In its relatively short five-year history, only 10 different programs have reached the College Football Playoff. We’ve gotten a new program every year, but the barrier for entry is very high.
Alabama has made the field every year. Clemson has made four of five, and like Alabama, has two national titles to show.
Oklahoma (three) and Ohio State (two) are the only other multiple time participants. Florida State, Georgia, Notre Dame, Oregon, and Washington have each made the field once.
Entering the 2019 college football season, the usual suspects are at the top of odds list to make the College Football Playoff.
At SuperBook USA Alabama and Clemson are viewed as near-locks to make it, at 1/6 odds. That means one needs to bet $6 just to make $1 on a wager.
Clemson may be the more logical choice there, as the ACC is a good deal weaker and less deep than the SEC. Alabama can afford to slip up once and likely still make it, but it is easier to find a rare two-loss season for Alabama than for Clemson.
There’s a big drop-off from there, before rivals Michigan and Ohio State in back-to-back spots at 9/4 and 3/1 respectively. Oklahoma is 7/2 to return, and that’s where things get interesting.
Bama, Clemson 1/6
Florida, Oregon 8/1
Notre Dame, Utah, Washington 10/1
Baylor, IowaSt, Miami, MichSt, MissSt, PennSt, TCU, USC, WSU, Wis 20/1
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 14, 2019
Nebraska might be the most interesting one here. The Big Ten West is winnable, and the Huskers are expected to take a leap, but having better odds than former CFP participants Notre Dame and Washington seems aggressive.
The Huskers probably couldn’t afford more than one loss and would definitely have to take down the Big Ten East champion, a big ask for a team looking to rebound from 4-8.
These odds also may add a bit more juice to the early season LSU-Texas game. The winner will really set itself up well with a huge non-conference win in September from which to build.