BCS National Championship Preview and Pick

BCS National Championship: Florida State vs. Auburn 

Schedule analysis: Florida State (13-0) was second in the country in point for with 53 and had the best scoring defense in the country. They played seven bowl teams on the way to an undefeated schedule. Their most impressive win was the 51-14 domination at Clemson. They defeated Miami 41-14 when they were undefeated and easily finished the season without a loss. Auburn (12-1) started the season with close wins against Washington State and Mississippi State. They lost early at LSU before going on an extraordinary run. Wins against Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Tennessee displayed the strength of their running offense. They won two straight against Georgia and Alabama with a little bit of luck. They ran all over Missouri in the SEC championship game.

Miles from stadium: Florida State is 2,252 miles away from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Auburn is 2,139 away.

Pick: Auburn +8


GoDaddy Bowl Preview and Picks

GoDaddy Bowl: Arkansas State vs. Ball State

Schedule analysis: Arkansas State (7-5)  started the season 3-4 with losses to Auburn, Memphis, Missouri and Louisiana-Lafayette. They won four straight in November with victories against South Alabama, UL Monroe, Texas State and Georgia State. They ended the season with a 34-31 loss a Western Kentucky. Ball State (10-2) averaged over 40 points per game and only lost to North Texas and Northern Illinois. The Cardinals best non conference win was a 48-27 victory at Virginia.

Miles from stadium: Arkansas State is 462 miles away from Ladd Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. Ball State is 793 miles away.

Pick: Ball State -9

BBVA Compass Bowl Preview and Pick

BBVA Compass Bowl: Vanderbilt vs. Houston 

Schedule analysis: Vanderbilt (8-4) ended the season with four straight win including road victories at Florida and Tennessee. They started 4-4 with losses to Ole Miss, South Carolina, Missouri and Texas A&M. Between the Missouri and Texas A&M losses they upset Georgia. Houston started the season winning five straight with the best victory coming against Rice. The Cougars lost to BYU and then dropped three straight conference games to UCF, Louisville and Cincinnati.

Miles from stadium: Vanderbilt is 191 miles away from Legion Field in Birmingham. Houston is 664 miles away.

Pick: Vanderbilt -3


Bowl Previews and Picks: January 3 Games

Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Missouri

Schedule analysis: Oklahoma State (10-2) would’ve been in the national championship conversations all season if they weren’t upset at West Virginia in late September. The Cowboys played the top teams in the Big 12 in the last three games of their season. They defeated Texas 38-13 in Austin and upset Baylor 49-17. With a shot to win the Big 12 they faltered at home against Oklahoma. Missouri (11-2) won 10 of their first 11 games. All 10 wins were by 14 points or more. They defeated Texas A&M to make the SEC championship game before losing to Auburn in Atlanta. Continue reading

Sugar Bowl Preview and Pick

Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Alabama 

Schedule analysis: Oklahoma (10-2) snuck into a BCS spot with victory at Oklahoma State. The highlight of their non conference slate was a revenge victory at Notre Dame. The Sooners at close calls at home to TCU and Texas Tech. Oklahoma’s two losses came to Texas 36-20 at the Cotton Bowl and at Baylor 41-12 on a Thursday night. They ended strong with a 10-point victory at Kansas State before their win in Stillwater. Alabama (11-1) ended the season with heartbreak. The Crimson Tide were defeated by Auburn in a crazy finish that every sports fan knows about. Other than the loss they played a relatively easy schedule for SEC standards. Their SEC East crossovers were against Kentucky and Tennessee. They won early in the year at Texas A&M and defeated LSU at home. Continue reading

Bowl Previews and Picks: New Years Day Games

Gator Bowl: Nebraska vs. Georgia 

Schedule analysis: Nebraska was a very disappointing 8-4 this season. They held off Wyoming in their opener and lost to UCLA at home. The Cornhuskers defeated lowly Illinois and Purdue to start conference play. They were upset at Minnesota after a bye week and needed a Hail Mary at home to win against struggling Northwestern. In the their last four games, they won their roads games against Michigan and Penn State in overtime, and lost their homes games against Michigan State and Iowa. Georgia (8-4) was plagued by injuries and a tough schedule. They started the season with a loss at Clemson. The Bulldogs then beat South Carolina, North Texas and LSU at home to cap off a brutal September. Injuries continued to pile up in an overtime win at Tennessee. The Bulldogs lost in consecutive weeks to Missouri and Vanderbilt before a bye week. They closed the season winning four of their last five games. The one loss was a Auburn on a miracle play for the Tigers. They won their last game of the season against Georgia Tech in double overtime without quarterback Aaron Murray, who is out for the season with an ACL tear. Continue reading

