There’s 35 bowls on the schedule this year and now that we know the matchups, let’s take a closer look at the BCS bowls.
1 – BCS National Championship Game
Odds: Florida State -9
This should be a very entertaining game while naturally being the most significant of all the 35 bowls as well. Florida State is simply a juggernaut, a team that is very powerful and athletic at just about every position, teeming with NFL-level ability. The Seminoles have quality and depth in abundance, and as this game moves into the third and fourth quarters, that depth should be able to withstand the force of Auburn’s offense under head coach Gus Malzahn.
2 – Orange Bowl
The matchup between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Clemson Tigers on Friday, Jan. 3 will be a fascinating one. Will Ohio State – having lost to Michigan State (the best team on its schedule this season) – be exposed yet again by another top-15 team? Clemson certainly has the athletes and the passing game that can overwhelm the Buckeyes’ suspect secondary. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd will be playing his final game as a collegiate football player, and he’ll be motivated to go out on top in this rematch. Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins will be a load for Ohio State’s back line of defense to handle.
Yes, there’s another half to this matchup, and this is where Ohio State has to produce a high number of points. The Buckeyes need to win a shootout, and their tandem of quarterback Braxton Miller and running back Carlos Hyde has to be at its best so that the Buckeyes can stay one step ahead of Clemson and cover the spread.
3 – Sugar Bowl
This looks like a mismatch. Oklahoma has certainly done well to get to the Sugar Bowl after beating Kansas State and Oklahoma State on the road to close the regular season, but the Sooners are not as good as they were in the middle of the past decade, when they consistently won Big 12 championships and contended for national titles as well. Alabama is the team Oklahoma used to be. The Crimson Tide is still one of the elite teams in the sport, and it has the recent national championship rings to show for it. Alabama owns a lot more muscle and power at the line of scrimmage, both on offense and defense. A main distinction between these teams is that Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron can throw, while Oklahoma’s Trevor Knight can’t.
4 – Fiesta Bowl
No one could have possibly expected this matchup before the season began. Yes, there were some people who thought that UCF would topple Louisville in The American Athletic Conference, and that’s exactly what happened. However, few could have imagined that the Baylor Bears would win the Big 12 and return to the national spotlight in such a bold manner. Baylor was dogged by injuries in the month of November. Bet the Bears as they should get a lot of their foremost players back for this game, and that should help them in a big way.
5 – Rose Bowl
No BCS bowl will be quite like the Rose Bowl, a hard-hitting, old-time smashmouth game between Michigan State and Stanford, two teams that like to play rugged defense and build a game around field position. These teams will try to beat each other with their strengths, not with a change of pace. Yet, the passing game might become the reason this game goes in one direction or another.