The five BCS bowl games are some of the most highly anticipated championship affairs in all of sports. After 12 or more games, the best of the best in the FBS are weeded out and pitted against each other. At least, that’s the plan.
In some instances, however, an opponent is simply way overmatched. One need look no further than last year’s BCS Championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame for an example of that. The Crimson Tide jumped out to a 35-point lead and proved that they were far superior to the Fighting Irish, in spite of the latter’s unblemished record heading into the game.
It appears that viewers will be treated to a much better championship affair this year, as Bama and Jameis Winston’s Florida State Seminoles seem to be on a collision course. However, that’s not to say that there won’t be a lackluster outing or two amid the BCS bowl games.
Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Oregon
There’s no denying Ohio State’s recent dominance. The Buckeyes are currently riding a 22-game winning streak and are virtually assured of the Big Ten’s Rose Bowl berth barring an improbable loss from one of the top two teams. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t behoove Urban Meyer’s squad to be matched up with the Ducks.
While Ohio State’s run has been impressive, it’s come against predominantly lackluster Big Ten competition. In fact, one could argue that Penn State freshman Christian Hackenberg is the most talented signal-caller the Buckeyes have come across this year.
Hackenberg’s had a solid collegiate debut, but he’s certainly not in the same class as Oregon’s Marcus Mariota. The Heisman candidate has helped his squad top 40 points in all but one contest this year, and though Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde could keep this one interesting for a while, I anticipate that it would be more of the same for the overwhelming Ducks’ offense if pitted against OSU.
Fortunately for the Buckeyes, the Pac-12 Championship remains up for grabs. Arizona State is the front-runner to usurp Oregon's spot atop the conference in the Pac-12 Championship game, while Stanford has to take care of its business and hold out hope for an Oregon loss in order to earn a berth in the contest.
Stanford in particular plays a physical brand of football, which would make for an intriguing matchup with another physical squad in the Buckeyes if luck is in their favor.
Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs. Fresno State
Spearheaded by a stellar campaign from quarterback Derek Carr, the Fresno State Bulldogs are off to a surprising 9-0 start and are current front-runners for a berth in the Fiesta Bowl. Currently, Fresno State is projected to take on the Baylor Bears and their explosive offense.
Already this season, Rutgers and San Diego State have forced Fresno State into overtime. While both of those teams are currently above .500, neither is on par with the fourth-ranked Bears. Baylor’s averaging a jaw-dropping 61.2 points per game and in comparison yield just 17.4 to opponents.
Last year, a 6-6 Southern Methodist team crushed Fresno State 43-10 in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. If current projections hold true and Baylor squares off with Fresno State, the margin of victory is sure to be even worse.
Ideally, Baylor would square off against a school garnering an at-large bid which has an offense that can challenge their own. Easier said than done, but one candidate that jumps to mind is Johnny Manziel and his Texas A&M Aggies.