Catastrophic collapses by No. 4 Baylor and No. 5 Oregon in Week 13 have drastically changed 2013 BCS bowl projections.
Here are updated predictions after those schools' exits and the entering of two new faces.
|National Championship||Alabama||Florida State|
|Rose Bowl||Stanford||Ohio State|
|Fiesta Bowl||Oklahoma State||Fresno State|
Games are projected based on season developments.
National Championship: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 2 Florida State
The Crimson Tide and Seminoles field the nation's best two defenses in points allowed. Such a matchup typically turns into a contest of which team can kick the most field goals. However, Alabama and Florida State also boast offenses that score a combined 94.9 points per game.
The Seminoles are a trendy pick because they're beating opponents by 13.4 points more than the Crimson Tide is. History is still on Alabama's side. It hasn't lost a postseason game since 2008, the winner of the Iron Bowl has won the past four BCS Championships—three of which were won by the Crimson Tide—and Nick Saban is 4-0 in national titles.
Alabama by 3
Rose Bowl: No. 8 Stanford vs. No. 3 Ohio State
The Pac-12 BCS bowl candidates look significantly less intimidating after Oregon's 42-16 loss at Arizona on Saturday.
While true Ohio State freshmen and sophomores have yet to experience a defeat in their college careers, the Cardinal suffered two letdowns this season to unranked opponents. The Buckeyes haven't beaten as many quality clubs as Stanford, but they've still been able to take care of business unlike their projected Rose Bowl foe.
Ohio State is routing its opponents by a margin of 30.3 points per game. Stanford's average margin of victory isn't even half of that. Urban Meyer will enter the 2014 campaign having completed back-to-back undefeated seasons.
Ohio State by 10
Orange Bowl: No. 6 Clemson vs. No. 15 Wisconsin
The greatest obstacles in the way of this matchup are Ohio State's date with Michigan State in the Big Ten title and Clemson's with South Carolina this Saturday. An upset in either showdown is possible and would shake up the Orange Bowl, but the Tigers and Badgers are still the most probable opponents.
Wisconsin prides itself on a powerful ground game and stop unit. Clemson has won behind an explosive air attack. While the Tigers defense isn't as talented as the Badgers, that air attack—senior Tajh Boyd being a mismatch for sophomore Joel Stave—will give them the edge.
Clemson by 7
Sugar Bowl: No. 4 Auburn vs. No. 19 UCF
Who would Florida State face in the title game if Auburn beat Alabama?
Auburn has the ability to catapult itself into the national title with an upset of Alabama. More likely, though, is a loss that sends them to the Sugar Bowl to slaughter its American Athletic opponent.
UCF fans will point out that the team is a three-point loss to No. 12 South Carolina away from being undefeated. What should be clarified is that the Gamecocks were only one of two ranked teams that the Knights have even played this season, and they'll still enter Week 14 with five victories of just one score.
Auburn has defeated three out of its four ranked foes and beat its opponents in general by an average margin of 17.0 points.
Auburn by 14
Fiesta Bowl: No. 7 Oklahoma State vs. No. 16 Fresno State
Oklahoma State held Baylor's No. 1 scoring offense in the country to just 17 points this past week. Against the Bears and Texas, two ranked schools, the Cowboys scored a total of 87 points and only surrendered 30. They, unlike Fresno State—which hasn't even faced a ranked foe—are a complete team.
While the Bulldogs field the fifth-highest scoring attack in the nation, they're also ranked only 68th in points allowed. Just like in a previously projected showdown against Baylor, Fresno State's offense will keep it around for three quarters, but Oklahoma State will pull away late.
Oklahoma State by 17
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.