BCS Bowl Projections 2013: Most Exciting Potential Matchups After Week 12

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2013

Nov 16, 2013; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) signals an audible during the first half against the Syracuse Orange at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Week 12 of college football action threw a major wrench into everything we thought we knew about the 2013 BCS bowl season.

The former No. 5 Stanford Cardinal lost to the unranked USC Trojans in Week 12. In other words, things just got a bit hectic at the top.

Four unbeaten teams remain. No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Florida State are set for a title dance barring a loss. No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Baylor continue to jockey for position in the polls.

After that? Madness.

Regardless of Stanford's exit from the picture (they were kind of boring anyway, no?) there are plenty of exciting potential matchups left on the table. Below is a look at the official rankings, followed by projected BCS games with a focus on three. Enjoy. 

BCS Rankings Week 13
RankTeamBCS Average
1Alabama (10-0).9914
2Florida State (10-0).9661
3Ohio State (10-0).8869
4Baylor (9-0).8856
5Oregon (9-1).7917
6Auburn (10-1).7860
7Clemson (9-1) .7681
8Missouri (9-1).7231
9Stanford (8-2).6238
10Oklahoma State (9-1).5890
11South Carolina (8-2).5883
12Texas A&M (8-2).5394
13Michigan State (9-1).4646
14UCLA (8-2).4615
15Fresno State (9-0).4134
16Northern Illinois (10-0).3729
17Arizona State (8-2).3414
18Central Florida (8-1) .3033
19Wisconsin (8-2).2907
20Oklahoma (8-2).2760
21Louisville (9-1).2664
22LSU (7-3) .2645
23Southern California (8-3).1070
24Mississippi (7-3) .1048
25Minnesota (8-2) .0604
BCS

 

Projected BCS Bowl Matchups
Bowl Matchup
BCS Championship Alabama vs. Florida State
Rose Bowl Oregon vs. Ohio State
Orange Bowl Clemson vs. Michigan State
Sugar Bowl Texas A&M vs. Central Florida
Fiesta Bowl Baylor vs. Fresno State
Chris Roling's projections.

 

BCS Championship: Alabama vs. Florida State

The Crimson Tide and the Seminoles encountered few issues on the way to victories in Week 12.

As a result, the two retain a strong grip on the title game.

At this point it seems like destiny.

Alabama allows 10.2 points per game—best in the nation. Florida State allows 11.1, which is good for third. Both defenses will be matched against elite offenses, which is exactly what fans should want to see.

The Seminoles will be tasked with stopping an elite crop of backs and an efficient AJ McCarron. Alabama will have a tall order when it comes to stopping Heisman favorite Jameis Winston. He already has more than 2,900 yards and 28 touchdowns on the year—it was also not that long ago Johnny Manziel threw for 464 yards and five scores on Alabama's defense.

Will Winston be able to replicate Johnny Football's success? We'll find out soon.


Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Ohio State

Oregon and Baylor are interchangeable in the offensive excitement department.

If things continue at their current pace, fans may very well still get a Ducks vs. Buckeyes showdown in the Rose Bowl.

Nov 16, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) throws the ball against the Utah Utes at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks won 44-21. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State has been fortunate to play a soft schedule all year (which may end up backfiring), but a bad team such as California was able to post 34 on its defense.

Oregon averages well over 50 points per game and features a Heisman candidate of its own in quarterback Marcus Mariota. Outside of an unusual loss to Stanford, the Ducks have been one of the nation's more dominant teams.

The Ducks quietly rank in the top 10 in scoring defense. Ohio State has yet to encounter a team as loaded as Oregon, and likely won't the rest of the way.

The unpredictability of this one makes it a must-watch contest.

 

Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. Michigan State

Now here is what would be an underappreciated matchup.

Clemson is best known for being absolutely destroyed at the hands of the Seminoles back in mid-October, but at that point we had but a small grasp on just how great Winston and Co. truly are.

Nov 2, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans running back Jeremy Langford (33) runs the ball in for a touchdown against Michigan Wolverines linebacker Desmond Morgan (48) during the 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 29-6. Manda
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers still average more than 40 points per game and have plenty of star power thanks to names like quarterback Tajh Boyd and receiver Sammy Watkins.

Should Michigan State win out, this has the makings of an attractive strength vs. strength showdown. 

It was not too long ago the Spartans had the No. 1 defense in the land. Still, No. 4 is not a bad spot to reside, either. The Spartans surrender just 13.2 points per game and no opponent has broken the 30-point mark.

While arguably not the best teams in their respective conferences, Clemson and Michigan State would put on a show where one side is horribly exploited. Those are always fun.