The LSU Tigers earn the top seed in the College Football Playoff in the final 2019 bowl projections, plus the Big 12 gets two teams into the New Year’s Six.
And we have made it to decision day. The College Football Playoff Selection Committee will meet for the final time of the 2019 college football season on Sunday morning. Four teams will officially punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff, while eight others will make up the rest of the New Year’s Six bowl games.
Entering Championship Weekend, seven teams were still realistically in the playoff mix, but conference championship losses by the Utah Utes, the Baylor Bears and the Georgia Bulldogs certainly made things easier for the Selection Committee to figure out.
We have a very good idea which four teams are getting in this year. The order, matchups and locations of the national semifinals aren’t a lock, but we’ll do the best we can to figure that out. As for the eight other teams getting into the other high-profile bowls, that could be a little more tricky to predict.
But we’ll do our best. With hours before the final revealing of the College Football Playoff Rankings, here is our final projection for the New Year’s Six bowls. Who is getting into the playoff and who else will be playing in a meaningful bowl game this holiday season?
College Football Playoff
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA, Saturday, Dec. 28)
No. 1 LSU Tigers (13-0) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners (12-1)
After demolishing Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, the LSU Tigers will earn the No. 1 seed as an undefeated SEC Champion. They will opt to stay in Atlanta to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl for their national semifinal game. Meeting them at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be the No. 4-seeded Oklahoma Sooners, who won the Big 12 over Baylor at 12-1 on the season.
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ, Saturday, Dec. 28)
No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (13-0) vs. No. 3 Clemson Tigers (13-0)
Dropping from No.1 to No. 2 in the final playoff rankings will be the undefeated Big Ten Champion Ohio State Buckeyes. They put together a strong second half to put away the Wisconsin Badgers to remain perfect. Ohio State will face the undefeated ACC Champion Clemson Tigers in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl in Glendale. Clemson beat Virginia by 45 in the ACC Championship for their fifth straight ACC title.
New Year’s Six
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX, Saturday, Dec. 28)
Memphis Tigers (12-1) vs. Auburn Tigers (9-3)
Earning the Group of 5’s New Year’s Six spot will be the AAC Champion Memphis Tigers. Mike Norvell’s team beat Luke Fickell’s Cincinnati Bearcats in back-to-back games to reach the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic in Arlington. Meeting them at AT&T Stadium will be a three-loss, non-champion Auburn Tigers team, who edge out the Alabama Crimson Tide for the last spot in.
Capital One Orange Bowl (Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL, Monday, Dec. 30)
Virginia Tech Hokies (9-3) vs. Florida Gators (10-2)
Representing the ACC in the Capital One Orange Bowl since Clemson reached the playoff will be the three-loss, non-champion Virginia Tech Hokies. Virginia’s blowout loss to Clemson in the ACC Championship knocks them out of the top-25 and forces Virginia Tech back in there. The Hokies will face a two-loss, non-champion Florida Gators team at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual (Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA, Wednesday, Jan. 1)
Wisconsin Badgers (10-3) vs. Oregon Ducks (11-2)
Wisconsin had a 21-7 lead at halftime over Ohio State and it looked like the Badgers would pull off the upset. Then, the second half happened and the Buckeyes pulled away, but Wisconsin should not be penalized for qualifying for the Big Ten Championship Game and then losing in a competitive game to the team with the No. 1 ranking. They should get the nod over Penn State and Minnesota from the Big Ten. Meeting them in Pasadena will be Pac-12 Champion Oregon Ducks, who stunned Utah at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Friday night.
Allstate Sugar Bowl (Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA, Wednesday, Jan. 1)
Georgia Bulldogs (11-2) vs. Baylor Bears (11-2)
Once again, Georgia will be playing in the Allstate Sugar Bowl after not getting it done in the SEC Championship. A division title and a head-to-head victory over Florida gives the Dawgs the edge to play at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this holiday season. Meeting Georgia in New Orleans will be Baylor, who like Georgia lost out at a shot of getting into the playoff on Saturday afternoon.
The best teams that will be missing out on the New Year’s Six include Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. Other Group of 5 teams that might have some gripes about not getting to the Cotton Bowl Classic include Appalachian State and Boise State. Overall, this should be a pretty easy set of bowl games for the Selection Committee to decide for all of us.