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.
|BCS Bowl Games|
|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|
|GoDaddy.com||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
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
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.