Lots of Twists and Turns Leading Up to 2014 Capital One Bowl
Capital One Bowl Overview & Prediction
It may seem a long way off before the kickoff of the 2014 Capital One Bowl, the annual bowl game played on New Year’s Day in Orlando’s Citrus Bowl. However, the big season games are right around the corner. If you have confidence in your team, it’s always an advantage to book early.
The Capital One Bowl boasts the first selection after BCS teams are selected from the SEC and Big Ten conferences. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong. This year’s top Orlando events matchup could be one of the most intriguing, and perhaps most difficult, to predict.
Many think it’s a foregone conclusion that Alabama and Ohio State will each run the table and meet up in the BCS Championship game on January 6th in Pasadena. Not so fast. There’s a ton of football to be played between now and then.
The Crimson Tide will begin the defense of their title in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome against the Hokies of Virginia Tech on August 31. That game is followed up by a huge rematch against the Texas Aggies in College Station on September 14. Give Saban an open date before it to prepare, along with a year to think about payback, and most think it could be a long day for Johnny Football. Even if Alabama goes thru the bulk of their schedule unscathed, the LSU Bayou Bengals come calling to Tuscaloosa on November 9th, which is always a close one.
Ohio State on the other hand plays what is considered by most to be a very weak schedule. With the Buckeyes off probation, Coach Urban Meyer brings back a team that went undefeated last year, and could very easily do so again. That is, until their last game of the regular season when they travel to the “Big House” to take on Michigan on November 30. This game could indeed have a significant impact on a national scale. Here’s why.
Because of the rotation, the BCS Title Game will be played in Pasadena’s Rose Bowl on January 6th, 2014 just six days after the 100th anniversary of the Rose Bowl. It is conceivable that if both the Buckeyes and the Wolverines take care of business during the regular season, they could play on November 30 in their season finale, and then actually play again in the Big Ten Championship game on December 7th. If Ohio State runs the table, they will most likely earn a spot in the BCS Title Game. Michigan however, could still be the runner-up of the Big Ten and earn a spot in the Rose Bowl. Of course, Wisconsin and Nebraska, and the others will have a lot to say about that, but it is one scenario that could indeed play out. The Wolverines catch Ohio State, Nebraska, and even Notre Dame in the “Big House” this year, and they don’t play Wisconsin, unless it would be in the title game.
Bottom line, if Ohio State, or perhaps Michigan, does make a march to the BCS Title Game, there will be two Big Ten teams headed to Pasadena to celebrate the New Year. That means the Capital One Bowl will still have the first option to select from the Big Ten after the BCS is set, but they would probably be getting the third place finisher or below for this Orlando event. Of course, there are always tie-breakers that come into play.
In all likelihood, this will hold true for the SEC as well. If Alabama reaches and is again victorious in the SEC Championship game, they will most likely punch their ticket to Pasadena. However, it could go a bit different for the runner-up this year than last. You may recall that Georgia gave the Crimson Tide all they wanted in the title game, only to fall short at the end. The Sugar Bowl extended a BCS invitation to Florida instead of the Bulldogs, only to see the fourth-ranked Gators go down to an underdog Louisville team 33-23. Meanwhile, the Capital One Bowl was ecstatic to get Georgia, who handled Nebraska 45-31. This year, the Sugar Bowl may think twice before looking over the runner-up of the SEC title game, especially if it’s a rematch and Mark Richt’s Bulldogs were to come out on top. New Orleans would throw out all the beads to get Alabama back in the Sugar Bowl.
So, with a strong possibility that the BCS Championship Game could match up the Big Ten and SEC champions, with their runner-ups in contention for a BCS game themselves, it narrows down the field somewhat of the teams the Capital One Bowl and Florida Citrus Sports will be selecting from for this Orlando event. Of course, if Oregon, Stanford, Clemson, Louisville, or perhaps LSU have anything to say about it, anything could happen for this Orlando event.
