College Football Bowl Picks 2013: Predictions for Each Remaining Game of Season

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistDecember 25, 2013

Nov 30, 2013; Auburn, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron (10) warms up prior to the game against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

The 2013-14 bowl season is underway. Smaller contests kicked off the season, and those opening acts have provided an encouraging indication of how exciting the season may be overall.

The Gildan New Mexico Bowl was a thriller that saw the Colorado State Rams upend the Washington State Cougars 48-45 in a shocking finale when the Rams hit a field goal to win it late.

The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl followed suit, as the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns slipped past the Tulane Green Wave 24-21.

Perhaps best of all, those two contests were just the beginning of an outstanding bowl season set to coincide with the holidays.

BCS Bowl Schedule, Predictions
Bowl Teams Date Time (ET) TV Live Stream Predicted Winner
Little Caesars Pizza Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green Dec. 26 6 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Pittsburgh
S.D. County Credit Union PoinsettiaUtah St. vs. Northern IllinoisDec. 26 9:30 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Northern Illinois
Military Bowl Presented By Northrop GrummanMarshall vs. MarylandDec. 27 2:30 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Marshall
Texas Syracuse vs. MinnesotaDec. 27 6 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Minnesota
Fight Hunger BYU vs. WashingtonDec. 27 9:30 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN BYU
New Era PinstripeRutgers vs. Notre DameDec. 28 Noon ESPN WatchESPN Notre Dame
BelkCincinnati vs. North CarolinaDec. 28 3:20 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Cincinnati
Russell AthleticLouisville vs. MiamiDec. 28 6:45 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Louisville
Buffalo Wild WingsKansas St. vs. MichiganDec. 28 10:15 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Michigan
Bell Helicopter Armed ForcesMiddle Tennessee vs. NavyDec. 30 11:45 a.m. ESPN WatchESPN Navy
Franklin American Mortgage Music CityOle Miss vs. Georgia TechDec. 30 3:15 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Ole Miss
Valero AlamoTexas vs. OregonDec. 30 6:45 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Oregon
National University HolidayTexas Tech vs. Arizona St.Dec. 30 10:15 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Arizona St.
AdvoCare V100Boston College vs. ArizonaDec. 31 12:30 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Arizona
Hyundai SunVirginia Tech vs. UCLADec. 31 2 p.m. CBS TBD UCLA
AutoZone LibertyRice vs. Mississippi St.Dec. 31 4 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Mississippi St.
Chick-fil-ADuke vs. Texas A&MDec. 31 8 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Texas A&M
TaxSlayer.com GatorGeorgia vs. NebraskaJan. 1 Noon ESPN2 WatchESPN Nebraska
Heart of DallasNorth Texas vs. UNLVJan. 1 Noon ESPNU WatchESPN UNLV
Capital OneWisconsin vs. South CarolinaJan. 1 1 p.m. ABC TBD Wisconsin
OutbackLSU vs. IowaJan. 1 1 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN LSU
Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIOMichigan St. vs. StanfordJan. 1 5 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Michigan St.
Tostitos FiestaBaylor vs. UCF Jan. 1 8:30 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Baylor
Allstate SugarAlabama vs. OklahomaJan. 2 8:30 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Alabama
Discover OrangeClemson vs. Ohio St. Jan. 3 TBD ESPN WatchESPN Ohio St.
AT&T CottonMissouri vs. Oklahoma St. Jan. 3 7:30 p.m. FOX TBD Missouri
BBVA CompassHouston vs. Vanderbilt Jan. 4 1 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Houston
GoDaddy Arkansas St. vs. Ball St.Jan. 5 9 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Ball St.
VIZIO BCS National ChampionshipFlorida St. vs. AuburnJan. 6 8:30 p.m. ESPN WatchESPN Florida St.
ESPN

 

Allstate Sugar Bowl: No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 11 Oklahoma

Nov 23, 2013; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban leads his team onto the field for their game against the Chattanooga Mocs at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

The final iteration of the BCS has gifted fans with a matchup not many want to see, as ESPN's Steve Palazzolo illustrates:

While it certainly is not a sexy matchup, an argument can be made about the prestige of the two teams set to do battle, as the Oklahoma twitter account details:

Alabama enters with a chip on its shoulder. The Crimson Tide were denied a bid at a third straight title via a loss in the SEC title game with one second remaining—a highlight that will forever be played as one of the most memorable in the collegiate game's history.

Senior quarterback AJ McCarron was also denied a fitting end to his collegiate career from both a team standpoint and an individual one, as he missed out on the Heisman Trophy. McCarron aims to right the ship for himself and other seniors, per Cliff Kirkpatrick of USA Today:

I want to go out the right way. I want to send these seniors out the right way. I feel it's only right for our class, my class that came in, and C.J. (Mosley) came in a year after but also a senior. We put a lot of work into this program to make it what it is today. It's only right we finish on top.

McCarron's definition of "on top" is to steal the national spotlight from the championship winner:

So we have a chance to show the country we are the best team. We might not win the national championship, but we can have everyone talking about us more than the national championship team. And that's happened in the past. We still have the opportunity to do that.

That is something the Heisman finalist is more than capable of doing after a year that saw him throw for 2,676 yards, 26 touchdowns and five interceptions.

McCarron is flanked by the nation's second-best defense, which allows an average of 11.3 points per game. Meanwhile, Oklahoma ranks just inside the top 50 with an average of 31.8 points scored per game.

The Crimson Tide will cruise to a victory in a highlight-worthy affair that fulfills McCarron's wishes.

Prediction: Crimson Tide 42, Sooners 38

 

VIZIO BCS National Championship: No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Auburn 

Dec 7, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) runs the ball during the third quarter against the Duke Blue Devils at Bank of America Stadium. FSU defeated Duke 45-7. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Spor
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

After a thrilling SEC Championship Game win, Gus Malzahn has proved to be an offensive guru who has orchestrated arguably one of the best turnarounds fans have seen in recent years.

Receiver Sammie Coates said that was the goal all along, per John Zenor of the Associated Press (via The Morning Journal):

Our goal at the beginning of the year was to have the biggest turnaround in college football. We knew the only way to do that was to get better every single day. Tuesdays and Wednesdays (on game weeks) were big for us because those are our work days and we got better. We beat some teams that people thought we couldn’t beat.

But now the Tigers have a date with an offense even Malzahn may have trouble figuring out. Florida State's Jameis Winston, the second freshman Heisman winner in as many years, has been unstoppable this season.

In fact, the pro level is already raving about Winston and throwing out names such as Peyton Manning, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today:

That is lofty praise, but it's more than deserved. Winston threw for 3,820 yards and 38 scores on the year while leading the nation's second-highest scoring offense with an average of 53 points per game.

The Seminoles also tout the nation's top defense, which allows an average of 10.7 points per game.

All in all, there will be no miracle win for the Tigers this time around.

Prediction: Seminoles 49, Tigers 34

 

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