As bowl season continues to bring exciting college football matchups, the anticipation is growing for the College Football Playoff.
The Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl, the two CFP semifinal contests, will take place Saturday, marking the start of this season's top-tier bowl matchups. LSU, Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma are the four teams that will battle for the opportunity to play for the national title.
The CFP National Championship will take place on Jan. 13 and feature the two winners of the semifinal contests.
2019-20 Bowl Schedule
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.
College Football Playoff Predictions
In three of the previous four seasons, the College Football Playoff has culminated with the teams ranked No. 1 and No. 2 facing off for the national title. Don't expect anything different this time, either.
First, No. 1 LSU will defeat No. 4 Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. The Tigers have been the most impressive team in college football this season, as they've beaten Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida and Texas on their undefeated path to the Playoff.
And they've done so with the No. 1 offense in the country, which is led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow. In the past, LSU has typically been a program that relies on strong defenses. But everything has changed this season, as the Tigers are averaging 554.4 total yards per game and have scored at least 36 points in 12 of their 13 games.
Although Burrow won the Heisman, he's made it clear that wasn't his main goal when he transferred from Ohio State to LSU prior to the 2018 season.
"I want to win a national title. That's always been my drive since I was a sophomore in high school," Burrow said during a Tuesday press conference in Atlanta. "When I envisioned myself growing up, being a football player, it wasn't in the NFL. It was playing on January 13 in a dome somewhere for the national title."
Burrow's motivation and incredible skill set should be the difference in this game. Oklahoma's defense is going to have a hard time trying to stop him and the rest of LSU's offensive stars. While the Sooners have a strong offense that may keep up with the Tigers early, LSU's defense will make some key stops to help it pull away to victory.
In the second CFP semifinal, No. 2 Ohio State will face No. 3 Clemson, which has won two of the previous three national titles, in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. Both teams are 13-0, as the Buckeyes won the Big Ten championship and the Tigers won the ACC title.
While Ohio State has faced some strong teams this season, such as Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin, it is aware that Clemson is going to pose a strong challenge.
"They have a really good quarterback, a really good running back and one of the best offensive lines we’re going to play this year," Buckeyes defensive end Chase Young said, according to Steve Helwagen of 247Sports. "We know we need to be prepared."
Ohio State and Clemson seem evenly matched, so this should be a close, competitive game that comes down to the fourth quarter. But the Buckeyes, fueled by Young and quarterback Justin Fields, will make enough big plays late to avenge their 2016 Fiesta Bowl loss to the Tigers.