The BCS slate is slowly approaching, while fans of the collegiate gridiron game are instead forced to sit through things like the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
It will be well worth the wait.
Fans would be wise to remember that so much time between Championship Saturday and the BCS games gives the players time to heal and the coaches time to draw up great plans after extensively studying the opposition.
All in all, these factors equate to the final edition of the BCS going out with a bang.
|Bowl||Teams||Date||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream||Predicted Winner|
|Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO||Michigan St. vs. Stanford||Jan. 1||5 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Michigan St.|
|Tostitos Fiesta||Baylor vs. UCF||Jan. 1||8:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Baylor|
|Allstate Sugar||Alabama vs. Oklahoma||Jan. 2||8:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Alabama|
|Discover Orange||Clemson vs. Ohio St.||Jan. 3||TBD||ESPN||WatchESPN||Ohio St.|
|VIZIO BCS National Championship||Florida St. vs. Auburn||Jan. 6||8:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN||Florida St.|
Rose Bowl: No. 4 Michigan State vs. No. 5 Stanford
In a pass-happy football world, some fans may classify this as a boring matchup.
They are robbing themselves of some quality traditional football.
Mark Dantonio's team has something to prove, as it attempts to shake the "little brother" tag often tossed around in its own state. Dantonio looks to the opposition for inspiration and says that the program is ready to take the next step, via Josh Slagter of MLive.com:
Look at what Stanford has been able to accomplish. That's their standard right now. This has to become our standard. This is the first time we've been to a BCS game, but we've climbed a ladder.
Perhaps senior safety Isaiah Lewis put it best:
We've got some guys that can play. We ain't no scrubs. Michigan State is here to stay, they're here to ball. Anybody that wants to play against us, they're going to have a dogfight on their hands.
Stanford better be ready, because this dog has a major bite. The Spartans rank No. 4 in the nation at an average of just 12.7 points allowed and tout the top-ranked run defense at an average of 2.7 yards allowed per rush.
Dantonio and Co. can truly earn the respect and staying power with a win over Stanford. The Cardinal are led by senior back Tyler Gaffney, who has 1,618 yards and 20 scores as a pure workhorse. He leads a rushing attack that ranks in the top 25.
The problem for the Cardinal is simple—three teams have scored 20 or more points this year on the Spartans. An Ohio State offense that still ranks in the top five only posted 24 in the Big Ten Championship.
Stanford ranks No. 40 in total offense. Simply put, the Spartans will smother the Cardinal.
Prediction: Spartans 23, Cardinal 20
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: No. 6 Baylor vs. No. 15 UCF
Not many seem hyped for the latest iteration of the Fiesta Bowl. This is easy to say, because the Knights returned 10,000 of their allotted tickets, per Paul Tenorio of the Orlando Sentinel:
UCF returned approximately 10,000 tickets to the Fiesta Bowl of its 17,500 allotment: http://t.co/u3da5uAuqZ— Paul Tenorio (@osknights) December 23, 2013
Reid Laymance of the Houston Chronicle put a sarcastic spin on the news:
While the news is not entirely shocking, it is very disappointing. UCF fans, and collegiate fans in general, should want to make the trip to watch Knights quarterback Blake Bortles play.
Best BCS Bowl?
Bortles is slowly emerging as a top name in the 2014 NFL draft after throwing for 3,280 yards and 22 touchdowns to seven interceptions this season.
He'll do battle in a game sure to turn into a shootout with Baylor's Bryce Petty (who already shunned the NFL to return to school next year). Petty threw for 3,844 yards, 30 touchdowns and two interceptions in 2013.
Perhaps Knights fans (they are out there, right?) are smart not to make the trip, because this one may get ugly early. Bortles will play just fine, but no team in the country can keep pace with Petty and the Bears—they average a nation-best 53.3 points per game.
UCF has eclipsed that point total just once in 2013.
Prediction: Bears 45, Knights 30