We will see quite a bit of turnover from last year’s playoff. Joe Burrow is heading to the NFL with a lot of defensive names from the Clemson side, and the same goes for Tua and the usual Alabama turnover. Ohio State will see JK Dobbins go, Justin Fields is a Heisman favorite ready to lead the Buckeyes to another playoff appearance. We have seen very similar playoffs over the last five years, with Alabama looking to make it six straight playoff appearances. Clemson has made it to four, while Oklahoma and Ohio State have both seen multiple appearances. Teams like Florida State, Michigan State, Washington, and Notre Dame have made the playoff since it began. There are a cluster of extreme favorites to make it in 2021, and it leaves very little room for that fourth team.
Odds to Win National Championship 2021
The odds to make the 2020 College Football Championship aren’t live yet, but we can see who the favorites will be to make the playoffs.
Previous College Playoff Results
Breaking down the college football conferences, there are a group of conferences known as the Power Five. They are the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, and ACC. Notre Dame falls into the Independent still. Other conferences are called the Group of Five conferences, and we have seen teams like UCF fall short because of the lack of strength of schedule. For betting purposes, UCF going 24-0 over the span of 2017-2019 and not reaching the playoff is an example of how much the Power Five conferences dominate selections. 21 of the 24 teams selected in the playoff’s history have gone undefeated or have been a 1-loss team that also won their conference championship. No two-loss team has ever made the playoff, even if they won their conference.
Playoff Appearances By Conference
- SEC – 7
- ACC – 6
- Big Ten – 4
- Big 12 – 4
- Pac 12 – 2
- Independent – 1
Clemson The Stone Cold Lock
Trevor Lawrence is at least back for one more year before he heads out to the pros. The Tigers have continued to bring in excellent recruiting class as they are one of the powerhouses now at the college level. Travis Etienne is also returning, which was a bit of a surprise given he was going to be a highly touted back in this draft class. While Justyn Ross had a quieter year, he is another big name in the offense. The Tigers also play in what is now a rather weak ACC conference. They went 8-0 in the conference last year, and Virginia was the next best ACC team. With Florida State, Miami, and Virginia Tech struggling, it is hard to see anyone giving Clemson a loss within the conference. The only real tough game on their schedule is on the road against Notre Dame. The Irish have played them tough the last few meetings, but we know they are not in their wheelhouse in terms of talent.
Justin Fields Leading Ohio State
Unlike Georgia, Alabama, and LSU, Ohio State is bringing back their star quarterback. Fields is a dual-threat quarterback who is ahead of Trevor Lawrence in the Heisman odds. Fields is coming off a strong season, where he led the Buckeyes to a playoff appearance. While they will have Chase Young also leaving the team, and a star corner, Jeff Okudah, this team continues to bring in defensive talent. The Buckeyes have been the Big Ten’s most consistent team, although Penn State, Wisconsin, and Michigan remain nipping at their heels. Ohio State has a fairly tough road schedule this year. They have one tough game outside of the conference, going on the road against Oregon, but they should be favored. They also are on the road against Penn State. Even a one loss Buckeyes team likely gets in.
Hard To Bet Against Bama
If you run out of milk and eggs at home, you simply go to the store and get more. Well that is what Alabama does with high quality football players. They haven’t been the defensive powerhouse in the past few seasons and they have run a spread offense with the influx of talent they pulled in on that side of the ball. The Crimson Tide will open up the season against USC in a neutral environment, which is a game they should win. The Georgia game is early this year, and also at home. They also have the Iron Bowl against Auburn at home, then only play LSU on the road as far as another tough game. However the Tigers are in a quick transition period. With names like Jaylen Waddle, John Metchie, and Brian Robinson ready to take a step up in the offense, there shouldn’t be too big of a drop off.
LSU & Georgia
Both teams will have to change their starting quarterback and running back this year. Joe Burrow is the bigger hit of course to the offense, but Brennan Myles is an up and coming arm that will lead the LSU team. The Tigers will also still have Chase Ja’Marr and Terrace Marshall Jr. The issue for LSU is that they are losing a few defensive starters to the NFL Draft. Georgia will lose Jake Fromm and D’Andre Swift, but also Andrew Thomas. The receiving core swill stay in place, and most of the defense will too. Looking between the two schedules, Georgia has Alabama away as their only real threat. Virginia is the out of conference game, but they should dominate at home. LSU will welcome Texas in their home-and-home series, then on the road against Florida, Auburn, and Texas A&M. I have bigger concerns for the LSU schedule, especially with Alabama, Auburn, and Texas A&M in the final four weeks.
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