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Bowl Projections 2019: Predictions for Top Teams Ahead of Final CFP Poll Reveal

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 07: Justin Fields #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs with the ball in the BIG Ten Football Championship Game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After months of debate, the College Football Playoff will be announced Sunday, but the committee shouldn't have too difficult of choices going into the final poll.

Several teams had a chance to play their way into the national semifinals with a strong performance this weekend but came up short, while others earned their spots thanks to full seasons worth of strong play. People from all areas of the country will likely still take the chance to argue for their teams, but the four best and most deserving squads should get a bid to the playoffs.

Here is a prediction for which four teams will be on the field for the biggest college football games of the year.

   

Peach Bowl: No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma

There have been plenty of arguments between the resumes of LSU and Ohio State over the past few weeks, but the Tigers separated themselves even before the Big Ten title game kicked off Saturday.

Joe Burrow likely secured a Heisman Trophy with his performance in the 37-10 win over Georgia in the SEC Championship:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Broadway Joe is unbelievable 🍿 (via @CBSSports) https://t.co/5BwbExvfxo

The eye test was impressive enough, but the resume has truly stood out this year:

Aaron Torres @Aaron_Torres

LSU won at Alabama, against Georgia on a neutral, beat Auburn and Florida, and challenged themselves out of conference at Texas. I don't care if Ohio State wins by 100 tonight. There is ZERO argument for anyone other than LSU as the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff

Scott Rabalais @RabalaisAdv

#LSU making a case for No. 1. I don't know how the CFP committee can deny a team with two wins over top-five teams at the time away from home.

The committee thought highly of Georgia all year long, but LSU dominated the squad from start to finish despite it being close to a road atmosphere in Atlanta. Adding in a win on the road against Alabama when Tua Tagovailoa was healthy, no one else in the country can match the resume.

We don't yet know if LSU is the best team in college football, but it's deserving of a No. 1 seed.

Oklahoma hasn't been quite as dominant this year, but the 12-1 record and a Big 12 title are enough to secure a spot in the playoff.

The Sooners have the worst loss of all the top contenders after dropping a game to Kansas State earlier in the year. They also haven't dominated in their wins, squeaking out five wins by just one score.

Still, Jalen Hurts and Co. were able to beat Baylor for a second time Saturday and have done enough to earn a chance to play for a title.

Utah could've had a decent argument with a win in the Pac-12 Championship Game, but that contest belonged to Oregon.

It leaves what could be an intriguing battle between Hurts and his former SEC West rival in what should be a high-scoring contest.

        

Fiesta Bowl: No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson

It wouldn't be a surprise if Ohio State ends up at No. 1.

The team has been blowing out opponents throughout the year, even more than Clemson:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Ohio State wins the Big Ten Championship Game 34-21. The Buckeyes’ 13-point win gives them the 2nd–largest single season point margin in the AP Poll Era, moving them ahead of 1944 Army. Clemson remains in a tie for 4th with itself. https://t.co/a8BTeZ4F3r

Of course, the schedule has been much tougher than the Tigers' with wins over Michigan and Penn State as well as two over Wisconsin. It wasn't a blowout win in the Big Ten title game, but the squad showed impressive resolve in overcome a 14-point halftime deficit.

The Buckeyes have been incredible both offensively and defensively this season with elite playmakers on both sides of the ball.

The biggest difference between them and LSU is the type of peak wins for each team. The only difficult road game for Ohio State was at Michigan, while the neutral-field battle against Wisconsin caused plenty of trouble. The Tigers had a slightly tougher schedule and did enough to earn a No. 1 spot.

Meanwhile, Ohio State and Clemson will both get the chance to show they are truly the best team in the country this postseason.

Although Clemson wasn't always heavily discussed during the course of season, few doubted the team's ability, just the resume.

The Tigers added plenty of style points Saturday with a dominant 62-17 win over Virginia in the ACC Championship.

Trevor Lawrence made it look easy with four touchdowns in the dominant effort:

ESPN @espn

Big plays in big moments for Clemson 🔥 (📍@MercedesBenzUSA) https://t.co/dsGJ05EjDL

He now has 20 touchdown passes and zero interceptions in his last six games. 

With the quarterback continuing to grow as a passer, Travis Etienne as good as any running back in the country and a defense that is always tough, this team has a good chance to repeat as national champions.

The only reason to doubt this team was the lack of quality wins. With Virginia likely to leave the Top 25, Clemson will have no wins over ranked teams this year, which hurts even an undefeated team.

Head coach Dabo Swinney might be able to use this as motivation, but the Tigers don't deserve any better than the No. 3 seed in the playoffs.