Bowl Projections: The 5 Best Potential Matchups Other Than LSU vs. Alabama
Conference championship weekend is officially upon us, and now the wild speculation as to who goes where begins.
College football season has been called a great many things. Crooked, unfair and unreasonable, just to name a few.
One example was in 2000, when the Miami Hurricanes beat then-No. 3 Florida State in their annual head-to-head dogfight.
The 'Canes were shut out of a possible national championship match with top-ranked Oklahoma because the Hurricanes dropped a clunker to the inferior Washington Huskies, which proved to be what slammed the door shut on a trip to the title game, thus relegating the team to the Sugar Bowl.
Teams try to win conference championships in the power, or automatic-qualifying, conferences to guarantee a shot at the five major bowl games in the Bowl Championship Series.
Here are five possible exciting matchups that could roll out on Dec. 4:
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech (ACC Champion) vs. Stanford (At-Large)
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This matchup would be a rematch of the Orange Bowl from last season, as we all remember Stanford blasting Virginia Tech by a score of 40-12 behind Orange Bowl MVP Andrew Luck's four touchdowns through the air.
Virginia Tech has been on a roll and is still the class of the ACC, as they only suffered a single setback against the surprising Clemson Tigers earlier in the season and will most likely beat them in this weekend's ACC Championship Game.
The Hokies would come into this game looking to avenge last season's beatdown and look to impose their will on the game in relatively short order and not let Andrew Luck get as comfortable as he did last year.
Stanford will most likely come into this game fuming that they were shut out of the national championship game, as their setback against then-No. 6 Oregon cost them dearly.
The Cardinal will look to make Luck's last season and bowl game a memorable one by winning two straight BCS games against the ACC powerhouse Hokies.
Stanford and Virginia Tech turn the game into a slugfest from the opening gun. Luck and Logan Thomas light up Miami, but Virginia Tech takes a close game and the 2012 Orange Bowl Championship by a score of 31-28.
Rose Bowl: Oregon (Pac-12 Champion) vs. Wisconsin (Big Ten Champion)
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This year's Rose Bowl matchup features last year's national runner-up in the Oregon Ducks, who routed UCLA in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship game to earn a spot in the game.
Wisconsin will avenge a last-second loss to Michigan State earlier in the season and capture the Big Ten Championship to earn their spot against the fast-paced Ducks.
The Badgers are going to be another team fuming that a late loss trashed their national championship hopes and will look to make themselves, and not the now Urban Meyer-led Ohio State Buckeyes, the face of the conference.
Wisconsin and Oregon will make the game a shootout, and the team that makes the fewest mistakes will be crowned as Rose Bowl Champions.
After beating Michigan State for the Big Ten Championship, Wisconsin routs Oregon by a score of 30-13 behind Russell Wilson's MVP effort which sends the Badgers into the offseason on a high-note.
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma (Big 12 Champion) vs. Houston (Non-AQ Mid-Major Champion)
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The Houston Cougars are one of only two undefeated teams left in the country.
The BCS has never been really fair to teams not from the six major conferences, as Boise State and Utah have been left out of national title games despite having undefeated records AND having won their respective conference championship games.
Oklahoma will win the Big 12 Champion by defeating No. 3 Oklahoma State in the momentous game in Bedlam, as the conference will not have a championship game for the first time since 1996.
Houston will get into the game by virtue of being the highest-ranked conference champion of the non-automatic BCS conferences after beating Southern Miss in the Conference USA championship game.
Landry Jones and Case Keenum will be another quarterback duo that will light up the scoreboard and will make the Fiesta Bowl entertaining to watch.
Houston and Oklahoma are two very good offensive teams, and they will not disappoint. Jones and Co. will look to impose their will on the BCS newcomer Cougars and win their consolation prize instead of a national championship. It will be a close game, with Oklahoma out-dueling Houston 34-30.
Sugar Bowl: West Virginia (Big East Champion) vs. Oklahoma State (BCS At-Large)
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This matchup would be a thriller. Two high-powered offenses battling it out for a Sugar Bowl victory.
West Virginia has been a powerhouse for a long time, and they will look to make a huge statement against a solid Oklahoma State team.
Oklahoma State comes into this game having again missed out on a chance to breakthrough against Oklahoma, and they will have lose a close game in Bedlam to the Sooners to extend their drought against their hated rival.
Oklahoma State will look to Justin Blackmon to provide an edge against a somewhat suspect West Virginia secondary, and they will look to strike fast and set the tone early in the game.
Oklahoma State will win a close, thrilling game against a hard-charging West Virginia team. The game will be decided in the final seconds. The Cowboys will be the team that makes the least amount of mistakes en route to a stunning 42-35 victory.
Outback Bowl: Boise State vs. Michigan
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This matchup will feature the Boise State Broncos versus the Michigan Wolverines in a game featuring two up-and-coming teams that are looking up to the top dogs in their conferences.
The remarkable turnaround at Michigan has likely cemented Brady Hoke as the coach of the Wolverines for a long time. Coupled with a big win against the Ohio State Buckeyes in "The Game," he should be assured of staying in Ann Arbor.
This game would feature solid offenses and defenses, with Michigan having the likely edge and coming out on top in a hotly contested game, even though Kellen Moore has the Broncos in the game at the end.
This one should be close, as the Wolverines take the game by a score of 38-34. Denard Robinson shows off his amazing running speed and also throws for multiple touchdowns. Kellen Moore has a heck of a day, but falls just short against an improved Michigan defense.