With Mississippi State’s loss to Ole Miss, the college football playoff picture became a little clearer.
According to the latest model by Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com, Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, and TCU are the overwhelming favourites to be the four teams in the inaugural playoff.
Here are the playoff odds for the seven schools that still have a realistic (at least 5%) chance to make the playoff:
- Alabama, 94.1%
- Oregon, 82.0%
- TCU, 80.0%
- Florida State, 69.9%
- Ohio State, 38.9%
- Baylor, 22.6%
- Arizona, 7.0%
It is interesting that Silver’s model gives TCU such good odds.
If the top teams win their final games, Silver’s model is predicting the committee will choose TCU for what would presumably be the final spot in the playoff despite Ohio State potentially winning the Big Ten conference and Big 12 co-champion Baylor having a head-to-head win over TCU.
The argument for TCU is that despite the loss to Baylor, their only loss is on the road to a good team by just three points while Baylor lost to a mediocre West Virginia by two touchdowns.
Meanwhile, with a win over Arizona State coupled with UCLA’s loss to Stanford, Arizona has emerged as the new darkhorse that could bring chaos to the college football playoff.
Arizona now has a date against No. 2 Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game, a team they have already beaten once this year. If the Wildcats can beat Oregon again and get a little help with two or three other upsets next weekend, the committee is going to have to look long and hard at the Pac-12 champion with two huge wins on their résumé.
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