There are only four teams that control their own destiny in Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, and Michigan, plus three more teams that have a better than 50% chance of making the CFP if they win out, in Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Cincinnati. Interestingly, the odds of those four win-and-in teams range from -125 to +4000. For the final time in the regular season, let’s analyze the most interesting trio of college football futures on the board.
Cincinnati Future Odds Week 13 (Current Odds: +4000, Uni Bet)
There are three teams with odds from -125 to +400 to win it all. After Georgia, Alabama, and Ohio State, Cincinnati’s odds are the fourth best, tied with Michigan. The Bearcats need to beat East Carolina, against whom they are a -13.5 road favorite and then win the American title. Michigan needs to beat Ohio State, then win the Big Ten title game, two far tougher tasks.
Does that mean that the committee is skeptical of Cincinnati making the playoff or just skeptical of them winning two games once they get there? It seems like a little of both. The Bearcats will also only be a slight favorite against Houston in the conference title game last week.
The only team that can still pass Cincinnati is the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State winner, if they also win the Big 12 title game the following week. That would be the debate of the decade, but we give Cincy a slight edge in the argument.
Michigan Future Odds Week 13 (Current Odds: +4000, DraftKings)
Michigan is a +8.5 home underdog against Ohio State on Saturday. If they win that game, which, despite the medium sized spread, would be the upset of the season, they would play the Big Ten championship game against either Wisconsin, Iowa, or Minnesota.
The Wolverines would likely be a small favorite against any of those three teams, one of them, Wisconsin, they’ve already played and defeated by three touchdowns on the road.
Michigan’s path to making the College Football Playoff is direct. So there are 40-1 odds to win it all that asking them to do the following: Beat Ohio State, beat, say, Iowa, then beat Georgia and Alabama. That includes the three best teams in college football on a neutral field. 40-1 seems about right.
Notre Dame Future Odds Week 13 (Current Odds: +6000, Uni Bet)
Notre Dame is about a -20 favorite at Stanford on Saturday. The Cardinal have beaten Oregon already this year. If Notre Dame wins they will need the following to happen in order to make the College Football Playoff. They would need Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to split their two games, and Cincinnati to lose to either East Carolina or Houston.
That doesn’t seem that unlikely, considering they would just need two slight favorites to lose next week. Notre Dame’s issue, as usual, is what happens when they get to the CFP. This is not even a vintage Brian Kelly team, their best win is against Wisconsin and they beat Florida State and Toledo by only three points apiece.
You could argue that it’s a better look for Kelly to make a New Year’s Day bowl and win to complete a 12-1 season than it would be to get blown out 47-10 by Georgia in the CFP semifinal. Either way, these are 60-1 odds that rely on multiple other games to go your way, in addition to you winning three straight, and two of them as a massive underdog.