College Football Playoff odds after Week 9: No clear favorites in tight upper tiers

Ohio State is the No. 1 seed in the first College Football Playoff rankings, but not the top team in my predictions. Despite not playing the toughest schedules yet, Georgia and Michigan are still the teams that have won the national title in most simulations.

Michigan, Georgia, Ohio State and Florida State made up more than 60 percent of my CFP predictions. Not only did Georgia beat Florida, but it swept the Gators. Ohio State moved up a semi-tricky block at Wisconsin. Florida State continues to get a boost from the ACC, which is not seen much by my model. Also, an Oklahoma loss virtually eliminated any chance of an undefeated Power 5 team getting eliminated (and made the Big Ten more likely to get two teams).

Only 10 teams won the national title by more than 1 percent. Only 11 teams made the CFP more than 1 percent. With several big games taking place on Saturday, next week should see a good move in the predictions.

Here’s how the model works: I’ve created a season simulator that creates odds for winning the national title, making the College Football Playoff, and winning the conference and division titles. After each simulation was completed, I created a model that selected the playoff teams. The playoff selection model is very simple and very similar to the committee’s selection process, which creates a “resume strength rating” derived from previous resume strength ratings, past playoff rankings, and playoff selections for each season.

Here’s how the national title contenders rank after Week 9, according to my model.

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Projected national title and College Football Playoff chances

Team title Playoff

23.61%

72.7%

23.55%

74.7%

15.5%

71.3%

11.7%

60.2%

9.1%

41.4%

7.3%

27.3%

3.9%

20.6%

1.8%

10.7%

1.6%

9.1%

1.4%

7.6%

0.3%

2.7%

0.2%

0.8%

0.06%

0.26%

0.06%

0.2%

0.04%

0.04%

0.02%

0.16%

0.0%

0.03%

0.0%

0.02%

0.0%

0.02%

0.0%

0.01%

0.0%

0.01%

0.0%

0.01%

0.0%

0.01%

Fun random simulation result

What if all three Big Ten teams finished with one loss, Washington went undefeated, and every other team finished with two losses? This happened in one of my simulations and I had to share the result.

Washington 13-0 (Pac-12 Champion)
Ohio State 12-1 (Big Ten Champion)
Michigan is 11-1
Penn State is 11-1
Georgia 11-2
Oklahoma 11-2 (Big 12 Champion)
Florida State is 11-2
Alabama 11-2 (SEC Champion)

The biggest risers in national title opportunities

Oregon: +4.3% (3% to 7.3%)

Georgia: +4% (19.6% to 23.6%)

Florida State: +3.7% (8% to 11.7%)

No surprises here. All three teams came away from home in dominant fashion.

Biggest fallers in national title chances

Oklahoma: -7.5% (11.4% to 3.9%)

Texas: -4.9% (6.5% to 1.6%)

Alabama: -2.3% (3.7% to 1.4%)

Texas faces Kansas State without Quinn Evers and favored by less than a touchdown. The Wildcats’ recent surge makes Texas less likely to win to make the playoffs.

Biggest Rises in CFP Opportunities

Georgia: +16.2% (58.5% to 74.7%)

Florida State: +15.9% (44.3% to 60.2%)

Ohio State: +15.6% (55.7% to 71.3%)

The biggest fallers in CFP opportunities

Oklahoma: -27.7% (48.3% to 20.6%)

Texas: -18.2% (27.3% to 9.1%)

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Alabama: -10.6% (18.2% to 7.6%)

(Photo by Ladd McConkey: Icon Sportswire via David Rosenblum/Getty Images)

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