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College Football Bowl Projections 2019

Zack Moss, Utah
College Football Playoff Bowls

Peach Bowl: (1) LSU Tigers vs. (4) Utah Utes 
Notes: The field to select from for the final Playoff spot will most likely come down to a battle between a one-loss Big 12 Champion Oklahoma, one-loss Pac-12 Champion Utah Utes, and a one-loss Alabama. I think there is a chance the Committee talks themselves into Alabama at four, but Utah makes the most sense to me. They're playing the best football of the trio, and their lone loss to USC doesn't look terrible in retrospect.
Fiesta Bowl: (2) Ohio State Buckeyes vs. (3) Clemson Tigers
Notes: Ohio State has a chance to overtake LSU for the No. 1 spot, depending on how they finish up against Michigan and then the Big Ten Championship. However, the most likely scenario is they end up taking on Clemson in the semifinal, a team that blanked them in their last Playoff berth.

Remaining New Year's Six Bowls

Sugar Bowl: Georgia Bulldogs vs. Oklahoma Sooners
Notes: A loss in the 2017-18 Playoff to Georgia should serve as motivation for Oklahoma if they don't earn a Playoff bid. Jalen Hurts will get a chance to come away victorious once more against the Bulldogs.

Rose Bowl: Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Oregon Ducks
A shocking loss to Arizona State this past weekend ended Oregon's Playoff hopes, but they would still settle for the Rose Bowl in Mario Cristobal's second year in Eugene. This would be the second Rose for Penn State in four seasons, and fourth straight New Year's Six.

Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Notes: After a lethargic 2-2 start to 2019, Virginia Tech has been playing great football down the stretch, and looks like they could take the ACC Coastal. It won't be easy going up against Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, who needs to absolutely smash Auburn in the Iron Bowl to have any shot at the Playoff.

Cotton Bowl: Memphis Tigers vs. Baylor Bears
Notes: Memphis earns the NY6 bid given to the one Group of Five team, but they'll likely have to beat a one-loss Cincinnati in the AAC Championship to do so. Baylor has a chance for vengeance against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship, but it's more likely they enter the postseason 11-2.

The Rest

Bahamas Bowl: Eastern Michigan Eagles vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Notes:After two bowls in their history prior to 2016, Eastern Michigan has a chance at their third in the Chris Creighton era. Western Kentucky has had a resurgent 2019 in Tyson Helton's first season, likely to end the year 8-4.

Frisco Bowl: SMU Mustangs vs. Marshall Thundering Herd
Notes: A loss this Saturday to Navy likely knocks SMU down a few pegs into the Frisco Bowl, where they'll meet a C-USA squad. Sonny Dykes' team still has a chance at double-digit victories, which would be a notable success in Year Two.

New Mexico Bowl: Charlotte 49ers vs. San Diego State Aztecs
Notes: Charlotte is bowl eligible for the first time in their history, going 6-5 so far this year. They'll likely face a quality Mountain West team, with San Diego State a good chance.

Cure Bowl: Temple Owls vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves
Notes: An AAC-Sun Belt matchup here, with both teams sitting at 7-4 at the moment.

Boca Raton Bowl: Western Michigan Broncos vs. Tulane Green Wave
Notes: The slight favorite in the MAC West right now, it will be fascinating to see where they end up playing this postseason. Tulane is trending down, but still retains bowl eligibility.

Camellia Bowl: Buffalo Bulls vs. Georgia State Panthers
Notes: Georgia State already made waves by shocking Tennessee to begin 2019, and they've followed it up with a 7-4 record, earning them a chance to meet a MAC foe here.

Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State Broncos vs. Washington State Cougars
Notes: Boise still has a chance at a New Year's Six bowl if some losses happen in front of them, but the more likely outcome is a Las Vegas Bowl. It has been an up-and-down 2019 for Wazzu but at 6-5, they're bowl bound.

New Orleans Bowl: Appalachian State Mountaineers vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Notes: Even at 10-1 and equipped with two Power Five victories (UNC, South Carolina), Appalachian State's ceiling is a relatively unimportant bowl. Louisiana Tech could still be an interesting matchup as one of the best in the C-USA.

Gasparilla Bowl: UCF Knights vs. Florida Atlantic Owls
Notes: Two of the top Group of Five programs in the country collide here, as UCF's three losses means no New Year's Six this year. Could this be Lane Kiffin's final game with FAU? He will be rumored for a variety of jobs this coaching carousel.

Hawaii Bowl: BYU Cougars vs. Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors
Notes: BYU has already accepted their invitation to travel to Hawaii to take part in this one, likely to face off with the local host Rainbow Warriors, who own two Power Five wins (Oregon State, Arizona).

Independence Bowl: Florida State Seminoles vs. Liberty Flames
Notes: In just their first season as an official FBS program, Liberty is 6-5 and continues to make strides under controversial head coach Hugh Freeze. They could continue to add to their momentum against an FSU squad playing hard under interim head coach Odell Haggins.

Quick Lane Bowl: UNC Tar Heels vs. Michigan State Spartans
Notes: After taking over a Tar Heel team that was 2-9 in 2018, Mack Brown has UNC one win away from a bowl berth. They'll be favored against a Michigan State team that needs to beat Maryland this weekend to get to 6-6.

