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Bowl Predictions 2019: Full Projections for CFP Final and More Top Games

Jake RillSenior Analyst IDecember 7, 2019

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 30: Quarterback Justin Fields #1 looks to throw the ball during the second half of a college football game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on November 30, 2019 in Ann Arbor, MI. The Ohio State Buckeyes won the game 56-27 over the Michigan Wolverines. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)
Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

The College Football Playoff has only been around since 2014. And during that time, there haven't been many different teams that have advanced to the National Championship Game.

After Ohio State and Oregon faced off to close the 2014 season, Alabama and Clemson have gone on to dominate the CFP. Three of the past four title games have been matchups between the Crimson Tide and Tigers, while the only exception during that time was the 2017 season, when Alabama faced Georgia.

But with Alabama out of the Playoff conversation this year, there's a chance for some fresh matchups at the end of this season.

Here's a look at current projections for the College Football Playoff, as well as the rest of the New Year's Six bowls, followed by predictions for this season's Playoff.

        

New Year's Six Matchup Projections

Peach Bowl: No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Oklahoma

Fiesta Bowl: No. 2 LSU vs. No. 3 Clemson

Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Penn State

Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs. Baylor

Orange Bowl: Virginia vs. Florida

Cotton Bowl: Memphis vs. Alabama

      

Full College Football Playoff Predictions

Ohio State, LSU and Clemson will secure the top three seeds in the College Football Playoff by winning their respective conference championship games on Saturday. Expect Ohio State to beat Wisconsin for the Big Ten title, LSU to edge Georgia for the SEC title and Clemson to roll to a victory over Virginia to claim the ACC title.

With Georgia losing—combined with Utah's loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday night—that will open the door for Oklahoma to claim the fourth and final Playoff spot with a win over Baylor in the Big 12 Championship Game. And after already notching a big comeback road win over the Bears earlier in the season, that's exactly what the Sooners will do.

Those outcomes will set up a Peach Bowl matchup between Ohio State and Oklahoma, as well as a clash between LSU and Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.

So, how will things unfold from there?

It's hard to imagine a scenario in which Ohio State and LSU don't face off for the national championship. The Buckeyes and Tigers have been the clear top two teams all season, winning games against quality opponents in impressive fashion.

Ohio State's offense will need to play at a high level to keep up with Oklahoma's powerful offense, but that shouldn't be a problem for the Buckeyes, who have scored at least 34 points in 11 of their 12 wins this season.

LSU and Clemson will likely have a competitive game, but LSU's experience against top teams this season—it owns wins over Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Texaswill have it better prepared to beat the ACC champions and advance to its first National Championship Game in the College Football Playoff era.

A contest between Ohio State and LSU would surely be the most exciting game of the college football season, particularly if both teams are still undefeated and playing for the national title.

And although it's a matchup that could go either way, the Buckeyes may be the one top team that the Tigers can't beat. Ohio State is filled with playmakers on both side of the ball, such as quarterback Justin Fields, running back J.K. Dobbins, edge rusher Chase Young and cornerbacks Jeffrey Okudah and Shaun Wade.

Ohio State will win a back-and-forth game and capture its first national championship since the 2014 season.