Week 14 of the college football season was a wild one, with many upsets and surprising finishes having an impact on the BCS rankings.
Of course, these rankings will be the basis for the BCS bowl games that are played in January, which are almost set and will be finalized after this coming weekend.
Let’s take a look at what the top bowl game slate could look like and highlight a couple of games that stand out.
|BCS Bowl Projections 2013|
|National Championship Game||Florida State||ACC||Ohio State||Big Ten|
|Rose Bowl||Michigan State||Big Ten||Stanford||Pac-12|
|Fiesta Bowl||Oklahoma State||Big 12||Northern Illinois||MAC|
|Sugar Bowl||Auburn||SEC||Central Florida||American Athletic Conference|
BCS National Championship: Florida State vs. Ohio State
This matchup may not be the sexiest on paper, but the last remaining undefeated teams from automatic qualifying conferences are more than deserving of playing for the crystal trophy.
The Seminoles trailed the Alabama Crimson Tide for much of the 2013 campaign—until the Auburn Tigers ousted Nick Saban’s star-studded squad in the Iron Bowl. Now they have sole possession of the top spot, and it would take a loss against Duke in the ACC Championship to blow their shot at the national title.
The Buckeyes are fresh off their second straight undefeated regular season under head coach Urban Meyer. While OSU deserves some of the flak it receives for playing a soft schedule, the fact remains that this team has outlasted the field and has every right to play in the BCS Championship—assuming it can navigate past Michigan State in the Big Ten title game.
The quarterbacks will be the stars of this show, as Heisman candidates Jameis Winston and Braxton Miller will square off in what should be an offensive explosion in Pasadena.
It’s always exciting when two of the best offenses in the game play, and that is exactly what will happen if these programs meet.
The Buckeyes are a powerhouse on the ground—averaging 321.3 yards per game—and it has shown on the scoreboard, as they average over 48 yards per contest.
FSU does most of its damage via the air, as the team has thrown for over 321 yards per game in 2013 and boasts the second-best scoring offense in the country with 53.7 points per matchup.
Expect the total to go well over 100 points in this thrilling showdown between two offensively inclined juggernauts.
Sugar Bowl: Auburn vs. Central Florida
This underrated matchup has been brewing since before the Iron Bowl, as Auburn seems almost destined to represent the SEC in the Sugar Bowl and should be meeting with UCF, barring a late collapse by the Knights.
The Tigers are undoubtedly one of the most intriguing programs in the entire nation, as they have completely reinvented themselves after last season’s disappointment.
The school improved from 3-9 to 11-1 this year and has proved it is capable of beating the best teams—as evidenced by its thrilling, 34-28 victory over the Crimson Tide in Week 14.
While Auburn is crushing foes on the ground—putting up over 318.3 yards in the tough SEC—it might be surprised to find Central Florida a real challenge.
The Knights may have had a relatively easy schedule—facing only two ranked teams in 2013—but they went .500 in those contests, beating Louisville and losing to South Carolina by a mere three points.
They’ve shown the ability to hang tough with anyone, and Auburn shouldn't be an exception. Blake Bortles is a rock-solid signal-caller, and the team’s top back—Storm Johnson—is capable of lighting up foes out of the backfield.
Factor in a solid scoring defense that allows just 20.2 points per game, and you have the recipe for a quality contest between two of the best teams in their respective conferences.