Bowl Games 2019-20: TV Schedule and Predictions For Top Matchups

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 9, 2019

IOWA CITY, IOWA- NOVEMBER 16:  Defensive end A.J. Epenesa #94 of the Iowa Hawkeyesputs pressure during the second half on quarterback Tanner Morgan #2 of the Minnesota Gophers on November 16, 2019 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.  (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Outside of the College Football Playoff and New Year's Six, there are three college football bowl games featuring a pair of ranked teams. 

All three involve Big Ten programs, with two coming against SEC foes and another versus a Pac-12 side.

The first of those clashes is the Holiday Bowl between the Iowa Hawkeyes and USC Trojans, two squads that finished the regular season on a high note. 

Bowl season's opening weekend may not have a Top 25 matchup, but there are a few Group of Five clashes that may produce some of the most entertaining December football. 


Bowl Games

All Times ET

College Football Playoff

Peach Bowl: No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (4 p.m.) 

Fiesta Bowl: No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson (8 p.m. ET) 


New Year's Six

Cotton Bowl (December 28): Memphis vs. Penn State (Noon, ESPN)

Orange Bowl (December 30): Florida vs. Virginia (8 p.m., ESPN)

Rose Bowl (January 1): Wisconsin vs. Oregon (5 p.m., ESPN) 

Sugar Bowl (January 1): Georgia vs. Baylor (8:45 p.m., ESPN)


Other Bowls

Bahamas Bowl (December 20): Charlotte vs. Buffalo (2 p.m., ESPN) 

Frisco Bowl (December 20): Kent State vs. Utah State (7:30 p.m., ESPN2)

New Mexico Bowl (December 21): San Diego State vs. Central Michigan (2 p.m., ESPN))

Cure Bowl (December 21): Georgia Southern vs. Liberty (2:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network)

Boca Raton Bowl (December 21): SMU vs. Florida Atlantic (3:30 p.m., ABC)

Camellia Bowl (December 21): Arkansas State vs. Florida International (5:30 p.m., ESPN)

Las Vegas Bowl (December 21): Washington vs. Boise State (7:30 p.m., ABC)

New Orleans Bowl (December 21): Appalachian State vs. UAB (9 p.m., ESPN)

Gasparilla Bowl (December 23): UCF vs. Marshall (2:30 p.m., ESPN)

Hawaii Bowl (December 24): BYU vs. Hawaii (8 p.m., ESPN) 

Independence Bowl (December 26): Miami vs. Louisiana Tech (4 p.m., ESPN)

Quick Lane Bowl (December 26): Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan (8 p.m., ESPN)

Military Bowl (December 27): North Carolina vs. Temple (Noon, ESPN)

Pinstripe Bowl (December 27): Wake Forest vs. Michigan State (3:20 p.m., ESPN)

Texas Bowl (December 27): Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State (6:45 p.m., ESPN)

Holiday Bowl (December 27): USC vs. Iowa (8 p.m., FS1)

Cheez-It Bowl (December 27): Washington State vs. Air Force (10:15 p.m., ESPN)

Camping World Bowl (December 28): Notre Dame vs. Iowa State (Noon, ABC)

First Responder Bowl (December 30): Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan (12:30 p.m., ESPN)

Music City Bowl (December 30): Mississippi State vs. Louisville (4 p.m., ESPN)

Redbox Bowl (December 30): California vs. Illinois (4 p.m., Fox)

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

Sun Bowl (December 31): Florida State vs. Arizona State (2 p.m., CBS)

Liberty Bowl (December 31): Navy vs. Kansas State (3:45 p.m.. ESPN)

Arizona Bowl (December 31): Wyoming vs. Georgia State (4:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network)

Alamo Bowl (December 31): Utah vs. Texas (7:30 p.m., ESPN)

Citrus Bowl (January 1): Alabama vs. Michigan (1 p.m., ABC)

Outback Bowl (January 1): Auburn vs. Minnesota (1 p.m., ESPN)

Birmingham Bowl (January 2): Boston College vs. Cincinnati (3 p.m., ESPN)

Gator Bowl (January 2): Tennessee vs. Indiana (7 p.m., ESPN)

Idaho Potato Bowl (January 3): Ohio vs. Nevada (3:30 p.m., ESPN)

Armed Forces Bowl (January 4): Tulane vs. Southern Miss (11:30 a.m., ESPN)

Mobile Alabama Bowl (January 6): Louisiana vs. Miami (Ohio) (7:30 p.m., ESPN)


Predictions Top Matchups

No. 16 Iowa 24, No. 22 USC 16

Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Iowa and USC bounced back from defeats to some of the best teams in their respective conferences by ending the regular season with three straight wins to earn Holiday Bowl berths.

The Hawkeyes picked up hard-fought wins over Minnesota, Illinois and Nebraska, while the Trojans concluded with blowouts of California and UCLA.

While Kedon Slovis and Co. enter in fine form, they may not have an easy path to the end zone versus the Iowa defense. 

Led by A.J. Epenesa, Kirk Ferentz's side boasts the fifth-best FBS scoring defense that allows 13.2 points per game.

In their last five victories, the most points given up by the Big Ten West side was 24 to Nebraska on November 29. 

Epenesa, a likely NFL first-round draft pick, has nine sacks and leads a unit that carries seven players with multiple sacks. 

He and his teammates will be tasked with slowing down Slovis, who has 12 touchdowns and an interception in his last three games. 

Before that, though, he struggled with three interceptions against Oregon, and six of his nine picks have come in losing efforts. 

Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley could also experience issues, as he is coming off a 99-yard outing and has not thrown a scoring pass since November 16. 

If USC carries its defensive momentum into December 27 and Slovis is kept in check, the Holiday Bowl could be a low-scoring affair. 

Even though Stanley struggled of late, he did throw for a pair of scores versus Minnesota and Wisconsin and led his team to a victory over the Golden Gophers. 

His experience could eventually shine through to make the difference for the Hawkeyes. 


SMU 42, Florida Atlantic 37

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

One of the first bowl games features a pair of 10-win Group of Five schools that will receive the national spotlight in the Boca Raton Bowl. 

SMU drifted off the radar after losing to Memphis and a defeat to Navy dropped it out of the Top 25, but it rebounded by beating Tulane. 

In Shane Buechele, the Mustangs have one of the better mid-major quarterbacks, as he ranks eighth in the FBS with 3,626 passing yards and is tied for sixth with 33 touchdown passes. 

Sonny Dykes' team also possesses a 1,000-yard rusher in Xavier Jones and a 1,000-yard receiver in James Proche, who also has 102 receptions and 14 touchdown catches. 

Florida Atlantic has plenty of offensive weapons to counter SMU's production, starting with Chris Robison, who has 3,396 passing yards

Harrison Bryant is over 1,000 receiving yards and Malcolm Davidson has run for nine touchdowns for the Conference USA champion. 

The Owls played terrific defense in their final four games by holding three teams under 20 points. 

However, that may change against Buechele, which should make the Boca Raton Bowl one of the more exciting early bowls. 

SMU has scored at a consistently high level and won seven games by eclipsing 40 points, while FAU achieved that six times. 

While the quarterbacks are expected to shine, Jones could be the difference-maker, after scoring nine of his 21 touchdowns in the last five games. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.