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College football bowl games: Matchups, TV times and dates for 2019-20 schedule

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The games have been played. The wins have been tallied. The touchdowns have been counted. The championship trophies have been hoisted.

Now it’s time for the college football postseason to commence. College football Bowl Games have long been the time-honored holiday tradition of football extending into your holidays and your New Year. And this year is no different.

So where is everybody going bowling? Here’s a look at the full lineup of games and who’s in them. All times ET, games on ESPN unless otherwise indicated.

College Football Playoff Semifinals

Bowl Teams
Peach Bowl – Dec. 28, 4pm No. 1 LSU No. 4 Oklahoma
Fiesta Bowl – Dec. 28, 8pm No. 2 Ohio State No. 3 Clemson

New Year’s Six

Bowl Teams
Cotton Bowl – Dec. 28, Noon Memphis Penn State
Orange Bowl – Dec. 30, 8pm Florida Virginia
Rose Bowl – Jan. 1, 5pm Wisconsin Oregon
Sugar Bowl – Jan. 1, 8:45pm Baylor Georgia

2019 FBS Bowl Games

Bowl Teams
Bahamas Bowl – Dec. 20, 2 pm Buffalo Charlotte
Frisco Bowl – Dec. 20, 7:30pm** Kent State Utah State
New Mexico Bowl – Dec. 21, 2pm San Diego State Central Michigan
Cure Bowl – Dec. 21, 2:30pm^^ Georgia Southern Liberty
Boca Raton Bowl – Dec. 21, 3:30pm* SMU FAU
Camellia Bowl – Dec. 21, 5:30pm Arkansas State FIU
Vegas Bowl – Dec. 21, 7:30pm* Washington Boise State
New Orleans Bowl – Dec. 21, 9pm Appalachian State UAB
Gasparilla Bowl – Dec. 23, 2:30pm Marshall UCF
Hawaii Bowl – Dec. 24, 8pm Hawaii BYU
Independence Bowl – Dec. 26, 4pm Miami Louisiana Tech
Quick Lane Bowl – Dec. 26, 8pm Pitt Eastern Michigan
Military Bowl – Dec. 27, Noon UNC Temple
Pinstripe Bowl – Dec. 27, 3:30pm Michigan State Wake Forest
Texas Bowl – Dec. 27, 6:45pm Texas A&M Oklahoma State
Holiday Bowl – Dec. 27, 8pm++ USC Iowa
Cheez-It Bowl – Dec. 27, 10:15pm Washington State Air Force
Camping World Bowl – Dec. 28, Noon* Iowa State Notre Dame
First Responder Bowl – Dec. 30, 12:30pm Western Michigan Western Kentucky
Music City Bowl – Dec. 30, 4pm Louisville Mississippi State
RedBox Bowl – Dec. 30, 4pm+ Cal Illinois
Belk Bowl – Dec. 31, Noon Virginia Tech Kentucky
Sun Bowl – Dec. 31, 2pm^ Arizona State Florida State
Liberty Bowl – Dec. 31, 3:45pm Navy Kansas State
Arizona Bowl – Dec. 31, 4:30pm^^ Georgia State Wyoming
Alamo Bowl – Dec. 31, 7:30pm Texas Utah
Citrus Bowl – Jan. 1, 1pm* Alabama Michigan
Outback Bowl – Jan. 1, 1pm Minnesota Auburn
Birmingham Bowl – Jan. 2, 3pm Boston College Cincinnati
Gator Bowl – Jan. 2, 7pm Tennessee Indiana
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Jan. 3, 3:30pm Ohio Nevada
Armed Forces Bowl – Jan. 4, 11:30am Tulane Southern Miss
LendingTree Bowl – Jan. 6, 7:30pm Miami (OH) Louisiana

ABC

** ESPN2

Fox

++ FS1

CBS

^^ CBS Sports Network

Miami (OH) captures first title since 2010 after topping Central Michigan in MAC Championship Game

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The best team in the MAC for much of the last two seasons finally has the hardware to go with their record.

Using the same formula that has carried them to success this year, Miami (OH) notched a 26-21 win over Central Michigan in the MAC Championship Game to cap off a wild and strange 2019 in the midwestern league in an appropriate manner.

This being the MAC, you would think that would be behind an offense piling up points and yards a plenty. That’s not the RedHawks way however as the program fueled by their defense and special teams came up big again in those areas. That included a game-opening 97 yard kick return to the doorstep, stuffing a fake punt later on and some clutch kicks off the leg of Sam Sloman.