Bowl Previews and Picks: December 31 Games

AdvoCare V100 Bowl: Arizona vs. Boston College 

Schedule analysis: Arizona (7-5) ended the season losing three of their last four but it could’ve been worse. They shocked Oregon 42-16 in the second to last game of the season. Their losses in that span were against UCLA, Washington State and at Arizona State. The Wildcats started Pac-12 play with losses at Washington and USC. They won three straight games against Utah, Colorado and California, who were the only Pac-12 teams not to make a bowl game. Boston College (7-5) ended the season winning four of their last five including victories against Virginia Tech and at Maryland. Their losses came against bowl-bound USC, Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina and Syracuse. Continue reading

Bowl Previews and Picks: December 30 Games

Armed Forces Bowl: Middle Tennessee vs. Navy

Schedule analysis: Middle Tennessee (8-4) ended the season on a five-game win streak. They defeated Marshall 51-49 on the last second touchdown pass. After that game they won their next four against UAB, FIU, Southern Miss and UTEP. Those four teams combined for six total wins in 2013. The Blue Raiders losses were against North Carolina, BYU, East Carolina and North Texas. Navy (8-4) also ended their season on a four-game win streak. Hawaii and Army weren’t the toughest opponents to beat but they picked up wins against South Alabama and San Jose State, who both finished 6-6. The Midshipmen started the season with a win at Indiana and beat Pittsburgh. They lost to Western Kentucky, Duke, Toledo and Notre Dame. Continue reading

Bowls Previews and Picks: December 28 Games

Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers vs. Notre Dame

Schedule analysis: Rutgers (6-6) followed a 52-51 overtime loss on the opening Thursday night of the season with four straight wins against opponents that finished with a 13-35 record (Norfolk State, Eastern Michigan, Arkansas, SMU in overtime). Rutgers lost by double-digits in their five AAC losses against Louisville, Houston, Cincinnati, UCF and UConn. The Scarlet Knights were able to gain bowl eligibility with wins over Temple and South Florida, who each finished 2-10. Rutgers six wins this season were against teams that finished a combined 17-55. Notre Dame (8-4) had a disappointing season. They had a few impressive wins against Michigan State, Arizona State and USC. However, they didn’t look great in victories against lesser competition such as the Purdue and Navy games. Notre Dame lost to Michigan early on before people knew that the Wolverines weren’t a great team. They also lost to Oklahoma and dropped road games at Pittsburgh and Stanford.  Continue reading

Bowl Previews and Picks: December 27 Games

Military Bowl: Marshall vs. Maryland 

Schedule analysis: Marshal (9-4) split their four non conference games. They routed Miami (OH) and Gardner-Webb early and lost at Ohio and at Virginia Tech in triple overtime in a game they should’ve won. The rest of Marshall’s schedule wasn’t very strong because they played in Conference USA. They defeated 7-5 UTSA and lost 51-49 to 8-4 Middle Tennessee. Their most impressive showing was a 59-28 victory over East Carolina to send them to the Conference USA championship game. They had a let down in the championship game the next week against Rice in a 41-24 loss. Maryland (7-5) played in the better conference but didn’t have many strong wins. Their non conference wins came against FIU, Old Dominion, UConn and West Virginia. Then they lost 63-0 to Florida State. Two out of Maryland’s three ACC wins came against Virginia and NC State. Both those teams didn’t win a game in the ACC. The Terrapins other victory was at inconsistent Virginia Tech in overtime. Maryland also lost to Clemson, Syracuse, Boston College and Wake Forest. They played the last five games of the season without leading receiver Stefon Diggs.  Continue reading