The 2013 BCS slate of games is set, and here's a quick breakdown of the matchups and what to watch for.
Sugar Bowl: Louisville vs. Florida
Charlie Strong's Cardinals take on his former employer, the Florida Gators. Should be a fun contest! No really, Teddy Bridgewater gets the national stage all to himself on a Wednesday night (at least, for those not watching what I'm guessing will be a terribly funny Modern Family re-run on ABC) and an opportunity to start the Teddy for Heisman 2013 campaign? This is must-see TV.
Orange Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Florida State
Northern Illinois qualifies for the BCS as the top non-AQ school at 16 and by virtue of finishing ahead of two BCS conference champions. Great job Big Ten and Big East. Anyway, on the field, Northern Illinois runs the ball a lot through do-it-all quarterback Jordan Lynch, who has gained less than 100 yards on the ground exactly...once...all season...he's that good. On the other end, Florida State has Bjoern Werner, who has a. a cool sound German name b. a cool German passport and c. a lot of sacks. Should be one for the ages, or at least, a Tuesday night in January.
Fiesta Bowl: Oregon vs. Kansas State
It's a bit of old school versus new school when Chip Kelly's Oregon Ducks and their speedy spread meetup with Bill Snyder's Kansas State Wildcats and their power spread. In a very stark contrast of quarterbacks, Oregon freshman Marcus Mariota will try to outrun and avoid Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown (brother of, Eagles running back Bryce Brown). On the other end, Wildcat senior quarterback Collin Klein will consider it a stain on his honor if he doesn't carry at least three Ducks into the end zone on every score. I'm half joking here, but you get the picture.
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Stanford
In the Granddaddy of Them All, we have an 8-5 Wisconsin team (no, really) facing off against a, well, less tarnished 11-2 Stanford team, fresh off back-to-back wins over UCLA. Thank you Gene Smith (Ohio State athletic director version, not soon-to-be-ex Jaguars GM version). Anywho, this game will be throwback to the days of yore where Power O was just, well, O. Counters will abound as the teams try to pummel each other and then maybe let their slightly athletic quarterbacks try to send one zipping over the top to a tight end or three. This one's going to be a barnburner folks.
National Championship Game: #1 Notre Dame vs. #2 Alabama
The 2013 title bout features two well coached teams with the same basic philosophy, win on defense, don't make mistakes. Notre Dame has a dynamic freshman quarterback in Everett Golson who will be challenged by the tough as nails Alabama defense. On the other side of the ball, Manti Te'o and company get to face an Alabama offensive line that just bulldozed through Georgia to the tune of 300+ yards in the SEC Championship. If you like defense and power running games, this one's for you!
And don't forget folks, just one more slate of these BCS games before we get to the playoff! Two more years, two more years, two more years!