2012 Sugar Bowl: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Stanford Cardinal
Great talent surrounds both the Tide and Cardinal. The Cardinal lose their head coach, but are holding on to one of the best players in all of college football in quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck should lead the Cardinal to another BCS game in what should be a great season. Alabama loses a lot of talent including a former Heisman winner, but many feel that backup running back Trent Richardson is actually better than Mark Ingram. Richardson will lead a potent offensive attack through a very tough SEC schedule. Alabama reaches this game after two losses in the division while Stanford loses either one or two on their way to the 2012 Sugar Bowl.
Prediction: Stanford 37, Alabama 34: The better quarterback leads the Cardinal to victory.
2012 Orange Bowl: West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Miami Hurricanes
The Miami Hurricanes will need Jacory Harris to step up and will rely on running backs Lamar Miller and Mike James who combined for over 1,000 yards behind the departed Damien Berry. Other than a date with LSU in late September, West Virginia has a pretty easy schedule as quarterback Geno Smith continues to get better after a season in which he threw 24 touchdowns to only 7 interceptions. Two young up and coming teams should make for a solid Orange Bowl. Prediction: Miami 21, West Virginia 20: Miami treats the hometown fans in a very close matchup.
2012 Fiesta Bowl: Texas Longhorns vs. LSU Tigers
Garrett Gilbert will finally live up to his over-hyped potential and the Texas Longhorns will quickly turn around an ugly performance from 2010 into a Fiesta Bowl Appearance against LSU. The Longhorns are returning their leading rusher in Cody Johnson and a rising star at wide receiver in Mike Davis, who will be a Sophomore in 2011. If Texas can get past BYU and Oklahoma they should have a great chance to make the Fiesta Bowl. LSU will rely on Jordan Jefferson to lead the Tigers to a BCS berth in his senior year. After future losses to Oregon and Alabama, LSU should still be able to qualify for the BCS and make the Fiesta Bowl against the Longhorns. Due to their experience and getting through a very tough SEC, I like the Tigers to beat the Longhorns in a tight battle.
Prediction: LSU 27, Texas 24: LSU defense leads the way as Garrett Gilbert makes late mistakes.
2012 Rose Bowl: Michigan State Spartans vs. Oregon Ducks
Michigan State has a golden opportunity to win the Big Ten Conference in 2011 after going 11-1 before a blow out bowl loss to Alabama. Michigan State is the fifth game on Ohio State’s schedule, which means they will not face the suspended players and the Buckeyes will not have head coach Jim Tressel. The Spartans’ schedule is awful, and they are returning a very strong and talented team including quarterback Kirk Cousins. The Oregon Ducks are returning much of their team from a season that almost ended in a National Championship. LaMichael James is coming back for another season and should lead Heisman Trophy voting unless Landry Jones can put together a National Championship campaign for Oklahoma. Oregon will lose week one to LSU or later in the season to Andrew Luck’s Stanford Cardinal.
Prediction: Oregon 45, Michigan State 24: LaMichael James will prove to be way too much for the Spartan’s defense to handle.
2012 BCS National Championship Game: Oklahoma Sooners vs. Boise State Broncos
Boise State will have 8 All-Conference starters returning in 2011. Star quarterback Kellen Moore and running back Doug Martin lead the 2010 12-win team into another season with big hopes for another strong BCS run. Wins against Nevada, Georgia, and TCU should help give the Broncos the chance to finally get a shot at a National Championship that they have been working at for many seasons under Chris Petersen. Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones is ready to compete for the Heisman Trophy as he will lead his Sooners through an undefeated regular season. Florida State and Texas will be the toughest challenges for the Sooners, but their offense has too much fire power and their offensive line is among the best in the country. Expect the Sooners to be heavy favorites going into the championship game against the Boise State Broncos.
Prediction: Boise State 37, Oklahoma 34: Kellen Moore and Boise State will be prepared to take down the sooners. The Broncos’ defense will make late stops against the Sooners in a fast and exciting game.