OU On The Outside Looking In Of CFB Playoff According To Latest Odds

Image via fanspeak.com

So apparently if you tweet, even infrequently, enough about betting odds/lines, you to could find yourself on a gambling related email list including yours truly. Or at least that’s how I assume I wound up on it. It’s certainly not any great distinction mind you, but it does come in quite handy when odds are updated and/or new odds are released (you know, if you’re into that sort of thing).

Today I received an email stating that Bovada, a prominent online sportsbook, had released their odds for this year’s college football playoff.

Team Will they make the Playoff?   Will they not make the Playoff?
Florida State -350 (2/7)   +225 (9/4)
Alabama +125 (5/4)   -160 (5/8)
Oregon EVEN (1/1)   -140 (5/7)
Ohio State EVEN (1/1)   -140 (5/7)
Oklahoma +175 (7/4)   -260 (5/13)
Auburn +175 (7/4)   -260 (5/13)
LSU +225 (9/4)   -350 (2/7)
UCLA +240 (12/5)   -380 (5/19)
Michigan State +225 (9/4)   -350 (2/7)

Clearly, the defending national champion Seminoles are an overwhelming favorite to make the playoff. And, as you can seen, Oklahoma is sitting on the outside as the No. 5 team — from an odds perspective — tied with Auburn.

Ultimately, these odds could prove to be meaningless although as we sit here today not having played a single down that Top 4 seems pretty reasonable. It could also eventually prove just how slim the margin of error may be for any of the teams listed (or those that are not), but perhaps especially so for the Sooners.

Based on preseason rankings (which, again, are pretty much meaningless) and the general national perception, it doesn’t seem as though many expect the Big 12 to be a particularly strong league in 2014. OU and Baylor enter the summer as the two clear favorites and while anything is possible in terms of others exceeding expectations, because of the Big 12 round-robin schedule one team performing better than expected almost has to mean another performing worse. Couple the league as a whole (assuming it’s not the strongest of years) with a relatively lackluster non-conference slate for OU — barring an unexpectedly miraculous season from Tennessee — and a strength of schedule component might not offer the favor it has in years past for the Sooners.

The way the schedule sets up in 2014 for Oklahoma should lend itself to a legitimate shot at 12-0 or 11-1. Kansas State, Baylor, Oklahoma State, and the aforementioned Tennessee game all in Norman. But we are all too well aware that shady suspect cheating funny things tend to happen in Lubbock, so a late season trip to West Texas looks somewhat ominious. And we’re coming to learn strange things can also happen in Morgantown as well. A road game at TCU doesn’t figure to be a walk in the park either. And then of course you have Texas. Annually one of the most difficult games on the OU schedule to predict due to the nature of the rivalry. I mean who in their right mind saw last year coming? I know I didn’t and I sure as hell don’t have any interest in reliving it, so I’ll spare all of you and myself by simply moving on.

Of course this is all speculation and there is almost no conceivable scenario I can envision in which OU goes undefeated and doesn’t make the playoff. Then again having that zero in the loss column come December tends to have a way of sorting out your postseason plans for you.

  • leatherneck1061

    I know the SEC is a tough league and all, but still it seems kind of funny they don’t have Alabama at least even considering how many are picking them #1 or 2 in the country again.

    • Jordan Esco

      Bare in mind those odds are primarily designed to get even money bet on both sides.

  • DrZemus

    Forget the fact that there hasn’t been one down played, think about the fact that no one has ever seen how this committee will rank teams – because they never have.

    • SoonerGoneEast

      This has the potential to have a lot of people crying foul when the selections are completed.

      • leatherneck1061

        Absolutely it does. I think one could make the argument that this might end up being worse than what we had (if that were possible). The old way still had at least one objective element – the computers. This could very well end up being far more subjective. After all, we have no idea how much bias or lack of football experience some of these people will bring to the table.
        At the end of the day, we are still the only major sport, professional or collegiate, who doesn’t let their teams settle the question of who’s #1 on the field.

        • SoonerGoneEast

          I think you’re right. This could well end up worse than what we had, and their solution will be to add even more teams.

        • soonermusic

          As the lone apologist for the bcs, I felt like after all the dust settled, they pretty much got the correct two teams in the final game on a surprisingly regular basis.

      • soonermusic

        I don’t think the new system will lessen the end of the season controversies.

        I wonder how the prep for the two “tournament” games will look. Long time to prepare for the first one, short for the second, I guess.

