College Football Playoff odds: Will Ohio State or Alabama be slotted fifth in new rankings?
The penultimate College Football Playoff rankings will be released tonight and the top four should look like this: Michigan, Georgia, TCU and USC, if not in perhaps that exact order (UGA might stay at No. 1 with Michigan at No. 2). All the drama will come down to which team the committee slots at No. 5 between one-loss Ohio State and two-loss Alabama. Which lands at No. 5 still has a shot to reach the national semifinals. OSU is +110 at DraftKings to reach the playoff and Alabama is +800, so that tells you what oddsmakers are expecting.
It almost surely doesn't matter what Georgia does in the SEC title game this weekend or what Michigan does in the Big Ten title game. They are going to finish in the top four of the rankings barring 40-point losses as huge favorites. What might the committee do, however, if fellow unbeaten TCU is upset by Kansas State in the Big 12 title game? Should USC lose to Utah in the Pac-12 title game, that would be a second defeat against the Utes this year for new heavy Heisman Trophy favorite Caleb Williams and the Trojans.
The Horned Frogs are -700 to make the playoff and +475 to miss. The Trojans are -150 to make it and +130 to miss. Neither has reached the playoff previously.
Because both Ohio State and Alabama are done with their regular seasons, they can't improve their resumes. The Buckeyes of course lost this past Saturday at home to Michigan, and the Crimson Tide's two losses were both on the road and on the final play of the game. One could thus argue that 'Bama's two losses are more forgivable than Ohio State's one.
While there could be some drama Sunday for the final CFP rankings, there is none regarding the Heisman as Williams is now -2800 at Caesars Sportsbook to win it. No one else is below +2000. Just two weeks ago, you could still bet Williams to win at +1100. Williams amassed 438 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns in a 43-42 loss at Utah on Oct. 15. Heisman ballots were distributed Monday. The ceremony is the night of Dec. 10.
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