As college football players get ready for final exams, we get to speculate on the upcoming bowl season.
The 2013 season featured plenty of high-octane offenses across the nation, units that will lead to some exciting showcases in the next few weeks. Let's take a look at analysis and predictions for four bowl games that are expected to light up the scoreboard.
Orange: No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. 12 Clemson
The Ohio State Buckeyes missed out on a shot for the BCS National Championship with a loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Title game, and are now set for a shootout against the Clemson Tigers in the Orange Bowl.
Led by elite dual-threat quarterback Braxton Miller, OSU had the No. 4 scoring offense (46.3 points per game) in the nation. Miller posted solid numbers through the air (1,860 yards, 22 TDs, five INTs) and on the ground (1,033 yards, 10 TDs), while running back Carlos Hyde also added 1,408 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns as the offense's other biggest threat.
Clemson signal-caller Tajh Boyd (3,473 passing yards, 29 passing TDs, nine rushing TDs, nine INTs) is an explosive playmaker in his own right for the Tigers, who ranked 11th in points per game (40.2). Junior Sammy Watkins has recaptured his form as one of the nation's top receivers, totaling 85 catches, 1,237 yards and 10 scores as Boyd's best option in the passing game.
OSU has given up 75 points combined in its past two contests, while Clemson's defense has given up an average of 39 points per game against ranked opponents (Georgia, Florida State, South Carolina). It could be the first one to 40 points wins in what promises to be an entertaining Orange Bowl.
Prediction: Ohio State wins 42-38
Fiesta: No. 6 Baylor vs. No. 15 Central Florida
Baylor finished the NCAA regular season with the nation's top scoring offense, averaging 53.3 points per game behind quarterback Bryce Petty, who threw for 3,844 yards, 30 touchdowns and two interceptions while adding 11 more scores on the ground.
The Bears look poised for a blowout against UCF, which automatically qualified for the BCS by winning the American Athletic Conference. Central Florida has the nation's 13th-ranked defense, giving up an average of 19.6 points per game, but the Knights are yet to play an offense even close to Baylor's caliber this season.
This could get ugly early in the desert, in the biggest mismatch of any BCS bowl game.
Prediction: Baylor wins 55-21
Chick Fil-A: No. 21 Texas A&M vs. No. 24 Duke
According to VegasInsider.com's consensus odds, this matchup features the biggest over/under of any bowl game at 73.5 points.
That's to be expected with Texas A&M, which features a potentially robust offense with Johnny Manziel under center and a defense that ranked 88th in scoring defense (30.9). The Aggies have been limited to 31 points combined their past two contests, but averaged 54.6 points in their previous three.
Manziel and Co. should be able to move the ball against a Duke defense that was shredded in a 45-7 loss to Florida State in the ACC Championship. Likewise, the Blue Devils average a healthy 31.6 points per game and figure to score points against a porous Texas A&M defense.
While the Aggies have struggled lately, don't count on Manziel to go out quietly in what could be his final college game.
Prediction: Texas A&M wins 45-31
Holiday: No. 14 Arizona State vs. Texas Tech
The Arizona State offense has become a fast-paced, high-octane attack in the second year with coach Todd Graham on the sidelines and quarterback Taylor Kelly under center.
That doesn't bode well for Texas Tech, which limps into this bowl game on a five-game losing streak when it has given up an average of 48.6 points per contest.
The Sun Devils rank ninth in the nation with an offense that scores 41 points per game, and the Red Raiders will have a hard time keeping up.
Prediction: ASU wins 51-19
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