The latest edition of the BCS Rankings has been released via BCSFootball.org. There was movement near the top, a steep decline of a former contender and a new form of uncertainty headed into the final stretch of the regular season.
The question is, what would be the most entertaining BCS Bowl Games?
National Championship: No. 1 Alabama (10-0) vs. No. 2 Florida State (10-0)
The race for the BCS National Championship Game can be broken down into two tiers. The Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida State Seminoles are viewed as the top two competitors in the country, while the Baylor Bears and Ohio State Buckeyes are undefeated but not viewed in the same light.
Fair or foul, Alabama and Florida State are the most dominant teams in the country.
Alabama is the two-time defending national champion, which is why it's been ranked No. 1 overall throughout the duration of the season. It doesn't hurt that the Crimson Tide have reached their undefeated mark of 10-0 by decimating the competition.
Whether its a 25-0 defensive mugging of the Ole Miss Rebels or a 49-42 road win over the Texas A&M Aggies, Nick Saban's crew has thrived in every phase.
Florida State hasn't played the most difficult schedule, but it's obliterated the teams that it's come across. The Seminoles are 10-0 and have won all but one game by at least 27 points—a 48-34 road win over Boston College.
Jameis Winston is a star at quarterback, Florida State's defense is smothering and its head coach is garnering nationwide respect. Alabama is a proven commodity that will be known as the best in the country until proven otherwise.
Baylor and Ohio State are deserving entrants, but Alabama and Florida State would put on the best show, and that's what these rankings are all about.
Rose Bowl: No. 3 Ohio State (10-0) vs. No. 5 Oregon (9-1)
With all due respect to the Stanford Cardinal, there couldn't be a better Big Ten versus Pac-12 matchup than Ohio State versus the Oregon Ducks. Both teams have elite offenses and each has a dynamic playmaker at quarterback.
There's nothing better than a high-scoring bowl game, and that's exactly what this would be.
Braxton Miller has led the Buckeyes to an obscene 22-game winning streak. He has improved his completion percentage from 58.3 to 68.0 with 17 passing touchdowns, three interceptions and three rushing scores.
With a deep backfield and a cast of playmakers at wide receiver, Ohio State can put up points with the best of them.
Oregon's brilliance is well-known, with both its offense and defense ranking in the top 10 in terms of points scored and allowed per game. Marcus Mariota has 25 passing touchdowns to no interceptions, and Oregon has a limitless supply of explosive running backs.
This game would generate as much excitement as any in recent memory. It features the star power, offensive weapons and Heisman Trophy candidates that creates a BCS-caliber environment.
Anything could happen, but at this point, these two teams would put on the most entertaining Rose Bowl.
Orange Bowl: No. 12 Texas A&M (8-2) vs. No. 21 Louisville Cardinals (9-1)
I'm well aware of the fact that the Louisville Cardinals are a long-shot to receive a BCS Bowl bid. Despite compiling a record of 9-1, Louisville's weak schedule has left a majority of the college football community unimpressed.
With all of this being established, there's no way around how entertaining a clash between Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel would be.
Bridgewater is widely viewed as the No. 1 quarterback in the 2014 NFL draft, combining a prototypical build with an unparalleled combination of accuracy and arm strength. In 2013, he has 3,048 yards, 24 touchdowns and three interceptions on a completion percentage of 70.9.
Against an Aggies defense that has struggled to do much of anything, Bridgewater would have the perfect opportunity to make a final statement before the draft.
Manziel is one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in college football history, and by the end of the season, he could win a second Heisman Trophy. His NFL future has been up in the air, but Manziel could end up being a first-round draft choice.
So why not put these two up against one another in a BCS Bowl Game? Both are stars and each will go down as one of the best players in the history of their respective programs.
If the college football community wants a show, this would be a great way to do it.
Sugar Bowl: No. 8 Missouri (9-1) vs. No. 9 Stanford (8-2)
The Sugar Bowl will feature the top SEC team and an at-large school. At this point, the most likely SEC team to receive a berth is the 9-1 Missouri Tigers, who control their own destiny in pursuit of the SEC Championship Game.
Who better for Missouri to face than the Stanford Cardinal?
Stanford fell to 8-2 during Week 12, but it's still one of the best teams in the country. Tyler Gaffney is an elite running back and the Cardinal's defense can smother any opponent, which creates the physical, grind-it-out meeting that has long defined the SEC.
In this game, the Pac-12 would receive the opportunity to prove its rising to the storied conference's level.
Missouri is currently 9-1 with the No. 12 scoring offense and the No. 20 scoring defense in the nation. Its lone loss was a 27-24 overtime defeat against the No. 11 South Carolina Gamecocks. Even with a backup quarterback, Mizzou has maintained its elite status.
These two balanced teams are both strong enough to hold their own against any squad in the country. For that reason, the Sugar Bowl would do well to feature two evenly matched opponents to break a streak of lopsided affairs.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are another option for this game, but Stanford matches up best with Missouri.
Fiesta Bowl: No. 4 Baylor (9-0) vs. No. 6 Auburn (10-1)
The Baylor Bears are currently ranked at No. 4 in the country after achieving a record of 9-0. The Auburn Tigers have worked their way to a ranking of No. 6 after surviving an instant classic against the Georgia Bulldogs to reach 10-1.
If nothing else, a duel between Nick Marshall and Bryce Petty would be exceptionally entertaining.
Petty has 24 passing touchdowns, one interception and 10 rushing scores during his marvelous season. Lache Seastrunk has added 11 rushing touchdowns, Shock Linwood has tallied eight, and three other players have run for at least three for Baylor's No. 1-ranked scoring offense.
There are few teams in college football history that have mixed the run with the pass as well as Baylor has in 2013.
Auburn is 10-1 entering its final game, which will be a home game against the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide. Auburn enters that game with the No. 3 rushing offense, No. 16 scoring offense and No. 28 scoring defense in the country.
Whether it's Marshall or running back Tre Mason, Auburn has the firepower to go toe-to-toe with the best of the best. That's exactly what this bowl game needs, as Baylor will put points on the board against any defense.
If you want explosive offense, this is the game you're looking for.
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