By Darrell Puckett
This year’s college football season is one of such magical endings that not even Walt Disney could have written it. There have been multiple games that were decided by the last drive. The countdown to the BCS is over and a list has been provided. On this week’s edition of MVP Mondays, I break down the BCS bowl games and give a few winning components in each.
Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO – Jan. 1 at 5 p.m.
Stanford vs. Michigan State
This game provides two teams with hard-nose defenses. If you’re looking for a game with a lot of upside, then look no farther. Michigan St. sits atop the world after defeating Ohio St. in the BIG 10 championship. They’re lead by sophomore quarterback Connor Cook. Cook has completed 201 passes out of 344 for 2,423 yards. He has thrown for 20 touchdowns and five interceptions, while completing 58.4 percent of his passes. Stanford running back Tyler Gaffney has amounted 20 TD’s on the ground for 1,618 yards. If either Cook or Gaffney can get going early, then that will be the deciding component in this game. My prediction is for Stanford to pull away towards the end and run downhill consistently.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl – Jan. 2 at 8:30 p.m.
UCF vs. Baylor
Wow, where to start? Baylor would be playing for a national championship if it wasn’t for that cold night in Stillwater, Okla. Oh well, the Bears didn’t deserve that game, so here they are. UCF defeated Louisville in a key game for the American Conference and received an automatic BCS bid, so that’s why they’re here. Knights quarterback Blake Bortles has completed 239 passes out of 351 for 3,280 yards. He has thrown for 22 TD’s and seven interceptions, while completing 68.1 percent of his passes. Look for UCF to air out the field and exploit Baylor’s weak-side defense. Baylor junior quarterback Bryce Petty has had an incredible season. Petty has completed 220 passes out of 356 for 3,844 yards. He has thrown for 30 TD’s and two interceptions. Whoever wins, it will be an exciting match up. I pick Baylor to come away with a victory in this one.
Allstate Sugar Bowl – Jan. 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Oklahoma vs. Alabama
This game will be completely dominated by the Crimson Tide. Oklahoma has notched another lucky BCS game that will finish with a big loss. Alabama senior quarterback AJ McCarron will destroy Oklahoma’s secondary with command and authority. McCarron has completed 207 passes out of 306 for 2,676 yards. He has thrown 26 TD’s and five interceptions, while completing 67.6 percent of his passes. In no way shape or form do the Sooners notch this game out with a victory. Look for the Tide to roll again and bring a Sugar Bowl trophy home.
Discover Orange Bowl – Jan. 3 at 8:30 p.m.
Clemson vs. Ohio State
It’s about time we get to see the two most overrated teams play this season. Clemson proved to country that they aren’t better than Florida State after their terrible loss, 51-14. Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd has something to prove for NFL scouts at this game. Boyd has compiled 3,473 yards by completing 252 passes out of 372 attempts. He has thrown for 29 TD’s with nine interceptions, while completing 67.6 percent of his passes. Also, he notched nine rushing TD’s for 956 yards. Ohio State senior quarterback Braxton Miller has completed 146 passes out of 241 for 1,860. He has thrown for 22 TD’s with five interceptions, while completing 63.2 percent of his passes. Miller is way more dangerous with his legs than arm by rushing for 10 TD’s and 1,033 yards. The mobility of either quarterback will decide a winner. Look for Clemson to beat the Buckeyes by 10 or more.
VIZIO BCS National Championship – Jan. 6 at 8:30 p.m.
No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Auburn
The BCS committee has finally chosen this game correctly and provided everyone with an intriguing match-up. Florida St. has been the understood number one team all season and looks to win another championship. Auburn on the other hand has had a magical season that brought a broken fan base back together. Head coach Gus Malzahn headed into this season with one goal in mind and that was simple. Bring a team out of a losing mind set and start playing Auburn championship football. Was there any more to say? No. He has brought a dismal 3-9 team from the darkness and now sits at 12-1 this season. Wow, what a difference one year makes. Heisman hopeful Tre Mason has been a huge contributor this season for the Tigers and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Florida St. quarterback Jameis Winston has completed 237 passes out of 349 for 3,820 yards. He has thrown for 38 touchdowns with 10 interceptions, while completing 67.9 percent of his passes. Winston will most likely win a Heisman Trophy this Saturday and put himself into the books of college football greats. This game provides everything a fan could want or hope for. My feelings haven’t been this strong for a game before, so I anticipate an exciting ending. The victor must pressure the offensive line and pass efficiently downfield. Auburn will no doubt lead the statistics in rushing, but they must design risk efficient passes to open up a stingy defense. My prediction is Auburn by three in a closely played game.
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