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Bowl Games 2019-20: Full Schedule and Predictions for College Football Playoff

Jake RillSenior Analyst IDecember 27, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 07: Justin Fields #01 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in action in the Big Ten Championship game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The final weekend of the decade is here. And what better way to spend it than by watching some exciting college football matchups?

There are five bowl games Friday, including the first bowl to feature a pair of ranked teams this season, as No. 16 Iowa and No. 22 USC will face off in the Holiday Bowl. Before that, there is also an exciting Texas Bowl matchup featuring No. 25 Oklahoma State and Texas A&M.

But Saturday's slate is even better. Four games will take place, including both College Football Playoff semifinals: the Peach Bowl (No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma) and the Fiesta Bowl (No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson).

                  

2019-20 Bowl Schedule

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

Peach Bowl: No. 1 LSU over No. 4 Oklahoma

One advantage that Oklahoma could have over LSU? The fact that the Sooners have been in the College Football Playoff before.

But Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron would argue that the fact that this is LSU's first appearance in the CFP could also work in its advantage.

"I'm sure they know to how to handle the situation, handle the hype," Orgeron said at his Thursday press conference. "They've come from behind in big-time games. They have great players, great coaches. Probably gives them a little advantage of being here before. But the newness also gives you an advantage. We're excited to be here, man. This is fun."

The Tigers will be having more fun by late Saturday night. That's because they will continue their undefeated season by beating the Sooners and advancing to the CFP National Championship, where they will have the opportunity to win their first national title since the 2007 season.

Oklahoma is a strong team, and with its offense ranked No. 2 in the country, it could be one of the few teams that may keep up with LSU, especially early in the game. But the Tigers have taken down plenty of other top teams this season, including Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida and Texas.

LSU also has the No. 1 offense in the nation, led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow.

Expect the Tigers to make some big plays in the second half, as well as get some key defensive stops, to help propel them to a Peach Bowl victory and a trip to the CFP National Championship.

               

Fiesta Bowl: No. 2 Ohio State over No. 3 Clemson

Ohio State is 13-0 and won the Big Ten championship. Clemson is 13-0 and won the ACC championship. And the similarities between these teams don't stop there.

Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day pointed that out during Fiesta Bowl media day Thursday.

"You talk about a collection of power, speed and strength on both sides, it’s there," Day said, according to Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune. "Clemson has speed. We have speed. They have a really good quarterback. We have a really good quarterback. It goes back and forth. It is an equated game. It will be fun to watch.”

So those are reasons why this year's Fiesta Bowl should be a competitive matchup.

Plus, both of these teams rank in the top five in the country in both offense and defense. Clemson has the No. 1 defense (244.7 total yards allowed per game) and the No. 3 offense (547.7 total yards per game). Ohio State has the No. 2 defense (247.6) and No. 5 offense (531).

But which of these strong teams will end up on top, and what will be the difference?

The Buckeyes have played more difficult games this year, as they defeated Wisconsin twice and notched wins over Penn State and Michigan on the path to the Big Ten title. Plus, they had two players who were worthy of being named Heisman finalists: quarterback Justin Fields and defensive end Chase Young.

Fields will lead a key late drive and Ohio State's defense will make a crucial stop that will help it avenge its 2016 Fiesta Bowl loss to Clemson, its previous appearance in the College Football Playoff.