There were no changes in the top seven of the college football playoff rankings, which were released on Tuesday, although there is growing concern over some of the things the committee was saying will happen in the future. The biggest complaint many people had was the still unknown “conference championship bonus” which has been referred to, but never really spelled out.
If teams are indeed awarded bonus points for winning their conference title, No. 4 Mississippi State could very well be on its way out of the playoff regardless of what happens in Saturday’s Egg Bowl against Mississippi. The picture if further clouded by the possibility of TCU and Baylor finishing tied for the Big 12 championship, since the conference has no championship game, as well as Ohio State winning the Big 10 championship game.
Naturally, what takes place on the field over the next three days can change quite a bit of planning and you have to believe the committee wouldn’t be too terribly upset if the Texas Longhorns can pull off the upset of TCU on Thanksgiving or ‘Ole Miss can rise to the occasion and knock off the Bulldogs.
A number of teams in the top seven are expected to have games this week, beginning with top-ranked Alabama, which is favored by 8.5 points over No. 15 Auburn on Saturday.
The No. 2 Oregon Ducks are healthy 19.5-point favorites over Oregon State and No. 3 Florida State is now down to being a 7.5-point favorite over the disappointing Florida Gators, after opening as 10-point favorites.
There is some debate about whether or not Florida State should be ranked below two teams with one loss, although the Seminoles haven’t been all that impressive during the year. Or as CBS Sports analyst Gary Danielson said, “One more win and they could be out of it.”
Mississippi State may be in for a battle according to the oddsmakers who opened the Bulldogs as 1-point favorites over the Rebels, although the betting public has pushed the number up to 2.5 and a few sportsbooks have it at 3.
No. 5 TCU is favored by a touchdown over the longhorns today and No. 6 Ohio State is favored by 20.5 to 21 over Michigan and Baylor is favored by 25 over Texas Tech. Both the lines on Ohio State and Baylor have climbed slightly from the opening numbers even though both failed to cover last week as extremely popular plays.
No. 8 UCLA can’t quite bit counted out completely, as a PAC-12 conference championship win over Oregon could very well be enough to boost them into the top four, especially if one or two of the teams ranked about them right now stumbles.
While the majority of the debate has been centered at the top of the polls, another one is brewing towards the very bottom of the top 25, as No. 23 Boise State and No. 24 Marshall are in a battle for the playoff committee’s automatic bid to one of the New Year’s bowl games. The committee selects the highest rated team from the American Athletic, Conference USA, the Mid-American, the Mountain West and the Sun Belt.
While Boise State has lost two games, the Broncos have played a tougher schedule than the Thundering Herd, but Marshall does have the advantage of being undefeated and is ranked higher in USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin’s ratings, which the committee looks at.
Boise State does play a tough Utah State team on Saturday and that game could have a big impact on which team plays on Jan. 1. The Aggies aren’t ranked, but a win over Boise State would likely vault them into the discussion for that spot, as well.
Week 14 NCAA Football Free Pick
11/28/2014 2:30 PM Reduced Football 338 UCLA* -6 -105 vs Stanford
Risking 2.00 To Win 1.90
Stanford has owned this match-up in recent years, but this year is a different Cardinal team. They don't have the same defense they have in past years, especially in the secondary where I think UCLA is going to be able to exploit them for some big plays. UCLA routed USC last weekend, a team that plays a very similar style to Stanford, and I think the Bruins are hitting their stride at the right time this year. UCLA wins by 7 or more.
Lets Get It
Author: Rob Holiday
My background is in business, consulting, finance and entrepreneurship