In fact, there are many games along the way, aside from the ones already mentioned, that could determine how the BCS and other bowls shake out. Here are just a few important game dates involving SEC teams:
Georgia at Clemson on 8/31
S. Carolina at Georgia on 9/07
LSU at Georgia on 9/28
Florida at LSU on 10/12
Georgia at Florida on 11/02
Florida at S. Carolina on 11/16
Florida State at Florida on 11/30
So what does all this mean for the Capital One Bowl selection committee? It simply means that without a crystal ball, or should we say a “crystal football” which is coincidentally what all the teams are chasing, it’s difficult to predict where any team is going … but just for the fun of it … here goes our best prediction for the Capital One Bowl.
One of the main objectives for all the bowl games, whether they admit it or not, is to put paying fans in the seats. Say Bo Pelini is able to stabilize a defense that looked like anything but the “black shirts” when Nebraska was embarrassed by Wisconsin 70-31 in the Big Ten championship game last year. They then gave up the 45 to Georgia in the 2013 Capital One Bowl and lost to S. Carolina in the same bowl 30-13 in 2012. If you’re a Cornhusker fan, you may think twice about traveling to Orlando events three years in a row to endure an SEC whoopin’.
The year before in 2011, Alabama handed Michigan State a 49-7 loss. The last Capital One Bowl victory by a Big Ten team came in 2010 when Penn State edged LSU 19-17 in the infamous “mud bowl” that eventually prompted replacement of the entire turf at the Citrus Bowl Stadium.
With Penn State still out of the bowl picture, that would leave Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota, and Northwestern out of the Big Ten Legends Division, and Ohio State, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, and Wisconsin out of the Leaders Division, all vying for possible Capital One bids. The most likely teams to emerge, some would say, for a trip to Orlando could be Michigan, Michigan State, or Wisconsin. If Michigan takes advantage of their home schedule, they will be thinking BCS. With Michigan State coming off a 6-6 campaign in 2012, they’d have to improve quite a bit for a trip to Disney and the 2014 Capital One Bowl.
Wisconsin’s new coach Gary Andersen, who took over the reins after the departure of Bret Bielema to Arkansas, inherits a Badgers team who gave Stanford all they wanted in the Rose Bowl last year, falling short 20-14.
Out of all the possible scenarios, the Badgers are our pick to end up in Orlando on January 1st. Who will most likely be their SEC opponent? S. Carolina, Florida, LSU, and Texas A&M are certainly likely candidates for the Orlando event. The Gamecocks were there in 2012, and after a thrilling 33-28 victory over Michigan in the 2013 Outback Bowl, “the ole ball coach” is hoping to be in the BCS bowl picture this year. Of course, that is LSU and the Aggies’ goal as well, but we feel they will remain farther West when the bowl bids are extended.
2014 Capital One Bowl Prediction
Which brings us to this year’s prediction … You better believe if the Florida Gators are available, the Capital One Bowl selection committee will do everything they can to bring the Gator Nation to Orlando, and then they will chomp all the way to the bank.
Here’s our “way too early to be projecting anything” 2014 Capital One Bowl pick: Florida 31, Wisconsin 28
2014 Capital One Bowl Update and Selections
The Wisconsin Badgers and the South Carolina Gamecocks will face-off in this college football bowl game. Wisconsin vs. South Carolina should be an outstanding game.
2014 Capital One Bowl Final Score
The South Carolina Gamecocks proved to be too much for the Wisconsin Badgers. South Carolina wins by a score of 34-24.
Bring it on and prove us wrong! Select an Orlando vacation home rental to top off a perfect week in Central Florida. Most vacation home communities are within a half hour (depending upon traffic) of the Citrus Bowl Stadium and the 2014 Capital One Bowl venue.
If you need any advice finding a vacation rental that meets your needs, give the friendly OVH 360 team a toll free call at 1-888-826-0551.
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