College Football Bowl Picks 2019-20: Predictions for Every Postseason Game

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 16, 2019

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - OCTOBER 26:  Jerry Jeudy #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide carries this reception in for a touchdown in the first half against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 26, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The recent trend of college football stars skipping bowl games to focus on the NFL draft has had an effect on the outcomes of postseason contests. 

The same may be said about the 2019-20 bowl season as decisions continue to come in from the nation's premier talents. 

Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, one of the top 2020 NFL draft prospects, opted to buck that thought process by announcing Saturday he will play in the Citrus Bowl. 

Florida State running back Cam Akers went in the other direction, as he opted to skip the Sun Bowl, and that could play a major role in the Seminoles' performance on New Year's Eve. 

Akers is one of a few stars missing out on the trip to El Paso, Texas, as Arizona State will likely be without two playmakers. While both the Seminoles and Sun Devils could be short-handed, one squad still has a talented young quarterback at its disposal who could win the game on his own.


Bowl Games

College Football Playoff

Peach Bowl (Dec. 28)No. 1 LSU  (-12.5) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (4 p.m.) 

Fiesta Bowl (Dec. 28)No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson (-2) (8 p.m. ET) 


New Year's Six

Cotton Bowl (Dec. 28): Memphis vs. Penn State (-6.5) (noon, ESPN)

Orange Bowl (Dec. 30): Florida (-14) vs. Virginia (8 p.m., ESPN)

Rose Bowl (Jan. 1): Wisconsin (-3) vs. Oregon (5 p.m., ESPN) 

Sugar Bowl (Jan. 1): Georgia (-7.5) vs. Baylor (8:45 p.m., ESPN)


Other Bowls

Bahamas Bowl (Dec. 20): Charlotte vs. Buffalo (-6) (2 p.m., ESPN) 

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

New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 21): San Diego State (-3.5) vs. Central Michigan (2 p.m., ESPN)

Cure Bowl (Dec. 21): Georgia Southern (-6) vs. Liberty (2:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network)

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

Camellia Bowl (Dec. 21): Arkansas State (-2.5) vs. Florida International (5:30 p.m., ESPN)

Las Vegas Bowl (Dec. 21): Washington (-3.5) vs. Boise State (7:30 p.m., ABC)

New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 21): Appalachian State (-16) vs. UAB (9 p.m., ESPN)

Gasparilla Bowl (Dec. 23): UCF (-17) vs. Marshall (2:30 p.m., ESPN)

Hawaii Bowl (Dec. 24): BYU (-1.5) vs. Hawaii (8 p.m., ESPN) 

Independence Bowl (Dec. 26): Miami (-6) vs. Louisiana Tech (4 p.m., ESPN)

Quick Lane Bowl (Dec. 26): Pittsburgh (-10.5) vs. Eastern Michigan (8 p.m., ESPN)

Military Bowl (Dec. 27): North Carolina (-5) vs. Temple (noon, ESPN)

Pinstripe Bowl (Dec. 27): Wake Forest vs. Michigan State (-4.5) (3:20 p.m., ESPN)

Texas Bowl (Dec. 27): Texas A&M (-7) vs. Oklahoma State (6:45 p.m., ESPN)

Holiday Bowl (Dec. 27): USC vs. Iowa (-1.5) (8 p.m., FS1)

Cheez-It Bowl (Dec. 27): Washington State vs. Air Force (-2.5) (10:15 p.m., ESPN)

Camping World Bowl (Dec. 28): Notre Dame (-4) vs. Iowa State (noon, ABC)

First Responder Bowl (Dec. 30): Western Kentucky (-3.5) vs. Western Michigan (12:30 p.m., ESPN)

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

Redbox Bowl (Dec. 30): California (-7) vs. Illinois (4 p.m., Fox)

Belk Bowl (Dec. 31): Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech (-3) (noon, ESPN)

Sun Bowl (Dec. 31): Florida State vs. Arizona State (-5) (2 p.m., CBS)

Liberty Bowl (Dec. 31): Navy (-2) vs. Kansas State (3:45 p.m.. ESPN)

Arizona Bowl (Dec. 31): Wyoming (-7.5) vs. Georgia State (4:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network)

