Michigan, Texas Favored in CFP Against Alabama, Washington

Posted on: December 3, 2023, 02:58h. 

Last updated on: December 3, 2023, 02:58h.

The Michigan Wolverines (13-0, Big Ten) and Texas Longhorns (12-1, Big 12) are the early betting favorites in their respective College Football Playoff (CFP) Semifinal games respectively against Alabama (12-1, SEC) and Washington (13-0, Pac-12).

Michigan Texas College Football Playoff CFP
Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Alabama are the four College Football Playoff teams. Florida State was snubbed, ending the Seminoles’ hopes of winning their first national championship since 2013 despite going undefeated and winning the ACC Championship. (Image: ESPN)

The CFP Selection Committee stunned the sports world today when they gave an undefeated Florida State Seminoles team (13-0, ACC) the boot from the coveted top four. The 13-member committee decided the Seminoles without star quarterback Jordan Travis rendered the ACC champs unworthy of a playoff bid.

It’s the first time an undefeated Power 5 conference champion won’t be in the CFP. The committee cited its qualifying principles, which include “relevant factors such as unavailability of key players and coaches that may have affected a team’s performance during the season or likely will affect its postseason performance.”

With Florida State out, the final CFP top four were Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Alabama.

Michigan, Texas Early Favorites

Both College Football Playoff Semifinal games will be played on New Year’s Day.

The Rose Bowl Game between No. 1 Michigan and No. 4 Alabama kicks off at 5 pm EST on Jan. 1. DraftKings opened the matchup with the Wolverines favored by two points. The over/under is at 46 points.

The second CFP Semifinal is the Allstate Sugar Bowl at 8:45 EST. DraftKings has a one-loss Longhorns team favored over the undefeated Huskies. Texas is spotting Washington 4.5 points, with the over/under at 63.5 points.

One of the four finalists will be crowned the national champion of college football. Michigan has the shortest odds of winning their first natty since 1997 at +180. A $100 bet on that line and the Wolverines hoisting the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy would net $180.

Alabama has the next-shortest odds at +200, suggesting that the Rose Bowl winner will be the favorite in the Jan. 8 National Championship Game. The title bout will be played in Houston at NRG Stadium, home of the NFL Houston Texans.

Texas’ national championship odds are at +260 and Washington is the underdog at +700.

As for the rest of the New Year’s Six bowls, No. 7 Ohio State (11-1, Big Ten) plays No. 9 Missouri (10-2, SEC) in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 28 at 8 pm EST. The Buckeyes are favored by 6.5.

No. 10 Penn State (10-2, Big Ten) plays No. 11 Ole Miss (10-2, SEC) in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 30 at noon. The Nittany Lions are favored by 3.5 points.

No. 5 Florida State (13-0, ACC) plays No. 6 Georgia (11-1, SEC) in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30 at 4 pm EST. The Bulldogs are 13-point favorites.

The last New Year’s Six game before the CFP is No. 8 Oregon playing No. 23 Liberty (13-0, C-USA) in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1 at 1 pm EST. The Ducks are big favorites spotting the Conference USA champs 15.5 points.

CFP Controversy

The CFP Selection Committee believes they got it right in moving Alabama up four spots after upsetting Georgia last night. The Crimson Tide’s victory snapped the Bulldogs’ 29-game winning streak, which dated back to Dec. 2021, when Georgia lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.

Florida State coach Mike Norvell was naturally upset.

I am disgusted and infuriated with the committee’s decision today to have what was earned on the field taken away because a small group of people decided they knew better than the results of the games. What is the point of playing games? Do you tell players it is okay to quit if someone goes down? Do you not play a senior on Senior Day for fear of injury? Where is the motivation to schedule challenging non-conference games?” Norvell questioned in a statement.

“We are not only an undefeated Power 5 conference champion, but we also played two P5 non-conference games away from home and won both of them. I don’t understand how we are supposed to think this is an acceptable way to evaluate a team,” Norvell concluded.

FSU critics pointed to their strength of schedule, which was ranked 55th in NCAA Division 1 football this year. Alabama critics point to the fact that they needed a last-second touchdown on a 4th and 31 to beat a lowly Auburn team that went 6-6 on the season.

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