The College Football Playoff selection committee will reveal its first top 25 rankings on October 31st. The Action Network will bring you the latest CFB rankings along with power ratings, current futures odds and some chatter about the paths of the potential teams involved throughout the remainder of the season.
Updated Odds – October 10th
|21||North Carolina State||-15.5||+5000|
The path remains unclear for most teams except for Alabama (+125). Even in the unlikely event that Alabama loses a game prior to their late-season matchup with Auburn (+2000), that game should still serve as a “Round of 32” matchup, with the winner getting a trip to the SEC Championship Game, an informal “quarterfinal.” Auburn’s offensive production is starting to catch up to their defensive output, but that early-season loss to Clemson means they must win out in 2017. Georgia (+1000) is playing as well as anybody in the country, but they still have to deal with Kentucky and Florida to eventually represent the East in the SEC Championship. The Gators still control their own destiny for an East title, which sets up a massive matchup with Georgia in Jacksonville later in the year. Similar to Florida, Kentucky only has one loss in the division, but that loss came at the hands of Florida; additionally, the Cats must travel to Athens for their matchup with Georgia.
NC State (+5000) looks quite attractive if you believe they win out, which would require victories over Clemson and Notre Dame. In my opinion, Clemson (+300) possesses a “get out of jail free” card for a regular season loss, similar to 2016, as long as that loss doesn’t come against the Wolfpack. There is plenty of action left in the Coastal, as Miami (+3300), Virginia Tech (+10000), Georgia Tech and Virginia all still have yet to play each other.
I wouldn’t get too excited about Wazzu (+5000) considering they play four of their remaining six games on the road, including trips to Stanford (+8000), Utah and Washington (+1400). All eyes in the South are on USC (+1600), who cannot afford another conference loss.
Wisconsin (+2500) should continue to coast in complete cruise control right to the Big Ten Championship game. Even a loss against Michigan later this year shouldn’t prevent them from essentially playing in a “quarterfinal” game for the National Title. Ohio State (+1000) currently sits in the driver’s seat in the East since they will host both Penn State (+1200) and Michigan State. The Nittany Lions could easily lose only one game again this season, which could keep them out of the Big Ten Championship Game, and make the selection committee sweat over a controversial decision similar to 2016.
This conference continues to cannibalize itself each year in the playoff era. The recent Oklahoma (+2500) loss to Iowa State has now created a wide-open race. Surprisingly, Texas and TCU (+3300) remain undefeated in conference, while Texas Tech, Oklahoma State (+1400) and the Sooners all have one loss on the season. The No. 1 vs. No. 2 Seed setup for the conference championship game in Arlington could set up the Big 12 to have a two or three loss champion, which the committee could easily pass on without much controversy.
Group of 5
Central Florida (+10000) and South Florida (+10000) are on a collision course for the day after Thanksgiving to determine who will head to the AAC Championship against either Navy or Houston. Navy stayed undefeated in a wild game over Air Force last Saturday, but that could change in a tough spot this weekend against Memphis. San Diego State (+10000) remains undefeated and has the best resume with two Power Five wins, one on the road at Arizona State and also a home win over Stanford. If you want to bet on one of these longshots, you will need something chaotic to occur for one to sneak into the layoff with an undefeated record, such as multiple two-loss Power Five conference champions.
Week 6 Add: Wisconsin 25/1
The Badgers will be a double-digit favorite in every game with the exception of Michigan (Wisky -6 projected). Wisconsin has the luxury of being able to drop a game before the Big Ten Championship game. The hedge spot comes against Ohio State/Penn State, but 25-1 is plenty of room to work with.