NCAA Football Betting Playoff Watch Entering Week 12
It’s time to of the week when our unbridled focus is turned to the College Football Playoff. Yeah, yeah, we know Clemson and Alabama are running the standings, but please hold your applause until we are finished. How about that for a wild week? Did any one of you see the madness of Week 11 coming, along with its major shakeup in the Playoff landscape? No doubt, the just-ended week provided the biggest college football odds upsets and changes in the top-25.
Here’s Our NCAA Football Betting Playoff Watch Entering Week 12
After 10 weeks of staying undefeated, the Baylor Bears (8-1) couldn’t keep up with the 9-1 Oklahoma Sooners, losing 44-34 in Waco and probably bringing an end to their playoff hopes. Outside Baylor’s loss, the Big 12 also had other drama, with TCU surviving a near-upset to Kansas, as did the undefeated Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-0) to the Iowa State Cyclones.
Meanwhile, two of Pac-12’s best teams, Stanford and Utah, also saw their playoff dreams go up in smoke, with the Utes (8-2) losing to QB Anu Solomon and the Arizona Wildcats in double overtime, and the Cardinal (8-2 also getting an upset of its own—a 38-36 defeat to the Oregon Ducks. Following these two losses, it is safe to say that we won’t be seeing a Pac-12 team in this year’s playoffs. The ride in the Big 10 was also no smooth, as Michigan (8-2) needed double overtime to beat the Indiana Hoosiers.
Other football giants, however, continued to show grit, with Clemson just about managing to see of an upset-minded Syracuse team. Alabama continued in its solid winning ways with a big victory over Mississippi State, while Ohio State also handled its business against Illinois.
After all that drama, which are the best four teams in the nation and which other teams have a good chance of breaking into the playoff picture in the remaining weeks of the season? Let’s find out, as we take a brief look at the clearer CFP picture entering Week 12.
BEST OF THE BEST
1. Clemson Tigers
The Tigers were not as impressive as you’d have expected against Syracuse, but they did manage to get the job done. Understandably, they were coming off a physical battle against FSU, so their intensity may have dropped a little. They will, however, need to get back into strong winning ways this week against Wake Forest if they are to avoid getting overtaken by the other teams breathing heavy behind them.
Clemson’s Remaining Fixtures: vs. Wake Forest, at South Carolina
Playoff Commentary: Clemson finishes the regular season unbeaten and wins the ACC championship game to make it to the playoff as the top-ranked team.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-1)
The Buckeyes are undefeated and they had a good show against Illinois, but the one-loss Alabama team gets our nod as the second-best team in the country due to the quality of their big wins over the then #3 LSU Tigers two weeks ago and the 31-6 road beatdown of the #16 Mississippi State Bulldogs over the weekend. Plus, Alabama has faced tougher opponents than the Buckeyes, who will be facing their first major test of the season at home this week against the Spartans.
Alabama’s Remaining Fixtures: vs. CHSO, at Auburn.
Playoff Commentary: Don’t expect Alabama to lose another regular-season game. The only test that could lead to a loss is the 50-50 challenge against the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship game.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0)
Beating Illinois was definitely a step in the right direction and seeing J.T. Barrett and Ezekiel Elliot continue to impress in the offense is great news, especially because the defense is still looking as vaunted as ever. It however remains to be seen if Ohio State will be able to finish the season unbeaten, given the challenging nature of their next two opponents in the two ranked Michigan teams.
Ohio State’s Remaining Fixtures: vs. Michigan State, at Michigan.
Playoff Commentary: Ohio State will manage to finish as the best team in the Big Ten in the regular season and even win the Big Ten Championship game, but will lose one of the two matches against the two Michigan teams, hence putting them in more-or-less the same playoff selection dilemma like last year against TCU and Baylor.
4. Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-0)
The Cowboys have easily been the most impressive team in the Big 12, finding ways of winning games even in the toughest of scenarios. Last week, for example, they nearly suffered an upset against Iowa State, but backup quarterback J.W. Walsh (who replaced injured starter Mason Rudolph) threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Carr with 3:06 left, giving Oklahoma State a hard-earned come-from-behind victory. There is, however, no guarantee that they’ll maintain this spot, considering their tough slate to finish the season that includes two home games against Baylor and Oklahoma.
Oklahoma State’s Remaining Fixtures: vs. Baylor, vs. Oklahoma
Playoff Commentary: It’s hard to see the Cowboys going through Baylor and Oklahoma, and coming out unscathed, but after overcoming several adversities this season, it would be ill-advised to write off the unbeaten Cowboys (the only unbeaten team in the Big 12) from the NCAAF odds to reach the playoff.
BEST OF THE REST
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-1):
The Fighting Irish have quietly fought their way back in to the playoff picture with five straight wins since their 24-22 loss to the Clemson Tigers. After losing starting quarterback Malik Zaire in Week 2, the Fighting Irish have maintained consistency, and if they can win out their remaining fixtures against Boston College (this week) and Stanford (at the end of the regular season), then they’ll certainly have a shot at finishing in the top four. After all, their lone 2-point loss to Clemson wasn’t that bad and the Tigers are the top-ranked in the nation right now, making the loss understandable.
Iowa State Hawkeyes (10-0):
With a home game against Purdue this week and a regular-season finale at Nebraska, the Hawkeyes look good to finish the season unbeaten, along with a Big Ten West title. However, beating Ohio State (or Michigan State) in the Big Ten Championship game doesn’t look likely for them, hence laying doubts on their playoff credentials.
Oklahoma Sooners (9-1):
Oklahoma suffered a bad loss to Texas earlier in the season, but have recovered quite well. They need to beat TCU and Oklahoma State in their remaining games to earn a chance in the playoff.
Florida Gators (9-1):
Could earn their way into a top-4 finish if they can win out their remaining games, including a regular season finale against the Seminoles, and then beat Alabama (or Michigan State) in the SEC Championship game.
Michigan State Spartans (9-1):
Have a shot if they can beat Ohio State this week and then finish the regular season as the best Big Ten East team.