2013-14 College Football Bowl Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

2013-14 College Football Bowl Predictions

All 35 bowl games simulated by WhatIfSports.com

WhatIfSports.com
UPDATE: January 7, 2014

Using the same college football simulation engine that accurately predicted 79.8 percent of all 2013 FBS games, we simulated each of the 35 bowl matchups 1,001 times.

Each team's winning percentage, average score and sample box score can be found below. If you would like to replay any bowl game, every 2013 bowl team roster is available using our free NCAA College Football SimMatchup feature.

Note: The box score recap is just an example of what could happen based on the average score. Click on the box score button for complete play-by-play.

College Football Bowl Performance
Record
Overall Winning Percentage: 57.1% (20-15)
AP Top 25 Winning Percentage: 48.0% (12-13)
BCS Bowl Winning Percentage: 20.0% (1-4)

Gildan New Mexico Bowl - Dec. 21, 2013 Colorado State 48 - Washington State 45
Cougars emblem
Rams emblem
69.0
31.0
Washington State (6-6)
37
Colorado State (7-6)
31
QB Connor Halliday, WSU
25-44, 340 yards, 3 TD
Washington State: Connor Halliday's 4,187 passing yards were less impressive given that he attempted 51 more throws than the next most pass-happy quarterback in all of FBS. Washington State's offense did encourage shared distribution though, with 10 players totaling 25 or more receptions.

Colorado State: While defense wasn't the Rams' forte (75th in points allowed, 118th in total passing yards allowed), they made up for it with a potent running game. Sophomore Kapri Bibbs averaged 6.2 yards per carry while amassing 1,572 yards and 28 rushing touchdowns.

Box Score: Washington State jumped to a 20-10 lead at the break behind two touchdown passes from Halliday and two field goals from Andrew Furney, but the Rams responded to take a lead midway through the third. The Cougars quickly regained the advantage and held on for a 37-31 victory. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Washington State 31 - Colorado State 25

Gridiron Dynasty
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl - Dec. 21, 2013 USC 45 - Fresno State 20
Bulldogs emblem
Trojans emblem
49.2
50.8
20 Fresno State (11-1)
29
25 USC (9-4)
36
RB Javorius Allen, USC
9 carries, 120 yards, 2 TD
4 catches, 44 yards, TD
Fresno State: The Mountain West champs feature stat-stuffer Derek Carr, who ranked first in the nation with 4,866 passing yards and 48 touchdowns. The Bulldogs have two 1,000-yard receivers, Davante Adams (1,645 yards, 23 TDs) and Josh Harper (1,011 yards, 13 TDs). Isaiah Burse (987 yards, 5 TDs) may join the club by the end of this bowl game.

USC: Interim coach Ed Orgeron was replaced despite leading the Trojans to a 6-2 record down the stretch, including a victory over then No. 4-ranked Stanford. Washington's Steve Sarkisian is set to take over next season but in the meantime, offensive coordinator Clay Helton will coach the bowl game.

Box Score: Carr submitted a stellar performance with 411 passing yards and two touchdowns, but Cody Kessler kept pace, tossing for 311 yards and three touchdowns for the Trojans. His three-yard pass to Nelson Agholor proved to be the game-winner. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Fresno State 25 - USC 26

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl - Dec. 21, 2013 San Diego State 49 - Buffalo 24
Bulls emblem
Aztecs emblem
44.5
55.5
Buffalo (8-4)
19
San Diego State (7-5)
20
QB Quinn Kaehler, SDSU
27-40, 375 yards, 3 TD, INT
Buffalo: The Bulls are bowl-bound for the first time since 2008 and the second time in program history. After accumulating just nine wins in the last three seasons combined, Buffalo can match that total with a win over the Aztecs. Running back Branden Oliver rushed for 1,421 yards and 15 scores.

San Diego State: The Aztecs began the season 0-3 but rebounded to win seven of their last next nine games, including three overtime victories. A porous defense allowed 32.3 points per outing and was particularly vulnerable against the pass (259.7 yards per game, 106th nationally).

Box Score: Trailing by six, the Aztecs got the ball with 26 seconds left and 39 yards to the end zone. Quarterback Quinn Kaehler failed to connect on his first three pass attempts, but found freshman wide receiver Eric Judge in the end zone as time expired for a 20-19 win. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Buffalo 20 - San Diego State 23

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl - Dec. 21, 2013 Louisiana-Lafayette 24 - Tulane 21
Green Wave emblem
Ragin' Cajuns emblem
50.3
49.7
Tulane (7-5)
34
Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4)
27
QB Nick Montana, TU
27-46, 338 yards, 4 TD
Tulane: The Green Wave didn't make much of a splash on offense, with a 103rd-ranked ground game (128.1 yards per game) and a 106th-ranked air attack (176.1 yards per game). Credit a stingy defense and big wins over bowl-bound North Texas and East Carolina for Tulane's postseason eligibility.

LA-Lafayette: Times are good in Lafayette. The Ragin' Cajuns are bowling for the third consecutive season under coach Mark Hudspeth and earned the Sun Belt crown with an 8-4 campaign. Running backs Alonzo Harris and Elijah McGuire combined for 1,686 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns.

