BCS Bowl Predictions 2012: Locks and Potential Upsets for Every Matchup

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IDecember 3, 2012

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 30:  Jordan Lynch #6 of the Northern Illinois Huskies passes against the Kent State Golden Flashes during the Mid-American Conference Championship game at Ford Field on November 30, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. Illinois won 44-37  (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Dave Reginek/Getty Images

Every sport comes equipped with upsets and college football is no different, especially when it comes to BCS bowl games.

As the final BCS standings were announced on Sunday night, upsets were already brewing as oddsmakers scramble to define the lines for each game and prepare for the ensuing madness that is bowl week in college football.

On the other side of upsets are locks—teams we are so confident will win, we're willing to wager an insane amount of money or naming rights to our firstborn child.

While I wouldn't go as far as the latter, BCS bowls do some crazy things to football fans, so you might want to check this piece out before making your bets.

Rose Bowl: No. 6 Stanford (11-2, 8-1) vs. Wisconsin (8-5, 4-4)

Lock: Stanford Cardinal

The Badgers deserve their bid in the Rose Bowl, but it's all about the Cardinal defense on Jan. 1.

Stanford sports the third-best rushing defense in the nation and will give Wisconsin's No. 12-ranked rushing offense fits all day, as Montee Ball tries to find some running room against the stingy Cardinal.

Wisconsin's defense should not be taken lightly either, but I like the odds of Stepfan Taylor carrying the offensive load for Stanford, leading to the Cardinal first BCS bowl win since 2010 under Jim Harbaugh.

Look for Josh Nunes to make enough plays under center to clinch this one for Stanford.

Sugar Bowl: No. 3 Florida (11-1, 7-1) vs. No. 21 Louisville (10-2, 5-2)

Lock: Florida

As much as I'd like to tell you Louisville is going to leave the Superdome with a win in the Sugar Bowl, I just don't see it happening.

The Cardinals offense isn't deep enough to challenge a Gators defense that ranks third-best in the nation, allowing just under 13 PPG.

Teddy Bridgewater showed his toughness against Rutgers in the Big East Championship, but he'll need to be just as tough on Jan. 2 against a Florida defense that boasts 25 sacks and 19 interceptions.

Expect a heavy dose of Mike Gillislee and a Sugar Bowl victory for the Gators. 

Fiesta Bowl: No. 4 Oregon (11-1, 8-1)  vs. No. 5 Kansas State (11-1, 8-1)

Upset: Kansas State

Can't you see it? Collin Klein leading K-State to a Fiesta Bowl upset and winning the Heisman?

Yeah, me neither. At least the second part.

Johnny Football has the Heisman on lockdown, but I do like the idea of the Wildcats upending the Ducks on Jan. 3 in Arizona.

This could be the highest-scoring BCS bowl game of the season, as both teams come into this one ranking in the top 10 in points scored. 

Oregon has the better defense, but it's really hard to go against what Klein and the Wildcats are doing offensively, as they just hung 42 on the Texas Longhorns. Kenjon Barner will impress, no doubt, but it's not enough.

Sorry, Ducks fans, but I like K-State.

Orange Bowl: No. 15 Northern Illinois (12-1, 8-0) vs. No. 12 Florida State (11-2, 7-1)

Lock: Florida State

It'd be a great story to see MAC Champion Northern Illinois come into the Orange Bowl and knock off the hefty Seminoles, but it's not going to happen.

I'm among the many who believe the Huskies aren't battle-tested enough to deserve a bid to a BCS bowl, and they're surely not ready for what Florida State will bring to Sun Life Stadium on New Year's Day.

E.J. Manuel and his triple-headed rushing attack will unload its explosive offense and show Jordan Lynch and Northern Illinois what it really means to be a BCS bowl champion.

FSU takes the Orange Bowl.

BCS National Championship Game: No. 1 Notre Dame (12-0) vs. No. 2 Alabama (12-1, 7-1)

Upset: Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish aren't going to blow anyone away with their offense, but what they are going to do is play hard-nosed defense and make you earn every yard.

The same can be said for Alabama, as we prepare to see the No. 1 and No. 2 defenses—in terms of points allowed per game—go head-to-head with the BCS National Championship on the line.

A.J. McCarron and the Crimson Tide offense deserves all the credit they receive, but I'm a firm believer that good championships are built on defense, which is why I like Notre Dame in the championship game.

This matchup will be won in the trenches, but I like the odds of Everett Golson and Theo Riddick leading the Fighting Irish to their first BCS National Championship win.

