College Football Playoffs… Vegas Knows Best

Every year around this time the college football playoff rankings come out and every year the same thing happens…the committee screws it up. It’s predictable that they won’t get it right and it’s insane to think it will ever change. I have a simple solution: Use the Vegas rankings instead.

Unlike Vegas, the CFB committee has an agenda and their bias plays a big part in their rankings, which is why they are flawed.

Here are rankings side by side. The Vegas rankings are by current title odds.

CFB Playoff RankingsRecord Vegas RankingsRecordTitle Odds
1. Alabama10-01. Alabama10-01 to 1
2. Clemson9-12. Oklahoma9-15 to 1
3. Miami9-03. Clemson9-18 to 1
4. Oklahoma9-14. Miami9-09 to 1
5. WIsconsin10-05. Auburn8-213 to 1
6. Auburn8-26. Georgia9-114 to 1
7. Georgia9-17. Wisconsin10-014 to 1
8. Notre Dame8-28. Ohio State8-215 to 1
9.Ohio State8-29. USC9-272 to 1
10. Penn State8-210. TCU8-2200 to 1

As you can see, there are a few big differences. The biggest one being that Oklahoma is number two in the Vegas rankings and is ahead of Miami who is number two in the CFB Committee rankings. Miami has not played a tough opponent on the road this season and Oklahoma has won at Ohio State and at Oklahoma State. Those are very difficult places to play.

Also note that Notre Dame and Penn State are off the top 10 list of Vegas with title odds of 350 to 1 and 540 to 1, respectively.

Alabama is essentially a coin toss to go undefeated for the rest of the season. They would have to win at Auburn (they are 3.5 point favorite), and then beat Georgia on a neutral site for the SEC title (estimated to be a 5 to 6 point favorite against Georgia). If Bama does win those games then Ohio State will be in control of its destiny. If the Buckeyes win out they will be in the CFB playoff because they will have beaten Wisconsin and Georgia would have lost to Alabama. The Miami vs. Clemson winner would be in, and Oklahoma would be in. If Alabama doesn’t win out, then there will be chaos.

How weak is Wisconsin? They have had probably the lightest schedule thus far in both of these lists. If Wisconsin plays Ohio State in the Big10 title game, Ohio State would likely be a touchdown favorite. If Wisconsin somehow played Alabama, Bama would likely be a two touchdown favorite over the Badgers. That tells you what Vegas thinks of the Badgers.

Alabama also is not as dominant as once thought earlier this year. They got a ton of credit for crushing Florida State at the beginning of the year. But how good is Florida State really? Pretty awful, they have gone 0-7-2 against the spread this year, so if you bet on them every game you would have pushed twice and lost 7 times with zero wins! Alabama also has 3 linebackers that are out for the season and are pretty banged up in general.

So what four teams will prevail? Only time will tell…let’s hope the committee gets it right!

When in doubt call Vegas.

Follow Erik on Twitter @ErikZawojski