Pac-12 Exodus Is Shaking Up the College Football Landscape
It might take some time for those who bet online to come to terms with the changing landscape with teams shifting from conference to conference impacting the 2024 College Football National Championship odds.
When all the movement came to an end, the Pac-12 as we knew and loved it will cease to be at the end of the 2023-24 academic year with all the Pac-12 teams except Oregon State and Washington State found new homes.
With Georgia (+325 in the odds of winning the championship) and Ohio State (+500) leading the way, eight of the top 10 teams when it comes to the national title odds remained in the same conferences.
Big Ten and SEC teams will dominate the NCAA college football rankings in 2024.
Let’s look at the newcomers in each of the four major conferences.
Don’t look for much to change in the pecking order in the ACC, with Florida State (+2600), Clemson (+3000), Miami (+7000), and Louisville (+10000) having the best odds among ACC teams of winning the national title.
When looking at the 2024 College Football National Championship odds, SMU leads the way among the newcomers with +20000 championship odds, followed by California (+50000) and Stanford (+100000).
- Defending Big Ten champion: Michigan
- Who’s joining? Oregon, Southern California, Washington, and UCLA.
The college football season ended with Michigan topping Washington in the College Football Playoff title game. Now they are conference rivals.
Ohio State has the best national title odds at +500 among Big Ten teams, according to the 2024 College Football National Championship odds.
Michigan and Oregon are both at +1200, followed by Penn State (+2600), USC (+3500), and Washington (+8000).
This conference is in danger of being a distant fourth among the major conferences.
Newcomer Arizona joins Kansas State with +7000 national title odds as the Big 12 teams with the best chance at winning it all. There are 17 teams ahead of both Arizona and Kansas State in the title odds.
Utah (+8000), Oklahoma State (+15000), Texas Tech (+20000), and TCU (+20000) are next among the Big 12 teams in the championship odds.
Colorado will continue to be in the spotlight courtesy of the Buffaloes’ flamboyant head coach, Deion Sanders, even though Colorado is only priced at +20000 in the national title odds. Arizona State is even further back at +50000 when it comes to the NCAAF odds.
The SEC didn’t need to get any stronger, but that is precisely what happened with the addition of Texas, a team coming off a College Football Playoff appearance, and Oklahoma.
Three of the four teams with the best odds of winning the national title will be playing in the SEC, with Georgia and Alabama joined by Texas (+750).
What the College Football Playoff Field Could Look Like
Using the current odds of winning the national title, let’s look at what the 12-team College Football Playoff field would look like.
The ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, and SEC will each have at least one team. There will also be a spot reserved for the top team among the Group of Five conferences.
Using those parameters, here’s a look at how the CFP matchups might shake out.
Georgia, Ohio State, Florida State, and either Arizona or Kansas State would have first-round byes as conference champions.
The first-round matchups would feature No. 5 Texas vs. No. 12 Boise State, No. 6 Alabama vs. No. 11 Penn State, No. 7 Michigan vs. No. 10 Ole Miss and No. 8 Oregon vs No. 9 LSU.
That could certainly change with Notre Dame, Clemson, Texas A&M, Tennessee, and USC, among other teams that could crash the party.
A Look At the Newcomers
The transfer portal has an even more significant impact than conference realignment, so let’s look at where the top transfers are headed.
Former Alabama safety Caleb Downs is going to Ohio State, Alabama offensive lineman Kadyn Proctor will play at Iowa while Texas A&M defensive lineman Walter Nolen transferring to Ole Miss.
Among the top 12 transfers, nine are going to the Big Ten with the other three landing in the SEC.
Three of the top five teams in the Class of 2024 high school class rankings are from the SEC, with Georgia first, Alabama second, and Texas fifth, while Ohio State and Miami are third and fourth. Don’t be surprised to be those teams pretty high up in the NCAAF rankings heading into the 2024 college football season.
With LSU, Auburn, and Oklahoma ranked seventh, eighth, and ninth, six of the top nine recruiting classes belong to SEC teams.
Nine of the top 12 recruits have committed to SEC programs led by future Georgia defensive back Ellis Robinson, the No. 2 national recruit.