Bowl Projections 2019: CFP Predictions After Week 12 AP Poll Release

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistNovember 10, 2019

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 09: Joe Burrow #9 of the LSU Tigers runs with the ball during the second half against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

LSU asserted itself as the best program in the nation with its Week 11 win over Alabama. 

The 46-41 victory kept the Tigers above Ohio State at the top of the AP Top 25, and it could boost them over the Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff rankings. 

Alabama landed at No. 4 in the AP poll behind LSU, Ohio State and Clemson, but there are plenty of challengers for the Crimson Tide's spot. 

Georgia and Oregon both moved up a spot, while Minnesota leaped six spots to No. 7. Utah, Penn State and Oklahoma could all make a run at the top four before the playoff field is settled. 

If the top three squads continue to win, the conversation regarding No. 4 will heat up and leave the playoff committee with a difficult decision to make. 

                         

Postseason Predictions

College Football Playoff

Peach Bowl (December 28): No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oregon 

Fiesta Bowl (December 28): No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson 

Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

LSU is more than deserving of the top spot in the AP poll, and there is a decent chance it leaps over Ohio State in Tuesday's College Football Playoff release. 

The Tigers have four wins over ranked sides, with their best coming Saturday over Alabama. If they win the SEC Championship Game against Georgia, they would have five victories over Top 25 foes. Ohio State could match that total if it sweeps Penn State, Michigan and the Big Ten Championship Game opponent. 

If that occurs, the two most dominant sides in college football would be the top two playoff seeds. 

Due to its low strength of schedule, Clemson would slide into No. 3 if all three programs win out. 

Clemson's ACC slate got weaker with Wake Forest dropping out of the Top 25 after losing on the road to Virginia Tech. Unless Virginia or Virginia Tech find a way into the rankings before the ACC Championship Game, Dabo Swinney's side would have a single ranked win from Week 2 over Texas A&M. 

Oregon appears to be in good position to land the No. 4 seed. If the top three teams win the rest of their contests, Georgia, Minnesota and Penn State would drop out of the picture. 

That would leave the one-loss Ducks with a potential Top 10 win in the Pac-12 Championship Game, Alabama with one defeat and no conference title, and either Oklahoma or Baylor as the Big 12 winner. 

Two years ago, the Crimson Tide entered the playoff with one defeat and without a SEC Championship Game berth. The committee could compare Alabama and Oregon in their head-to-head matchups with Auburn, but they occurred at opposite ends of the season. 

Mario Cristobal's side would have 12 straight wins with a better best victory than Alabama since Utah would be ranked higher entering the Pac-12 Championship Game than Auburn would be going into the Iron Bowl against Bama. 

Two victories over Baylor could boost Oklahoma into the conversation as well, but its road defeat to Kansas State may weigh it down in seeding discussions. 

No matter which way you present it, the committee will likely have a difficult choice to make to complete the final four. 

                      

New Year's Six 

Cotton Bowl (December 28): Memphis vs. Baylor 

Orange Bowl (December 30): Georgia vs. Wake Forest  

Rose Bowl (January 1): Minnesota vs. Utah 

Sugar Bowl (January 1): Alabama vs. Oklahoma 

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 09: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on prior to the snap during the first quarter against the LSU Tigers in the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

If Alabama and Oklahoma miss out on the playoff, they could square off in the Sugar Bowl. 

That would place Jalen Hurts against his former side, and it may showcase two Heisman Trophy finalists with Tua Tagovailoa on the other side. 

Two-loss Georgia with a defeat to LSU would likely slide no further than No. 10, so that would put it into an at-large position. 

If Minnesota and Utah lose in their respective conference title games, they would meet in the Rose Bowl. 

The Golden Gophers still have to beat Iowa and Wisconsin to get to Lucas Oil Stadium. If it wins those games, P.J. Fleck's side should have an advantage over Penn State for the Big Ten's Rose Bowl berth. 

Baylor sits in a peculiar spot because it could still drop two games to Oklahoma. The Bears are 12th in the AP poll and would likely need one victory over the Sooners to secure a New Year's Six spot over Florida, Penn State and others. 

If Wake Forest ends up with three defeats and either Virginia or Virginia Tech loses to Clemson in the ACC Championship Game, it would be the second-best ACC team, which would earn a spot in the Orange Bowl. 

Memphis may have to beat Cincinnati twice to earn the Group of Five berth. The Tigers conclude the regular season with the Bearcats, and they could square off in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game. 

Cincinnati's path got easier after UCF's loss to Tulsa. The Bearcats lead the Knights by two in the loss column in the American East, while Memphis owns head-to-head tiebreakers on Navy. SMU and Tulane in the American West. 

                       

Bowl Projections

Bahamas Bowl (December 20): Florida International vs. Buffalo 

Frisco Bowl (December 20): Temple vs. Louisiana Tech 

New Mexico Bowl (December 21): Western Kentucky vs. San Diego State 

Cure Bowl (December 21): Georgia Southern vs. Liberty 

Boca Raton Bowl (December 21): Tulane vs. Charlotte 

Camellia Bowl (December 21): Miami (Ohio) vs. Georgia State 

Las Vegas Bowl (December 21): Washington State vs. Boise State 

New Orleans Bowl (December 21): Marshall vs. Appalachian State 

Gasparilla Bowl (December 23): UCF vs. Southern Miss 

Hawaii Bowl (December 24): BYU vs. Hawaii 

Independence Bowl (December 26): Florida State vs. Florida Atlantic 

QuickLane Bowl (December 26): Boston College vs. Illinois

Military Bowl (December 27): Louisville vs. Navy 

Pinstripe Bowl (December 27): Pittsburgh vs. Michigan State 

Texas Bowl (December 27): Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi State 

Holiday Bowl (December 27): Iowa vs. Washington 

Cheez-It Bowl (December 27): TCU vs. Stanford 

Camping World Bowl (December 28): Notre Dame vs. Kansas State 

First Responder Bowl (December 30): SMU vs. UAB 

Music City Bowl (December 30): Virginia vs. Tennessee 

Redbox Bowl (December 30): Indiana vs. Arizona State 

Belk Bowl (December 31): Virginia Tech vs. Kentucky 

Sun Bowl (December 31): Miami vs. California 

Liberty Bowl (December 31): Iowa State vs. Missouri 

Arizona Bowl (December 31): Wyoming vs. Arkansas State 

Alamo Bowl (December 31): Texas vs. USC 

Citrus Bowl (January 1): Wisconsin vs. Florida 

Outback Bowl (January 1): Penn State vs. Auburn 

Birmingham Bowl (January 2): Cincinnati vs. Nevada

Gator Bowl (January 2): Michigan vs. Texas A&M 

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (January 3): Central Michigan vs. Utah State 

Armed Forces Bowl (January 4): Air Force vs. Toledo 

Mobile Alabama Bowl (January 6): Western Michigan vs. Louisiana 

            

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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