College Football Title Odds: A Look At The Nine Teams Who Still Have A Chance

Chops November 16, 2018 247 Reads
CFB Title Odds

Last week, we broke down the title odds of nine viable CFB contenders. Somewhat surprisingly, even though all but Ohio State were heavy favorites, none of those nine teams lost.

And for the first time, the CFB committee ranking for the top 10 teams remained completely unchanged.

If not for two choice matchups, this weekend might as well be called “Cupcake Saturday.” However, given that none of the nine contenders lost last weekend, odds are one will slip up on Saturday.

We’ll once again examine CFB contender’s games and how the results would impact futures markets, using a few metrics, including FiveThirtyEight’s Playoff Probabilities, FPI, and ELO.

The Contenders

Alabama (#1, -333 at BetStars)

  • On To… Home vs. Citadel
  • % Chance They Win: Is there a number bigger than 100%? Seriously, they have a 99.99% chance of winning.
  • A Win Would… Do absolutely nothing to futures odds.
  • A Loss Would… Be the single greatest upset possibly in college football history and potentially cause ‘Bama some issues with the CFB selection committee.
  • Anything Else? Citadel is 4-5. The Crimson Tide is over a 50-point favorite (take Citadel fwiw, since unlike that weasel Urban Meyer, Saban will actually rest his stars and not intentionally run up the score). A Citadel win would eclipse the Howard Bison (vs. UNLV) and Stanford Cardinal (vs. USC) games for “biggest point spread upset in college football history.”

Clemson (#2, +400)

  • On To… Home vs. Duke
  • % Chance They Win: 93%
  • A Win Would… Same as above.
  • A Loss Would… Cause serious turmoil. While their futures odds may not dip out of the top 4, they’d most certainly find themselves outside the playoff picture if Alabama, UGA, Michigan and Notre Dame all won.
  • Anything Else? Duke is a legit team. Regardless, they’re only given a 7% chance to win.

Notre Dame (#3, +1600)

  • On To… Home vs. #13 Syracuse
  • % Chance They Win: 72%
  • A Win Would… Really be something. Notre Dame has faced legit competition and handled them all. Expect their futures to start ticking up.
  • A Loss Would… Hurt, but they could still be in the CFB playoff picture. Syracuse is a highly ranked team, and Notre Dame would not drop from the futures listing with a loss.
  • Anything Else? This is by far the biggest game of the weekend from a futures perspective and the one that could truly open the door for other contenders.

Michigan (#4, +1200)

  • On To… Home vs. Indiana
  • % Chance They Win: 94%
  • A Win Would… Like Alabama and Clemson, do nothing for their futures odds or CFB playoff chances.
  • A Loss Would… Almost certainly drop their futures into the +5000+ range, though not necessarily completely eliminate them just yet.  
  • Anything Else? Indiana isn’t a total patsy like Citadel, but Michigan is too strong right now. Harbaugh will keep them focused. Don’t expect a pre-Ohio State slip-up.

Georgia (#5, +1800)

  • On To… Home vs. UMass
  • % Chance They Win: 99%
  • A Win Would… Not move their futures, they’re stuck on +1400 until the SEC championship.
  • A Loss Would… Completely wipe them off the map.   
  • Anything Else? Clemson jumped UGA on ELO, and now Georiga is 3rd in both ELO and FPI. If it wasn’t for Alabama, they’d be closer to +700.

Oklahoma (#6, +5000)

  • On To… Home vs. Kansas
  • % Chance They Win: 96%
  • A Win Would… Keep Oklahoma in the CFB discussion even though they’re not a championship caliber team.
  • A Loss Would… Be a nice way to get them out of the CFB discussion so the focus could be on more worthy teams.
  • Anything Else? The French WW2 army had a better defense than Oklahoma this year. They’re hanging on to being a one-loss team by a thread. Kansas is Kansas though, and this isn’t basketball, so don’t expect movement in their ranking or the futures this week.

Washington State (#8, +20000)

  • On To… Home vs. Colorado
  • % Chance They Win: 79%
  • A Win Would… Not move the needle at all.
  • A Loss Would… Eliminate the PAC-12 from futures conversation.
  • Anything Else? Arizona is 5-5. Washington State is playing at home. Their odds of winning are basically the same as Notre Dame playing 13th ranked Syracuse. This is not the PAC-12’s year.

West Virginia (#9, +5000)

  • On To… at Oklahoma State
  • % Chance They Win: 66%
  • A Win Would… Last week we said a win would boost WVU to around +8000. They went to +6600.
  • A Loss Would… Not be that shocking.
  • Anything Else? West Virginia is still my dark horse to sneak into the CFB playoffs. However, despite a 5-5 record, Oklahoma State is a real team, and they’re home, and none of the top 10 teams lost last week, and either WVU or Notre Dame will lose this week.

Ohio State (#10, +2200)

  • On To… Away vs. Maryland
  • % Chance They Win: 81%
  • A Win Would… Set the stage for the showdown we’re all waiting on, Ohio State vs. Michigan.
  • A Loss Would… Oddly still keep them in the CFB discussion if they were to beat Michigan. Their futures would sink to the +10000 range though.
  • Anything Else? Either Notre Dame or West Virginia will lose this week. However, if they don’t, Ohio State is the next most likely. They haven’t been that strong and you never know when you’re on the road against a hungry team.