Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — September 29

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The ACC, long a secondary consideration in the BCS era (a 3-13 record in BCS bowls doesn’t help) is having a 2013 to remember thus far. And when some teams expected to thrive in the early going fall apart unexpectedly, it’s the ACC that’s there to pick up the pieces.

BCS Bowl Projections
Bowl Matchup
Title Game Alabama vs. Stanford
Rose Bowl Oregon vs. Ohio State
Sugar Bowl Georgia vs. Florida State
Orange Bowl Clemson vs. Michigan
Fiesta Bowl Oklahoma vs. Louisville
Scroll down for more

With Oklahoma State’s surprising loss to West Virginia exposing some very important flaws in the Cowboys’ attack, the Big 12 looks like Oklahoma’s to lose, and perhaps a one-BCS-bid conference in 2013. That’ll happen in a 10-team conference and unexpected early losses.

BCS National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide (BCS No. 1) vs. Stanford Cardinal (BCS No. 2)

Comment: Alabama finally flexed the defensive muscle against Ole Miss that had been so integral to its back-to-back runs to national titles these last two years. And with that reassurance, it looks even more like the Crimson Tide can make a return trip to the title game. Stanford started a bit slow against Washington State, but had little trouble dispatching of the Cougars by the end of the night.

Rose Bowl: Oregon Ducks (At-large selection) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten champion)

Comment: Oregon again put up wild offensive numbers, this time destroying California in Autzen with ease. Ohio State had a little more trouble with Wisconsin, but was able to take advantage of a rowdy crowd at the Horseshoe to put up another win. Do either of these teams have losses in their future? Looking at their schedules and how they’ve played thus far, perhaps not. Would that be enough for Ohio State to get to the title game? It’s an important question, but it more than likely would for Oregon.

Sugar Bowl: Georgia Bulldogs (At-large selection) vs. Florida State Seminoles (At-large selection)

Comment: Georgia might have been the first team with a legit national title chance to stumble out of the gate in 2013, but since losing to Clemson, the Bulldogs have looked every bit their preseason hype. Especially in their all-important victory over LSU on Saturday, the Bulldogs showed why they should not yet be counted out of the title race. But if they fall short, the Sugar Bowl could be waiting. If Florida State, clearly among the best of a revived ACC conference, finishes the season with just a loss to Clemson, they’d be well deserving of this bid as well.

Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (ACC champion) vs. Michigan Wolverines (At-large selection)

Comment: Clemson has led the charge of resurgence in the ACC, and spent little time toying around this week with Wake Forest. Another convincing victory for the Tigers makes it look all the more likely that they’ll be the eventual ACC champs, and if they can capture the conference title without making the title game, they’ll land in the Orange Bowl. Michigan should call for at least a look as far as at-large bids go, and have been able to stay undefeated despite some troubles.

Fiesta Bowl: Louisville Cardinals (AAC champion) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (Big 12 champion)

Comment: Louisville had the week off to watch from a distance as the previous Big 12 favorite Oklahoma State fell hard against West Virginia. It was Oklahoma, instead, that looked like the class of the conference by beating Notre Dame on the road. If the Sooners can match that kind of performance in conference play, they’ll be set for a Big 12 title and the Fiesta Bowl bid that comes with.

Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — September 22

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What can we learn from a week with few upsets, likely as a result of the few tests on the docket for the nation’s best teams? Teams such as Stanford and Notre Dame had interesting opponents, but like most of the rest of the country took care of business.

BCS Bowl Projections
Bowl Matchup
Title Game Alabama vs. Stanford
Rose Bowl Oregon vs. Ohio State
Sugar Bowl Georgia vs. Michigan
Orange Bowl Clemson vs. Oklahoma
Fiesta Bowl Oklahoma State vs. Louisville
Scroll down for more

So the projected BCS bowl picture doesn’t change this week, but we can say with some certainty that some of the nation’s best are carving out an identity as we head toward October and the first BCS standings.

BCS National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide (BCS No. 1) vs. Stanford Cardinal (BCS No. 2)

Comment: Alabama didn’t dispatch Colorado State in overwhelming fashion and Stanford let Arizona State hang around after jumping out to a big lead, but both continue to look like national title contenders in a crowded field of possible title teams. Alabama gets Ole Miss next weekend and Stanford continues its start to the Pac-12 season against Washington State.

