Usa today staff football picks

USA TODAY Sports college football staff picks for every bowl game

SportsPulse: Joe Burrow and Chase Young are the obvious ones. Paul Myerberg gives you four players that can use the bowl season to elevate their NFL draft stock in the spring. USA TODAY

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for college football fans. You have holiday season to celebrate and a plethora of bowl games to conclude what was another memorable season.

After 15 weeks, the College Football Playoff field emerged, with LSU and Oklahoma heading to the Peach Bowl and Clemson and Ohio State facing off in the Fiesta Bowl.

This will be the first appearance in the field for the Tigers, led by Heisman winner Joe Burrow. It’s the the third consecutive trip for the Sooners and fourth overall. They are still waiting for their first win in the semifinals.

Clemson beat Ohio State when the schools met in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl during in a semifinal of the College Football Playoff at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Photo: Matthew Emmons, USA TODAY Sports)

The Tigers and Buckeyes met in the playoff three years ago in Glendale, Arizona. In that one, Clemson cruised to a 31-0 victory en route to the national title. The defending champions likely won’t have it so easy in this matchup of unbeatens.

There are plenty of other interesting matchups outside the four teams that will fight for the national title.

Coach Chris Petersen leads Washington against his former school, Boise State, in the Las Vegas Bowl before stepping down. Memphis will carry the Group of Five banner against Penn State in the Cotton Bowl. And Alabama and Michigan – two of the traditional powers – meet in the Citrus Bowl.

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