After a brilliant regular season and a Conference Championship Weekend that delivered a few surprises, we final know what the final four looks like. There are teams that we expected to be there, and perhaps one that is something of a surprise. The reality of the situation, though, is that anything can happen in an elimination game, so any 4 of these teams could still end the season as the National Champion. While we will have to wait a few weeks before we get to the playoff games, we thought it might be fun to take a look at the top 4 to see how they got there and whether their spot in the postseason is a surprise. Let’s get to it so you can continue planning your bets and place them against the NCAA Football National Championship Odds.
The Final Four: Surprising or Not? | NCAA Football Betting Analysis
#1 Georgia Bulldogs
On the face of it, you could say that seeing the defending National Champions in the playoffs is not that surprising. That said, this is a team that lost 15 starters to the NFL Draft last season, so there were a lot of holes that needed to be filled. Kirby Smart has proven that he is a fantastic recruiter, as filling those holes has proven to be a whole lot smoother than expected. The Georgia Bulldogs went unbeaten in the regular season for the second straight year, but also won the SEC Championship Game, which they lost last year on their way to a National Championship. They once again look like the team to beat.
#2 Michigan Wolverines
Getting to the playoffs last season was a big step forward for this program, but making it again is absolutely huge. They had the misfortune of running into Georgia in the semi-finals last year, and you could argue that they have the easiest matchup in the final 4 this time around, although we will talk more about that in a moment. The Michigan Wolverines went unbeaten in the regular season, which included a massive win over Ohio State, and won the Big Ten Championship. Can they go one better this year?
#3 TCU Horned Frogs
This is the surprise team of the season in my opinion, although they are totally deserving of their spot in the final 4. The TCU Horned Frogs, led by Heisman candidate Max Duggan, proved to be a gritty performer this season, winning a ton of games late. They made it through the regular season unbeaten but fell in the Big 12 Championship game in OT, coming up half a yard shy of the win. It would have been a travesty if the Playoff Committee left them out after that loss, but it looks to me like they got it right.
#4 Ohio State Buckeyes
If you’d said that Ohio State would have been in the playoffs at the start of the season, no one would have batted an eye. The way that they made it in has to be seen as a little surprising, though. They went unbeaten all the way to the final game of the regular season, where they were trounced by Michigan at home. They needed help to get in after that, and they got it, with both USC and TCU losing their conference championship games. Their reward for getting on through the back door is a trip to Atlanta to face the Georgia Bulldogs.