Pinstripe Bowl: Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Notes: Dave Clawson continues to work his magic at Wake Forest, as he has the Demon Deacons set to appear in their fourth straight bowl game. They'll face a Big Ten opponent, possibly Lovie Smith's Fighting Illini.

Military Bowl: Florida International Panthers vs. Navy Midshipmen
Notes: Navy still has a chance to take the AAC West if Memphis were to lose this weekend to Cincinnati. If not, they'll settle for a Military Bowl matchup, which could pit them up against a FIU team who just beat Miami.

Texas Bowl: Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Texas A&M Aggies
Notes: A brutal schedule means A&M will likely finish the 2019 regular season 7-5. However, a victory over their former Big 12 foe could earn them plenty of momentum heading into 2020 and beyond.

Holiday Bowl: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Arizona State Sun Devils
Notes: Arizona State's stunner of Oregon this Saturday ended a four-game skid, and likely bought them a berth in the Holiday Bowl. Led by freshman QB Jayden Daniels, they could end the season on fire.

Cheez-It Bowl: Kansas State Wildcats vs. Wyoming Cowboys
Notes: Although normally reserved for a Big 12-Pac 12 matchup, Wyoming gains a spot as a replacement here. If this were to happen, it would be a duel between two former NDSU coaches, Chris Klieman at K-State and Craig Bohl at Wyoming.

Camping World Bowl: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Texas Longhorns
Notes: Two storied programs land in a December 28th bowl. Disappointing for both teams, but Texas could still end their year with a win this upcoming weekend against Texas Tech.

First Responder Bowl: TCU Horned Frogs vs. Southern Miss Golden Eagles
Notes: TCU will need to beat West Virginia to earn bowl eligibility this season, which would be a major success considering the adversity they've faced at the quarterback position.

Music City Bowl: Louisville Cardinals vs. UAB Blazers
Notes: Louisville has really looked good in head coach Scott Satterfield's first season, but it would be interesting to see who they would play. Usually this spot would be go to an SEC team, but a replacement may be chosen, such as UAB.

Redbox Bowl: Indiana Hoosiers vs. California Golden Bears
Notes: Even though they were unable top either Penn State or Michigan the last two weeks, Indiana has been a good story in 2019. Cal's offensive struggles have hindered them over the second half of the year, but their defense still makes them a tough out.

Belk Bowl: Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Pittsburgh Panthers
Notes: A loss to Virginia Tech last Saturday ended Pittsburgh's ACC Coastal hopes, but they should still find their way into a favorable bowl. Mississippi State will have to win their annual meeting with Ole Miss to make the postseason.

Sun Bowl: Washington Huskies vs. Virginia Cavaliers
Notes: Virginia could still play their way into a New Year's Six, but I think the history against V. Tech drops them to the Sun Bowl. Washington has struggled to find consistency on both sides of the ball, but they still have loads of talent.

Liberty Bowl: Ohio Bobcats vs. Kentucky Wildcats
Notes: Even playing a converted wide out at quarterback, Kentucky will return to bowl season for the third straight season. The Liberty Bowl seems around their range, and they have a range of possibilities for opponents.

Arizona Bowl: Nevada Wolfpack vs. Georgia Southern Eagles
Notes: Georgia Southern owns a signature win (Appalachian State), and they went toe-to-toe with Minnesota earlier on the year. They'll be a tough battle for a streaky Nevada squad.

Alamo Bowl: USC Trojans vs. Iowa State Cyclones
Notes: A nice end to the season looks like it will earn USC a quality bowl berth. They still have a chance to play in the Pac-12 Championship Game if Utah were to lose this upcoming weekend against Colorado.

Outback Bowl: Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Auburn Tigers
Notes: Minnesota still has the Big Ten West and an outside shot at the Playoff to play for, while Auburn's role this rivalry week is more of a spoiler, as they square off against Alabama.

Citrus Bowl: Wisconsin Badgers vs. Florida Gators
Notes: Two elite defenses would collide if this projection held. Wisconsin still has a chance to play their way into a Big Ten Championship Game but already left with two losses, a Playoff appearance is pretty much out of the question.

Birmingham Bowl: Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Miami Hurricanes
Notes: Cincinnati could play Memphis in consecutive weeks, which will essentially decide if they're able to make a New Year's Six Bowl. Depending on what happens, landing in the Birmingham Bowl is likely, against a replacement team.

Gator Bowl: Michigan Wolverines vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Notes: After a disastrous start to 2019 that included losses to Georgia State and BYU, Tennessee is trending up, with a good shot to finish the regular season 7-5. On the other side, Michigan's season could change if they stun Ohio State, but that's unlikely.

Idaho Potato Bowl: Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Utah State Aggies
Notes: Gary Andersen has put together a solid debut in his return to Utah State, and they'll meet a MAC team in the Idaho Potato Bowl. Sitting at 7-4, it could certainly be the Chippewas of Central Michigan.

Armed Forces Bowl: Air Force Falcons vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Notes: Nebraska is yet another team that would need to win their season finale to earn a spot in the postseason. They'd get Air Force, who would be a really tough matchup for their defense.

Mobile Bowl: Miami (Ohio) Redhawks vs. Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns
Notes: Miami (Ohio) will represent the East Division in the MAC Championship, before playing in likely either the Idaho Potato Bowl or the Mobile Bowl. Louisiana is also likely a conference championship participant, as they should win the Sun Belt West.

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