Missouri
Liberty Dec. 31 Marshall vs. Tennessee
Sun Dec. 31 North Carolina vs. UCLA
Independence Dec. 31 Arizona vs. Georgia Tech
Holiday Dec. 30 Arizona State vs. Texas
Alamo Dec. 30 Oklahoma vs. Stanford
Music City Dec. 30 Syracuse vs. Georgia
Armed Forces Dec. 30 San Diego State vs. Navy
Buffalo Wild Wings Dec. 28 Texas Tech vs. Michigan
Russell Athletic Dec. 28 Louisville vs. Virginia Tech
Belk Dec. 28 Houston vs. Duke
Pinstripe Dec. 28 Notre Dame vs. Rutgers
Fight Hunger Dec. 27 Washington vs. BYU
Texas Dec. 27 Kansas State vs. Iowa
Military Dec. 27 Maryland vs. North Texas
Poinsettia Dec. 26 Utah State vs. Buffalo
Little Caesars Dec. 26 Ball State vs. Washington State
Hawaii Dec. 24 Colorado State vs. Middle Tenn.
Beef O'Brady's Dec. 23 Toledo vs. East Carolina
New Orleans Dec. 21 La.-Lafayette vs. Tulane
Famous Idaho Potato Dec. 21 Bowling Green vs. Arkansas State
Las Vegas Dec. 21 Boise State vs. USC
New Mexico Dec. 21 San 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

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

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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