2017 March Madness Betting: 2 Sure Picks, 3 Value Picks

wichita-state-bettingIf you’re betting March Madness futures, you know that Villanova, Gonzaga, North Carolina, and Kansas are the most-heavily favored teams to win it all. But which of these schools is THE best bet to win the NCAA Tournament?

Beyond this, it’s also nice to have some value bets that can win you lots of money with for a small wager. That said, let’s look at two sure bets in 2017 March Madness, along with three teams that are undervalued in our GTBets futures.

2 Sure Bets

North Carolina; 27-7 record
No. 1 seed in South Regional; +600 odds

There’s absolutely no value to be had in betting on the Tar Heels to win. At +600 odds, they’re the biggest favorite at GTBets and are one of the top four seeds. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for the closest thing to a sure bet, then we suggest North Carolina. This team made it to the championship last year, where they were beaten by Villanova. Justin Jackson (18.1 PPG) and Joel Berry II (14.8 PPG) remember this as well as anybody, and they’re out for redemption. The Tar Heels have great size down low in Kennedy Meeks (12.6 PPG, 9.1 RPG) and Isaiah Hicks (12.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG). They also shoot a high overall percentage, meaning they’re less ripe for an upset than other top-tier teams.

Gonzaga Bulldogs; 32-1 record
No. 1 seed in West Regional; +850

gonzaga-2017-final-four-bettingMark Few’s teams have consistently made it to the tournament each year. However, the problem is that they’ve yet to advance beyond the Elite Eight, and they play in a weak conference. Based on these factors, we feel that Gonzaga is not only slightly undervalued, but also being overlooked as a legitimate championship team. We wrote about this team in depth a few weeks ago, with the jest being that this is Few’s best defensive squad, and they don’t rely on a Kelly Olynyk or Domantas Sabonis to carry them. Nigel Williams-Goss leads a balanced scoring effort with 16.9 PPG, while Przemek Karnowski (12.6 PPG), Jordan Matthews (10.4 PPG), Zach Collins (10.2 PPG), and Jonathan Williams (10.2 PPG) all make significant contributions.

3 Undervalued Teams

Louisville Cardinals; 24-8 record
No. 2 seed in Midwest Regional; +1400

donovan-mitchell-louisvilleIs it possible to be undervalued when you’re a No. 2 seed? Considering that Louisville is paying off at 14 to 1 odds, we think they might be given how wide open the Midwest Regional is. Kansas (+850) has gotten all the headlines and are picked far more than the Cardinals to make it out of this regional, but we don’t think they’re really this far apart. Louisville has good young players in Donovan Mitchell (15.7 PPG) and Deng Adel (11.9 PPG), while Quentin Snyder (12.7 PPG), Jaylen Johnson (8.1 PPG), and Mangok Mathiang (7.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG) provide scoring and strong leadership.

West Virginia Mountaineers; 26-8 record
No. 4 seed in West Regional; +3500

west-virginia-basketballThe Mountaineers aren’t getting much love at our sportsbook with +3500 odds of winning. And a big part of this is that they’ve lost eight games and didn’t win the Big-12. But they were competitive in all their losses, and have notable victories over Kansas and Baylor. We’re not saying that this makes West Virginia the favorite to cut down the nets in Phoenix this April. But if you’re looking for a team with moderate odds and a realistic chance of winning, then we like the Mountaineers. They’re set for a date with Gonzaga in the Sweet 16, provided both teams win their first two games.

Wichita State Shockers; 30-4 record
No. 10 seed in South Regional; +7500

The Shockers have advanced past the first round of the tournament in each of the past five seasons, including a Final Four trip in 2013, and a Sweet 16 appearance in 2015. Greg Marshall’s squad know how to win in March Madness, which is why we’re surprised that they’re only a No. 10 seed. Playing in the Missouri Valley Conference never helps their cause, but they competed against several teams from major conferences, including Louisville, who beat them 62-52. If Wichita State beats No. 7 Dayton in the first round – which we think they will – they’ll face No. 2 Kentucky in the second round. If they can win this game, then watch out for the Shockers!

Alabama vs. Clemson National Championship Betting

alabama-vs-clemson-championship-2017College football couldn’t have asked for a better matchup in the CFB National Championship game.

In a rematch of last year’s national championship, the undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide (14-0) will take on the Clemson Tigers (13-1).

Last season’s game saw the Tide hold off Clemson 45-40, despite an outstanding performance from Tigers QB Deshaun Watson, who threw for 405 yards and rushed for another 73.

Watson is back again, but Alabama’s defense seems more dominant than last season. Which team will prevail? Let’s discuss both teams below and look at this game’s betting line.

GTBets.eu Line for Alabama vs. Clemson: Jan. 9 @ 20:00
Clemson  +6.5 (-110);  +205
Alabama  -6.5 (-110);  -240

Why Clemson Will Win

For a team that made the College Football Playoff, Clemson had a rocky season.