Box Score: Tulane trailed by 10 early in the fourth quarter, but a touchdown pass from Nick Montana to Ryan Grant and a Cairo Santos field goal forced overtime. In the extra period, Montana found Xavier Rush in the end zone to complete his career day. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Tulane 26 - Louisiana-Lafayette 25

Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg - Dec. 23, 2013 East Carolina 37 - Ohio 20
Pirates emblem
Bobcats emblem
69.0
31.0
East Carolina (9-3)
23
Ohio (7-5)
19
QB Shane Carden, ECU
29-43, 326 yards, 2 TD, INT
East Carolina: The school out of Greenville, NC owned the state in 2013, thumping the Tar Heels 55-31 in Week 5 and grabbing a 35-7 lead over NC State before holding on for a 42-28 win in Week 13. Junior quarterback Shane Carden threw for 3,866 yards and 32 touchdowns during the Pirates' 9-3 campaign.

Ohio: After a 6-2 start to the season that included wins over North Texas and Marshall, the Bobcats struggled mightily down the stretch. They were outscored 123-16 in losses to Buffalo, Bowling Green and Kent State. However, OU fell into a similar late-season rut in 2012 and still managed a bowl victory.

Box Score: The Pirates led 17-6 in the first half before Ohio scored a late touchdown to narrow the halftime deficit. The rally continued with the Bobcats closing the gap to one point, but Warren Harvey added his third field goal of the day as East Carolina notched a 23-19 victory. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: East Carolina 27 - Ohio 20

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl - Dec. 24, 2013 Oregon State 38 - Boise State 23
Broncos emblem
Beavers emblem
46.1
53.9
Boise State (8-4)
30
Oregon State (6-6)
34
QB Sean Mannion, OSU
30-43, 482 yards, 4 TD, INT
Boise State: Sophomore running back Jay Ajayi led the Broncos' offense with 1,328 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. Update: The game was re-simulated on 12/23/13 to account for quarterback Joe Southwick's absence.

Oregon State: The Beavers were a sieve defensively and came up on the losing end in their last five games, highlighted by a 36-35 defeat at Oregon. But few quarterbacks can match Sean Mannion's numbers, with 4,403 yards and 36 touchdowns on the season. Favorite target Brandin Cooks had an FBS-best 1,670 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns.

Box Score: Ajayi picked up the slack with Southwick out, totaling 219 yards of offense and two scores while helping the Broncos build a 30-10 lead. Oregon State came charging back though, with Mannion throwing three second-half touchdowns. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Boise State 27 - Oregon State 28

Little Caesars Bowl - Dec. 26, 2013 Pittsburgh 30 - Bowling Green 27
Panthers emblem
Falcons emblem
48.2
51.8
Pittsburgh (6-6)
34
Bowling Green (10-3)
42
RB Travis Greene, BGSU
27 carries, 138 yards, 3 TD
3 catches, 27 yards, TD
Pittsburgh: The newly minted ACC school qualified for its sixth consecutive bowl game, but Pittsburgh hopes to end a two-year losing streak. The Panthers struggled offensively this season, averaging 26 points per game, 85th nationally. Much of the blame falls on an offensive line that yielded 41 sacks, fifth-most in the country.

Bowling Green: The MAC champs are making their third bowl appearance in five years, but have come away with losses the last two trips. Expect a heavy workload for Travis Greene, whose 1,422 rushing yards were the 10th-most in the country.

Box Score: The Panthers and Falcons proved evenly matched through four quarters, ending regulation tied at 20. Neither team blinked during the first two overtime periods, but Bowling Green picked off a Tom Savage pass in the third OT to seal the win. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Pittsburgh 20 - Bowling Green 21

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl - Dec. 26, 2013 Utah State 21 - NIU 14
Aggies emblem
Huskies emblem
37.6
62.4
Utah State (8-5)
37
23 Northern Illinois (12-1)
40
QB Jordan Lynch, NIU
18-32, 275 yards, 3 TD
35 carries, 114 yards, TD
Utah State: The Aggies made it to the Mountain West Championship despite losing quarterback Chuckie Keaton and four other offensive starters to season-ending injuries during the year. Utah State instead relied on a defense that gave up 17.3 points per game, seventh-fewest in the nation.

Northern Illinois: The Huskies had hoped to crash the BCS party again, but a loss to Bowling Green in the MAC Championship derailed those plans. The upset should not diminish the accomplishments of Jordan Lynch, who generated 350 yards of total offense per game. The senior QB passed for 2,676 yards and rushed for 1,881.

Box Score: Northern Illinois needed a 58-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion to force overtime, where Lynch continued his brilliant play with a touchdown pass to Tommylee Lewis for the win. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Utah State 23 - Northern Illinois 27

Gridiron Dynasty
Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman - Dec. 27, 2013 Marshall 31 - Maryland 20
Thundering Herd emblem
Terrapins emblem
41.8
58.2
Marshall (9-4)
19
Maryland (7-5)
22
QB C.J. Brown, MU
16-21, 226 yards, 3 TD
23 carries, 41 yards
Marshall: Quarterback Rakeem Cato drove the nation's seventh highest-scoring offense. Cato threw for 3,579 yards and 36 touchdowns with just nine interceptions. Other offensive stalwarts include running back Essray Taliaferro (1,059 yards, nine scores) and receivers Tommy Shuler (1,097 yards, nine TDs) and Gator Hoskins (717 yards, 13 TDs).

