The college football odds makers are eagerly awaiting the decision by the playoff committee as to which four schools will be competing for a national championship. Let's get a jump on things right now.
1. Clemson Tigers (13-0 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) - There is no doubt the Tigers belong at the top of the heap after their 45-37 victory over North Carolina to claim the ACC championship. Clemson rolls into this post season tournament with the only perfect record in the nation and will be rightfully seeded No. 1 when the Committee announces their Fantastic Four.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1 SU, 7-6 ATS) - The Tide did as expected and dominated the Florida Gators to win the SEC championship 29-15. But unlike last week when Derrick Henry found a gap and broke for an insurance touchdown in the waning moments of their game with Auburn to cover the number that the College Football Odds makers were hanging, there was to be no such miracle cover for all those that included Bama in their College Football Picks. It was a wee bit gut wrenching if you bet the Tide -17 and watched them march to within a few yards of the goal line only to see Nick Saban walk off the field, take the win and leave Bama's backers barking at the television.
3. Michigan State Spartans (12-1 SU, 5-7-1 ATS) - It wasn't a dominant performance by any stretch and the Spartans had to come from behind to do it but Michigan State knocked off Iowa 16-13 and claimed the Big Ten championship on Saturday night. The win virtually assured the Spartans entry into the playoff scenario and will most likely be lining up against their second consecutive undefeated team in Clemson when opening round action gets underway.
4. Oklahoma Sooners (11-1 SU, 9-3 ATS) - So here's the dicey part of this equation. Oklahoma is the king of the Big 12 but that conference chooses not to have a championship game which gives the Committee one last look to see who is worthy of inclusion in the playoffs and who is not. The Sooners must rest on their laurels and hope that the memory of their 58-23 thrashing of their intrastate rivals Oklahoma State on their opponent's home turf still lingers in the minds of those who vote. Should Oklahoma be part of the postseason playoff parade? Yes! Should the Big 12 get their act together and have a conference championship? Absolutely.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1 SU, 5-7 ATS) - Here is another Big 12 power who did not have the opportunity to prove that they are indeed playoff worthy by virtue of the fact that their conference eschews championship games. However, unlike their conference peers from Oklahoma the Buckeyes have no shot at breaking through the playoff bubble. Their only loss was to Michigan State (who has one of the four spots locked up) so even their impressive 42-13 destruction of Michigan in the Big House will not move the chains for this Ohio State edition as they won't be replacing the undefeated Clemson Tigers, Alabama, certainly not Michigan State nor Oklahoma....well, maybe Oklahoma?
6. Iowa Hawkeyes (12-1 SU, 7-5-1 ATS) - The Hawkeyes picked a pretty lousy time to lose. Iowa went from undefeated and having a playoff spot locked up to no longer perfect and bounced out of the college football playoffs. Michigan State rallied to defeat Iowa 16-13 to claim the Big Ten title and it looks like the Spartans will assume the spoils of that victory with an invitation into football's Final Four.
7. Stanford Cardinal (11-2 SU, 9-4 ATS) - Had the Cardinal not suffered a two-point loss to Oregon as 10 point home chalk back in mid November we might be including Stanford in the playoff conversation. The Cardinal looked impressive in their 41-22 victory over USC to claim the Pac 12 crown but unfortunately two losses is too many.