Last week was one of the most exciting and meaningful weeks in college football this season. Three top-15 matchups, including a pair of top-10 showdowns, helped to clear up (albeit in a small fashion) the national title hunt.
The University of Oregon, one of the most overrated programs of the last few years, is out for now. However, four independents from major conferences remain. What are the odds that each one plays for (not wins) the BCS national championship in January?
The University of Alabama
The Crimson Tide are, once again, for real. Ranked No. 1 in the nation for the whole year and looking for their third consecutive national championship, Alabama handled LSU with ease. The 13th-ranked Tigers were tied with Alabama at 17 in the third quarter, but the Crimson Tide scored the game’s final 21 points to put away LSU. Alabama still has to play Mississippi State University and Auburn University on the road, and the No. 7 Auburn Tigers pose the lone remaining true threat to the Crimson Tide.
Title Odds: 80%
Florida State University
Regardless of the scandal that surfaced this week, redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston has been all the rage in college football, and leading a 59-3 romp of Wake Forest University on Saturday, Nov. 9, only added to his Heisman Trophy cause. Florida State still has to play Syracuse University, the University of Idaho, and the University of Florida. Although the Florida Gators are having a down season at 4-5, records go out the door when Sunshine State bragging rights are on the line. The fact that the game is being played in “The Swamp” adds to the trap game potential for the Seminoles. Should Florida State win out, there is no question that they are the unquestioned No. 2 (or No. 1) team in the country.
Title Odds: 60%
Ohio State University
Ahh, the Buckeyes. That team which has won 21 straight games, but only five against ranked opponents. Essentially, Ohio State needs Alabama or Florida State to lose along with Baylor University in order to play for a national title. Being that “second undefeated” is the only way Ohio State qualifies for the championship game. That being said, Ohio State still has to play No. 19 University of Michigan, a game that could end the Buckeyes’ long winning streak.
Title Odds: 30%
The underdog in the title hunt, Baylor’s Bears have rolled to 8-0 by scoring 59 or more points in six of those eight wins. Until the Bears defeated No. 10 University of Oklahoma last week, however, Baylor had not beat a ranked team. The schedule only gets tougher for Baylor, as they play a tough Texas Tech University team this week, with games against No. 12 Oklahoma State University and No. 24 University of Texas still remaining on the schedule. If Baylor wins out, they will be the first in line in the event of an Alabama or Florida State loss. There are a lot of “ifs” in that equation, and it is easier said than done. Baylor could easily end up 9-3 or worse, or hoist the crystal football in Pasadena, Calif. in January.
Title Odds: 30%