Maryland: The Terps started the season with a 4-0 record and garnered a No. 25 ranking in the AP poll before receiving a heavy dose of reality in a 63-0 loss to Florida State. They'll play for one more win as members of the ACC before moving to the Big Ten next year.

Box Score: A strong third quarter put Marshall ahead 19-14, but Maryland responded in the fourth quarter to recapture the lead. The Terrapins limited Cato to 188 yards as he completed just 50 percent of his passes. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Marshall 23 - Maryland 26

Texas Bowl - Dec. 27, 2013 Syracuse 21 - Minnesota 17
Orange emblem
Golden Gophers emblem
34.1
65.9
Syracuse (6-6)
17
Minnesota (8-4)
24
RB David Cobb, UM
37 carries, 128 yards, TD
3 catches, 43 yards
Syracuse: A 6-6 record during their inaugural season in the ACC ensured the Orange of back-to-back bowls for the first time since 1998-99. Head coach Scott Shafer may need to awaken a 99th-ranked offense that scored just 22.8 points per game.

Minnesota: Jerry Kill has the Gophers bowling for the second season in a row. Not bad for a team that suffered through 3-9 campaigns in both 2010 and 2011. Though not explosive offensively (26.4 points per game, 79th nationally), Minnesota held the opposition to 22.3 points per contest.

Box Score: The Minnesota defense was more than Syracuse could handle. The Orange totaled just 58 yards rushing and their reliance on the pass resulted in two picks. Meanwhile, the Gophers used a game plan heavy on running back David Cobb, who totaled 171 yards of offense in the 24-17 victory. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Syracuse 18 - Minnesota 23

Fight Hunger Bowl - Dec. 27, 2013 Washington 31 - BYU 16
Cougars emblem
Huskies emblem
45.1
54.9
BYU (8-4)
28
Washington (8-4)
30
RB Bishop Sankey, UW
24 carries, 173 yards rushing, 2 TD
2 catches, 46 yards
BYU: An odd start to the Cougars' season included losses to Virginia and Utah, with a win over Texas sandwiched in the middle. The improving play of quarterback Taysom Hill was a catalyst for BYU's 8-4 record. The sophomore passed for 2,645 yards and gained 1,211 more on the ground.

Washington: On the upside, Washington is heading to its fourth consecutive bowl and its eight wins are the program's most since 2001. On the downside, Steve Sarkisian was hired away to USC, leaving quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo as the interim coach for the bowl game.

Box Score: The running backs put on a display in Washington's 30-28 win. BYU's Jamaal Williams was the top performer with 245 yards and a touchdown off 26 carries, but Washington's Bishop Sankey was no slouch, totaling 173 yards and two scores on the ground. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: BYU 23 - Washington 25

New Era Pinstripe Bowl - Dec. 28, 2013 Notre Dame 29 - Rutgers 16
Scarlet Knights emblem
Fighting Irish emblem
30.7
69.3
Rutgers (6-6)
27
Notre Dame (8-4)
30
QB Tommy Rees, ND
23-42, 342 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights earned a bowl bid for the third season in a row and eighth time in the last nine years. Kyle Flood's rush defense limited opponents to 94.6 yards per game and less than three yards per carry, but was negated by a pass defense that surrendered 311.4 yards per contest.

Notre Dame: Not the encore that Fighting Irish fans hoped for. Quarterback Tommy Rees completed just 53.7 percent of his passes as the offense (27.1 points per game, 75th nationally) wasn't as impressive as the defense (22.9 points per game, 32nd nationally).

Box Score: Rutgers made a game of it, leading 27-22 with 4:35 left in regulation off a five-yard run from Justin Goodwin. Notre Dame responded on the ensuing possession with a Rees touchdown strike to TJ Jones and the Fighting Irish prevailed 30-27. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Rutgers 20 - Notre Dame 26

Belk Bowl - Dec. 28, 2013 North Carolina 39 - Cincinnati 17
Bearcats emblem
Tar Heels emblem
64.3
35.7
Cincinnati (9-3)
34
North Carolina (6-6)
31
QB Brendon Kay, UC
25-36, 310 yards, 3 TD, INT
Cincinnati: The Bearcats find themselves in a bowl game for the 11th time in the last 14 seasons despite employing five different coaches during that time period. First-year coach Tommy Tuberville can ensure Cincinnati its third consecutive 10-win season with a bowl victory.

North Carolina: Starting quarterback Bryn Renner was lost for the season to a shoulder injury following a Week 10 victory over NC State. Although replacement Marquise Williams wasn't as efficient as a passer, he gained 490 rushing yards and guided the Tar Heels to three victories in his last four starts.

