There are some big mismatches on the bowl schedule for the 2013-14 winter holiday season that will result in lopsided victories for the better teams.
With 35 games on the 17-day bowl schedule, there are 70 teams competing in the postseason. Only 79 teams won enough games in 2013 to become bowl-eligible, as noted by Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com.
When you put this many teams in one big pot, it's no surprise that some of the bowl games ended up with unfair matchups. Here's a full list of all the games on the schedule, followed by a closer examination of a few lopsided games that will end poorly for the lesser team.
|BCS Title Game||Jan. 6||8:30 p.m.||Florida State vs. Auburn|
|Orange||Jan. 3||8:30 p.m.||Clemson vs. Ohio State|
|Sugar||Jan. 2||8:30 p.m.||Alabama vs. Oklahoma|
|Fiesta||Jan. 1||8:30 p.m.||Baylor vs. UCF|
|Rose||Jan. 1||5 p.m.||Michigan State vs. Stanford|
|GoDaddy.com||Jan. 5||9 p.m.||Ball State vs. Ark. State|
|BBVA Compass||Jan. 4||1 p.m.||Vanderbilt vs. Houston|
|Cotton||Jan. 3||7:30 p.m.||Oklahoma State vs. Missouri|
|Outback||Jan. 1||1 p.m.||Iowa vs. LSU|
|Capital One||Jan. 1||1 p.m.||Wisconsin vs. South Carolina|
|Heart of Dallas||Jan. 1||Noon||UNLV vs. North Texas|
|Gator||Jan. 1||Noon||Nebraska vs. Georgia|
|Chick-fil-A||Dec. 31||8 p.m.||Duke vs. Texas A&M|
|Liberty||Dec. 31||4 p.m.||Rice vs. Miss. State|
|Sun||Dec. 31||2 p.m.||Virginia Tech vs. UCLA|
|AdvoCare V100 Independence||Dec. 31||12:30 p.m.||Arizona vs. Boston College|
|Holiday||Dec. 30||10:15 p.m.||Arizona State vs. Texas Tech|
|Alamo||Dec. 30||6:45 p.m.||Texas vs. Oregon|
|Music City||Dec. 30||3:15 p.m.||Georgia Tech vs. Ole Miss|
|Armed Forces||Dec. 30||11:45 p.m.||Middle Tennessee St. vs. Navy|
|Buffalo Wild Wings||Dec. 28||10:15 p.m.||Kansas State vs. Michigan|
|Russell Athletic||Dec. 28||6:45 p.m.||Louisville vs. Miami (FL)|
|Belk||Dec. 28||3:20 p.m.||Cincinnati vs. North Carolina|
|Pinstripe||Dec. 28||Noon||Notre Dame vs. Rutgers|
|Fight Hunger||Dec. 27||9:30 p.m.||Washington vs. BYU|
|Texas||Dec. 27||6 p.m.||Syracuse vs. Minnesota|
|Military||Dec. 27||2:30 p.m.||Maryland vs. Marshall|
|Poinsettia||Dec. 26||9:30 p.m.||Utah State vs. Northern Illinois|
|Little Caesars||Dec. 26||6 p.m.||Bowling Green vs. Pittsburgh|
|Hawaii||Dec. 24||8 p.m.||Oregon State vs. Boise State|
|Beef O'Brady's||Dec. 23||2 p.m.||Ohio vs. East Carolina|
|New Orleans||Dec. 21||9 p.m.||La.-Lafayette vs. Tulane|
|Famous Idaho Potato||Dec. 21||5:30 p.m.||Buffalo vs. San Diego State|
|Las Vegas||Dec. 21||3:30 p.m.||Fresno State vs. USC|
|New Mexico||Dec. 21||2 p.m.||Colorado State vs. Washington State|
S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Utah State vs. No. 23 Northern Illinois
Utah State held Derek Carr's Fresno State Bulldogs to 24 points in a losing cause on Dec. 7, but nobody should expect a similar performance against Jordan Lynch and the Northern Illinois Huskies in the Poinsettia Bowl.
Whereas Carr is a pure pocket passer, Lynch—a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2013—is a dual-threat quarterback who passed for as many yards as AJ McCarron (2,676) and finished the season with the second-highest rushing total (1,881).
Aggies head coach Matt Wells knows his team is in for a challenge, as noted by ABC 4 Sports in Utah:
Nobody's matched up with him in two years...That's the bottom line.
Anytime you're looking at a man that's rushed for 1800 yards, you'd think he was one of the premiere running backs in the country...He's a tremendous talent, he's been a great leader and he's a winner. He'll be a tremendous challenge for our defense.
In the same article, linebacker Zach Vigil compared Lynch to BYU quarterback Taysom Hill, who torched Utah State for three touchdowns in October, leading the Cougars over the Aggies, 31-14.
This one's not going to be close.
After getting embarrassed by Bowling Green and missing out on a rare opportunity to play in a BCS bowl game, Northern Illinois will romp over Utah State.
Projected Score: Huskies win, 38-17.
Russell Athletic Bowl: Miami vs. No. 18 Louisville
It's quite understandable that Miami was invited to play in this game, which is being held in Orlando, Fla. A local team will fill the stadium, which makes good financial sense.
Which team will win?
However, the faithful Hurricanes fans won't be happy once the game commences, because Miami is going to get blown out of the water.
Teddy Bridgewater is a local kid who was at one point committed to playing for his hometown Hurricanes. Now he's leading one of the nation's most formidable teams—both offensively and defensively—and is being considered by many NFL scouts as the top quarterback available for the 2014 NFL draft.
Bridgewater has yet to declare himself eligible, instead saying he'll wait until after the bowl game, as reported by Brett McMurphy of ESPN:
The only loss Louisville incurred in 2013 was to UCF, which made its way to the Fiesta Bowl.
Thanks to the solid play of Bridgewater under center, the team's dedication to the running game and its No. 2 defense, the Cardinals have a winning formula Miami won't be able to match.
Stephen Morris is a talented quarterback, but he's prone to mistakes. With 12 interceptions this year, he's displayed poor judgement at times, as pointed out by Gil Brandt of NFL.com:
The biggest thing that I'm seeing with Morris this year is his struggle with decision-making. Sometimes the difference between a completion and an incompletion, a good play and a bad play, is a few inches or a half-second. Morris isn't reading coverages or identifying the open receiver as quickly as you would like. He hasn't necessarily regressed since last season, but I don't think he has progressed either.
Going up against Louisville's eighth-ranked passing defense, he's going to struggle—especially without Duke Johnson, who was lost for the season with a broken ankle in November.
Projected Score: Cardinals win, 31-13.
Chick-fil-A Bowl: No. 24 Duke vs. No. 21 Texas A&M
Duke's 2013 campaign was amazing. The Blue Devils are not usually known for fielding a quality football team, but this year's squad lost just three games and incredibly reached the ACC Championship Game against Florida State.
Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, Jameis Winston and the Seminoles steamrolled them, 45-7.
Not many teams have avoided getting squashed by FSU this year, but the biggest reason for alarm, as it pertains to this upcoming game against Texas A&M, was the number of big plays allowed in the passing game.
Winston connected with his receivers seven times on passes that gained at least 20 yards. Duke's secondary was exposed in that game, and it'll happen again at the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
The Aggies made secondaries look silly most of the year. Johnny Manziel connected regularly with his big receiver Mike Evans, along with Malcome Kennedy and Derel Walker. Evans, in particular, should have a huge mismatch downfield, given his size.
Duke had a great game plan implemented against Winston, and he was still able to connect on big plays. So will Johnny Football.
Projected Score: Aggies win, 45-21.
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