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Bowl Game Schedule 2019-20: Complete Predictions for Can't-Miss Matchups

Jake RillSenior Analyst IDecember 23, 2019

Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins, left, runs with the ball during the first half of the team's Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Wisconsin, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Every college football bowl game has the opportunity to be special. And some of this year's contests have already proved that.

On Saturday, Washington handed Boise State only its second loss of the season, knocking off the Broncos in the Las Vegas Bowl. Meanwhile, Appalachian State notched its 13th victory of the year, defeating UAB in the New Orleans Bowl, while Liberty recorded its first bowl win in program history by beating Georgia Southern in the Cure Bowl.

And that was only the start of what should be an exciting bowl season.

Here's a look at this season's full schedule, followed by predictions for some of the top matchups.

     

2019-20 Bowl Schedule

Monday, Dec. 23

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

         

Tuesday, Dec. 24

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

         

Thursday, Dec. 26

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

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

           

Friday, Dec. 27

Military Bowl (noon, ESPN): North Carolina vs. Temple

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

Texas Bowl (6:45 p.m., ESPN): No. 25 Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M

Holiday Bowl (8 p.m., Fox Sports 1): No. 22 USC vs. No. 16 Iowa

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

      

Saturday, Dec. 28

Camping World Bowl (noon, ABC): No. 15 Notre Dame vs. Iowa State

Cotton Bowl (noon, ESPN): No. 17 Memphis vs. No. 10 Penn State

College Football Playoff semifinal: Peach Bowl (4 p.m., ESPN): No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 LSU

College Football Playoff semifinal: Fiesta Bowl (8 p.m., ESPN): No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 2 Ohio State

      

Monday, Dec. 30

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

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

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

Orange Bowl (8 p.m., ESPN): No. 9 Florida vs. No. 24 Virginia

      

Tuesday, Dec. 31

Belk Bowl (noon, ESPN): Virginia Tech vs. Kentucky

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

Liberty Bowl (3:45 p.m., ESPN): No. 23 Navy vs. Kansas State

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

Alamo Bowl (7:30 p.m., ESPN): No. 11 Utah vs. Texas

       

Wednesday, Jan. 1

Citrus Bowl (1 p.m., ABC): No. 14 Michigan vs. No. 13 Alabama

Outback Bowl (1 p.m., ESPN): No. 18 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Auburn

Rose Bowl (5 p.m., ESPN): No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 8 Wisconsin

Sugar Bowl (8:45 p.m., ESPN): No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 7 Baylor

       

Thursday, Jan. 2

Birmingham Bowl (3 p.m., ESPN): No. 21 Cincinnati vs. Boston College

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

         

Friday, Jan. 3

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

        

Saturday, Jan. 4

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

       

Monday, Jan. 6

LendingTree Bowl (7:30 p.m., ESPN): UL Lafayette vs. Miami (Ohio)

           

Monday, Jan. 13

College Football Playoff National Championship (8 p.m., ESPN): Winner of No. 1 LSU-No. 4 Oklahoma vs. Winner of No. 2 Ohio State-No. 3 Clemson

All Times ET. Predictions in bold.

The most can't-miss matchups of bowl season are easily the two College Football Playoff semifinals. This year, those games are the Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl on Saturday, with the winners advancing to the CFP National Championship on Jan. 13.

First, No. 1 LSU is taking on No. 4 Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl in a matchup of the top two offenses in the country, each led by a top-tier quarterback. The Tigers are led by the Heisman Trophy winner, Joe Burrow, while the Sooners have the runner-up for the award, Jalen Hurts, under center.

As such, expect a lot of points in that matchup. LSU averages 554.4 total yards per game, while Oklahoma is close behind at 554.2.

Although the Sooners may have a better chance to keep up with the Tigers offensively than some of the teams from the SEC, it might not be enough. LSU also has a strong defense that should get some key stops against Oklahoma, and the Sooners don't have a defense that is capable of consistently stopping the Tigers.

Because of that, expect LSU to continue its incredible season by advancing to the CFP National Championship and earning an opportunity to try to win its first national title since 2007.

While the Peach Bowl features the country's top two offenses, the Fiesta Bowl will showcase the top two defenses in the nation. Clemson is ranked first with only 244.7 total yards allowed per game, while Ohio State is second at 247.6

However, both the Tigers and Buckeyes also have top-five offenses. Clemson ranks third at 547.7 total yards per game, while Ohio State is fifth at 531.

One thing to consider, however, is that the Buckeyes had a challenging Big Ten schedule that featured two wins over Wisconsin and victories over Penn State and Michigan. Meanwhile, only one of the Tigers' 13 victories came against a team that finished ranked in the CFP rankings—No. 24 Virginia, which lost to Clemson 62-17 in the ACC Championship Game.

Clemson may have past CFP success on its side, as it has won two of the previous three national titles, but Ohio State is the better overall team. Justin Fields should make some big plays on offense, Chase Young should wreak havoc on defense and the Buckeyes will avenge their 2016 Fiesta Bowl loss to the Tigers with a close victory.

The College Football Playoff matchups won't be the only entertaining games this bowl season, though. In fact, the entire New Year's Day slate should feature great games.

Of those four matchups, make sure not to miss the Sugar Bowl, which features Georgia and Baylor. The Bulldogs lost in the SEC Championship Game and the Bears lost in the Big 12 Championship Game, or else both could have been under consideration to make the Playoff.

It will be fun to watch these two top-tier teams face off, although Georgia's defense should propel it to victory.