Box Score: Cincinnati took control of the game in the fourth quarter with a field goal and a 55-yard run from Hosey Williams. UNC was able to find the end zone with less than two minutes to play, but the Bearcats killed the clock for a 34-31 win. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Cincinnati 26 - North Carolina 21

Russell Athletic Bowl - Dec. 28, 2013 Louisville 36 - Miami 9
Hurricanes emblem
Cardinals emblem
42.6
57.4
Miami (FL) (9-3)
27
18 Louisville (11-1)
32
QB Teddy Bridgewater, U of L
24-33, 315 yards, 2 TD
Miami (FL): Al Golden's squad began the season with seven consecutive wins and climbed as high as No. 7 in the AP poll, but three straight losses to Florida State, Virginia Tech and Duke derailed BCS bowl ambitions. The Hurricanes hope to capture their first bowl victory since 2006.

Louisville: Teddy Bridgewater gets the headlines, and rightfully so after completing more than 70 percent of his passes and totaling 28 touchdowns. But the Louisville defense wasn't too shabby either, surrendering just 12.4 points per game, third-fewest in the nation.

Box Score: Dominique Brown scored three first-half touchdowns for the Cardinals – two rushing and one on a pass from Bridgewater – and Louisville took a 23-7 lead into the break. Though Miami limited Louisville to three second-half field goals, the Hurricanes weren't able to complete the rally. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Miami 25 - Louisville 28

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl - Dec. 28, 2013 Kansas State 31 - Michigan 14
Wolverines emblem
Wildcats emblem
46.8
53.2
Michigan (7-5)
24
Kansas State (7-5)
29
QB Jake Waters, KSU
18-31, 274 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT
Michigan: In Ann Arbor, one game can salvage a season. Alas, the Wolverines fell to Ohio State 42-41 on a failed two-point conversion, leaving much to be desired from Brady Hoke's third season at the helm of the Maize and Blue. Update: The game was re-simulated on 12/23/13 to account for quarterback Devin Gardner's likely absence.

Kansas State: The Wildcats overcame a 2-4 start to win five of their last six games and make a bowl appearance for the fourth consecutive year. Coach Bill Snyder's next challenge is to lead his club to a bowl victory, a feat he hasn't achieved since 2002.

Box Score: Jake Waters found tight end Zach Trujillo for a 59-yard touchdown in the waning moments of the first half to give Kansas State a 26-17 advantage at the break. Both teams struggled to find the end zone in the second half and the Wildcats held on for a 29-24 victory. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Michigan 21 - Kansas State 22

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl - Dec. 30, 2013 Navy 24 - Middle Tennessee 6
Blue Raiders emblem
Midshipmen emblem
42.1
57.9
Middle Tennessee (8-4)
26
Navy (8-4)
31
QB Keenan Reynolds, Navy
1-1, 5 yards
25 carries, 54 yards, 2 TD
Middle Tennessee: The Blue Raiders enjoyed a successful transition from the Sun Belt to Conference USA, matching last season's 8-4 record. After being snubbed from a bowl invitation last year, Middle Tennessee is out to prove it belongs in the postseason.

Navy: The triple-option offense was in full effect this season as quarterback Keenan Reynolds ran 280 times for 1,260 yards and 29 scores. He attempted only 121 passes for 1,038 yards and eight touchdowns. Eight other Midshipmen gain 190-plus yards on the ground.

Box Score: Navy turned two errant throws from the Blue Raiders' Logan Kilgore into pick-sixes and Reynolds added two touchdown runs to deliver the Midshipmen a 31-26 victory. It was a tough pill to swallow for Middle Tennessee, as they led 20-10 heading into the fourth quarter. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Middle Tennessee 23 - Navy 25




















































































































































































































































































































































2013 NCAA Football Features

December Madness: CFB Playoff

2013 College Football Prediction Record

College Football Final Power Rankings

2013 College Football Archives

NCAA Football SimMatchup

Create Your College Football Dream Team

Gridiron Dynasty
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl - Dec. 30, 2013 Ole Miss 25 - Georgia Tech 17
Rebels emblem
Yellow Jackets emblem
58.7
41.3
Ole Miss (7-5)
25
Georgia Tech (7-5)
21
K Andrew Ritter, Ole Miss
4-4 FG, 1-1 XP
Ole Miss: Hugh Freeze is two-for-two at navigating the Rebels to bowl games. Bo Wallace was again the lead signal-caller, throwing for more than 3,000 yards with 17 touchdowns and nine picks. Top receivers Donte Moncrief, Ja-Mes Logan and Laquon Treadwell combined for 1,965 yards and 13 scores.

Georgia Tech: True to form, Paul Johnson's Yellow Jackets were a ground-first attack that ranked third nationally in rushing touchdowns and 11th in yards per carry. The unit was led by David Sims' 846 yards and 11 scores. On defense, Jeremiah Attaochu recorded 12 sacks, tied for third-most in the nation.

