College Football

Bowl Predictions 2013: Intriguing Potential Matchups Flying Under the Radar

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 29:  Quarterback Zach Mettenberger #8 is congratulated by head Coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers after defeating the Arkansas Razorbacks 31-27 at Tiger Stadium on November 29, 2013 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2013

College football has reached the final week of the regular season, and the focus has shifted from the conference championships to potential bowl matchups and the predictions about which teams will play in the most important games.

With No. 1 Florida State likely taking on No. 2 Ohio State in the BCS National Championship Game, the focus on the rest of the bowls has created a serious buzz around the sport.

Here are three of the more intriguing possible matchups. As we saw last week in the Iron Bowl, though, anything can happen on Saturdays.

 

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 30:  (L-R) Clay Fuller #23 of the Baylor Bears and Bryce Petty #14 celebrate a touchdown against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Cotton Bowl: Baylor (Big 12) vs. LSU (SEC)

The Baylor Bears (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) play Texas this Saturday in one of the most important games in the school’s history. For the first time in 19 years, Baylor has a chance to at least take a share of the conference championship.

If the Bears beat the Longhorns, the LSU Tigers (9-3, 5-3 SEC) will likely be Baylor’s opponent in the Cotton Bowl.

LSU boasts one of the stingiest defenses in the nation, allowing just 22.7 points per game. As well as the program has performed, the Tigers have not been impervious against high-powered offensive units, losing to teams like Alabama and Georgia.

There is no questioning the talent on the roster, but the torn ACL for quarterback Zach Mettenberger, per Adam Caplan of ESPN, opens the door for Baylor to steal the spotlight and walk away with a dominant win.

The Bears may have seen the hope of making the BCS title game disappear with its loss to Oklahoma State, but with the nation’s top-ranked offense unit, amassing 55.4 points per game, there is no question that Baylor will have the inside lane to beat LSU in the potential battle.

This would be an intriguing matchup of contrasting styles. College football fans should be pulling for this potential Cotton Bowl.

 

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 30: Members of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrate after the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Gator Bowl: Michigan (Big Ten) vs. Georgia (SEC)

The Georgia Bulldogs (8-4, 5-3 SEC) are one of the best offensive teams in college football, and the program will meet its match when it goes toe-to-toe with Big Ten offense powerhouse, the Michigan Wolverines (7-5, 3-5 Big Ten).

Georgia has lost several key games to ranked opponents. There is no denying the struggles that have plagued the nation’s 81st-ranked defense, but the offensive unit has amassed an impressive 38.2 points per game.

It’s hard for teams to keep pace with the Bulldogs with so much firepower. The mixture of Goergia's defensive inefficiencies and a Wolverines offense that averages 33.8 points per game should result in a dream matchup, though.

Both teams are coming off a high-scoring matchup in the final game of the regular season—Michigan lost to Ohio State 42-41, and Georgia beat Georgia Tech 41-34—and a potential bowl meeting between the programs would result in the highest-scoring bowl game of the year.

College football fans need Georgia vs. Michigan.

 

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 29:  Torrodney Prevot #86 (c) of the Oregon Ducks celebrates a 36-35 victory against the Oregon State Beavers during the 117th playing of the Civil War on Novemeber 29, 2013 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonatha
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma (Big 12) vs. Oregon (Pac-12)

The potential matchup for the Alamo Bowl could change depending on how the Oklahoma Sooners (9-2, 6-2 Big 12) handle Oklahoma State Saturday. A battle against the Oregon Ducks (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12) would be an intriguing matchup.

Oklahoma and Oregon are two of the most well-respected programs in the nation, and the offensive fireworks the matchup would produce would satisfy even the most fickle college football fan.

If you love defensive football, this would not be your ideal game.

Oklahoma has an offense that averages over 30 points per game and a defense that has stepped up in important moments. As well as the defensive unit has played, the program has not played an offense with as much firepower as Oregon.

With an average of 46.8 points per game, the Ducks have the fifth-best offensive unit in the nation and will challenge Oklahoma’s defense like no other team has this season. After losing to Baylor 41-12, it’s clear that the Sooners would struggle to stop Oregon.

 

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