        It will be interesting to see if the new system is an improvement in any significant way, without diluting the week by week importance of the regular season.

        • SoonerGoneEast

          For me, a four team playoff won’t dilute the regular season too much. However, once the playoff is expanded, and it will be expanded, then it can’t help but reduce the significance of the regular season games. I suppose it would have less of an impact if teams were required to win their conference to be eligible, but that’s not the case.

          • soonermusic

            I agree with you.

            The concept of a group of “experts” be it coaches, sports writers, (can you say AP, USA today formerly UPI) or anyone else associated with the game, making the rankings based upon totally subjective criteria, sure feels like a step backwards to me.

            Also, for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on, the concept of having to win back to back games at the end of a college season in the “bowl” context, seems weird to me. I know that situation sometimes arises during the season, but this feels different.

  • SoonerGoneEast

    I’m one of the few who dislikes the idea of a college football playoff, but I hate even more that teams are being selected by a committee. This works well when you’re selecting almost 70 teams for a basketball tournament, but not so much when a handful of people are tasked with whittling a field of a 120+ teams down to four.

    The system is all too subjective for me to put any faith in it. With that being said, I don’t believe there’s any way we get in unless we’re undefeated. A one loss team from the BIG XII will easily carry the least amount of weight among the Power 5 conferences, and it’s not even close.

    • Eric Hoffpauir

      Depends on the loss. A one loss ACC team might not make it in over a one loss Big 12 team, if Florida State or Clemson revert back to their old habit of blowing an easy game once a year.

      • SoonerGoneEast

        I would normally agree, but with FSU coming off a NC and Clemson’s recent success, I have an entirely different opinion than in years past. Also, have you seen their schedules this year? Far more impressive than ours.

        • Eric Hoffpauir

          Right, but it doesn’t necessarily work like that. If we lose to a two loss Baylor or K-State team, and Florida State loses to a 3 or 4 loss NC State or BC, I like our odds.

          • SoonerGoneEast

            There are hypotheticals to support whatever argument either of us wants to make, I was just speaking to equal scenarios. Each team has an early season loss to a similar opponent, our conference strength (or lack of conference respect) would likely be the deciding factor.

          • hushnpa

            now you’re talking logic – what does logic have to do with it ? – It’s the NCAA !

    • SoonerfanTU

      Big 12 > Big 10

    • leatherneck1061

      Hah….replied to your above comment only to then realize you have already said much the same thing down here. 😉

      • SoonerGoneEast

        Great minds, brother.

  • Eric Hoffpauir

    “Never tell me the odds.” – Han Solo

  • SoonerPhins

    Isaiah Cousins has been shot! Gang Violence seems to be the culprit

  • Sooner Ray

    I like our odds when we are shunned.

  • Doobie74OU

    Got to PLAY our way in! Simple as that! Undefeated OU has as good if not better shot than most teams and considering were we are ranked to start the year(most preseason polls have ranked us in the top 5) we should not fall anywhere out of contention! WIN AND WE ARE IN! LOSE AND IT OPENS THE DOOR FOR CRYING & SORROW!

  • Super Keith

    I just hope the lack of a Big XII championship game doesn’t bite us in the end. The good news is that OU can be in charge of their postseason…just win.

    • Sooner Ray

      I also worry about lack of a championship game and how it will be viewed by the selectors. I know if we win out we can’t be denied but that is a tall order. The best help we can get, aside from taking care of business, is for others in the conference to schedule and win impressive OOC games to gain some national respect.

      • Gary Robbins

        That’s the main thing is how these selectors will let the conference championship games play on their minds. Another thing I remember reading was that ESPN had the broadcast rights for the final 4 football championship games for 10-12 years. Could that be right? Of course there was a disclaimer that ESPN would have zero influence on the selection of teams!!!

  • EasTex

    Tonight was the last time I will watch College Football Live. I’ve said it before, but I mean it this time.
    For the second time in a week at least one of the bobble heads was promoting Baylor because of their offense, only this time Jessie Palmer was talking up their defense as to why they could be one of the four playoff teams. Didn’t Baylor lose around eight starters on defense from last year?
    Anyway, done with those clowns. It was bad enough that they only talked about FSU/Bama/Oregon/Buckeyes, now this.

    Maybe I’m reading them wrong, perhaps they are all secretly Sooner fans and know how well they perform when they are ignored.