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College Football Playoff 2019-20: Full Bowl Schedule, Championship Predictions

Jake RillSenior Analyst IDecember 26, 2019

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 07: Justin Jefferson #2 of the LSU Tigers celebrates scoring a touchdown in the third quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs during the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

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.