The first set of College Football Playoff rankings have been issued by the CFP Selection Committee, giving fans and bettors a preview of the teams that could be included in NCAAF’s final four.
While the top four college football programs in the country are indisputable, the odds for betting on the CFP place them in a different order than the current rankings.
Initial 2023-24 CFP Rankings (Top 10)
- Ohio State Buckeyes 8-0
- Georgia Bulldogs 8-0
- Michigan Wolverines 8-0
- Florida State Seminoles 8-0
- Washington Huskies 8-0
- Oregon Ducks 7-1
- Texas Longhorns 7-1
- Alabama Crimson Tide 7-1
- Oklahoma Sooners 7-1
- Mississippi Rebels 7-1
If the season ended today, the College Football Playoffs bracket would appear as follows.
The one vs. four CFP semifinal would be a matchup of the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes of the Big Ten against the Florida State Seminoles of the ACC. The other semifinal game will pair the Michigan Wolverines of the Big Ten against the two-time defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs of the SEC.
In order for the above bracket to become a reality at the end of this college football season, two Big Ten teams will need to earn a trip to the CFP. With Michigan in the number three spot, it suggests that they will lose to the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship Game.
It also implies that the Bulldogs will defeat the currently eighth-ranked Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game to make way for the Wolverines.
Current College Football Playoffs Futures
- Michigan +275
- Georgia +300
- Florida State +600
- Ohio State +700
- Alabama +1000
- Washington +1200
- Oregon +1400
- Texas +1600
- LSU +3300
- Oklahoma +4000
- Penn State +6600
- Notre Dame +20000
- Missouri +40000
The above odds are for betting on the CFP National Champion, but they also serve to further break down how the playoffs will proceed. For instance, using the above NCAAF futures, we can assume that the top four teams will be the programs that make it into the CFP.
Since the Alabama Crimson Tide already has a loss, we can assume that all teams in the top four will finish the regular season unbeaten and will also win their respective conference championship games, except for Ohio State.
The only way that this bracket for CFP betting makes sense is if the Buckeyes lose to Michigan for the Big Ten Championship. The outlier in this CFP equation is an undefeated Washington Huskies program led by Heisman Trophy contender Michael Penix Jr.
The remaining schedule for the Huskies includes the USC Trojans, Utah Utes, Oregon State Beavers, Washington State Cougars, and what could be the final Pac-12 Championship Game of all time.
If Washington makes that run unscathed, it will be difficult for the committee to keep them out of the CFP and include a one-loss Ohio State or Michigan team. There’s still a month of football to go before the final rankings are issued, and anything can happen between now and then.