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Projections for every bowl game

College football expert Phil Steele tries to predict every matchup

Updated: August 13, 2013, 12:20 AM ET
By Phil Steele | ESPN Insider

My bowl projections do not always coincide with my projected conference standings, as bowl selection committees sometimes base their selections on ticket sales and TV ratings from more high-profile programs. They also try to avoid rematches from the regular season and teams making consecutive trips.

Taking those factors into account, here are my projected participants for every bowl game for the 2013 season. (Note: I'll start with the BCS bowls before getting to the non-BCS bowls.)


BCS bowls

Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio (Big Ten champ vs. Pac-12 champ)
Jan. 1, 2014 -- Pasadena, Calif.
Projection: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Oregon Ducks

The Cornhuskers have one of the most explosive offenses in the country, led by quarterback Taylor Martinez and seven other returning starters. The defense, despite its inexperience, will improve this season and the Huskers will win 10 regular-season games. While Nebraska will lose to Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game, the Rose will keep its preferred Big Ten versus Pac-12 match-up and select the Huskers to make just their third-ever appearance here.

Despite breaking in a new head coach in Mark Helfrich, the Ducks will win the Pac-12 North and beat USC in the league championship game on the strength of 15 returning starters, including quarterback Marcus Mariota. It will be their third Rose Bowl appearance since 2009.

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