They started with a pair of 6-point wins against underdog Auburn and Troy teams; needed overtime to beat a mediocre NC State team; and lost to an 8-5 Pittsburgh squad in November.

But few are focusing on Clemson’s up-and-down play after a 31-0 dismantling of Ohio State in the semifinals. Suddenly, this resembles the same team that lost by just 5 points to Bama in the 2016 National Championship.

deshaun-watson-vs-alabamaWhat makes Clemson stand out is that, unlike the Tide, they’re strong on both sides of the ball. Their offense averaged 503 yards per game, with 328 through the air and 175 on the ground. Outside of a 19-13 win over Auburn in the first game, nobody has held the Tigers under 24 points in a game.

They also have the nation’s most-underrated defense, holding opponents to 17 points and 307 yards per game (ranked 7th and 8th nationally). The defense put on a show vs. the Buckeyes, holding them to just 215 total yards and forcing three turnovers.

Nobody is saying that Clemson’s defense is equal to Alabama’s talent. But it’s very good and capable of stopping Alabama’s offense.

Why Alabama Will Win

This looks like a classic case of offense vs. defense. The Tide rank No. 1 in both points allowed (11) and yardage allowed (244). Regarding the latter, Alabama only gives up 62 rushing yards a game, which isn’t Clemson’s strength to begin with.

If one team has a chance to dominate this contest, it’s definitely the Crimson Tide. Outside of a 48-43 victory over Ole Miss in their third game, Alabama has won by double digits in every game, while holding 12 of their 14 opponents to 16 points or less.

Many point to what Watson did to the Tide last year as evidence why Clemson will win. But this Alabama is better than last season’s version and will make life very difficult on the Tigers.

But the big question here is how their offense will perform. Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin left last week to take the Florida Atlantic job, and former USC coach Steve Sarkisian was promoted to the OC position.

damien-harris-alabama“I wouldn’t have anybody in our organization that I didn’t have total faith, trust and confidence in that they would do a good job with our players,” Saban said.

Sarkisian is a very capable OC, but it’s still iffy replacing a coordinator one week out from the biggest game of the season.

Nevertheless, Alabama did score 39 points per game (14th nationally) with 247 yards on the ground (11th). They have a very balanced rushing attack that includes Damien Harris (1,016 rushing yards), Jalen Hurts (891), Bo Scarbrough (719), and Joshua Jacobs (548). If this crew can impose their will, then Clemson is in for a long game.

Final Prediction on Tigers vs. Tide

Regardless of how many opponents Alabama has dominated this season, all signs point to this being another close one. Before the semifinals, the Tide looked like a runaway favorite. Now, Clemson is playing their best football of the season.

jonathan-allen-crimson-tideOhio State was a quality opponent, but the Tigers made them look like an FCS school. This is the right time of the year to peak, and Clemson is on top of their game.

Alabama dominated the Washington Huskies 24-7, with defensive end Jonathan Allen saying afterward, “We could’ve played better.”

We have to agree and think that the Tide will perform better against Clemson. They should win this contest, but again, expect it to be close.

Final Score Prediction: Alabama wins 31-27, but Clemson covers the +6.5 spread.

Also note that we have the over/under at 50.5 (-110) on our GTBets line. Alabama’s defense is good, but we see the Tigers putting up enough points to see this contest reach 51 points or more.

2016 College Football Playoff Betting Guide

The four-team College Football Playoff field is set, and there are few surprises in the selections.

The Alabama Crimson Tide (13-0) grabbed the No. 1 overall seed after winning their 25th-straight game over Florida. The Tide completely dominated Florida in the SEC Championship by a score of 54-16, marking their 12th double-digit win of the season.

The only suspense after Alabama was where the rest of the field would finish out. Clemson (12-1) claimed the No. 2 seed, despite Ohio State being ranked second overall before championship week. The Buckeyes (11-1), who are seeded No. 3, were penalized for not making the Big Ten conference title game.

Washington (12-1) rounds out the field with the No. 4 seed. The Huskies had the weakest non-conference schedule of the CFP field, but they crushed Colorado 41-10 in the Pac-12 Championship to seal their spot.

Perhaps the most-deserving team missing out is the Penn State Nittany Lions, who won the Big Ten Championship with a 38-31 victory over Wisconsin. They’re also the only team to have defeated the Buckeyes this year.

We’ll discuss Penn State missing out later, but first, let’s analyze the two CFP matchups along with betting lines on the games.

No. 1 Alabama (13-0) vs. No. 4 Washington (12-1) in Peach Bowl
GTBets.eu Line for Dec. 31 at 3:00pm EST:
Alabama -15.5 (-110)
Washington +15.5 (-110)

alabama-vs-floridaAfter winning the national title last year, Alabama has been No. 1 wire to wire this season. They opened with a 52-6 victory over USC (9-3) and have been rolling ever since.

The only chink in the armor was defensive struggles against Ole Miss (48-43) and Arkansas (49-30), but this can be forgiven considering that they didn’t lose the entire season. Furthermore, Alabama has only allowed 8.3 PPG over the past seven games.

