Mirador Predicts College Football BCS Bowl Games

Colin Bean and Jack Kovalik, Sports Beats Editor

National Championship: Alabama vs. Oregon

Going into the fifth week of play, Alabama still looks like the favorite to take the National Championship title, but not without a challenge. Oregon and Stanford look like the strongest contenders on the West Coast. Oregon’s quick-striking no-huddle offense definitely has the potential to catch the Crimson Tide off-guard and secure the title. On the other hand, Stanford has possibly the toughest defense in college football, and they can keep up with AJ McCarron and the impressive Alabama offense. In the end, it really comes down to the showdown in Palo Alto between Oregon and Stanford on Nov. 7. The combination of the dual-threat quarterback, Marcus Mariota, and the lightning fast running back, DeAnthony Thomas, could pounce on Stanford’s defense and bring them to the National Championship.

Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. LSU

Clemson proved that they were not to be messed with in the first week, when they pounced on fifth-ranked Georgia, and haven’t slowed down since. Because Florida State is the only other contender from the ACC, Clemson should be able to dominate the ACC and make it to the Rose Bowl. The road to the Orange Bowl will be a little more difficult for LSU, being in probably the hardest conference in college football. LSU will have to play Alabama and Texas A&M before they finish the season, but losses to these teams won’t ruin their chances of battling Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Stanford

Both of these teams will have outstanding years, but will fall short of the title game. The Rose Bowl will still be a great matchup, featuring the Cardinal’s stellar defense pitted against Ohio State’s Braxton Miller-led offense. The crowd at Pasadena will excite the teams and ultimately this game will be a spectacular finale for the final BCS Rose Bowl. Piedmont local Shayne Skov will lead the Stanford defense, hoping to secure another BCS bowl victory. They have won two BCS games in the last four years.

Sugar Bowl: Louisville vs. Michigan

The New Orleans SuperDome will host a very exciting game played between Louisville and Michigan. Louisville will capture the new American Athletic Conference championship and face a BCS at-large opponent, the Wolverines of Michigan. Teddy Bridgewater’s dynamic ability on offense will be the spark of the season for Louisville. Michigan has its own dual-threat quarterback in Devin Gardner. These two key players will determine the outcome of this high-scoring, high-flying Sugar Bowl.

Fiesta Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma

With most of the focus on Alabama in the South, this could be a surprisingly entertaining matchup. Texas A&M suffered a tough loss against Alabama early in the season, but a close loss to one of the best teams in the country will not be enough to hold back quarterback Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M. Manziel, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, dominates in every game the Aggies play, throwing for 464 yards and five touchdowns against Alabama. However, if anyone can control Manziel’s power offense, it’s Oklahoma’s tenacious defense.