The curtain falls on the 2023 college football regular season, shifting the spotlight to the eagerly anticipated postseason. The action kicks off this weekend with a jam packed schedule of conference championship clashes. Starting on Friday night, squads from across the nation will lock horns, vying for both conference glory and coveted spots in the College Football Playoff.
In a season teeming with formidable contenders eyeing playoff glory, the outcomes of the Power Five conference championship games hold significant sway over the selection committee’s deliberations. The unbeaten records of Michigan, Georgia, Florida State, and Washington add an extra layer of intrigue, but the impending conference title skirmishes are expected to test the mettle of at least three of these powerhouse teams. The prospect of a loss looms large, making it challenging to envision any squad emerging unscathed from the high stakes battles ahead.
See below the updated odds for the NCAA champion, ahead of these crucial conference title games, from three of the best online betting sites.
It’s time to delve into the odds for the upcoming conference title games.
Order has been restored in the SEC as the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs gear up for their fourth conference title showdown in the last six years. Alabama has dominated this championship stage, boasting a perfect 3-0 record and clinching a College Football Playoff berth each time. If Alabama extends its Atlanta reign this year, it could spell a conundrum for the selection committee. While the Crimson Tide would secure a spot in the playoff, the fate of the Georgia Bulldogs becomes a puzzle to solve.
The Bulldogs made history by notching their 29th consecutive victory, and with back to back national championships under their belt, they present a formidable case. However, the looming question remains: what happens if Georgia stumbles in the conference title game? The hypothetical scenarios add a layer of intrigue, contemplating the potential ascent of other conference champions to the final four, potentially bouncing the Dawgs out of contention. It’s speculative, yet undeniably engaging to ponder.
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In the Big Ten, a trend has emerged since the adoption of the current divisional alignment in 2014: Big Ten East teams boast a 9-0 record in the conference title game. As the conference bids farewell to its divisional structure, it’s fitting that Michigan, having clinched the East for the third consecutive year, enters as a heavy favorite. Despite the theoretical potential of Iowa’s defense to keep the game close, the Hawkeyes find themselves at 10-2 after some unexpected hurdles. However, the bookies project Michigan to navigate this contest with ease, setting the stage for another playoff journey.
The Big 12 teetered on the edge of potential chaos with a staggering 128 possible title game scenarios looming as Week 13 unfolded. However, the outcome adhered to the expected script. Texas solidified its spot by dismantling Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State, fending off an upset minded BYU, secured a hard fought overtime victory, earning a return trip to Arlington, Texas—marking their second appearance in three years.
For the first time since the Big 12 adopted its current format in 2017, a new conference champion is guaranteed. Texas, absent from the title game since falling to Oklahoma in 2018, seeks redemption, while the Cowboys aim to erase the memory of their 2021 defeat against Baylor. The stage is set for a fresh face to claim Big 12 supremacy.
Despite Washington securing a victory over Oregon early in the regular season, the current heavy favoritism towards the Ducks in the title game might raise eyebrows for casual observers. However, these teams have undergone starkly different trajectories since their last clash. Washington ended the regular season with a perfect 12-0 record, but it was far from a smooth journey. The Huskies faced notable struggles against opponents such as Arizona State, Stanford, and Washington State.
Oregon used the setback against Washington as fuel for a transformation into a strong force, systematically dismantling every team in its path. Since that loss, the Ducks have triumphed in each game by a margin of at least two scores. As Oregon strides confidently towards the college football postseason, Washington’s journey has been more akin to a limp, marked by challenges and close calls. The dynamics between these teams have shifted significantly, setting the stage for an intriguing rematch in the title game.
Florida State faced a significant setback two weeks ago when starting quarterback Jordan Travis suffered a season ending ankle injury, dealing a huge blow to the team. In response, the Seminoles showcased their resilience by hitting the road in Week 13 and securing a 24-15 victory against Florida, preserving their undefeated season. On the other side, Louisville witnessed any faint playoff aspirations crumble with a home defeat to a then 6-5 Kentucky.
Even in the absence of Travis, Florida State appears to be a force. The Seminoles must now place a heavier reliance on their underrated defense and a stellar group of running backs. Backup quarterback Tate Rodemaker will play a pivotal role, with the team strategizing to provide him with favorable opportunities to complete passes. The Seminoles remain a force to be reckoned with, adapting their approach to overcome the loss of their starting signal caller.
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