The College Football Playoff selection committee will reveal its first top 25 rankings on October 31. The Action Network will bring you the latest CFP rankings along with power ratings, current futures odds and some chatter about the paths of the potential teams involved throughout the remainder of the season.
Updated Odds – October 24th
|19||North Carolina State||-15.5|
|Legend: No Odds|
Believe it or not, Alabama (-135) will have a harder time reaching the SEC Championship than Georgia (+1200) at this point. The Crimson Tide has both Auburn and LSU on the schedule. Both Tigers team should be double-digit dogs at this point, but each still has only one loss in the conference. An Alabama slip against either team could result in the Tide losing a tiebreaker for the SEC Championship Game. Georgia is a completely different story. They play Florida on a neutral field this weekend as a 14-point favorite. Florida has only one stat category they can hurt: finishing drives. The Gators have been able to turn green zone trips into points, but that’s a far cry from upsetting the Bulldogs. Because every team in the SEC East has two losses, Georgia can sit every starter against Auburn and take a loss. The odds of the Georgia Bulldogs not playing in a national championship quarterfinal (the SEC Championship Game) are very slim.
NC State’s odds have not changed following the bye week, and their matchup with Notre Dame (+3000) this weekend has national title implications. A loss to the Irish would give the Wolfpack two losses and no shot at the playoff even with Clemson and ACC Championship wins. Clemson (+1400) gets healthy off the bye week, and the real national championship run begins. Games against Georgia Tech, NC State and Florida State remain before a national championship quarterfinal game is played, the ACC Championship. All signs point to November 4th in the Coastal. Miami (+4000) and Virginia Tech (+30000) square off in what should determine the Coastal representative in the ACC Championship Game. Virginia and Georgia Tech may have a say in those plans, but with two losses and a tough schedule for each, we cannot consider any futures for the Wahoos and Jackets.
Notre Dame can be mentioned here with three remaining games against ACC opponents (NC State, Wake Forest and Miami). In addition to the ACC games, Notre Dame has tough contests to end the season against Navy and Stanford. Although Miami and Stanford are on the road, none of the remaining five teams on Notre Dame’s schedule has the defensive Rushing S&P+ and Rushing Success Rate to stop the Irish offensive attack.
Have the National Title hopes of the Pac-12 conference disappeared? It would seem that way, as USC and Stanford both have two losses. Washington (+4000) and Washington State (+50000) each has one loss on the season, but both have a Pac-12 North round robin that includes Stanford. Three of Wazzu’s last four games are on the road.
Wisconsin (+2500), as suggested two weeks ago in this column, continues to roll. Their toughest test will come when they host Michigan on November 18th. Wisconsin can sleep through their remaining schedule, and a loss against Minnesota to end the year will not affect their Big Ten Championship game hopes. All eyes will be on the Big Ten East this week, with Ohio State (+525) and Penn State (+625) set to face off. Michigan State (+20000) has a great scheduling spot, hosting Penn State on hangover next week. The Spartans may be a November 11th upset at Ohio State victory away from making one of the most improbable runs in recent history to the College Football Playoff.
The road to the Big 12 Championship runs through Ames. What a statement, but it’s completely accurate, as undefeated TCU (+2500) and one-loss Oklahoma State (+2800) visit Iowa State. The only other one-loss team with national title implications is Oklahoma (+4000). Like Oklahoma State, the Sooners must win out with a schedule that includes Bedlam on the road, TCU, a tricky regular season ending game with West Virginia and the Big 12 Championship.
Group of Five
Both Central Florida (+15000) and South Florida (+30000) survived road tests at Navy and Tulane, respectively. The Golden Knights and Bulls have their playoff the day after Thanksgiving. The Knights and Bulls could be aided by some two-loss Power Five conference winners. The selection committee will tip their first hand in a week on Halloween night.
Week 9 Add: Georgia +1200
November 4th is seen as Separation Saturday with a number of monster matchups that will shake up the College Football Playoff picture. One of those games does not involve Georgia, which hosts South Carolina. Georgia has been very impressive to this point, posting an undefeated season. The Bulldogs have an impressive resume of wins, most notably top 20 S&P+ teams Notre Dame and Mississippi State. With Georgia posting an undefeated record, they have the luxury to drop a game before the SEC Championship. Will that be Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky or Georgia Tech? It’s highly unlikely that they’ll drop any of those games, making Georgia an eight-point favorite in each at a minimum. Auburn on November 11th is projected as a pick’em, but I can’t imagine the Bulldogs having motivation with the SEC East wrapped up (and Auburn needing a win to stay alive in the SEC West).
This future boils down to the SEC Championship game against Alabama. Georgia is a projected +7.5 against the Tide. With other conferences getting closer to a two-loss champion, there is an outside possibility that a one-loss Georgia won’t win the SEC and still will make the College Football Playoff. In a hand of poker you want as many outs as possible after the river card comes, and with Georgia we have plenty of scenarios to make the playoff.
Virginia Tech 100/1