By Flint Wheeler
Notre Dame apparently has the best odds to reach the college football championship game after finishing the regular season 12–0.
According to ESPN, the top three teams and their percentages are below:
- Notre Dame, >99%
- Clemson, 96%
- Alabama, 83%
There are a couple things to take away here. First, Alabama fans must be furious that they’re not only not in the second spot, but they’re all the way down in third. Soak up in the tears, my friends. Soak ‘em up. These salty Tide fans are going to be great to deal with if they actually don’t make it. That meltdown will be epic.
The regular season is over, and Championship Weekend is here. The race to the College Football hits its final turn.
Is there room for some last-minute chaos that would flip the Playoff picture? Four unbeaten teams remain in the mix, and three Power 5 teams have one loss heading into the weekend.
- Alabama (12-0)
Tua Tagovailoa left his mark on the Iron Bowl in a 35-point second half that was part of a 52-21 blowout against Auburn. Five different Crimson Tide players caught a touchdown pass, and now Nick Saban has Alabama in its seventh SEC championship game since he took over. The Tide are 5-1 in that game under Saban. Even with a loss, Alabama might still be in.
- Clemson (12-0)
The Tigers capped another unbeaten regular season under Dabo Swinney with a 56-35 victory against South Carolina, and now they have a chance to win a fourth consecutive ACC championship, this one against Pitt. The Tigers rushed for seven touchdowns against the Gamecocks, and Trevor Lawrence finished the regular season with 22 touchdowns and four interceptions.
- Notre Dame (12-0)
The Irish are in. That’s right, after a 24-17 victory against USC, this team will be in the College Football Playoff. There is no solid argument for keeping Notre Dame out, but this will call into question whether Notre Dame should join a conference, considering the Irish don’t play a conference championship game. That’s a fair gripe for another day, but Brian Kelly deserves credit for building an impressive roster that will compete with its next opponent.
- Georgia (11-1)
Georgia will be a placeholder for at least a week heading into the SEC championship game, a rematch of last year’s College Football Playoff championship with Alabama. This is a chance for the Bulldogs to win back-to-back conference championships. Georgia has allowed 18.4 points per game since the loss to LSU. That defense will get its biggest test against the Crimson Tide.
5A. Oklahoma (11-1)
The Sooners punched their ticket to the Big 12 championship with a 59-56 victory against West Virginia, and Kyler Murray built on his Heisman resume with 478 total yards of offense. Oklahoma’s defense continues to be questioned after giving up more than 40 points for the fourth consecutive game. Now, the Sooners get a chance to correct their only blemish in the Big 12 championship game against Texas.
5B. Ohio State (11-1)
Let the arguments with the Sooners begin. The Buckeyes picked the right time to look like a Playoff contender in a 62-39 blowout against rival Michigan. Dwayne Haskins pushed his way back into the Heisman Trophy conversation, and Urban Meyer improved to 7-0 in The Game. Now, the Buckeyes have an opportunity to win a third Big Ten championship under Meyer against Northwestern in Indianapolis.
However, according to Las Vegas, money is still pouring in on the Tide. Which, as we know, provides value if you’re looking at another team, Notre Dame anyone? Currently the betting odds are as follows; Alabama -250, Clemson +350, Michigan +650, Notre Dame +700, Georgia +1800. From a wagering perspective, Tua of Alabama, as predicted in week 2, is a -1000 favorite to with the Heisman, so that competition is over. Look for Notre Dame to shock Clemson and keep it close vs Alabama. Defense and nerves play a huge part in these playoff scenarios so take all the points you can. As always, G’Luck!