College Bowl Predictions for 2013
Why wait a few more weeks for the 2012 BCS games when we can project the 2013 BCS bowls?
Now, there are several All-American players (Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, Robert Griffin III) that will have tough decisions to make (maybe easy decisions). Landry Jones is a trending name in mock drafts these days since the NFL continues to be in need of more signal callers.
However, he should stay and at the same time I am attempting to have a little fun with these selections.
Every year I try to project a full season in advance to see how close I am (or how off I am) in regards to the major bowls and I ask you all to share some of your own future picks.
So, without further ado, here are your way too early projected BCS games in 2013!
Fiesta Bowl: 1/3/13; Glendale, AZ
Ohio State Buckeyes 11-2 vs. Oklahoma Sooners 10-2
Urban Meyer has the perfect schedule to start in Columbus as their slate is similar to Brady Hoke and Michigan's from this past season.
Eight home games compared to only four road dates (MSU, Indiana, PSU and Wisconsin) will give the Buckeyes a shot to dream BCS right off the bat.
The Badgers should be losing a ton of ammo if Montee Ball leaves along with Russell Wilson, so I ponder the thought of the Buckeyes playing the Wolverines in the Big Ten Championship with both teams ranked in the top five.
Both Ohio State and Michigan may have just one loss and the winner could have an outside chance of playing in the BCS National Championship (not likely though).
Regardless, both teams could be on their way towards a BCS Bowl and I suspect the Buckeyes defense to rank among the best in college football next season with as many as nine starters returning.
Braxton Miller should be fantastic under Meyer and he won't be forced to do too much since the schedule is fairly soft with those eight homes games.
I have the Sooners penciled in as Big 12 champions since I believe Landry Jones will return for his senior season; however, as Kevin Garnett says, "anything is possible." Nevertheless, it would be a bit shocking if he does leave after struggling so much in the final month of the season.
Jones has failed to throw a single touchdown since losing Ryan Broyles and he has thrown five picks! Kenny Stills and Jaz Reynolds would make the Sooner offense extremely potent once again and a top-five preseason pick would be a safe bet.
Sugar Bowl: 1/2/13; New Orleans, LA
Georgia Bulldogs 12-1 vs. Clemson Tigers 10-2
Sammy Watkins and Tajh Boyd will be unstoppable in the ACC though I can't wait for a top-10 tussle at Doak Campbell Stadium next season.
The defense was young this season for Clemson, but they will be grown up and should be returning every playmaker both sides of the ball minus Brandon Thompson, Andre Branch and Dwayne Allen (should declare).
The 'Dawgs will be flying all over the place next season in the SEC with a fierce defense and an offense that will be led by their star-studded backfield in Aaron Murray and Isaiah Crowell.
Both of these teams should be ranked in the preseason top five in my eyes depending on their bowl outcomes, but they will be legitimate national title contenders if they can avoid the funks they have been accustomed to getting in at some point towards the end of the season.
Orange Bowl: 1/1/13; Miami Gardens, FL
Florida State Seminoles 11-2 vs. Louisville Cardinals 10-2
Anybody want to share their thoughts on the Big East?
The conference is a complete mess as commissioner John Marinatto attempts to keep West Virginia in the conference for another season. Geno Smith and the Mountaineers would be a tough out in the Big East if they are forced to stay, though I question how healthy they can stay after playing Florida State at the Doak in September.
For that reason (along with doubting they return or not) and for the fact that Charlie Strong's defense is going to rule the conference next season. Plus, Teddy Bridgewater will be one fine sophomore signal caller next season in what should be a top-25 preseason squad.
As far as the ACC champions, the sixth rated defense could be returning nearly that entire side of the ball and they avoid the Oklahoma Sooners next season.
The Seminoles have been one of the most overrated teams in the nation, but if EJ Manuel cannot lead an offense loaded with talented receivers some will question if Jimbo Fisher can ever lead this team to national prominence.
This season FSU declined a tad, but they clearly threw all of their eggs in one basket once they lost to Oklahoma and the amount of injuries (never an excuse) put this team behind the eight ball.
Rose Bowl: 1/1/13; Pasadena, CA
USC Trojans 11-2 vs. Michigan Wolverines 12-1
The Trojans are back on the national map with Lane Kiffin staying put of all coaches in the Pac-12, but this team is loaded with young horses. Robert Woods and Marqise Lee would headline the best receiving corps in the country next season along with a ton of other youngsters.
Curtis McNeal really went bonkers towards the end of the season and he should be fine even if Matt Barkley and Matt Kalil do declare. Plus, the depth at USC is something they can count on despite the loss of recruits due to the NCAA penalty.
Outside of All-American Matt Kalil, four of the five linemen would be returning and the defense is going to be the finest in the Pac-12. Twelve of the top 13 tacklers (Dion Bailey and Hayes Pullard could be All-Americans) are expected to return which will only help the Trojans' BCS aspirations.
Playing the Ducks as many as twice could be costly, but the non-conference schedule looks friendly with home games against Hawaii and Notre Dame.
Michigan should be a preseason top-10 team with Denard Robinson returning for his senior season. The emergence of Fitzgerald Toussaint has been quite the story, but the defensive job that Greg Mattison has done is nothing short of spectacular.
Mike Martin and Ryan Van Bergen will be tough to replace, but everybody else returns up front and the energetic play from linebackers Jake Ryan, Brandin Hawthorne and Desmond Morgan has given "MGOBLUE" a bright future in the Big Ten.
BCS National Championship: 1/7/13; Miami Gardens, FL
Oregon Ducks 13-0 vs. LSU Tigers 13-0
We shall see if LSU can defeat Alabama because the nation could be in store for two years of some teeth-kicking.
The Bayou Bengals were loaded with sophomores and they will only get better! Zach Mettenberger (former UGA star-recruit) will take over under center and the backfield will be arguably the deepest in the nation.
The Ducks should return at least a dozen starters if you count Kenjon Barner and DeAnthony Thomas in the backfield and out wide. Maybe LaMichael James wants to come back to Eugene (doubt it) after denying an earlier report that he declared for the NFL Draft, but the Ducks will feature star talent even without him.
Darron Thomas and Chip Kelly have failed to win a bowl game together and both play with that chip (no pun intended) on their shoulders. Thomas was upset about not even getting an honorable mention in the Pac-12 awards, but he can get a springboard Rose Bowl victory for the 2012 season.
The Ducks' team speed was relentless on both sides of the ball this season and they may be the odds on favorite to dethrone the SEC next season with all of their world track speed demons.