Alamo Bowl (Dec. 31): Utah (-7.5) vs. Texas (7:30 p.m., ESPN)

Citrus Bowl (Jan. 1): Alabama (-7.5) vs. Michigan (1 p.m., ABC)

Outback Bowl (Jan. 1): Auburn (-7) vs. Minnesota (1 p.m., ESPN)

Birmingham Bowl (Jan. 2): Boston College vs. Cincinnati (-7) (3 p.m., ESPN)

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

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Jan. 3): Ohio (-7.5) vs. Nevada (3:30 p.m., ESPN)

Armed Forces Bowl (Jan. 4): Tulane (-7) vs. Southern Miss (11:30 a.m., ESPN)

LendingTree Bowl (Jan. 6): Louisiana (-14) vs. Miami (Ohio) (7:30 p.m., ESPN)

All times ET. Odds via Caesars; predictions against the spread in bold.



Alabama (-7.5) vs. Michigan 

Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

Jeudy's announcement that he will play in the Citrus Bowl sparked a discussion about the other NFL prospects on the Crimson Tide roster. 

According to AL.com's Mike Rodak, "the current belief" is a majority of the team's top players will participate on New Year's Day, with linebacker Terrell Lewis likely being the exception because he has suffered some injuries. 

If Alabama is close to full strength, a Michigan defense that struggled to contain Ohio State at the end of November could be in for a long day. Jim Harbaugh's side allowed 577 yards and 14 points in every quarter to the second-ranked Buckeyes. In three Big Ten defeats to Top 15 programs, the Wolverines were outscored 119-62

Alabama ranks two positions behind Ohio State in seventh in yards per game in the FBS. The SEC West side also boasts the third-best passing offense behind Washington State and LSU with 343.5 yards per game. 

The Crimson Tide's top four wide receivers all average over 13 yards per catch and have found the end zone at least six times. 

The combination of DeVonta Smith, Henry Ruggs III, Jaylen Waddle and Jeudy should be frightening for the Michigan secondary that failed to contain Ohio State's Chris Olave and K.J. Hill.

Michigan also has to game-plan for Najee Harris, who had 446 rushing yards and six scores in November. 

There might be concerns about Alabama's motivation since it is out of the College Football Playoff and the New Year's Six, but the last time it was in this position, it steamrolled Michigan State in the 2011 Capital One Bowl. 

Michigan might be the team to worry about when it comes to motivation, as a blowout loss to its top rival has over a month to fester and it has not won a bowl game since the 2016 Citrus Bowl. 

If the Wolverines could not keep up with the Big Ten's top three sides, it may struggle with Alabama's athleticism, which may lead to another double-digit defeat to a marquee program. 


Florida State vs. Arizona State (-5) 

Matt York/Associated Press

Akers accounted for 1,144 of Florida State's 1,605 rushing yards, and there is only one running back available for the Sun Bowl with more than 100 yards on the ground. 

The good news for the Seminoles is that the running back will be around bowl practice to help, per the Tallahassee Democrat's Jim Henry

"It tells you a lot about his character. He's going to the next level, he's got other things to think about, but he still cares about his teammates and what he has going on here," FSU quarterback James Blackman said.

Arizona State's Eno Benjamin announced his intentions before Akers, and on Sunday, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk confirmed that he will join the running back in preparing for the NFL draft, per the Arizona Republic's Jeff Metcalfe.

Even without his two most reliable targets, freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels could be the X-factor on New Year's Eve. 

Daniels has 2,748 passing yards, 319 rushing yards and 20 total touchdowns. In the upset win over Oregon on November 23, he produced 408 yards and three scoring plays. He should use the Sun Bowl as a springboard to an offseason in which he can build up toward a successful sophomore campaign under Herm Edwards

While the Sun Devils can use the game to move forward, Florida State will not be able to do the same since a new coach in Mike Norvell is set to take over after the proceedings in south Texas. 

The Pac-12 side also possesses the most dynamic player on both rosters in Daniels, who faces a defense that allowed 20 points on six occasions in ACC play and is coming off a 40-point concession to Florida. 

Meanwhile, the Sun Devils enter with plenty of momentum from ruining Oregon's College Football Playoff dream and holding rival Arizona to 14 points.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.


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