The Bowl Championship Series slate is certain to be shaken up even more in Week 14, but a hectic November is nearly behind us and the bowl picture is starting to clear up.
September and October were awfully quiet at the top of the college football polls, but there was no way it could stay like that all year long. There's been plenty of surprising outcomes across the nation, from week to week, ever since November hit.
But with few teams still having big tests ahead, and much of the season out of the way, it's time to break down the most likely BCS matchups to conclude the 2013 football season.
|National Championship||Alabama vs. Florida State|
|Rose Bowl||Stanford vs. Ohio State|
|Fiesta Bowl||Oklahoma State vs. Northern Illinois|
|Sugar Bowl||Auburn vs. UCF|
|Orange Bowl||Clemson vs. Michigan State|
National Championship: Alabama vs. Florida State
Almost everything has changed throughout this season, but nothing has changed at the top ever since Florida State slid into No. 2.
Who will play for the national title?
Alabama entered the season as the top-ranked team in the nation as it chases a third consecutive national championship, and the Crimson Tide have done nothing to prove otherwise. Other than a nail-biting win over Texas A&M that took Johnny Manziel heroics to even be close at the end, the Tide have stomped through their tough SEC slate.
Winning the Iron Bowl at No. 4 Auburn will be quite the test, but it'd be nothing short of senseless to pick against Nick Saban. You can bet his staff have been keeping an eye on this matchup for weeks, if not months, and know just what to do to stifle Auburn's potent rushing attack.
Meanwhile, all the Seminoles have to do is slide past a brutally beaten Florida this weekend before toppling their opponent in the ACC title game and they'll be heading to Pasadena.
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Northern Illinois
After Oklahoma State's early-season loss at West Virginia, it seemed as if the Cowboys' BCS hopes had fallen by the wayside. But since then, they've been on an absolute tear, with wins over three ranked teams—including then-No. 4 Baylor.
Should they take care of business in a tough home matchup with No. 18 Oklahoma to finish off the season, Mike Gundy and the Cowboys will be Big 12 champions and stroll into the BCS picture.
With the way things currently look, expect Northern Illinois to crash the BCS party for a matchup with Oklahoma State. Led by Heisman hopeful Jordan Lynch, the Huskies are undefeated and will gain some steam with fellow non-automatic qualifier Fresno State going down to San Jose State on Friday.
Finishing undefeated will be easier said than done for Northern Illinois as it'll face 9-3 Ball State in the MAC title game. But should it side-step the Falcons for the second time this season, it will likely be heading to Arizona with Cinderella slippers in hand.
Sugar Bowl: Auburn vs. UCF
Entering the season, Louisville was on a collision course with a second straight BCS bid after disposing of Florida in the Sugar Bowl last year. UCF had other plans.
The Knights held out for a 38-35 win over the Cardinals on Oct. 18, and have been in the driver's seat of the newly-founded AAC ever since. After taking care of South Florida on Friday, all that is left is a season-ending matchup against SMU.
Meanwhile, Auburn currently has its sights on a much bigger prize—the national championship, which will certainly be within reach if the Tigers upset Alabama this weekend. Unfortunately for Gus Malzahn and company, that isn't in the cards.
After wiping away the sadness and frustration of coming up short for a potential title bid, the Tigers will enjoy a BCS trip as the highest-placed SEC team that doesn't make the conference title game tends to find its way into the BCS party.
Heading into the Iron Bowl at No. 4, it's hard to see Auburn slipping enough to miss out on a BCS bid.