The nature of college football can be summed up in two words: predictably unpredictable. This season is no different, only it is (if that makes any sense).
Most seasons are filled with crazy upsets, leaving the final standings with one or two undefeated teams and a plethora of one-loss teams.
This year saw an unprecedented five teams go undefeated, three of whom (UC, TCU, and Boise State) weren't even in the preseason top 15, and only a single noteworthy one-loss team (Florida).
So maybe it wasn't the year of the upset and there wasn't a new team atop the standings every week, but it was the year of the Cinderella. You know, the teams people maybe expected to be good, but nowhere near the level they ended up reaching.
Now it all comes together in the second (or maybe third) best thing possible, the BCS pitting the year's best teams together in the wake of a brand new year.
So here are the BCS games ranked in order of intrigue to watch, along with a prediction.
5. The Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Iowa
The two worst teams in the BCS matched up against each other—excuse me if I'm not jumping up and down.
I just don't think either of these teams has done anything that screams, "BCS WORTHY." I learned everything I needed to know about the ACC two weeks ago when the two teams that earned a chance to play for the ACC championship were matched up against mid-level SEC teams. Clemson and Georgia Tech both were outmanned and overpowered, and it left me thinking that the ACC doesn't have any real contender.
Iowa, on the other hand, is a complete enigma. They seem to play down (or up) to the level of their competition. For that reason, I think the game will at least be close and will probably be fun to watch the last five minutes of, but as far as intrigue goes, it really doesn't have much.
Prediction: Iowa 24, Georgia Tech 21
Iowa will kick a late field goal even though they will be outplayed in every facet of the game. It's unexplainable.
4. Fiesta Bowl: TCU vs. Boise State
It may be the matchup of the unbeatens, but it's also the matchup of the non-BCS conference teams. I thought the point of putting these teams in was to match them up against a team from a BCS conference and see if they were really legit.
It almost seems like this is the championship of the Div. I-A.5 league because they aren't giving either team a chance to prove itself. It should still be fun to watch though. Both teams have high-powered offenses, and it may come down to whoever has the ball last.
Prediction: TCU 45, Boise State 35
3. Sugar Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Florida
This is when the bowl games start to get good. Tim Tebow will try to make the best of his final game, even though it is clearly not where he wanted to be, against a Cincinnati team that wants to prove it is for real. Tony Pike and his speedy wide receivers are undoubtedly fun to watch, but Florida's defense is in a whole other stratosphere than anybody Cincinnati has played all year.
It could also have an added story line depending on what happens in the whole Notre Dame coaching situation. Cincinnati will either have a chip on its shoulder or be invigorated based on coach Brian Kelly's decision.
Regardless, I think Florida is just too talented on both sides of the ball and will assert its dominance against a porous Cincinnati defense.
Prediction: Florida 38, Cincinnati 17
2. The Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Oregon
You know, they say that a team takes on the personality of its coach, and that seems to be the case with both of these teams. The coaches couldn't be any more different: Jim Tressel, the ultimate conservative, against a tough as nails, aggressive Chip Kelly.
One of the most explosive offenses of the country against one of the stoutest defenses. A team that is probably in more need of a bowl win than anyone else in the country against a team that wants to prove its can be a legitimate contender not only in its conference but in the nation year after year.
Can Ohio State move the ball? Can the Ducks stop anyone? Can Terrelle Pryor—or Tressel, for that matter—win the big one?
This game has so many questions and so few answers that it's a must watch.
I think in the end, the Buckeyes will use their size and strength to run the ball, and the OSU defense will bend, but not break.
Prediction: Ohio State 31, Oregon 23
1. The Championship: Alabama vs. Texas
Of course the championship has to be No. 1. It has two undefeated teams from solid conferences and high-profile players and coaches.
I agree after the Florida bashing and the Nebraska escape that all logic points to Alabama.
But I think that Texas will find a way in the end. It's not always about how pretty it is, but about getting the job done. Texas didn't have anything going for them against Nebraska, but along with a little luck, they found a way to win.
All the focus leading up to the game will be on Alabama and the SEC dominance, but it's time the SEC be knocked off its pedestal.
Prediction: Texas 28, Alabama 24