BCS Bowl Schedule 2013-14: Viewing Info and Predictions

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BCS Bowl Schedule 2013-14: Viewing Info and Predictions
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The blistering pace of the college football regular season has come to a standstill as we await the beginning of the bowl season.

But the NCAA saves the best for last with the BCS bowl games all coming in the final few days of competition. Expect plenty of offense in college football's top showcases, as this year's field features some of the most potent teams in the country going at it.

Here's a look at the TV information for each of the BCS bowls followed by analysis and predictions.

 

BCS National Championship Game

Who Will Win?

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Who: No. 1 Florida State (13-0) vs. No. 2 Auburn (12-1)

When: Monday, Jan. 6

Time/TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Where: Pasadena, Calif.

 

Auburn has had a scintillating run to the title game that was highlighted by its epic 34-28 win against Alabama in the Iron Bowl and a 59-42 victory over Missouri in the SEC Championship. The team has emerged victorious in recent shootouts against high-profile opponents, but I think the magic runs out against Jameis Winston and Florida State.

The Seminoles have three wide receivers, Kelvin Benjamin, Rashad Greene and Kenny Shaw, who make up the nation's most unguardable trio. FSU also has three productive backs in Devonta Freeman, Karlos Williams and James Wilder Jr., giving the Heisman favorite Winston a bevy of options at his disposal. It all adds up to the No. 2 scoring offense in the nation (53 points per game).

While Auburn also has a robust offense that scores 40.2 points per game behind Heisman finalist tailback Tre Mason, FSU possesses the nation's top scoring defense (10.3 points per game). Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com shared his thoughts on the FSU defense:

In the end, I suspect the Seminoles will just be too much for the Tigers to handle. Auburn was to overcome Alabama's stout defense in the Iron Bowl, but that was a magical evening that will be hard to replicate.

Prediction: Florida State wins 38-28

 

Rose Bowl

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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Who: No. 4 Michigan State (12-1) vs. No. 5 Stanford (11-2)

When: Wednesday, Jan. 1

Time/TV: 5 p.m. ET, ESPN

Where: Pasadena, Calif.

 

The 100th edition of the Rose Bowl figures to be a physical battle that features two of the toughest defenses in the nation.

Ted Miller of ESPN.com did a statistical breakdown of the matchup, providing some insight on Michigan State:

Michigan State leads the nation in yards per game (247.8), yards per play (3.9) and third-down defense (28 percent conversion rate). The Spartans' defense has allowed the fewest rushing yards per game (80.5), yards per rush (2.7) and 10-yard runs (30) in the FBS. The Spartans have held 10 opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards, the most such games in the FBS.

Those are some eye-popping numbers for the Spartans, who were able to hold Ohio State in check during their 34-24 win in the Big Ten title game. But Miller also detailed the reasons behind Stanford's stingy defense:

Stanford has held its past seven opponents to 20 points or fewer and ranks atop the FBS in most major defensive categories despite playing the fourth-hardest schedule in the country...

The strength of Stanford’s defense is its front seven. Led by linebackers Shayne Skov and Trent Murphy, the Cardinal tied for sixth in the FBS with 98 tackles for loss and tied for first with 40 sacks.

Yards and points will be at a premium in this game, but Stanford has a powerful offensive line that can open up holes against any defense. In the end, the Cardinal should be able to bruise their way to a victory behind the o-line and workhorse running back Tyler Gaffney.

Prediction: Stanford wins 20-17

 

Fiesta Bowl

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Who: No. 6 Baylor (11-1) vs. No. 15 Central Florida (11-1)

When: Wednesday, Jan. 1

Time/TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Where: Glendale, Ariz.

 

Of all the BCS games, this one has the best chance to be a blowout. Baylor has the nation's top scoring offense that averages 53.3 points per game and will provide an unprecedented test for a UCF defense that gives up 19.6 points per contest, 13th-best in the country.

VegasInsider.com currently has Baylor as a 16.5-point favorite in a game that features one of the biggest point spreads for any bowl. The engine behind the offense is quarterback Bryce Kelly, who earned some high praise from John McClain of the Houston Chronicle:

Central Florida might have a stout defense, but it's not the top-notch quality necessary for a win in a matchup of two schools making their BCS bowl debuts.

Prediction: Baylor wins 55-21

 

Orange Bowl

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Who: No. 7 Ohio State (12-1) vs. No. 12 Clemson (10-2)

When: Friday, Jan. 3

Time/TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Where: Miami

 

Ohio State's undefeated run came to an end in the Big Ten title game against Michigan State. While Clemson's offense isn't as potent as Florida State's, the Tigers will still pose a big problem for the Buckeyes defense.

Clemson's Tajh Boyd (3,473 passing yards, 29 passing TDs, nine rushing TDs, nine INTs) and OSU's Braxton Miller (1,860 passing yards, 22 TDs, five INTs, 1,033 rushing yards, 10 TDs) make this a thrilling matchup of talented quarterbacks.

Heather Dinich of ESPN.com shared more of Boyd's back story heading into the Orange Bowl:

The teams' respective defenses give up nearly the same amount of points per game, with Clemson (21.1) holding a slight edge over Ohio State (21.3). But the Buckeyes offense (46.3) averages about a touchdown more than Clemson (40.2) per contest, and I expect their weapons alongside Miller to be the difference in a close shootout.

Prediction: Ohio State wins 42-38

 

Sugar Bowl

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

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Who: No. 3 Alabama (11-1) vs. No. 11 Oklahoma (10-2)

When: Thursday, Jan. 2

Time/TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Where: New Orleans

 

The Oklahoma Sooners shouldered their way into a BCS bowl on the final weekend of the season by handing Oklahoma State a last-minute 33-24 loss in the Bedlam rivalry game.

Meanwhile, the Alabama Crimson Tide were doomed by Auburn's last-second win in the Iron Bowl, but remain one of college football's elite powerhouses. Alabama's tenacious defense gives up 11.3 points per game, second only to Florida State.

Auburn running back Tre Mason recently shared his thoughts on the Tide defense, via 99.1 FM in Tuscaloosa:

While Oklahoma had an emotional victory to wrap up the regular season, I find it hard to believe that they will topple Alabama's defense and Heisman finalist quarterback A.J. McCarron.

Prediction: Alabama wins 28-13

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