Box Score: The Georgia Tech lead swelled to 21-10 before Ole Miss heated up. Three Andrew Ritter field goals and a 65-yard touchdown pass from Wallace to Treadwell enabled the Rebels to catch and surpass the Yellow Jackets. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Ole Miss 22 - Georgia Tech 20

Valero Alamo Bowl - Dec. 30, 2013 Oregon 30 - Texas 7
Ducks emblem
Longhorns emblem
58.9
41.1
10 Oregon (10-2)
42
Texas (8-4)
35
QB Marcus Mariota, UO
25-33, 309 yards, 3 TD, INT
14 carries, 41 yards
Oregon: Hard to take much solace in a 10-2 record given Oregon's BCS title ambitions. The good news for Ducks fans is that sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota declared his intention to return to Eugene for another season. Mariota racked up 3,994 yards of total offense and 39 touchdowns despite fighting the injury bug.

Texas: After a 1-2 start, the Longhorns responded to win six games in a row. Texas was no match for Oklahoma State and Baylor down the stretch and finished with an 8-4 record. While a third consecutive bowl game is in store, the Longhorns haven't reached the 10-win plateau since 2009.

Box Score: Brown's last game as the head man at Texas wasn't the sendoff he hoped for. Oregon built a 42-20 lead that proved insurmountable despite two late scores by the Longhorns. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Oregon 25 - Texas 22

National University Holiday Bowl - Dec. 30, 2013 Texas Tech 37 - Arizona State 23
Sun Devils emblem
Red Raiders emblem
51.1
48.9
14 Arizona State (10-3)
27
Texas Tech (7-5)
23
RB Marion Grice, ASU
21 carries, 118 yards rushing, TD
2 catches, 11 yards
Arizona State: The high-scoring Sun Devils were without star running back Marion Grice in the Pac-12 title game, a 38-14 loss to Stanford. Grice's health will factor heavily in Arizona State's bowl success. The senior generated 1,941 all-purpose yards on the season and found the end zone 20 times.

Texas Tech: First-year coach and former Red Raider Kliff Kingsbury navigated a light schedule to a 7-0 start before his team lost five straight as the competition stiffened. Texas Tech's passing offense ranked second nationally in total yards, but the defense surrendered 31.2 points per game.

Box Score: The Sun Devils prevailed despite a poor passing performance from Taylor Kelly (12-19, 140 yards, two interceptions). Credit Grice, who totaled 118 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries, and kicker Zane Gonzalez, whose two fourth quarter field goals propelled ASU to the win. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Arizona State 28 - Texas Tech 27

AdvoCare V100 Bowl - Dec. 31, 2013 Arizona 42 - Boston College 19
Wildcats emblem
Eagles emblem
64.9
35.1
Arizona (7-5)
31
Boston College (7-5)
23
RB Ka'Deem Carey, U of A
29 carries, 293 yards rushing, 3 TD
Arizona: After amassing more than 1,900 yards and 23 scores on the ground in 2012, Ka'Deem Carey followed up the performance with 1,716 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns this season. His total haul was good enough for fifth-most in the country after racking up the most yards last year.

Boston College: The Eagles were led by the prolific output of senior running back Andre Williams, who finished first in the nation with 2,102 yards rushing, including 6.4 yards per carry and 17 touchdowns. Williams even outgained the arm of quarterback Chase Rettig, who totaled 1,804 passing yards.

Box Score: A battle of two of the nation's top running backs did not disappoint. BC's Williams piled up 167 yards and a touchdown on 35 carries, but the decision – and the win – went to Carey, who shredded the Eagles for 293 yards and three scores. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Arizona 26 - Boston College 21

Hyundai Sun Bowl - Dec. 31, 2013 UCLA 42 - Virginia Tech 12
Hokies emblem
Bruins emblem
41.6
58.4
Virginia Tech (8-4)
17
17 UCLA (9-3)
23
QB Brett Hundley, UCLA
15-20, 214 yards, 2 TD
Virginia Tech: Few can match the defensive prowess of the Hokies, one of three schools that ranked in the top 10 in both rushing and passing yards allowed per game. Their paltry offense is another story though, as Virginia Tech ranked 96th in points per game.

UCLA: The Bruins are bowling for the third year in a row, but ended up on the losing end of their last two trips. UCLA's 9-3 season included victories over ranked opponents in Nebraska and USC and losses to ranked Pac-12 foes Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State.

Box Score: The Virginia Tech defense did its part, limiting UCLA to 264 yards of offense and just 50 yards on the ground, but the offense struggled to score yet again. The Bruins prevailed 23-17 behind Brett Hundley's two touchdown passes and Ka'imi Fairbairn's three field goals. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Virginia Tech 20 - UCLA 23

AutoZone Liberty Bowl - Dec. 31, 2013 Mississippi State 44 - Rice 7
Owls emblem
Bulldogs emblem
28.4
71.6
Rice (10-3)
20
Mississippi State (6-6)
23
RB LaDarius Perkins, MSU
19 carries, 71 yards rushing, 2 TD
3 catches, 28 yards
Rice: The Owls ended a 56-year title drought with a 41-24 victory over Marshall in the C-USA Championship game. Running back Charles Ross averaged 6.2 yards per carry and totaled 1,252 yards and 14 scores. The Rice defense held opponents to 22.9 points per game.

Mississippi State: Four consecutive bowl trips sound good to Mississippi State fans after enduring eight losing seasons during the previous nine years. The going wasn't easy, however, as the Bulldogs had to tough out overtime wins in their last two games to earn bowl eligibility.

