Call it the grind of the regular season or a lookahead spot, but nobody among the top teams in college football looked all that great this past weekend. Georgia scored only one touchdown against Kentucky in a 16-6 win, Ohio State’s defense struggled in a 43-30 win over Maryland, and Michigan and TCU both needed last-second field goals to pick up wins over Illinois and Baylor, respectively. Still, all of the top four teams remained undefeated, which is more than can be said for Tennessee, whose already slim playoff hopes were dashed in a 63-38 loss to Spencer Rattler’s Gamecocks.
As a result, the top four teams in the country remained as follows:
- Ohio State
Georgia has virtually locked up a spot in the final College Football Playoff rankings, with a regular season finale against a 5-6 Georgia Tech team before facing LSU in the SEC title game. Even if the Bulldogs were to drop that game against the Tigers in the conference championship, Kirby Smart’s group would likely get the benefit of the doubt as an 11-1 defending national champ and be included among the top four anyway. Barring a collapse of epic proportions, you can pretty much write Georgia into the CFP in pen.
The biggest playoff-deciding contest still to be played is of course No. 2 Ohio State taking on No. 3 Michigan in the Game of the Century Pt. II on Saturday. Both the Buckeyes and the Wolverines enter one of the biggest renditions of The Game at 11-0, and the winner will secure a spot in the Big Ten title game — and likely the College Football Playoff. It seems as though Iowa will emerge as the victor of the B1G West, and both of these teams have already defeated the Hawkeyes this season. The contest in Columbus is for all of the marbles, with Ryan Day looking for revenge against Jim Harbaugh after last year’s Michigan win.
TCU’s path is pretty clear as well. They will have to avoid an upset against a pretty bad Iowa State team this weekend before taking on what will likely be Kansas State in the Big 12 title game. The Horned Frogs caught some heat earlier this season for seemingly being more lucky than good, but the tides have since changed. Sonny Dykes’ team has gotten better and better as the year has gone on, with Max Duggan putting together a fantastic year at QB and one of the nation’s top wideouts in Quentin Johnson. If TCU wins out, they are in as well.
With Ohio State and Michigan playing each other, that will leave one final spot up for grabs. If the favorites all win out, that decision will likely come between an 11-1 Pac-12 Champion USC, an 11-1 ACC Champion Clemson, and the 11-1 loser of OSU-UM. If both the Trojans and Tigers lose a game here to end the year — which is incredibly possible with USC set to face Notre Dame and either Oregon or Washington and Clemson still to play South Carolina and North Carolina — it would open the door for the loser of The Game to still make the CFP.
All that to say: there is still a lot to be decided over the next two weeks.
As of Tuesday afternoon, here were the betting odds for the College Football Playoff, courtesy of the DraftKings Sportsbook:
To make the College Football Playoff
- Georgia -20000
- Ohio State -750
- TCU -150
- Michigan +150
- USC +155
- Clemson +210
- LSU +650
- Oregon +1800
To win the National Title
- Georgia -140
- Ohio State +230
- Michigan +1000
- TCU +1800
- Clemson +2200
- USC +2500
- LSU +3500
- Oregon +10000
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.