We are less than one week from the College Football Playoff committee revealing the gridiron version of the Final Four. Surprisingly, it appears like the semi-final match-ups will be presented with a lack of controversy.
Oklahoma ended its season by dominating rival Oklahoma State. In doing so, the Sooners became the first team to (effectively, if not officially) lock up a berth in the CFP. Alabama (SEC) and Clemson (ACC) are significant favorites (-17 and -5 respectively) to win conference championship games this weekend, and victories will guarantee (again, effectively, not officially) trips to the semis for Bama and CU. The final spot will go to the winner of the Big Ten championship game between Michigan State (-3.5) and Iowa.
If this likely scenario plays out, few complaints will be heard. A clear line will be drawn below the four CFP teams. The national discussion will focus on seeding and match-ups, instead of which deserving team was left out.
However, things get interesting if North Carolina upsets Clemson or if Florida shocks the Tide. In such case, college football fans from Palo Alto to Chapel Hill will start politicking for their team to be included. Below, we explore the likelihood of each contender making the CFP and winning the national championship.
Heisman Trophy odds (which are being offered on Las Vegas betting menus for the first time) are also included. Alabama RB Derrick Henry has become the clear favorite to capture the award which goes to the most outstanding player of the year.
Odds to make the 2015-16 CFP:
Michigan State: 2/3
North Carolina: 7/1
Ohio State: 9/1
Odds to win the 2015-16 CFP:
Michigan State: 9/1
Ohio State: 50/1
North Carolina: 75/1
Odds to win the 2015 Heisman Trophy:
Derrick Henry (Alabama): 1/2
DeShaun Watson (Clemson): 8/1
Christian McCaffrey (Stanford): 15/1
Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma): 18/1
Dalvin Cook (Florida State): 25/1
Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State): 25/1
Leonard Fournette (LSU): 25/1
(Photo credit: RammaJammaYellaHamma (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)
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