Box Score: The Owls were not intimidated by playing an SEC foe. Dennis Parks hauled in a touchdown pass with 59 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime. In the extra session, Rice settled for three and Mississippi State's Dak Prescott ran in from 12 yards out for the 23-20 final. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Rice 20 - Mississippi State 27

Chick-fil-A Bowl - Dec. 31, 2013 Texas A&M 52 - Duke 48
Blue Devils emblem
Aggies emblem
40.5
59.5
24 Duke (10-3)
38
21 Texas A&M (8-4)
41
QB Johnny Manziel, TAMU
18-30, 275 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
21 carries, 26 yards, TD
Duke: It's a season of firsts for Duke. The Blue Devils reached 10 wins for the first time ever and the school made back-to-back bowl games for the first time in its 92-year history. Update: The game was re-simulated on 12/23/13 to account for running back Jela Duncan's absence.

Texas A&M: If not for the lack of marquee victories, Johnny Manziel's Heisman candidacy would have been tough to beat. He finished the season ninth in the nation in passing yards, third in total offense and fourth in QB rating. However, the Aggies were hindered by a defense that gave up 30.9 points per game.

Box Score: Josh Snead stepped up in replacement of Duncan, rushing for 122 yards and the go-ahead score with less than a minute to play. Manziel responded with an 87-yard drive drive that took just 38 seconds and resulted in a 41-38 win for the Aggies. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Duke 25 - Texas A&M 28

Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl - Jan. 1, 2014 Nebraska 24 - Georgia 19
Cornhuskers emblem
Bulldogs emblem
47.6
52.4
Nebraska (8-4)
36
22 Georgia (8-4)
39
QB Hutson Mason, UGA
29-41, 446 yards, TD, INT
Nebraska: Senior Taylor Martinez envisioned a more fitting end to his career at Nebraska. Unfortunately for Martinez and the Cornhuskers, a Week 1 foot injury hobbled and eventually sidelined the quarterback. Running back Ameer Abdullah picked up the slack in Martinez's absence, totaling 1,568 yards on the ground.

Georgia: Much was expected from the AP's preseason fifth-ranked Bulldogs, but injuries took their toll. Running back Keith Marshall, wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell and, most recently, quarterback Aaron Murray were all lost to season-ending injuries, quelling Georgia's title ambitions.

Box Score: Hutson Mason was stellar in replacement of Murray, torching the Nebraska secondary for 446 yards. Georgia kicker Marshall Morgan was a perfect six-for-six on field goal attempts as the Bulldogs won 39-36. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Nebraska 23 - Georgia 24

Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank - Jan. 1, 2014 North Texas 36 - UNLV 14
Rebels emblem
Mean Green emblem
49.5
50.5
UNLV (7-5)
30
North Texas (8-4)
31
QB Derek Thompson, UNT
20-30, 260 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
9 carries, 5 yards, TD
UNLV: The Rebels are bowl-bound for the first time since 2000 and the fourth time in program history. Of Caleb Herring and Nick Sherry's 25 touchdown passes, Devante Davis hauled in 14. Running back Tim Cornett piled up 1,251 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground.

North Texas: The Mean Green lived up to their moniker on the defensive side of the ball, permitting just 18.1 points per game, ninth-fewest in the country. On offense, the o-line allowed only five sacks in 2012 and followed up with a 10-sack performance in 2013, good enough for sixth-best nationally.

Box Score: Nolan Kohorst experienced a whole gamut of emotions in UNLV's 31-30 overtime loss. It was his 24-yard field goal as time expired that forced the extra session, but it was also his missed extra point in OT that ultimately cost his team the game. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: UNLV 25 - North Texas 26

Gridiron Dynasty
Capital One Bowl - Jan. 1, 2014 South Carolina 34 - Wisconsin 24
Badgers emblem
Gamecocks emblem
47.8
52.2
19 Wisconsin (9-3)
35
9 South Carolina (10-2)
38
WR Bruce Ellington, USC
4 carries, 51 yards, 2 TD
Wisconsin: Running backs Melvin Gordon and James White were prolific for the Badgers. Gordon rushed for 1,466 yards on just 181 carries, an 8.1 yards-per-carry average, while White totaled 1,337 yards on 209 carries and added 292 receiving yards. The duo combined for 27 touchdowns.

South Carolina: Slipups at Georgia and Tennessee were the only blemishes on a 10-2 campaign that included a double-overtime win at Missouri. Steve Spurrier's defense surrendered 20 points per game, 14th-fewest in the nation, despite a disappointing year from Jadeveon Clowney.

