The Clemson Tigers, Oklahoma Sooners, Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide are the four teams that are left standing heading into the College Football Playoff. A year’s worth of games will now come down to the duels between Clemson and Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and Oklahoma and Georgia in the Rose Bowl with the two winners facing off in the National Championship Game in Atlanta.
0: The number of games Clemson has failed to cover in the College Football Playoff in its history. The Tigers have played in four games in the playoff, winning three of the four and losing to Alabama in the National Championship Game two years ago while covering the spread. No other team in the history of the CFP is undefeated from an ATS standpoint, and that includes teams that have played just one game. Georgia could buck that trend if it covers Oklahoma in its first College Football Playoff game, though the other three teams are returners to the playoff.
0: The number of times a national semifinal went over the total over the course of the last two years. The first year of the College Football Playoff produced two really high scoring semifinals, a 59-20 Oregon win over Florida State and a 42-35 Ohio State win over Alabama. Since then, the four semifinal games have all failed to reach the total. Three of the four losing teams failed to score more than seven points. The highest scoring game in the semifinal the last two seasons was the 37-17 Clemson win over Miami in the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Eve 2015.
1: The number of underdogs who have won semifinal playoff games in the history of the CFP. Alabama will be hoping that history repeats itself on January 1. In the first year of the playoff, #4 Ohio State knocked off the Crimson Tide in a game that also happened to be played in the Sugar Bowl.
1: The number of teams who have been in the College Football Playoff in each of the four years of its existence. Of course, that team is Alabama, the perennial National Championship contender. This year’s trip to the playoff for the Crimson Tide was the strangest for sure. The team was ranked No. 1 when it was beaten by Auburn in the Iron Bowl, but it had to hold on tight in order to become the second team to ever reach the CFP without even playing for its conference championship. Ohio State was the first to do so last season, though its inclusion in the playoff was highly controversial after it was whipped by eventual champion Ohio State 31-0.
2: The number of times an SEC East team has won the SEC Championship Game since 2006. Florida won the SEC in both 2006 and 2008, and it went on to win the National Championship both years. Georgia will become the first team from the SEC aside from Alabama to play in the CFP, and it will hope that the SEC East trend continues in January.
Updated College Football Playoff Odds (As of 12/10)
#2 Oklahoma +2
#3 Georgia -2
#1 Clemson +3
#4 Alabama -3
Opening College Football Playoff Odds (Released 12/3)
#2 Oklahoma +1
#3 Georgia -1
#1 Clemson +2
#4 Alabama -2
(Odds Courtesy of BookMaker.eu)
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