We are about a week away from the start of the 2019 season. Hope springs eternal with each of the 130 FBS teams thinking they can make a bowl game. However with 39 games on tap that does mean two thirds of the teams in college football will go bowling. Is it Alabama and Clemson and then everybody else? Let’s find out as we run through our 2019 Preseason Bowl Projections beginning with the College Football Playoff.
Will It Be Alabama and Clemson Again??
College Football Playoff
Saturday, December 28th- Peach Bowl– Alabama versus Oklahoma. How’s this for a semi-final match up. On one side, you have the top rated Crimson Tide led by Heisman front runner Tua Tagovailoa. The opposing sideline features Jalen Hurts going up against his former team. That is the very definition of “must see TV.”
Saturday, December 28th- Fiesta Bowl- Clemson versus Georgia. By virtue of winning the ACC, the defending champs check in as the two seed. They face a Bulldog team who goes undefeated in the regular season but falls just short to Alabama in the SEC title game.
Monday, January 13th 2020- National Championship- Alabama versus Clemson. Three out of the last four years these two clubs have met for the title with the Tigers winning twice. They should be the two best teams and as a result they meet again for the championship.
New Year’s Six Games
Cotton Bowl- Central Florida versus Michigan- The Knights head to Arlington as the highest rated Group of Five school. They face Jim Harbaugh‘s club who hopes for a better bowl showing than last year’s blowout by Florida..
Orange Bowl- Florida versus Notre Dame- The Gators become the third SEC team to play in a major bowl. Spoiler alert they aren’t the last. Florida gets to stay in state for the holidays to face the Irish. This would be only the second time in history these two schools have met with Notre Dame winning 39-28 back in 1992.
Rose Bowl- Ohio State versus Washington- As it stands right now we don’t have either of the Big 10’s heavy hitters making the playoff. However they do end up playing in New Year’s Six games. This rematch of last year’s game features two quarterbacks who both transferred from Georgia, Justin Fields and Jacob Eason.
Sugar Bowl- LSU versus Texas- A rematch of a game in week two is not the most appealing bowl match up. However these two teams look to be the highest ranked teams remaining from the Big 12 and SEC.
Now that we’ve gone through the playoff and New Year’s Six games let’s look at the next round of games with our 2019 Preseason bowl projections.
Second Tier Bowl Games-
Citrus Bowl- Syracuse versus Nebraska- While the game in Orlando usually takes an SEC team that’s not always the case. As a result of a potential nine win Missouri team being on probation the Orangemen take the bid against the most improved team in the country.
Outback Bowl- Michigan State versus Texas A&M- Another tough schedule keeps the Aggies from a bigger bowl game. This is Mark Dantonio’s twelth bowl game with the Spartans.
Belk Bowl- Kentucky versus Virginia– The “Best Bowl” really wanted Kentucky two years ago. However due to a scheduling conflict with the Kentucky- Louisville basketball game the Cats ended up in the Music City Bowl. These border schools have played only once with Kentucky winning 47-0 in 1930.
Sun Bowl- Miami versus Washington State- A match up between these two schools squads should be a high scoring affair in El Paso.
Liberty Bowl- South Carolina versus Baylor- Playing arguably the toughest schedule in the country lands the Gamecocks in Memphis. A tough closing stretch also keeps the Bears from a bigger game.
Arizona Bowl- Fresno State versus Georgia Southern- In matching teams from the Sun Belt and Mountain West this game is a showcase for schools which don’t get much publicity.
Alamo Bowl- Oklahoma State versus Utah- Every year the game in San Antonio is one of the best bowl games. A match up between these two schools should be no different.
Games Between Christmas And New Year’s
As the title suggests this next slate of games fill out the days in between the holidays.
Independence Bowl- Wake Forest versus Buffalo- Usually the SEC has a spot reserved for Shreveport. However it’s doubtful they have enough bowl eligible teams unless Ole Miss or Vanderbilt can get to six wins. As a result the Bulls from the MAC get the nod.
Quick Lane Bowl- Boston College versus Northwestern- The Wildcats look for a fourth straight bowl win when they face the Eagles in Detroit.
Military Bowl- Army versus North Carolina- After playing in the Armed Forces Bowl the last two years we are moving the Black Knights to the game played in Annapolis.
Texas Bowl- Mississippi State versus TCU- The Bulldogs head west to face the Horned Frogs. This makes TCU’s first appearance in the home state bowl since Andy Dalton led them to a victory in 2007.
Holiday Bowl- Iowa versus Oregon- This game is usually one of the best non-New Year’s Six games every year. Both of these clubs hoped to be playing in bigger games but ending up in San Diego isn’t a bad thing.
Cheez-It Bowl- Arizona State versus Texas Tech- Herm Edwards’ Sun Devils won’t have to travel far for this game played in Phoenix. The Red Raiders go bowling in Matt Wells‘ first year after missing out last season.
Keeping Their Streak Alive
Camping World Bowl- Iowa State versus Virginia Tech- With some breaks the Cyclones could end up in a much bigger game. This will be the Hokies’ 27th straight bowl game, the longest current streak in football.
After taking a moment to acknowledge the incredible bowl run of Virginia Tech let’s now move on to the rest of the games.
First Responder Bowl- West Virginia versus Marshall- This isn’t exactly where Neal Brown and the Mountaineers were hoping to land. However an in-state battle against the Thundering Herd would be interesting.
Music City Bowl- North Carolina State versus Tennessee- The Volunteers travel to Nashville in their return to bowl action. They face a Wolfpack club hoping for better luck than last year’s blowout at the hands of Texas A&M.
Redbox Bowl- Minnesota versus Stanford- The Cardinal face off with the Golden Gophers in a virtual home game in Santa Clara.
Post New Year’s Day Games
With the College Football Championship getting a Super Bowl like two weeks of hype several games moved to after January 1st. These games all take place between the 2nd and 6th.
Gator Bowl- Penn State versus Auburn- The question here is does an eight win season and Gator Bowl bid against the Nittany Lions keep Gus Malzahn’s job?
Birmingham Bowl- Houston versus North Texas
Idaho Potato Bowl- Toledo versus Utah State
Armed Forces Bowl- Arizona versus Air Force
All The Remaining Games
In our final category we go through the rest of the bowls featuring all the ones up through Christmas.
Bahamas Bowl- Southern Mississippi versus Northern Illinois
Frisco Bowl- Memphis versus UAB
New Mexico Bowl- Louisiana Tech versus San Diego State
Cure Bowl- Arkansas State versus Temple
Boca Raton Bowl- Cincinnati versus Ohio
Camellia Bowl- Troy versus Western Michigan
Las Vegas Bowl- Boise State versus USC
New Orleans Bowl- Appalachian State versus Florida International
Gasparilla Bowl- Florida Atlantic versus South Florida
Hawaii Bowl- BYU versus Hawaii
Thank for checking out our 2019 Preseason Bowl Projections here at Last Word On College Football. We will return every three weeks with an update. Projections are posted weekly once we hit the second half of the season. Have a comment on where your team is headed post in the section below or on Twitter..