Where The Odds Are In Your Favor
All of those games were played before the last month of the season, and they all had a significant impact on how things played out. As for how these teams got here, it took an epic Rose Bowl, and Alabama and Clemson meeting for the rubber match for the third straight year in the playoffs. Alabama took the rubber match with the most lopsided victory of those three games. The Tide did it with defense and more defense. Oklahoma blew a 17 point lead for, oh, about the fifth time this season.
That was a bit upsetting, but things were trending that way anyway. The Sooners had issues stopping Chubb and Michel all game long. The difference was that Georgia made adjustments at the half to counteract the Oklahoma offense.
However, the Sooners were ultimately undone by questionable playcalling in the overtimes. In the first overtime, the defense was gassed, and it was all they could do to hold Georgia to a field goal. You need less than a yard on fourth down. With your defense not being able to get a stop, I think you go for it. Also, after the first down in the second overtime, the Sooners called a gadget play that had little chance of working and a screen play against maybe the fastest linebackers in the country to put themselves in a third and 15 situation.
As for the defense on the last play, how in the world do you lose track of Michel? If he lines up at the quarterback, you have to react! I am going to put three confidence points on this one. I was impressed with the defense of both teams, but I was impressed by Georgia more because they beat Oklahoma in a game in which Oklahoma dictated the pace of the game. Georgia will enforce their pace on Alabama mostly because the Tide are similarly built on offense.
The defense will decide the game. I was very impressed by the Georgia linebackers against Oklahoma. The poise of Fromm was also very impressive. Alabama shouldn't be any surprise on top, where they sit every year at this time. The defense, however, could be a relative work in progress with four new starters in the secondary and already a major loss at linebacker Terrell Lewis. But don't expect anyone to feel sorry for Saban's latest collection of five-stars.
Wisconsin odds was thrown out of the mix here when it came to the odds, with Oklahoma, Penn State and Michigan having shorter odds. Wisconsin's offense returns a couple of All-America candidates on the line, some promising young receivers and perhaps the country's best workhorse running back, Jonathan Taylor.
More than half of last year's starting defense is gone, but the Badgers have a long track record of success with plugging in new players on that side of the ball without taking a step backward. The big question in Madison this year is if they can get over the hump and win more than the West Division. Noteworthy, is that despite the oddsmakers being big on Michigan, the College Football rankings have them 12th.
Their odds of winning the College Football Championship were set at The Wolverines are optimistic he'll be a difference-maker, but sorting out the offensive line is a bigger piece of the puzzle to improving on offense this year. The defense, led by Rashan Gary and Devin Bush, is loaded with playmakers from front to back and gives Michigan a chance to win every game it plays.