Everything You Need To Know About the CFP Championship Odds
Okay college football betting enthusiasts, by now you probably know that the upcoming 2014 season represents arguably the biggest change in college football history, thanks to the new four-team playoff format to decide the national champion. What you may not know however, is how this system will work and which teams stand the best chances of actually getting in – and winning it all. Thankfully, that’s where I come in. This expert analysis on the upcoming season and its new playoff format will give you the insight you’ll need in order to make a series of informed collegiate gridiron picks all season long.
Analyzing Everything You Need To Know About the College Football Championship Playoff Odds
It’s out with the old and in with the new as a new playoff format will put the top four teams in the nation in a tournament style showdown with the winner of each ‘semifinal’ affair participating in the NCAA title game. The bracket is set up so that the No. 1 team in the nation will play the No. 4 team while Nos. 2 and 3 square off in the other semifinal contest.
A brand new 13-person selection committee will rank the top 25 teams in the nation beginning right around the midway point of the season before ultimately deciding on which teams will finish in the top four. The playoff system is set up so that each semifinal affair will rotate on an annual basis between the top six bowl games in the land (the Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Sugar Bowl). All of these games will now be played on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
The Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl will host the first two semifinal affairs ever this season while the NCAA Championship game will, take place at an independent site a week or more after both semifinal contests. AT&T Stadium in North Texas will be the site for the first-ever playoff championship while each of the next two title tilts will take place in Arizona in 2016 and Tampa, Fla., in 2017. Now, let’s take a look at my top eight contenders – and their respective odds – to win the 2015 National Championship. Will the following teams qualify for the four-team playoff?
Florida State Seminoles
Analysis: The Seminoles went 14-0 and squeaked past No. 2 Auburn in one of the most thrilling title games in recent memory. The ‘Noles are expected to be back in contention for another national championship, mostly because gifted, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston is back. However, you should know that there has been just 11 repeat NCAA Championship winners all-time, though two of those have taken place this millennium.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Analysis: Speaking of repeat champions, Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide accomplished the feat in 2011 and 2012 and they’ll be back in title contention again this coming season despite losing two games this past season. The Tide will need to find a suitable replacement for longtime starting quarterback A.J. McCarron – though this team has been built around powerful rushing and even more powerful defense.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Analysis: The Buckeyes are led by venerable if not beloved – head coach Urban Meyer and will have gifted quarterback Braxton Miller back on the field after losing their starting signal caller for the majority of last season due to poor academics. The Buckeyes lost two games this past season but went undefeated (12-0) in 2012, though they were ineligible for any bowl games because of NCAA infractions leveled on the program prior to Urban’s arrival. The Buckeyes will definitely be in the mix to finish in the top four – and win the national championship.
Analysis: After winning it all under former head coach gene Chizik in 2010 (thanks Cam Newton) the Auburn Tigers have been a perennial title contender, even though they changed head coaches since then. The Tigers went 12- 2 in Gus Malzhan’s first season and will be back in contention again this season after not losing many key players from last season’s squad, most importantly, quarterback Nick Marshall.
Analysis: Sure the Tigers lost three games this past season, but I expect them to be right back in the national title mix – if young quarterback Anthony Jennings matures quickly that is. Lest anyone forget, the Tigers finished right around the top 20 in almost every defensive statistical category last season.
Analysis: Despite losing beloved head coach Chip Kelly to the NFL prior to last season, the Ducks didn’t miss a beat in going 11-2 last season under former offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich. The Ducks may not get the national attention of some other highly-publicized programs, but this team can put points on the board like nobody’s business and they could very well end up in the final four.
Analysis: I’m really hoping that Oklahoma can build on its inspiring 45-31 blowout of Alabama in last season’s Sugar Bowl and I believe they almost assuredly will as young sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight continues to improve. Besides, I like the way Sooners head coach Bob Stoops recently told Alabama ‘s Nick Saban the hell off, while reminding him how his Crimson Tide got spanked in their final game of the season.
Analysis: Head coach Art Briles has built a very impressive program at Baylor, particularly over the last three seasons when his teams have compiled an aggregate record of 29-7. The Bears are coming off a solid 11-2 campaign and are expecting be even better this coming season after seeing poised quarterback Bryce Petty go from virtual unknown to one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. In his first year as starter in 2013 Petty ended up winning the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 4,200 yards and 32 touchdowns against just three interceptions.
In the end…I’m going with a final four playoff that features, Oklahoma , Ohio State , Auburn and…Baylor. Sure…only two of my four picks can be considered favorites, but I believe all four teams could end up with no more than one loss or two tops this coming season.