As we hit the home stretch in the college football season, the College Football Playoff picture still is far from clear, but it is crystalizing by the week. We saw the Big Ten take a big hit last week, same with Oklahoma State’s chances. But when it comes to specific numbers, here’s what the well-regarded statistics firm FiveThirtyEight has to say about teams across the country and their odds to make the College Football Playoff.
Best odds to make the 2017 College Football Playoff (FiveThirtyEight)
Alabama – 62%
Georgia – 57%
Clemson – 57%
Oklahoma – 42%
Wisconsin – 35%
Washington – 31%
Notre Dame – 30%
Miami – 25%
TCU – 23%
Ohio State – 14%
Auburn – 8%
Oklahoma State – 2%
Washington State – 1%
All others – <1%
A few thoughts:
- Oklahoma has the fourth-best odds in the country to make the College Football Playoff. That tells me more about what the oddsmakers think of Notre Dame and their tough schedule remaining with Miami and Stanford. Also OU has better odds than any Big Ten team, notably Wisconsin, the last best hope for the conference.
- How is Georgia at 57%? That worries me and leads me to believe the committee really would love to see two SEC teams make the Playoff. The majority of the SEC absolutely blows. I think these two teams are getting a bit too much credit.
- The ACC is still Clemson’s conference to lose, and clearly the oddsmakers don’t have a ton of respect for Miami, who’s down at 25% to Clemson’s 57%. Now maybe that’s because Miami is going to have to play, and likely beat, two top 5 teams by season’s end to reach the playoff (Notre Dame/Clemson), but still, it feels like too wide a margin.
- Washington is sneaking up there, which surprises me. I thought the Pac-12 was dead. Plus, Washington’s non-conference was a joke, AGAIN (Rutgers, Montana, Fresno State), and they have lost to the only decent opponent they’ve played all year long in Arizona State.
- The committee doesn’t apparently love the Horned Frogs’ chances of beating OU twice or smoking OU and Iowa State. Plus, if all else was equal, OU’s branding and non-conference over Ohio State is worth something. TCU’s lack of a brand and win over a now sinking Arkansas team doesn’t look as good. Not fair and the committee will never admit it, but they have pressure from ESPN to make sure the match ups are enticing and produce ratings.
- Oklahoma State … still has a chance? Talk about needing a miracle. That’s what the Pokes have to have happen.