Bowl Schedule

Note: All times are ET and p.m. unless noted otherwise. All games (except for the Sun Bowl and Cotton Bowl) can be streamed live at WatchESPN

Bowl Team 1 Team 2 Stadium: Location Date: Time TV
New Mexico Nevada Arizona University Stadium: Albuquerque, NM 12/15: 1:00  ESPN
Famous Idaho Potato Toledo Utah State Bronco Stadium: Boise, ID 12/15: 4:30 ESPN
Poinsettia BYU San Diego State Qualcomm Stadium: San Diego, CA 12/20: 8:00 ESPN
Beef 'O' Brady's Ball State
UCF Tropicana Field: St. Petersburg, FL 12/21: 7:30 ESPN
New Orleans East Carolina Louisiana-Lafayette Superdome: New Orleans, LA 12/22: Noon ESPN
Las Vegas Boise State Washington Sam Boyd Stadium: Las Vegas, NV 12/22: 3:30 ESPN
Hawaii SMU Fresno State Aloha Stadium: Honolulu, HI 12/24: 8:00 ESPN
Little Caesars Central Michigan
Western Kentucky
Ford Field: Detroit, MI 12/26: 7:30     ESPN
Military Bowling Green
San Jose State RFK Stadium: Washington, DC 12/27: 3:00 ESPN
Belk Duke Cincinnati
Bank of America Stadium: Charlotte, NC 12/27: 6:30 ESPN
Holiday Baylor UCLA Qualcomm Stadium: San Diego, CA 12/27: 9:45 ESPN
Independence Louisiana-Monroe Ohio Independence Stadium: Shreveport, LA 12/28: 2:00 ESPN
Russell Athletic Virginia Tech Rutgers
Florida Citrus Bowl: Orlando, FL 12/28: 5:30 ESPN
Meineke Car Care Minnesota
Texas Tech
Reliant Stadium: Houston, TX 12/28: 9:00 ESPN
Armed Forces Rice Air Force Amon G. Carter Stadium: Fort Worth, TX 12/29: 11:45 a.m. ESPN
Pinstripe Syracuse
West Virginia
Yankee Stadium: Bronx, NY 12/29: 3:15 ESPN
Kraft Navy Arizona State AT&T Park: San Francisco, CA 12/29: 4:00 ESPN2
Alamo Texas 
Oregon State Alamodome: San Antonio, TX 12/29: 6:45 ESPN
Buffalo Wild Wings TCU
Michigan State
Sun Devil Stadium: Tempe, AZ 12/29: 10:15 ESPN
Music City N.C. State
Vanderbilt LP Field: Nashville, TN 12/31: Noon ESPN
Sun Georgia Tech USC Sun Bowl: El Paso, TX 12/31: 2:00 CBS
Liberty Tulsa Iowa State Liberty Bowl: Memphis, TN 12/31: 3:30 ESPN
Chick-fil-A Clemson LSU Georgia Dome: Atlanta, GA 12/31: 7:30 ESPN
Gator Northwestern
Mississippi State Everbank Field: Jacksonville, FL 1/1: Noon ESPN2
Heart of Dallas Purdue
Oklahoma State
Cotton Bowl: Dallas, TX 1/1: Noon ESPNU
Outback Michigan
South Carolina Raymond James Stadium: Tampa, FL 1/1: 1:00 ESPN

Capital One

Georgia Florida Citrus Bowl: Orlando, FL 1/1: 1:00 ABC
Rose Stanford Wisconsin Rose Bowl: Pasadena, CA 1/1: 5:00 ESPN
Orange Northern Illinois
Florida State Sun Life Stadium: Miami, FL 1/1: 8:30 ESPN
Sugar Florida Louisville Superdome: New Orleans, LA 1/2: 8:30 ESPN
Fiesta Oregon Kansas State U. of Phoenix Stadium: Glendale, AZ 1/3: 8:30 ESPN
Cotton Oklahoma
Texas A&M Cowboys Stadium: Arlington, TX 1/4: 8:00 FOX
Compass Pittsburgh
Ole Miss Legion Field: Birmingham, AL 1/5: 1:00 ESPN
GoDaddy.com Kent State
Arkansas State Ladd-Peebles Stadium: Mobile, AL 1/6: 9:00 ESPN
National Championship Notre Dame
Sun Life Stadium: Miami, FL 1/7: 8:30 ESPN

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