After a lackluster first half offensively, Miami did get things going after the break. Freshman QB Brett Gabbert wound up throwing for 196 yards and a touchdown while tailback Jaylon Bester managed 66 yards and a score rushing. Wideout Jack Sorenson was the real threat with the ball in his hands though as he notched 123 yards and the lone touchdown that came via the pass.

The result denied the Chippewas a chance for a storybook ending to their remarkable turnaround story under new head coach Jim McElwain. They still managed to win the MAC West just a year after notching only one victory but coming up just shy of winning the league has to still sting. Tennessee/Houston transfer Quinten Dormady threw for 232 yards, a TD and a pick in the losing effort while Tommy Lazzaro was a threat with his legs in rushing for two scores.

CMU had the better offense overall, but outside of two sustained drives and a final rally that came within a Hail Mary of happening, it just wasn’t enough in the end.

The victory instead gives the RedHawks their first conference title since 2010 and eight wins since that season as well. Chuck Martin has done a masterful job guiding this group in conference play recently and now can celebrate finally reaching the mountain top and making #MACtion all Miami’s.

Miami (OH), Central Michigan trading blows as MAC title game hits halftime

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The first rule of #MACtion is to expect the unexpected. In what has been an incredibly chaotic season in the conference, the league title game continued that run and delivered us a very un-MAC like defensive thriller in the first half.

No matter how they came about it though, Central Michigan will enjoy taking a 14-10 lead into the locker room at the midway mark over fellow turnaround story Miami (OH) in an entertaining contest despite the lack of points on the board.

The Redhawks looked as though they would have no issues finding pay dirt after Maurice Thomas returned the opening kickoff 97 yards to doorstep of the goal line, eventually punching it in two plays later for a Jaylon Bester touchdown. However things didn’t quite come as easily from there as first downs and big plays were quite limited the rest of the way on the offensive side of the ball.

Freshman QB Brett Gabbert was just 3-of-11 for 25 yards passing to help contribute to that while Miami had only 71 yards of total offense despite being able to take the slim lead.

Things weren’t a whole lot better for the Chippewas despite their ability to more consistently move the ball. Their first scoring output came thanks to a 14 play, seven-plus minute drive that covered 90 yards in the second quarter and their second was the result of a short field and impressive two minute drill effort. QB Quinten Dormady was 12-of-17 for 96 yards and a touchdown while tailback Tommy Lazzaro notched the other score to go with his 38 yards on the ground.

Despite the defensive-minded first half in Detroit, things are shaping up once again for the MAC Championship Game to have a fun finish. CMU is 7-0 this year when leading at the break and Jim McElwain will be hoping to add one more ‘W’ on that stat despite the best efforts of a Miami team hoping to regroup and get going in the locker room with a big prize on the line after they emerge.

Will Championship Saturday make that much of a difference when it comes to the College Football Playoff field?

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Yes, there are myriad things at stake on Championship Saturday, especially for those conferences (I see you, Group of Five) that have no shot whatsoever (again) of earning one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff. Yes, conference championships, even for those with the larger postseason prize in their collective sights, still mean something. It still means something to proclaim yourself as the champion of your conference. Bragging rights and all.

It also still means something for whichever Group of Five school claims the New Year’s Six berth, which will be earned on the field Saturday by either Memphis, Cincinnati or Boise State — or even Appalachian State.

That said, how much of a difference will it all really make when it comes to the playoffs?

Sitting at the desk in my mom’s basement (she’s dead but it’s still hers when it comes to my job description), the following alert from ESPN came across my phone sometime Thursday afternoon: “Ranking the conference championship games by CFP impact.” That got me thinking, which is dangerous in and of itself: Should I upgrade my iPhone to one of the new 11 models or just keep my current XS?

Editor’s note: Need tickets to this weekend’s games? Click here

A short time later, I actually started thinking about the question posed to me by the World Wide Leader. So, I figured I’d sketch something out in my own head — again, a frightening proposition — and this is how it started, ranking the conference championship games when it comes to playoff importance, from most to least.

PAC-12
No. 5 Utah (11-1) vs. No. 13 Oregon (10-2)
Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.
In the five-year history of the CFP, the Pac-12 has qualified exactly twice — the inaugural year in 2014 with Oregon and in 2016 with Washington. That’s the fewest number of appearances among the Power Five conferences. Coincidentally or not, the reputation of the Pac-12, at least when it comes to football, is significantly lower than the other P5s, even as the Big Ten (three) and Big 12 (three) only have one more CFP appearance than the Left Coast league.