Box Score: A comeback for the ages propelled South Carolina to victory. Trailing 28-13 at the onset of the fourth quarter, the Gamecocks put 25 points on the board, including two touchdown catches by Bruce Ellington, to secure the improbable win. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Wisconsin 21 - South Carolina 22

Outback Bowl - Jan. 1, 2014 LSU 21 - Iowa 14
Hawkeyes emblem
Tigers emblem
49.1
50.9
Iowa (8-4)
20
16 LSU (9-3)
23
RB Jeremy Hill, LSU
19 carries, 85 yards, TD
3 catches, 41 yards
Iowa: The Hawkeyes' 8-4 record is much-improved from last season's 4-8 campaign. Kirk Ferentz's squad earned its keep on defense, where the Hawkeyes held opponents to 18.8 points per game. Iowa was equally stout against the pass (182.4 yards per game, 11th nationally) and rush (120.8 yards per game, 17th nationally).

LSU: Zach Mettenberger's LSU career ended a little sooner and more painfully than he would have liked. The senior quarterback suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter of LSU's Week 14 victory over Arkansas. He claimed the third-highest QB rating in the nation in 2013 after recording the 69th-best last year.

Box Score: Mettenberger's replacement, Anthony Jennings, had a tough outing with three picks. LSU failed to score in the second half but the Tigers were still able to fend off Iowa in a defensive affair, winning 23-20. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Iowa 21 - LSU 22

Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO - Jan. 1, 2014 Michigan State 24 - Stanford 20
Cardinal emblem
Spartans emblem
51.0
49.0
5 Stanford (11-2)
31
4 Michigan State (12-1)
30
QB Kevin Hogan, SU
24-36, 277 yards, 3 TD
Stanford: Tyler Gaffney rushed for 1,618 yards and 20 touchdowns this season, including 133 yards and three scores in Stanford's Pac-12 Championship win. The senior was sixth among running backs in yardage on the ground. On defense, Trent Murphy's 14 sacks were the most in the nation.

Michigan State: The Spartans recorded the most wins in program history and captured a Big Ten title by upsetting Ohio State. Credit a ferocious defense that held the Buckeyes to their lowest output of the season and was particularly effective against the run (80.8 yards per game, first nationally).

Box Score: Michigan State erased a four-point fourth quarter deficit with a touchdown and a field goal, but Stanford responded with a Kevin Hogan TD pass – his third of the game – to Ty Montgomery with 17 seconds left for a 31-30 victory. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Stanford 19 - Michigan State 18

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Jan. 1, 2014 UCF 52 - Baylor 42
Knights emblem
Bears emblem
42.7
57.3
15 UCF (11-1)
34
6 Baylor (11-1)
35
RB Lache Seastrunk, BU
16 carries, 137 yards, 2 TD
UCF: The American Athletic champions feature the nation's 13th-ranked defense, which gave up 19.6 points per game. Junior Blake Bortles flaunted the country's ninth-best QB rating and 1,000-yard rusher Storm Johnson found the end zone 14 times this season.

Baylor: The Bears have arguably the best squad in school history with 11 wins setting a new benchmark for the program. The nation's highest-scoring offense (53.3 points per game) was orchestrated by junior Bryce Petty. The QB threw for 3,844 yards with 30 touchdowns and only two picks. He also rushed for 11 scores.

Box Score: Trailing by six with 1:47 remaining in the game, Petty handed off to Lance Seastrunk, who found a seam and sprinted 60 yards for a touchdown. On the ensuing possession, Central Florida missed a field goal as time expired. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: UCF 23 - Baylor 25

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Jan. 2, 2014 Oklahoma 45 - Alabama 31
Sooners emblem
Crimson Tide emblem
27.5
72.5
11 Oklahoma (10-2)
24
3 Alabama (11-1)
31
QB AJ McCarron, UA
25-40, 414 yards, 3 TD
Oklahoma: The Sooners notched their biggest win in Week 15 by upsetting Oklahoma State and denying the Cowboys a Big 12 title. Bob Stoops' team recorded 10 or more wins for four consecutive seasons and in 12 of his 15 years at the helm.

Alabama: Two consecutive national championships do little to alleviate the pain of falling short of a third title shot. Though not the storybook ending he envisioned, AJ McCarron still entered the conversation as one of the greatest all-time college quarterbacks, thanks in no small part to his 36-3 record as a starter.

Box Score: McCarron went out on a high note, compiling the highest yardage total of his career as ‘Bama found more success through the air than on the ground. Kevin Norwood was the recipient of two of McCarron's three touchdown passes. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Oklahoma 18 - Alabama 25

AT&T Cotton Bowl - Jan. 3, 2014 Missouri 41 - Oklahoma State 31
Cowboys emblem
Tigers emblem
50.7
49.3
13 Oklahoma State (10-2)
25
8 Missouri (11-2)
20
RB Desmond Roland, OSU
13 carries, 78 yards, TD
2 catch, 25 yards
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys' quest for a BCS bowl fell short with a loss to the Sooners. Though not the bowl the team had hoped for, OSU has a great shot at its fourth consecutive bowl victory. The Cowboys boasted the nation's 14th-ranked offense (39.8 points per game) and defense (20 points per game).

Missouri: The Tigers' surprising run fell short of an SEC title, but Gary Pinkel demonstrated that his team didn't need much time to acclimate to the rigors of SEC play. After finishing 5-7 in its inaugural season in the new league, Missouri notched an 11-2 record that included wins over four ranked conference foes.

Box Score: After building a 19-0 lead through the first half, Oklahoma State watched Missouri score 20 straight points to take the lead. The Cowboys responded with their first score of the second half – a Desmond Roland 31-yard touchdown run – with 29 seconds left that proved the game-winner. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Oklahoma State 26 - Missouri 25

Discover Orange Bowl - Jan. 3, 2014 Clemson 40 - Ohio State 35
Tigers emblem
Buckeyes emblem
45.5
54.5
12 Clemson (10-2)
34
7 Ohio State (12-1)
38
RB Carlos Hyde, OSU
27 carries, 162 yards, 3 TD
2 catch, 21 yards
Clemson: Tajh Boyd submitted a strong senior season as the leader the Clemson offense, throwing 29 touchdowns to nine interceptions. His 166.6 passer rating was seventh-best nationally. On defense, Vic Beasley totaled 12 sacks, tied for third-most in the country.

Ohio State: The Buckeyes were denied a BCS title berth with a loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship - Urban Meyer's first loss in two years as coach. Ohio State's high-scoring offense was led by Braxton Miller (1,860 passing yards, 1,033 rushing yards, 32 total scores) and Carlos Hyde (1,408 rushing yards, 16 total TDs).

Box Score: Clemson relied on the pass, with Boyd throwing for 359 yards and three touchdowns, including 154 yards and two scores to Sammy Watkins. But it was the rush offense of Hyde and Ohio State that carried the day. Hyde hit pay dirt three times. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Clemson 22 - Ohio State 23

BBVA Compass Bowl - Jan. 4, 2014 Vanderbilt 41 - Houston 24
Cougars emblem
Commodores emblem
48.3
51.7
Houston (8-4)
20
Vanderbilt (8-4)
21
QB Patton Robinette, VU
20-24, 304 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Houston: After allowing 36 points per game last season (110th nationally), Tony Levine's Cougars surrendered just 20.2 points (16th-fewest in the nation) in 2013. The defense is opportunistic, accumulating 23 interceptions, 16 forced fumbles and 30 sacks on the season.

Vanderbilt: Once a football outcast, Vanderbilt has put together consecutive strong seasons under coach James Franklin. With a bowl victory, the Commodores can reach nine wins for the fourth time in program history. Update: The game was re-simulated on 1/2/14 to account for quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels' absence.

Box Score: Houston held a lead at the break but the Vanderbilt defense pitched a shutout in the second half and Jerron Seymour's touchdown with five minutes remaining proved the game-winner for the Commodores. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Houston 24 - Vanderbilt 25

GoDaddy.com Bowl - Jan. 5, 2014 Arkansas State 23 - Ball State 20
Red Wolves emblem
Cardinals emblem
39.7
60.3
Arkansas State (7-5)
35
Ball State (10-2)
38
RB Jahwan Edwards, BSU
26 carries, 158 yards, 4 TD
Arkansas State: The Red Wolves were unable to retain their head coach for the fourth consecutive season. Steve Roberts resigned in 2010, Hugh Freeze took the Ole Miss job in 2011, Gus Malzahn left for Auburn in 2012 and now Bryan Harsin will take over at Boise State next year.

Ball State: The 10-2 Cardinals deployed a lethal passing offense. QB Keith Wenning's 3,933 yards were the fifth-most in the country. He completed 65 percent of his passes with 34 touchdowns and six picks. Receivers Willie Snead, Jordan Williams and Jamill Smith were Wenning's favorite targets. The trio combined for 3,300 yards and 32 scores.

Box Score: Wenning piled up 327 passing yards, but it was the legs of Jahwan Edwards that delivered a Ball State victory. Edwards totaled 158 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries as the Cardinals bested Arkansas State by a score of 38-35. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Arkansas State 25 - Ball State 29

VIZIO BCS National Championship - Jan. 6, 2014 Florida State 34 - Auburn 31
Seminoles emblem
Tigers emblem
59.5
40.5
1 Florida State (13-0)
31
2 Auburn (12-1)
27
RB James Wilder, FSU
7 carries, 153 yards, TD
Florida State: In Week 5, the Seminoles "only" beat Boston College by 14. The margin was easily the closest any team came to upsetting Florida State this season. Against ranked adversaries Maryland, Clemson, Miami and Duke, the Seminoles outscored the opposition by a combined score of 200-35.

Auburn: The burden of continuing the SEC's run of seven consecutive national championships now falls to Auburn. The Tigers will employ a rush attack that averaged more than 330 yards per game, led by Tre Mason's 1,621 yards and 22 scores.

Box Score: The Seminoles beat Auburn at their own game, rushing for 344 yards to the Tigers' 297. Winston didn't submit his best performance (227 passing yards, 31 rushing yards, two TDs, one pick), but his 49-yard pass to Nick O'Leary in the fourth quarter proved the difference in Florida State's 31-27 win. Avg. Score, 1,001 Simulations: Florida State 25 - Auburn 22


If any depth chart changes or injuries occur between now and a team's bowl game, you have the ablity to adjust the depth chart using our FREE college football SimMatchup feature.

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Jake Westrich is the Digital Content Coordinator for WhatIfSports.com. He can be reached at jwestrich@whatifsports.com.

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