Bowl Projections 2019: Latest Predictions for CFP Final and Most Dangerous Teams

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 3, 2019

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 09: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after scoring a touchdown against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during their game at Carter-Finley Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Ohio State and LSU should enter the College Football Playoff as the favorites to win the national championship. 

The Buckeyes and Tigers are more than deserving of that distinction, but they must be wary of a few potential opponents that could knock them out in the semifinal round.

Clemson put together a dominant ACC campaign and returned most of its offensive weapons from its title run a year ago. 

Trevor Lawrence is one of two quarterbacks in the playoff mix with title-winning experience, with the other being Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts. 

The former Alabama quarterback has a tougher road to get into the playoff, but if the Big 12 side receives a spot, it could be a rougher out than expected due to its recent play.


Bowl Predictions

College Football Playoff

Peach Bowl (December 28): No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Utah 

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

National Championship (January 13): No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 2 LSU 


New Year's Six 

Cotton Bowl (December 28): Memphis vs. Florida

Orange Bowl (December 30): Virginia vs. Alabama

Rose Bowl (January 1): Oregon vs. Penn State 

Sugar Bowl (January 1): Georgia vs. Oklahoma


Other Bowls

Bahamas Bowl (December 20): Charlotte vs. Buffalo

Frisco Bowl (December 20): Temple vs. Southern Miss

New Mexico Bowl (December 21): Florida International vs. Wyoming

Cure Bowl (December 21): Tulane vs. Arkansas State

Boca Raton Bowl (December 21): Liberty vs. Western Michigan 

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): SMU vs. Western Kentucky 

Hawaii Bowl (December 24): BYU vs. Hawaii 

Independence Bowl (December 26): North Carolina vs. Louisiana Tech 

Quick Lane Bowl (December 26): Michigan State vs. Boston College

Military Bowl (December 27): Miami vs. Navy 

Pinstripe Bowl (December 27): Pittsburgh vs. Michigan

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

Holiday Bowl (December 27): Iowa vs. Washington 

Cheez-It Bowl (December 27): Kansas State vs. San Diego State

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

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

Music City Bowl (December 30): Virginia Tech vs. Kentucky

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

Belk Bowl (December 31): Louisville vs. Florida Atlantic

Sun Bowl (December 31): Wake Forest vs. California 

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

Arizona Bowl (December 31): Nevada vs. Georgia Southern 

Alamo Bowl (December 31): Baylor vs. USC 

Citrus Bowl (January 1): Wisconsin vs. Auburn 

Outback Bowl (January 1): Minnesota vs. Tennessee

Birmingham Bowl (January 2): Florida State vs. UCF

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

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

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

LendingTree Bowl (January 6): Central Michigan vs. Louisiana  


Most Dangerous Teams


Sean Rayford/Associated Press

The national champion is looming in the semifinals for either Ohio State or LSU. 

Clemson has not played a difficult schedule like the Buckeyes or Tigers, but it has looked as dominant for a majority of the campaign. 

Since suffering a scare against North Carolina September 28, Dabo Swinney's team has blown out seven opponents and it could do the same to Virginia in Saturday's ACC Championship Game. 

Even though he is not receiving much Heisman Trophy buzz, Lawrence is putting together a solid sophomore season with 2,870 passing yards and 30 touchdowns. 

While Joe Burrow and Justin Fields are excellent quarterbacks, neither has the playoff experience the 20-year-old gained in his first collegiate season. 

The playoff moment wasn't too big for him as a freshman and it shouldn't be in his second go-around, which may be an advantage. 

Lawrence also possesses a strong supporting cast, led by running back Travis Etienne, who put together six straight 100-yard games from October 12-November 16. 

In Tee Higgins, Justyn Ross and Amari Rodgers, Clemson has a trio of wideouts who can challenge any secondary. 

The Tigers' defense may not contain first-round NFL draft picks this season outside of linebacker Isaiah Simmons—who is a potential top-10 pickbut it has played well since the start of October. 

In that stretch, Clemson has not allowed a single opponent over 14 points and limited three foes to single digits, including the last two, Wake Forest and South Carolina. 

The Tigers have not faced a star-studded offense like LSU or Ohio State has, so that may be a concern going into the playoff, but the same could have been said about last year's unit and it beat Notre Dame and Alabama to win the title. 



Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Oklahoma looked like a much better version of itself Saturday in a 34-16 win over Oklahoma State.

The Sooners defense wasn't gashed for a handful of scores as it was in the previous four games, and it held the Cowboys without a second-half touchdown. 

That is the type of play that could allow it to win a playoff matchup, if it gets in over Utah. 

Lincoln Riley's team is trending in the right direction because it picked up two Top 25 wins in the last three weeks, which is the edge it currently holds on Utah. 

However, the Big 12 team has not been as dominant for long stretches, which is one of the Utes' top arguments for the No. 4 seed. 

If the Sooners dominate Baylor in the Big 12 Championship Game, there is a chance their resume and recent performances get them into the final four. 

In their regular-season meeting with the Bears, the Sooners moved the ball with ease, but they were hampered by a pair of first-half turnovers. 

Hurts racked up 411 total yards in the November 9 game without wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. With the 1,000-yard receiver back in the lineup, the pair could do damage to the Baylor secondary and get out to an early advantage that can't be touched. 

The Sooners are dangerous if they reach the playoff because of Hurts' experience from his time at Alabama. The senior played in three consecutive national championship games, which is something no player can brag about.

Beating either LSU or Ohio State will be a difficult task, but the Sooners should not be overlooked because of their quarterback's previous success. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.