With the conclusion of the regular season less than a month away, college football can now set its sights on the fast-approaching bowl season.
For the moment, the participants of both the BCS Championship Game and the Rose Bowl seem close to certain. However, it gets a little trickier for the Sugar, Orange and Fiesta Bowls, especially because of a possible Alabama vs Florida State championship game.
We’ll try to explain the different permutations for the different bowl games as succinctly as possible. Everything is still subject to change, but as of November 15, these are the most likely BCS bowl match-ups.
Update: December 9, 2013
Bowl Selection Sunday was yesterday and these will be the match ups going into the 2013-2014 College Bowl Season.
Fiesta Bowl: UCF vs. Baylor
Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. Ohio State
Rose Bowl: Stanford vs. Michigan State
Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Oklahoma
BCS National Championship Game: Florida State vs. Auburn
Find the full schedule here.
2013-2014 College Bowl Projections
Alabama and Florida State – ranked #1 and #2 in the BCS rankings – are on a collision course for the National Championship Game.
The Seminoles have have an easier remaining schedule on paper, with two home games vs Syracuse and Idaho before finishing the year at fading Florida. Meanwhile, the biggest obstacle left in Alabama’s bid for third consecutive championship game berth will come on the last week of the season, when they face in-state rivals #7 Auburn in the Iron Bowl.
Back after last season’s bowl ban, #3 Ohio State is the odds-on favorite at -400 to represent the Big Ten in the “Granddaddy of them All.” Their likely opponents in the Big 10 Championship Game will be Michigan State or Nebraska, who are +250 and +800 to pull the upset, respectively.
And after its victory over Oregon, Stanford is now a -110 favorite to win the Pac-12. Oregon at +150 still has a shot to overtake Stanford, but they need the Cardinal to slip up.
Should Alabama win the SEC (which they are favored at -600 to do) and go to the title game, the Sugar Bowl will choose one of the BCS at-large teams to take Alabama’s place. Fellow SEC school Auburn could be in contention to do so.
Similarly, the Orange Bowl will also need to replace probable ACC Champs Florida State if they indeed join Alabama in the Championship Game. Oregon is a likely candidate to take the Seminoles’ spot.
As for their opponents, the Orange Bowl gets to pick first this year and it will likely take Clemson to match up with the Ducks. Due to conference restrictions, the Sugar Bowl will now probably choose either Fresno State or UCF as prospective opponents.
The Big 12 Championship is still up for grabs, with Baylor, Texas, and Oklahoma State all in contention. Baylor and Texas will face Oklahoma State in the next two weeks, before facing off against one another in a possible conference-decider in their last game of the season.
With the Fiesta Bowl last in the order of choosing an eligible at-large BCS school, it will be left with whoever isn’t chosen by the Sugar Bowl, Fresno State or UCF.
Check out the sportsbook for college football futures odds, as well as lines for the remainder of the season and all of the bowl games. Game on!