Bowl Projections 2013: Most Intriguing Possible Matchups Heading into Week 15

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2013

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 21:  Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes watches his team warm up before playing the Florida A&M Rattlers at Ohio Stadium on September 21, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated FAMU 76-0.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

After one of the wildest rivalry weeks in college football history, the focus has shifted to Week 15 and the projections about which teams will participate in the marquee bowl games.

BCS bowls are the most prestigious. Whether it’s the BCS National Championship, the Sugar Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl or the Rose Bowl, the potential matchups that these high-profile games can yield will have fans of the sport in a frenzy.

Here is a full list of BCS bowl projections and the three biggest possible battles.

BCS Bowl Projected Matchups
DateBowlLocationPredicted Matchup
Jan. 1 Rose Pasadena, Calif. Michigan State vs. Stanford
Jan. 1 Fiesta Glendale, Ariz. Oklahoma State vs. Northern Illinois
Jan. 2 Sugar New Orleans Auburn vs. UCF
Jan. 3 Orange Miami Clemson vs. Alabama
Jan. 6 BCS championship Pasadena, Calif. Florida State vs. Ohio State
Bowl information via ESPN

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 30:  Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles attempts a pass during the game against the Florida Gators on November 30, 2013 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

BCS National Championship: Florida State (BCS No. 1) vs. Ohio State (BCS No. 2)

The potential BCS National Championship game between the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles (12-0, 8-0 ACC) and the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-0, 8-0 Big Ten) is a dream come true for hardcore football fans.

Alabama dominating the sport for years was an amazing achievement for the school, but the changing of the guard will be intriguing.

Florida State had already earned its spot in the national title game by remaining undefeated through the regular season, but the Crimson Tide’s loss opened up the No. 1 rank in the BCS polls. That shift at the top of the standings also left the door open for the Buckeyes to slide into the No. 2 slot. After finishing its own regular-season schedule undefeated, Ohio State finally earned its way into the title picture with a hard fought 42-41 win over Michigan.

The Seminoles will square off against a beatable No. 20 Duke in the ACC Championship this weekend, but the Buckeyes’ road to the national title still has one more serious obstacle. Ohio State must play No. 10 Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship.

If the Buckeyes win the Big Ten conference title, there is no question that the program will secure its spot in the BCS Championship against FSU. The battle of undefeated powerhouses would be worthy of the national stage.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 23:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide leads his team on the field to face the Chattanooga Mocs at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 23, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Orange Bowl: Alabama (BCS at-large) vs. Clemson (BCS at-large)

After the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1, 7-1 SEC) lost to the Auburn Tigers in Week 14, the program’s hopes of fighting for another national title were gone. The loss has set up a possible marquee matchup with the Clemson Tigers (10-2, 7-1 ACC) in the Orange Bowl.

Alabama is still one of the best teams in the country. The defeat at the hands of Auburn came on a fluke play that could have been avoided with better play-calling. If the Crimson Tide still want to be viewed as one of the most entertaining teams to watch each week, the program must prove it in any BCS bowl game.

That’s where Clemson fits the bill.

The Tigers lost a heartbreaking game to No. 1 Florida State earlier this season, but most thought the program had turned it around with four straight wins. After losing to South Carolina in Week 14, Clemson is reeling.

There are few teams that have the firepower to disrupt Alabama’s defensive game plan, but the Tigers are one of them. The Crimson Tide will still be a serious favorite in this matchup, but Clemson has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

This matchup would be a challenge for Alabama just as it was against Auburn.

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 30:  Ryan Smith #24 of the Auburn Tigers yells to an official as he and Jonathan Jones #3 react after Smith recovered a blocked punt in the fourth quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 30, 2013 i
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Sugar Bowl: Auburn (SEC Champion) vs. UCF (AAC Champion)

The Auburn Tigers (11-1, 7-1 SEC) stunned the world by beating then-No. 1 Alabama in walk-off fashion, but the program is looking to turn that success into an SEC Championship and a berth in the Sugar Bowl.

Auburn would likely meet the UCF Knights (10-1, 7-0 American) if the program can beat SMU in its own conference championship, and the underrated battle would be the perfect gauge of both teams.

The only loss for the Tigers came against LSU earlier in the season, and Auburn has won each of its last eight games. A meeting with No. 5 Missouri in the title game is nothing to look past, but a win would prove without a doubt that Auburn is the cream of the SEC crop.

UCF lost a heartbreaker to South Carolina earlier in the season but has rattled off seven wins in a row of its own, including a huge victory over the Louisville Cardinals. While the Knights aren’t a traditional college football powerhouse, the team has made it this far on its raw talent.

A potential game between these two red-hot programs would result in a memorable battle.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.