Rose Bowl: Oregon Ducks (At-large selection) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten champion)

Comment: Seems like without Braxton Miller, Ohio State has been able to turn its offensive attack into a scoring machine, as the Buckeyes posted 76 points against Florida A&M and Kenny Guiton posted six touchdowns. Oregon had the week off, and continues to look national title game worth, but if they are to fall short, the Rose Bowl would likely come calling.

Sugar Bowl: Georgia Bulldogs (At-large selection) vs. Michigan Wolverines (At-large selection)

Comment: Is constantly dodging upsets good for a team this early in the season? It might be, or it might just be that Michigan is not as good as was advertised before the 2013 started. But after struggling against Akron and UConn, Michigan remains undefeated, an important distinction this early in the season. If they can get this turned around, a BCS bowl bid could very easily be in their future, no matter how much they’ve struggled so far this year.

Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (ACC champion) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (At-large selection)

Comment: The ACC looks like a strong conference top-to-bottom in 2013, and coming out ahead of teams like Florida State and revived looking Georgia Tech, Maryland and Miami will be a tough road to complete. But Clemson seems the class of the conference, at least thus far, and a Orange Bowl bid will be the reward if they are able to top the conference.

Fiesta Bowl: Louisville Cardinals (AAC champion) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12 champion)

Comment: Louisville put up a big 72 points against an inferior FIU team on Saturday, staking yet another claim to their spot as the best of the newly formed AAC’s football schools and doing nothing to change the general consensus that they’ll be able to finish this season undefeated. But even an undefeated season might not be enough to get them to the title game.

Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — September 15

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Alabama got it’s fair share of scare on Saturday but survived a trip to Kyle Field and continues to ride atop the college football landscape in the early parts of the final year of the BCS.

BCS Bowl Projections
Bowl Matchup
Title Game Alabama vs. Stanford
Rose Bowl Oregon vs. Ohio State
Sugar Bowl Georgia vs. Michigan
Orange Bowl Clemson vs. Oklahoma
Fiesta Bowl Oklahoma State vs. Louisville
Scroll down for more

So for now, not much changes in the picture we’re painting of the 2013 college football season. Alabama and the SEC continue to put a scare into most.

Though perhaps not Oregon, whose fans were calling for Alabama after crushing Tennessee. They might just get the chance:

BCS National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide (BCS No. 1) vs. Stanford Cardinal (BCS No. 2)

Comment: Alabama traveled to Kyle Field and survived in the way they could not last season. The Crimson Tide still captured the title last season after a loss to the Aggies, now with Manziel and Texas A&M out of the way, is the path cleared for a return trip? So far so good. Stanford had a little trouble waking up against Army, but eventually got past the Black Knights with ease. We still project them getting by Oregon for the Pac-12 title and a title game berth.

Rose Bowl: Oregon Ducks (At-large selection) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten champion)

Comment: No Braxton Miller, no problem for Ohio State as the Buckeyes easily dispatched California, and look still like the Big Ten favorites, as Michigan struggled, Nebraska lost and Wisconsin … something. Oregon looked their classic attacking offensive selves, crushing Tennessee so soundly that fans started chanting for a shot at Alabama.

Sugar Bowl: Georgia Bulldogs (At-large selection) vs. Michigan Wolverines (At-large selection)

Comment: Georgia had the week off, and Michigan struggled mightily with Akron at home, but with a chance to get things worked out next weekend against Connecticut, the Wolverines still look well in control of a possible at-large bid, as do the Bulldogs.

Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (ACC champion) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (At-large selection)

Comment: No game on the docket for Clemson, and though Florida State did look the part of ACC champs this weekend, Clemson’s victory over Georgia is the standard-bearer in the conference thus far. Oklahoma had a little trouble separating from Tulsa early, but were fine down the stretch and have again started the season strong. Can they keep it up?

Fiesta Bowl: Louisville Cardinals (AAC champion) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12 champion)

Comment: Louisville look just okay against Kentucky, but it was more than enough to get by, and the Cardinals are still well in control of their destiny for a final BCS bid. Oklahoma State blasted Lamar this weekend, but the Cowboys will get a chance to prove they’re for real over the next few weeks, as they take on a meaty Big 12 schedule.

Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — September 8

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Things have often fallen apart for some favorites in the early goings of the BCS seasons that have transpired in these last few seasons.

BCS Bowl Projections
Bowl Matchup
Title Game Alabama vs. Stanford
Rose Bowl Oregon vs. Ohio State
Sugar Bowl Georgia vs. Michigan
Orange Bowl Clemson vs. Oklahoma
Fiesta Bowl Oklahoma State vs. Louisville
Scroll down for more

This year will be no different, as South Carolina, Texas and Florida took hard tumbles in the second week of 2013. But all is not lost. From strong conferences with plenty of title and BCS contenders, these teams have time to reinvigorate the run at final BCS glory.

Is it to be this season? We’ll soon find out. But for now, here are some projected BCS bowls for the final season of this era:

BCS National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide (BCS No. 1) vs. Stanford Cardinal (BCS No. 2)

Comment: To pull yourself out of the off-season routine takes something special. And for both Alabama and Stanford, it seemed like things were not so easy on their first tries out of the gate. But with favorable schedules, though laden with plenty of roadblocks, the Crimson Tide and Cardinal could be headed on a red collision course.

Rose Bowl: Oregon Ducks (At-large selection) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten champion)

Comment: Things like Virginia and San Diego State serve little more than minor speed bumps in the journey of teams like Ohio State and Oregon’s roads to a BCS bowl bid. But more worrisome can be injuries like the one Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller suffered Saturday. Could the Buckeyes survive without him? It certainly seems like the Ducks keep rolling no matter who’s coaching, playing or running. The interesting part will be to see if Ohio State can persevere if Miller is to miss some time.

Sugar Bowl: Georgia Bulldogs (At-large selection) vs. Michigan Wolverines (At-large selection)

Comment: Georgia bounced right back after last week’s disappointing loss to Clemson with a big win over South Carolina to right their ship. That puts them in a good spot for an at-large bid in the BCS. Michigan got its much-ballyhooed victory over Notre Dame in the final appearance in the Big House featuring the two squads. Both seem in contention for at-large bids.

Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (ACC champion) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (At-large selection)

Comment: No problems for Clemson against much lesser South Carolina State, but it’s the Oklahoma Sooners with a big victory over West Virginia in the face of a shocking Texas loss to BYU that sets the Sooners up with a chance to claim an at-large bid in the final BCS slate. With the first selection after the auto-bids are filled, the Orange Bowl might have a chance to attract the team with the second-most BCS appearances in the era.

Fiesta Bowl: Louisville Cardinals (AAC champion) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12 champion)

Comment: Louisville coasts and Oklahoma State more than survives as the two conference favorites continue early successes in the 2013 season. With a Fiesta Bowl bid guaranteed to the Big 12 champ if they are to miss the national title game, the Cowboys land here, and with a weak schedule leading to an undefeated run to the end of the season, the Cardinals land here, perhaps undeservingly.

2014 BCS Bowl Schedule

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One last time, the Bowl Championship Series will feature five bowls — the traditional Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta Bowls, along with the “double-hosting” format BCS National Championship Game to be played in Pasadena on January 6, 2014.

Affiliations appear with all five BCS bowls, either by conference or by BCS ranking. If the conference is unable to fulfill an affiliation (i.e. that team is selected for the title game) the bowl can choose any BCS-eligible at-large team. For more information on the selection process, head over to the BCS Bowls page.

Note: The American Athletic Conference is not directly tied to any one BCS bowl, but the conference’s champion will receive a bid to the BCS in the conference’s last season.

2014 BCS Schedule

Rose Bowl

January 1, 2014 5 p.m. ET

Big Ten Conference

vs.

Pac-12 Conference

Fiesta Bowl

January 1, 2014 8:30 p.m. ET

Big 12 Conference

vs.

BCS At-large

Sugar Bowl

January 2, 2014 8:30 p.m. ET

Southeastern Conference

vs.

BCS At-large

 —

Orange Bowl

January 3, 2014 8:30 p.m. ET

Atlantic Coast Conference

vs.

BCS At-large

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BCS National Championship Game in Pasadena, Calif.

January 6, 2014 8:30 p.m. ET

BCS No. 1

vs.

BCS No. 2