After a long and unpredictable college football season, the NCAA bowl schedule has been announced. Suddenly, after months of one of the deepest BCS races in recent history, the dust from the wild ride has settled. The matchups that sports fans and the college football betting community will weigh in on this holiday season have been revealed.
Whether it’s the opening volley of bowl games on Dec. 21 or the much anticipated National Championship Game in the New Year, few expected the 2013 NCAA campaign to unfold like this. Alabama? Oregon? Ohio State? Those were three of the favorites on the NCAA moneyline during the preseason, three programs seemingly destined to compete for the top honors in college football come January.
Fast forward to today and none are to be seen, not in contention for the BCS’s top prize that is. In January, the No. 1-ranked Florida State Seminoles will compete against the No. 2-ranked Auburn Tigers. The former are hungry to follow up their 2012 Orange Bowl victory with their first BCS national title in school history.
The latter, upstart Auburn, inherits the task of giving the SEC its eighth consecutive national championship. Having last won it all back in 2011, there’s reason to believe that this No. 2 team is more than capable of knocking off the ACC representative Seminoles despite the fact that they’re +8.5 underdogs.
More than just a compelling finale, however, this year’s bowl season offers sports fans plenty of opportunities to bet on college football at its finest. No. 3 Alabama (-15) will take on No. 11 Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, while No. 8 Missouri (-1) and No. 13 Oklahoma State meet in the Cotton Bowl.
No. 7 Ohio State (-3) and No. 12 Clemson will give those interested in wagering on the NCAA Football postseason plenty to talk about leading up to the Orange Bowl, while No. 4 Michigan State and No. 5 Stanford (-4) kick off against one another in the Rose Bowl.
All in all, a total of 35 bowl games will combine to cap off a fascinating NCAA campaign and it starts Dec. 21 when No. 20 Fresno State tries its luck against No. 25 USC (-6) in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.
We know it’s next to impossible to predict exactly how the greatest month on the college football calendar will unfold, but this year more than any other it seems as though the blueprint has been thrown out the window.
This winter, football fans will get every opportunity to see the preseason favorites who were forecast as the frontrunners to come out on top last summer — they just won’t necessarily be lining up under the national spotlights we expected them to.
It may make for a confusing few weeks as far as betting on college football is concerned, but that’s half the fun of it anyway.