There are 35 bowl games set for our pleasure, starting with the New Mexico Bowl on December 21 all the way to the BCS National Championship on January 6.
Some members of the FanIQ.com staff have been making game picks all season, choosing the winners of the Top 25 clashes since Week 1. Columnist Patrick Gordon (@gx5) leads the pack with a 222-44 record heading into the postseason.
Dan Bohm (@dbohm1) enters in second place at 220-46, I (@Tyler_Waddell) am sitting quietly in third with at 214-52, and our guests have compiled a fourth-best 210-56 record. For our final guest of 2013-14, 247Sports Network Manager Patrick Tholey (@pt247) will have his bowl selections featured.
Below are each writer's bowl winners and personal analysis for the BCS games.
|Bowl Game||Tyler Waddell||Dan Bohm||Patrick Gordon||Patrick Tholey|
|Colorado State vs. Washington State|
|Fresno State vs. USC|
|Buffalo vs. San Diego State|
|Tulane vs. LA-Lafayette|
|East Carolina vs. Ohio|
|Boise State vs. Oregon State|
|Bowling Green vs. Pittsburgh|
|Northern Illinois vs. Utah State|
|Marshall vs. Maryland|
|Minnesota vs. Syracuse|
|BYU vs. Washington|
|Notre Dame vs. Rutgers|
|Cincinnati vs. North Carolina|
|Louisville vs. Miami (Fla.)|
|Kansas State vs. Michigan|
|Middle Tennessee vs. Navy|
|Georgia Tech vs. Ole Miss|
|Oregon vs. Texas|
|Arizona State vs. Texas Tech|
|Arizona vs. Boston College|
|UCLA vs. Virginia Tech|
|Mississippi State vs. Rice|
|Duke vs. Texas A&M|
|Georgia vs. Nebraska|
|North Texas vs. UNLV|
|South Carolina vs. Wisconsin|
|Iowa vs. LSU|
|Michigan State vs. Stanford|
|Baylor vs. Central Florida|
|Alabama vs. Oklahoma|
|Missouri vs. Oklahoma State|
|Clemson vs. Ohio State|
|Houston vs. Vanderbilt|
|Arkansas State vs. Ball State|
|Florida State vs Auburn|
BCS National Championship
Tyler: Yes, Florida State has outscored its opponents by a bajillion combined points. But not too many people take notice of its 63rd-ranked strength of schedule. What confuses me is the fact that most tend to call Clemson an overrated team, yet Seminole fans use it as their defense. Since Auburn's loss IN LSU'S DEATH VALLEY AT NIGHT WHERE NO ONE EVER WINS, the Tigers are 9-0, having beaten five Top-25 opponents, including three inside the Top-10 and the No. 1 team in the nation. Florida State hasn't seen an offense anything close to Auburn's which has scored 45.3 points per game during that span.
Dan: Say what you will about Florida State's schedule, but it was incredibly impressive all season just crushing everyone in its path. Consider this: the Seminoles only one one game by less than FOUR touchdowns. How will they respond if they are in a close game? This could be a concern if it is a close game, but I don't expect it to me. Though Auburn looks like a team of destiny, I think its luck runs out in the title game. The Tigers needed once-in-a-decade miracles to beat Georgia and Alabama and barely squeaked by Washington State and Mississippi State earlier in the season. Expect this to be a high-scoring game, but one controlled by the 'Noles.
Patrick G.: This game is pretty hard to predict, since there are no common opponents and both teams have played quite different schedules. Still, it's pretty impressive the way Florida State has won its games. Its closest game was a 14-point road win against Boston College, and won the rest of its games by 27 or more points. Auburn is a great team, and it did the job against Alabama. But I have faith in Jameis Winston and the Seminoles in this one.
Tyler: For the most part, Michigan State locked down what Ohio State does best: run the football and convert on third. The Buckeyes rushed for 273 yards (amazingly over 50 yards less than its season average), but many of those came earlier in the game when the score was close. Braxton Miller couldn't complete a pass and the offense was 1-for-10 on third down. Clemson has a solid defensive unit, but is lacking at the linebacker unit. It has struggled mightily against opponents with run-oriented offensive schemes, and Ohio State's offensive line should open holes for Carlos Hyde all day.
