BCS Bowl Predictions 2013: Projecting College Football's Biggest Games

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent INovember 25, 2013

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 23:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide leads his team on the field to face the Chattanooga Mocs at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 23, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With previously undefeated Baylor getting crushed by Oklahoma State on Saturday, the picture for the BCS title game has been given even further clarity. 

Should the two schools win out, Alabama and Florida State are all but locks to play for the national championship. However, that much has been clear since Oregon picked up its first loss.

What Baylor's loss does is help sort out the picture behind the top two. 

Undefeated Ohio State retains its third spot in the rankings, but there was a good chance that Baylor would have leapfrogged the Buckeyes had the Bears been able to defeat Oklahoma State. 

As it is, that won't help the Buckeyes much...unless either Alabama or Florida State picks up a loss. I don't see that happening. 

Here is how I see the matchups for the five BCS games playing out, and below my projections, I'll discuss some of the more interesting matchups. 

Langford's BCS Bowl Projections
BCS GameDateLocationMatchupPrediction
Rose BowlJan. 1Pasadena, Calif.Big Ten/BCS vs. Pac-12/BCSOhio State vs. Arizona State
Fiesta BowlJan. 1Glendale, Ariz.Big 12/BCS vs. BCSOklahoma State vs. Fresno State
Sugar BowlJan. 2New Orleans, La.SEC/BCS vs. BCSAuburn vs. UCF
Orange BowlJan. 3Miami, Fla.ACC/BCS vs. BCSClemson vs. Wisconsin
BCS Title GameJan. 6Pasadena, Calif.BCS No. 1 vs. BCS No. 2Alabama vs. Florida State


BCS Title Game

Alabama vs. Florida State

TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 23: Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles walks off the field after game against of the Idaho Vandals at Doak Campbell Stadium on November 23, 2013 in Tallahassee, Florida. The Seminoles beat the Vandals 80-14. (Photo
Jeff Gammons/Getty Images

We might as well start with the game that will be played last. As I mentioned above, if Alabama and Florida State both win out, there isn't a lot of mystery as to which teams will be playing in this game. 

Where winning out is concerned, Florida State has a much easier path. The Seminoles will play the Florida Gators in the regular-season finale.

Most seasons, this would be a potential stumbling block for the Seminoles. However, in most seasons, Florida isn't entering the matchup after having lost to an FCS school that didn't complete a pass.

It looks like a date with No. 24 Duke awaits the Seminoles in the ACC Championship Game. The Blue Devils are turning in a solid season, but at 58th in the nation in passing yards and 57th in rushing yards, they do not boast the firepower to handle the Seminoles. 

Meanwhile, Alabama has the Iron Bowl next week, and No. 4 Auburn would love nothing more than to beat rival Alabama and enter the BCS title game discussion itself. 

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 24:  AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide passes the ball against pressure by Dee Ford #95 of the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 24, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama doesn't just have to worry about Auburn either. There is the SEC Championship Game looming as a potential stumbling block. It will either be No. 5 Missouri or No. 10 South Carolina representing the SEC East in that game.

In other words, this matchup is far from set in stone.


Rose Bowl

Arizona State vs. Ohio State

PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 23:  Taylor Kelly #10 of the Arizona State Sun Devils celebrates a 38-33 win over the UCLA Bruins with fans in the endzone at Rose Bowl on November 23, 2013 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The Pac-12's representative for the Rose Bowl in my projections has become an adventure. It wasn't that long ago that I had Stanford taking the nod, with Oregon playing in the BCS title game. 

After Oregon got knocked from the ranks of the undefeated, I slid the Ducks to the Rose Bowl. 

Now, they can't even compete with Arizona and have no business being in a BCS bowl game. This could push me back to Stanford for the Rose Bowl. However, I'm going to side with Arizona State. The Sun Devils are cruising and coming off a 38-33 road win over UCLA. 

The Sun Devils still have to play Arizona and then the Pac-12 Championship Game, but in this up-and-down conference, I see this late-surging team taking the crown. 

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 28:  Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes watches his team warm up before a game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio Stadium on September 28, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Ohio State is staring at a fate of going undefeated for the second consecutive year and not getting a shot to play for the national title in either. 


Orange Bowl 

Clemson vs. Wisconsin

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 23: Tajh Boyd #10 of the Clemson Tigers celebrates with fans after Clemson defeated The Citadel at Memorial Stadium on November 23, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Tyler Smith/Getty Images)
Tyler Smith/Getty Images

Clemson has a tough game against South Carolina on tap, but regardless of that outcome, a berth in the Orange Bowl is fairly secure. That hinges on Florida State making the BCS title game, but as I discussed above, there is a strong possibility of that happening. 

Meanwhile, Wisconsin's path is a little cloudier. 

The Badgers currently sit 15th in the BCS standings, but with just a game against a less-than-elite Penn State team left, the Badgers will undoubtedly move up into the top 14. 

There is Michigan State sitting at No. 10 and also playing out of the Big Ten, which makes the selection of the Badgers to a BCS game a little tricky.  

The Spartans will be a strong candidate to get an at-large bid. However, in my scenario, the Spartans are going to lose to Ohio State in the conference championship game and the BCS has been shy about taking teams that lose their conference championship games. 

This will lead the selection committee to Wisconsin. The Badgers have just two losses on the season—one to undefeated Ohio State and the other in controversial fashion to a strong Arizona State team. 

Who would have thought at that moment that both of those teams could very well end up in BCS bowl games?