Another week, another slate of title-odds-altering college football games.
But first, let’s look back at one game last week that I really, really wanted to include, but didn’t.
It’s easy to dislike Ohio State. From the ubiquitous “THE Ohio State University” uttered by ex-alums on every single one of their freaking player intros on TV, to Urban Meyer being a moral-less weasel, the only people that don’t currently viscerally dislike the Buckeyes are Ohio residents and future/current/past students.
I’ve thought THE Ohio State University looked vulnerable all year. Purdue was a team that seemed to right the ship after a shaky start and was performing well, and would surely bring a boisterous home crowd to the game.
Still, it was THE Ohio State University vs. Purdue.
Behold, Purdue was awesome, and the Buckeyes fell. However, despite the throttling, THE Ohio State University only saw their title odds dip from +1000 to +1400. This is, in part, because the Big 10 is still very winnable for them, which would clear their path to the college football playoffs. FiveThirtyEight gives them a 23% chance of making the playoffs (but just a 5% chance of capturing the championship).
The loss though means that their Nov. 24 game against Michigan has massive odds-shifting potential.
Looking into the futures
Enough about the past, let’s look into the futures.
The biggest game this weekend is the world’s largest outdoor cocktail party, with Georgia (+1400 at FanDuel to win title) vs. Florida (+10000). The implications here are simple: if Georgia wins, (with apologies to Kentucky) they likely have smooth sailing to the SEC Championship where a win would put them in the playoffs. A loss by Georgia and their title odds are toast. If Florida wins, while I wouldn’t expect their futures to swing up to the +1000 range, it won’t hang back at +10000 either. You don’t need an air-brushed Florida diploma to figure that out.
After Georgia vs. Florida, the other games are of much less potential impact. Texas (+5000) plays on the road against unranked and eliminated Oklahoma State. Traveling to Stillwater is never easy, and both Vegas and computer models agree, as Texas only opened as a 1.5-point favorite.
According to ESPN’s Eliminator, the only PAC-12 team with a chance of making the playoffs is Washington State (+16000). That being the case, this week’s Washington St. vs. Stanford (#24) has some weight. While the PAC-12 is still a longshot to get a team into the playoffs, a Washington St. win coupled with some higher ranked teams losses would certainly improve their odds.
The first playoff committee rankings are released on Tuesday, Oct. 30. Along with this weekend’s games, those committee rankings (and specifically, what the committee is thinking) will certainly shift some futures as well.