BCS Bowl Predictions 2013: Updated Projections for Most Intriguing Games

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BCS Bowl Predictions 2013: Updated Projections for Most Intriguing Games
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was anticlimactic.

In the BCS' final year, there wasn't any controversy. Ohio State's loss in the Big Ten championship opened the door for Auburn and eliminated any arguments as to whether an unbeaten Big Ten team should get in ahead of a one-loss SEC champion.

Northern Illinois' loss earlier in the week also took the Huskies out of contention for a BCS bowl, thus ending the debate about NIU's BCS validity.

With the playoff coming next year, you wanted some good, old-fashioned BCS chaos. Instead, everything has been tied with a neat little bow.

Here's a look at the most likely matchups for the five BCS bowls, courtesy of CBS Sports' bowl expert Jerry Palm. Rankings are based off the newest AP Poll.

BCS Bowl Projections
Bowl Teams
BCS National Championship No. 1 Florida State Seminoles No. 2 Auburn Tigers
Orange Bowl No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes No. 12 Clemson Tigers
Sugar Bowl No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide No. 11 Oklahoma Sooners
Fiesta Bowl No. 6 Baylor Bears No. 15 UCF Knights
Rose Bowl No. 5 Stanford Cardinal No. 4 Michigan State Spartans

CBS Sports' Jerry Palm

Among those five bowls, these three stand out.

 

BCS National Championship

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Florida State is giving up the third-fewest yards a game (268.5) and 14th-fewest on the ground (116.5). The Seminoles aren't like Oregon and Baylor, in that their offense isn't of the quick-strike variety, giving the ball back to the other team after only a couple of minutes.

However, you wonder if anybody can stop this Auburn offense. Even in that loss to LSU, it had 437 yards of offense, 213 of which came on the ground. The Tigers don't run a lot of plays on offense, but what they do run is extremely successful.

Missouri wasn't a terrible defensive team, yet Auburn ran for 545 yards. CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman noted how successful the Tigers were through the first three quarters.

As good as Jameis Winston is, he can't play defense. Between Nick Marshall and Tre Mason, the Tigers should have enough to prevail.

With everything that has gone right for Auburn, it looks to be the Tigers' year.

Prediction: Auburn 40, Florida State 30

 

Orange Bowl

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

This is an interesting matchup of two teams looking to silence some doubters with a BCS win. Clemson and Ohio State both had wins that lost their luster as the season went on, and in their most important games of the season, they came up short.

Winning the Orange Bowl would be a nice way to end the year and, at least, give fans some satisfaction. It could also have some ramifications in future polls and national title discussions.

I'm going with the upset here.

The Buckeyes defense could end up losing them another game. You saw the warning signs in the 42-41 win over Michigan, so Michigan State getting 438 total yards in the Big Ten championship shouldn't have come as a surprise.

Clemson has plenty of offensive weapons with which it can gash the Buckeyes, and Tajh Boyd will be looking to atone for his poor performance in the loss to South Carolina.

Prediction: Clemson 31, Ohio State 24

 

Rose Bowl

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

While this game may not reach the offensive excitement of the national title game, it looks to be the most interesting matchup of the BCS in terms of the two teams. Stanford and Michigan State are very alike as they have strong defenses and offenses that depend on the running game in order to be successful.

Kevin Hogan and Connor Cook are capable quarterbacks, but this game will come down to how well Jeremy Langford and Tyler Gaffney can pound the rock.

Although the Spartans have the best rushing defense in the country, the numbers could be inflated by their schedule. Their conference as a whole is weak, and they didn't get Wisconsin this year. Although MSU beat Ohio State, it surrendered 100 yards apiece to Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller.

When facing a better defense, the Spartans could be in trouble.

The key to this game will be who gets up early. In Stanford's two losses this year, it was down at halftime. But when it can build an early lead, it is deadly, as evidenced by the Pac-12 championship.

Prediction: Stanford 24, Michigan State 20

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