BCS Bowl Games 2013-14: Predictions for Every Must-Watch Matchup

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BCS Bowl Games 2013-14: Predictions for Every Must-Watch Matchup
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Auburn's mind-blowing 34-28 victory over Alabama on Saturday stirred the pot for the 2013-14 BCS bowl games to be the most controversial ever.

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The Crimson Tide was not alone in its Week 14 collapse among BCS contenders. Previously undefeated Fresno State fell to San Jose State by the score of 62-52. BCS hopeful Wisconsin also suffered a letdown to its Big Ten rival Penn State, the 31-24 loss dropping the Badgers' record to 9-3.

Here are updated matchup projections and outcome predictions for each showdown after this weekend's drama.

2013 BCS Bowl Projections
Game Team Team
National Championship Florida State Auburn
Rose Bowl Stanford Ohio State
Orange Bowl Clemson Baylor
Sugar Bowl Alabama UCF
Fiesta Bowl Oklahoma State Northern Illinois

Games are projected based on season developments.

 

National Championship: Florida State vs. Auburn

Ohio State deserves to play for the national title if it runs the table. However, if Auburn takes care of business against Missouri next weekwhich is ranked No. 5 in the latest USA Today Coaches' Pollthe victory would give Auburn its fifth over a Top 25 opponent this season. The Buckeyes would have just three with a win over Michigan State on Dec. 7, and—having not faced a top-eight team compared to Auburn's foureven their caliber of ranked opponents don't compare to the Tigers'.

The winner of the Iron Bowl has won the last four BCS titles. The SEC Champion has earned a national championship bid every postseason since USC vs. Texas in 2005. It should shock no one if the Tigers leapfrog Ohio State in the final BCS standings.

No matter which school earns the bid, though, it won't beat Florida State, which is obliterating its opponents by an average margin of 42.7 points per game led by Heisman hopeful Jameis Winston.

Florida State by 7

 

Rose Bowl: Stanford vs. Ohio State

The Buckeyes should be offended by this bowl bid. Two straight undefeated seasons without a national championship appearance is deserving of outrage, but the BCS is more than capable of allowing the development of such an outrage.

If Stanford defeats Arizona State this upcoming Saturday, it will represent the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl. The Cardinal should pray that it not only wins, though, but that Ohio State is also awarded with a title bid so it's matched up with Michigan State as the Big Ten representative instead. 

The Buckeyes are beating its opponents by 27.9 points per game, which is unimpressive compared to what the Seminoles are doing, but they still dwarf the Cardinal's average margin of victory of 13.8. Stanford showed vulnerability this season in two losses to foes who are no longer ranked (Utah and USC), while Ohio State's junior Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller hasn't experienced a tally in the loss column since his freshman campaign.

Ohio State by 7

 

Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. Baylor

Clemson dominates inferior foes but has been dominated by its last two ranked opponents. The Tigers lost to No. 5 Florida State and No. 10 South Carolina by a combined 51 points. Ranked No. 11 in the latest USA Today Coaches' Poll, they're en route to represent the ACC in the Orange Bowl barring a Florida State collapse, but don't expect them to represent well.

Oklahoma State's No. 12 rated scoring defense was able to halt Baylor's No. 1 rated scoring offense, but Clemson surrendered a total of 117 points against the only three ranked teams it played this season. That won't translate to a Cowboys-like effort against the Bears, which must beat Texas on Dec. 7 to stay alive for this at-large bid.

Tajh Boyd also has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 1-to-4 against the Tigers' last two ranked opponents. Clemson's inconsistent quarterback play coupled with an exposed stop unit will lead to a Baylor triumph.

Baylor by 10

 

Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. UCF

This is just a must-watch matchup for Alabama fans and NFL draft junkies, because the score won't be close. Despite its loss to Auburn, the Crimson Tide are still arguably the most talented team in college football. It would be capable of winning a playoff if one existed.

Alabama, which has approximately five 2014 and 2015 first-round prospects—C.J. Mosely, HaHa Clinton-Dix, Cyrus Kouandjio, Amari Cooper, T.J. Yeldon—is simply a matchup nightmare for UCF, which has zero. The Crimson Tide competes in the SEC and still outscores its opponents by an average margin of 13.1 more points per game than the Knights of the inferior AAC.

Nick Saban is also 5-1 in BCS bowls, while UCF has never competed in one. This matchup just screams blowout.

Alabama by 21

 

Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois' offense is outstanding. It scores 42.8 points per game, the ninth-highest rate in the nation, and is led by dual-threat senior quarterback Jordan Lynch, who has accumulated 4,212 yards from scrimmage and 42 total touchdowns this season. However, the Huskies have yet to face a Top 25 foe.

Oklahoma State would enter the Fiesta Bowl having defeated four ranked opponents if it protects its house against Oklahoma on Dec. 7. The Cowboys' lone loss to West Virginia earlier this year seems to have been a fluke, considering that they've beaten No. 15 Texas Tech, No. 24 Texas and No. 4 Baylor by multiple scores.

Northern Illinois' offense is outstanding, but so is Baylor's. And Oklahoma State held the Bears' No. 1 rated scoring attack to just 17 points. The Huskies should be able to keep it close for a while, but the Cowboys will distance themselves from the MAC club in the fourth quarter.

Oklahoma State by 14

 

David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.

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