That’s why the Pac-12 is desperate for three things to go down this weekend, one Friday night and two the next day. One, Utah beats Oregon, and beats them impressively. Two, LSU beats Georgia in some form or fashion, regardless of how impressive. Three, Baylor beats Oklahoma.

To paraphrase the great Adrian Cronauer, the Pac-12 is in more desperate need of a playoff appearance than any white man in history.

BIG 12
No. 7 Baylor (11-1) vs. No. 6 Oklahoma (11-1)
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Tex.
By the time Baylor and Oklahoma take the field at Jerry’s World early Saturday afternoon, both schools will have a better idea where they fit in the playoff picture. If Utah beats Oregon the night before, they both know they’ll need to be impressive in a win (to go along with an LSU win over Georgia later on in the afternoon) to get in. If Oregon beats Utah, both teams will know that they merely need a win by any means necessary (to go along with an LSU win over Georgia later on in the afternoon) to earn a spot.

One potential fly in the ointment: The committee hasn’t thought much of Baylor for most of the season. There are some who believe that a 12-1 Baylor could lose a playoff berth to an 11-2 Oregon; I can’t see that, but it’s something to keep in mind.

____________________

Then I got to thinking some more and, after taking a couple of Aleves because the process of thinking ofttimes hurts, dove further down the postseason rabbit hole and came up with exactly how to arrange the next tier of conference championship games as they pertain to playoff relevance:

  • AAC
    No. 20 Cincinnati (10-2) at No. 17 Memphis (11-1)
    Liberty Bowl Stadium, Memphis, Tenn.
  • MWC
    Hawaii (9-4) at No. 19 Boise State (11-1)
    Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
  • Conference USA
    UAB (9-3) at Florida Atlantic (9-3)
    FAU Football Stadium, Boca Raton, Fla.
  • MAC
    Miami (OH) (7-5) vs. Central Michigan (8-4)
    Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.
  • Sun Belt
    Louisiana (10-2) at No. 21 Appalachian State (11-1)
    Kid Brewer Stadium, Boone, NC
  • ACC
    No. 23 Virginia (9-3) vs. No. 3 Clemson (12-0)
    Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
  • SEC
    No. 4 Georgia (11-1) vs. No. 2 LSU (12-0)
    Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
  • Big Ten
    No. 1 Ohio State (12-0) vs. No. 8 Wisconsin (10-2)
    Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.

Get the point?

A loss — close or near-blowout — in their respective games Saturday will not knock either Ohio State or LSU out of the playoffs. An absolute evisceration?  Potentially.  The selection committee has made it clear that those two teams are head and shoulders above everybody else in the field except for Clemson, and they’re probably still only a half-head or so above the defending national champions, who will ride a 27-game winning streak into the weekend.

A close loss will not knock Clemson out, either. A blowout? Possibly, but, still, you put a 12-1 Clemson’s résumé up against a 12-1 conference champion Oklahoma/Baylor or a 12-1 conference champion Utah, and my guess is the committee opts for the non-conference champion Tigers — especially if the Big 12 and/or Pac-12 title games are close and/or sloppy affairs.

Such a gridiron Armageddon as laid out above, though, seems highly unlikely, at least when it comes to the oddsmakers.  Clemson and Ohio State are both significant double-digit favorites — the Tigers are currently at -28½, the Buckeyes at -15½ — while LSU is a solid touchdown favorite.

So, getting back to the original premise: Yes, Championship Saturday still matters greatly — except, by and large, when it comes to the playoffs. And you know what? There’s nothing wrong that. At all.

Now, with that decided, let’s move on to the matter of getting rid of the conference championship games — and divisions in every league — altogether and use this weekend as the opening round of a 16-team playoff…

Nearly half of Saturday’s conference championship games feature double-digit odds

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At least based on the sportsbooks, you shouldn’t expect much drama on championship weekend — which means we should all brace for absolute and utter hell breaking loose, of course.

Friday night and on into Saturday, the 10 FBS conferences will hold their respective league championship games, the results of which will not only shape the College Football Playoff but the New Year’s Six Bowls and all the way down to the lower-tier bowls. As of this posting, and by way of the BetMGM Sportsbook, nearly half of those 10 title games feature double-digit odds:

A fifth, the Big 12 championship game, is nearly double-digits as No. 6 Oklahoma is a 9½-point favorite over No. 7 Baylor.

Editor’s note: Need tickets to this weekend’s games? Click here

The other five matchups have hovered around seven points or so, including the SEC title game featuring 6½-point favorite and second-ranked LSU clashing with No. 4 Georgia, since the matchups were decided last weekend: