BCS Bowl Projections 2013: Predicting Matchups After Baylor Loss

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IINovember 23, 2013

Nov 23, 2013; Stillwater, OK, USA;  Baylor Bears wide receiver Antwan Goodley (5) reaches for a pass during the second quarter against Oklahoma State Cowboys cornerback Kevin Peterson (1) at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports
Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

The Baylor Bears lost their first game of the season, and after being ranked No. 4 in the BCS rankings, the BCS bowl games will now look quite a bit different than originally expected.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys pulled off the big win, beating the Bears 49-17.  Three turnovers certainly hurt Baylor, but the Cowboys were just simply too hot for the Bears to handle.

Projections for BCS Bowl Games
Bowl Game
Alabama Crimson TideBCS National ChampionshipFlorida State Seminoles
Ohio State BuckeyesRose BowlStanford Cardinal
Clemson TigersOrange BowlMichigan State Spartans
Auburn TigersSugar BowlUCF Knights
Oklahoma State CowboysFiesta BowlFresno State Bulldogs

When two Top Five teams lose in one week, the BCS bowl picture is going to shake up quite a bit.

Obviously, the national championship game is still locked up between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida State Seminoles.  Both teams are coming off of dominant wins, and at this point, only a loss will keep them out of the national title game.

The Rose Bowl could have featured Oregon, but yet another loss certainly hurt the Ducks there.  Now, the Stanford Cardinal is on top of the Pac-12, leaving them to go up against the Ohio State Buckeyes at the big bowl game.  

Nov 23, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA;   Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) breaks a tackle by Indiana Hoosiers cornerback Tim Bennett (24) in the first quarter of the game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports
Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Spor

The Buckeyes haven't lost a single game over the past two seasons, and while they're hoping for a national spot, this could be a great game.  Braxton Miller and that explosive offense would have to go against one of the toughest defenses in the country with the Cardinal, and that would certainly be an intriguing matchup to watch.

With Florida State likely going to the national championship, the Clemson Tigers would have the opportunity to play in the Orange Bowl.  With the at-large bid, the Michigan State Spartans could certainly take the spot to play against them.  

EVANSTON, IL - NOVEMBER 23:  The Michigan State Spartans celebrate a touchdown against the Northwestern Wildcats during the first half on November 23, 2013 at  Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Banks/Getty Images

The Spartans are 10-1 with a perfect 7-0 conference record and will likely be heading to the Big Ten title game.  As long as they play well in that one, they would get a chance to play in this big bowl. However, the Wisconsin Badgers could certainly make a late surge at the end of the season to take that spot.

The Sugar Bowl will feature the replacement for Alabama as the SEC champion, and that could be a couple of different teams.  Both the Auburn and Missouri Tigers are near the top of the SEC standings, and both will be playing Alabama by the end of the season, assuming Missouri goes to the conference championship game. 

With Auburn currently higher in the BCS rankings, it would make sense that they would go to the Sugar Bowl.  Meanwhile, as the AAC champions, the UCF Knights would get an automatic bid and would be able to play in this bowl game, much like Louisville did last season against Florida.

STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 23:  Kye Staley #9 and Clint Chelf #10 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys celebrate Staley's a first quarter touchdown against the Baylor Bears at Boone Pickens Stadium on November 23, 2013 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Ronald M
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Lastly, with the loss of Baylor, the Oklahoma State Cowboys are now on top of the Big 12, and that would let them take the spot in the Fiesta Bowl.  There are currently two non-automatic qualifiers that are undefeated, and the likely opponent for the Cowboys would be the Fresno State Bulldogs.

The stage is nearly set for the BCS bowl games, but if next week is anything like this one, the teams expected to play will change once again.