The College Football Playoff (CFP) is set, as No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Notre Dame, and No. 4 Oklahoma are the four teams still in the running to win the 2019 National Championship.
The Crimson Tide (13-0) enter the postseason as the heavy favorite. Coach Nick Saban’s squad will play the Sooners (12-1) in the Orange Bowl where Alabama is favored by two touchdowns. Despite Oklahoma’s shaky defense, the Sooners were awarded the fourth spot after beating Texas to win the Big 12 Championship.
The Saturday, December 29 nightcap is the Cotton Bowl, with Notre Dame (12-0) the underdogs against Clemson (13-0). The Tigers are spotting the Fighting Irish 11 points.
As for which team will win two CFP games to claim the National Championship, the Westgate SuperBook has Alabama at 4/9, or implied odds of nearly 70 percent. A $100 bet and the Crimson Tide winning their sixth title since 2009 would net just $44.44.
Clemson is next at 3/1, followed by Oklahoma at 10/1 and Notre Dame the longest of the four at 12/1.
Should the odds be correct and Alabama and Clemson both win their semifinal games, the National Championship would pit the two programs against one another for a fourth year in a row in the CFP.
I think four probably makes it official,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “If we do it this year, we’ll officially call it a rivalry. Let’s see if we can do it four in a row. We need to beat them more, too. Ain’t much a rivalry when you’re losing. We got to win more.”
Alabama easily beat Clemson 24-6 a year ago in the semifinal Sugar Bowl. The Crimson Tide went on to win the national title. Saban’s team has appeared in all five College Football Playoff postseasons.
New Year’s Six
No. 6 Ohio State (12-1) did all they could on Saturday, as the Buckeyes beat Northwestern to win the Big Ten Championship. But the CFP selection committee thought OSU had the worst defeat of the one-loss candidates for the fourth and final spot.
The Buckeyes receive a nice consolation, however, as they will travel to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl to take on No. 9 Washington (10-3). Ohio State is favored by four points.
No. 7 Michigan (10-2) will face No. 10 Florida (9-3) in the Peach Bowl. The Wolverines are favored by 7.5 points.
No. 5 Georgia (11-2), which stayed ahead of Ohio State following a strong showing against Alabama in the SEC title game, will play No. 15 Texas (9-4) in the Sugar Bowl. The Bulldogs are 12.5-point favorites.
No. 8 UCF (12-0), the fourth and only other remaining undefeated team but playing out of the weak American Athletic Conference, is going to a New Year’s Six bowl game. The Knights will play No. 11 LSU (9-3), but the Tigers are favored by 11 points.