The votes are in and the 2014 College Football Playoff Bracket is Set.
The college football playoff committee ended all of the debate regarding TCU and Baylor in dramatic fashion on Sunday, deciding that neither of them should advance to the pool of four teams for the first-ever college football playoffs. While it’s hard to argue with the end result, the committee does look a bit foolish for dropping TCU three places in a week that they defeated Iowa State 55-3.
To their credit, the committee did say all along that there would be “bonus points” for winning a conference championship, which is exactly what Ohio State got in their thumping of Wisconsin, while TCU or Baylor either didn’t receive or were forced to split the extra credit given by the committee, as the two schools were declared co-champions. Which I expect will prompt the big 12 to consider implementing a conference championship very shortly.
Looking at the teams that made the 2014 College Football Playoff Bracket
There was never any question that Alabama and Oregon were going to make the 2014 College Football Playoff Bracket, especially after both posted comfortable wins in capturing their conference championships. After that, it became a bit of a guessing game, and even undefeated Florida State had to breathe a sigh of relief when they were announced as one of the four playoff teams.
The betting has been a bit brisk, considering the first two playoff games aren’t until New Year’s Day. No. 1 Alabama opened as 9.5-point favorites over No. 4 Ohio State and the line has climbed to 10, with several books having already moved to Alabama -10.5. The total is 58.
No. 2 Oregon opened as 8.5-point favorites over No. 3 Florida State and the spread has already climbed to 9.5 at most places, along with a couple of 10s. The total is 71. The Seminoles had not been underdogs since 2011.
Not only did TCU fall out of the top four following their 52-point victory, the Horned Frogs dropped all the way to sixth place, as Baylor moved in front of them after the Bears defeated Kansas State. As a result of seeing both TCU and Baylor not in the playoffs, the Big 12 figures to lose close to $6 million.
The Horned Frogs will face Mississippi in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on New Year’s Eve. TCU is favored by 3 or 3.5, depending on the sportsbook, but you have to question how the Horned Frogs will enter this game. As we saw last year with Alabama, teams don’t always show up when they’re playing in a game that they aren’t happy with being at, so again I have to question the motivation level here, especially considering they will be up against a Mississippi team that has a chip on their shoulder as they demonstrated in their game vs Mississippi State.
Baylor fared a bit better, as the Bears play Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day and figure to have a decent crowd on hand. The Bears are favored by three and playing in their home state might add a little bit of motivation for the team, this one should be a high scoring affair, so I will be taking a close look at the over.
As expected, Boise State received the at-large bowl bid and play Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl. Arizona is favored by three at most sportsbooks and the total on the game is hovering around 69.
The SEC might have only ended up with one team in the playoffs, but the conference will be collecting quite a few paychecks as 12 teams received bowl invitations
I will be posting some free picks to the blog over the next few weeks. To make sure you don't miss out on any of them, I highly recommend that you subscribe to my email list. You can do so by entering your name and email below.
You can also get access to ALL of my bowl picks by subscribing for only $49 for the entire College football bowl season, I am also throwing my NFL picks now through Superbowl as an added bonus. .
Author: Rob Holiday
My background is in business, consulting, finance and entrepreneurship