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Predicting the Bowl Championship Series matchups

9:23 PM, Dec 8, 2013   |    comments
Blake Bortles #5 of the Central Florida Knights looks to the sidelines for a play against the SMU Mustangs on December 7, 2013 at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
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With Saturday night's action of BCS influence in the books, a look at what matchups might be when the final Bowl Championship Series standings and pairings are set Sunday night.

Rose Bowl: Michigan State vs. Stanford, Jan. 1 | ESPN, 5 p.m.

The Spartans earn a Rose Bowl berth via the Big Ten's automatic BCS bid. In Stanford, the Spartans have found a perfect dance partner: MSU and Stanford want to make things ugly up front, meaning the team better able to control the line of scrimmage will win the game.

Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs. Central Florida, Jan. 1 | ESPN, 8:30 p.m.

Baylor's high-powered offense will be even stronger come early January, when all-conference wide receiver Tevin Reese returns from a wrist injury. In all, the Bears' attack will be demand a similarly potent performance from Central Florida, which eked past opponents like SMU, South Florida and Temple to win the American Athletic Conference.

Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Oklahoma, Jan. 2 | ESPN, 8:30 p.m.

While it would be enticing to match Alabama against Oregon, Oklahoma's close proximity to New Orleans and the fan base's willingness to travel to a BCS bowl outside of the Rose Bowl or the BCS National Championship Game gives the Sooners the edge over the Ducks. OU will be ecstatic to return to the BCS, but beware: Alabama is a scary bunch in bowl play, due in large part to the time Nick Saban and his staff have to prepare for an opponent's tendencies.

Orange Bowl: Ohio State vs. Clemson, Jan. 3 | ESPN, time TBA

While Ohio State will be disappointed to play anywhere except Pasadena, Calif., the Buckeyes will need to bring their top game to beat quarterback Tajh Boyd and Clemson. The Tigers have the wide receivers and passing game to pick apart OSU's secondary and offset Braxton Miller's brilliance.

BCS National Championship Game: Florida State vs. Auburn, Jan. 6 | ESPN, 8:30 p.m.

Auburn's powerful running game might meet its match in Florida State, which cruises into the BCS National Championship Game having won each of its 13 games by two or more touchdowns. The Tigers will find tougher sledding against the Seminoles' attack, but with the last few weeks as evidence, Auburn might be a team of destiny.

USA Today

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