Dan: Is this the overrated bowl? Maybe. Clemson and Ohio State both had nice seasons in the win/loss column, but combined to beat two teams that are currently ranked. Meanwhile Clemson was plastered by Florida State and handled by South Carolina and Ohio State was controlled by Michigan State last week. I don't really have much faith in either of these teams, but I am going with the Tigers.
Patrick G.: Ohio State has played one good team this year. That was Michigan State, who beat them 34-24 in the B1G championship game. Clemson really only has one big win on its resumé (Georgia), but the Tigers played some pretty high quality talent this year. That experience will show up against OSU.
Tyler: This game really bugs me. Alabama deserves this game because of its failure to beat Auburn in the Iron Bowl, but Oklahoma? No thank you. A perfect example of why the BCS is being thrown out: The Sooners finished No. 11 in the Week 16 BCS Standings, while Oregon (another 10-2 team) is ahead of it at No. 10. Both have had nearly identical seasons, including a great win and an awful loss. I would give Oregon the edge because of its 28th-ranked strength of schedule compared to the Sooners' No. 44. Besides, Oklahoma got smacked around by Texas, and everyone is claiming that Oregon is going to beat the Horns by 30. If college football is a money sport, why aren't we seeing the Ducks here instead? It's no secret America has been begging for that matchup for the last three years.
Dan: This game is a product of all that is wrong with college football. Oklahoma has no business playing in this game from a talent perspective, but the Sooners are there because of a rabid fan base and a tie-in with the Sugar Bowl that starts next year. Good politicking by Bob Bowlsby, but bad news for people watching this game. Alabama, if it shows up, should whip the floor with Oklahoma. Too bad we won't see Alabama-Oregon.
Patrick G.: Alabama might be due for a slight letdown game, since they obviously would much rather be in the BCS Championship game right now, but Nick Saban should still have them ready to go against Oklahoma.
Tyler: I'm not so sure Central Florida deserves to be here after barely getting by Houston, Temple, South Florida and SMU by a combined 15 points, but that shouldn't take away from the outstanding season its had. The Knights beat a Top-10 opponent in Louisville, won at Penn State and let one get away at No. 12 South Carolina. However, I expect this one to be over by halftime at the latest. Baylor's offense hasn't showed any mercy to anyone not named Oklahoma State.
Dan: But for a surprising slip up against Oklahoma State, the Baylor Bears would be playing in the BCS title game. While Central Florida has put together a nice season, it is difficult to find a solid argument as to why it will win this game. The Bears are excited to be in the BCS and feel they have something to prove. Even though I expect Baylor to win easily, this should be an entertaining game with two excellent quarterbacks.
Patrick G.: The Golden Knights of Central Florida are a nice story, but their time is swiftly coming to an end. Baylor's electric offense will score against them at will, and this should be the biggest blowout of all the BCS bowls. Congrats to UCF for doing the improbably and making it this far, but this won't end well for it.
Tyler: Could we see the first 10-lineman formation in college football history? If it's going to happen, it'll be here. Stanford entered the season with what was imagined to be the top defense in the nation, and Michigan State comes to Pasadena with what is statistically the No. 1 defense. It should be a barnburner, folks.
Dan: These two teams are very similar squads built around mean defenses and bruising running games. Michigan State hasn't been to a Rose Bowl in 25 years, so its fans will be pumped, while this is Stanford second straight Rose Bowl and fourth straight BCS appearance. While these teams are similar, I think Stanford is more battle-tested from its rigorous schedule. So as a surprise to no one, I'll take the Cardinal.
Patrick G.: Stanford has a couple inexplicable losses to teams we thought were clearly inferior, but is still arguably one of the top 3 or 4 teams in the country. Michigan State shocked a few people when it won the B1G over Ohio State, but that's really the only legitimately good team it has beaten. Stanford will be way too much for Sparty to handle.