Alabama’s real bread and butter, though, is their offense, which is averaging almost 40 points a game. This team is dominant on both sides of the ball, they’re talented, and they look like repeat champions.

It’s no secret that Washington is the big underdog here. They lost to the same USC team that Bama dominated, and their strength of schedule has been bashed all year long. It was so bad that we seriously wondered if two-loss Michigan might still gain the No. 4 spot.

But the doubts were erased with a 41-10 thumping of No. 8 Colorado (10-3). This has been a trend with the Huskies, as they blew out six of their first seven opponents.

What propels Washington is their defense, which has held opponents to 17.2 PPG. The defense has been enough to overcome inconsistent play by the offense. This was especially apparent in the 26-13 home loss to USC, where QB Jake Browning and the offense really struggled.

For this reason, we don’t see the Huskies giving Alabama much of a test.

Score Prediction: Alabama 38 – Washington 17

No. 2 Clemson (12-1) vs. No. 3 Ohio State (11-1) in Fiesta Bowl
GTBets.eu Line for Dec. 31 at 3:00pm EST:
Ohio State -3 (-110)
Clemson +3 (-110)

jt-barrett-playoffsOhio State set a precedent by becoming the first non-conference champion to play in the CFP since it started in 2014. The Buckeyes quickly generated a buzz by crushing their first five opponents by 42.5 PPG, a span that included Big 12 champ Oklahoma (10-2).

Other quality victories include a 30-23 win over Wisconsin and a 30-27 (OT) win against Michigan. The only blemish is a 24-21 loss to eventual Big Ten champ Penn State, in which the difference was a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown.

The Buckeyes are anchored by their defense, but their offense, led by J.T. Barrett, has played poorly at times. Clemson isn’t known for having an elite defensive unit, which will help Ohio State’s offense.

As for the Tigers, their beginning was the complete opposite. They got close wins against Auburn (19-13) and Troy (30-24) to start the season. Their offense finally got going after this, leading to a 42-36 win over then-No. 3 Louisville.

clemson-vs-virgnia-techClemson has lived on the edge with close victories against NC State and Florida State, followed by a demoralizing loss to Pitt (43-42). The Tigers rebounded from this to win their final three games, including a 42-35 win over Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship.

We have no doubt that Clemson has the talent to beat Ohio State. But given their struggles against top competition, we have no idea which Tigers team will show up.

Score Prediction: Ohio State 33 – Clemson 24

The Biggest Snub: Penn State

Some might argue that Michigan getting left out is the biggest controversy, especially since they beat Penn State 49-10. But the Nittany Lions beat two teams (Iowa, Ohio State) that defeated Michigan, and they won the Big Ten title.

For this reason, they’re considered this year’s biggest CFP snub.

College Football Playoff committee chairman Kirby Hocutt said that it wasn’t an easy decision leaving Penn State out of the field. Here’s his explanation of the matter”

penn-state-ohio-state“We had spirited discussions in the committee selection room as well. Last night we met until approximately 1:30 a.m. this morning with that same [Penn State or Washington] conversation. It was detailed, it was difficult conversation and we looked at a lot of things. Obviously, we looked at two conference championship, Washington of the Pac-12, Penn State of the Big Ten. We looked at one-loss Washington, that loss being against a top-10 opponent compared to a two-loss Penn State team. One loss they were not competitive in that particular game, the other loss was to an 8-4 team

“We talked about strength of schedule. Obviously, strength of schedule favored Penn State. Had Washington had a stronger strength of schedule, I don’t think the conversation and discussion would have been as difficult. We looked at key statistical categories, which translate to performance on the field each and every week and the statistical categories that the selection committee sees value in that we discussed in detail last night and again this morning, Washington has the advantage. We talked to our coaches about what they saw in the performance of these two teams on the field not just in one particular game, but over the course of 13 games and Washington seemed to have the advantage there as well.

“So while it was challenging conversation, it was detailed conversation that went hours upon hours, coming out this morning, Washington deserves that No. 4 spot and the selection committee believes they’re a better football team when compared to Penn State.”

The final CFP field could’ve included a mashup of rankings beyond Alabama, or even included Penn State or Michigan over another team that got in. But the committee stuck by their rankings, which sets us up for some entertaining playoff action in late December and early January.

Washington Seals CFP Spot with 41-10 Win Over Colorado

washington-vs-colorado-1If there were any argument about the Washington Huskies deserving a spot in the College Football Playoff (CFP), it ended this week with a 41-10 victory over Colorado.

We recently discussed how Washington (12-1) — No. 4 in the CFP rankings — needed a win and conference title to impress the selection committee. They couldn’t have done it any better after dominating Colorado (10-3) in the Pac-12 title game.

The reason for all of the questions surrounding Washington is that their strength of schedule wasn’t as tough as other top-5 teams. Their best win was a 44-6 victory over 17th-ranked Stanford, while they suffered a late-season loss to 10th-ranked USC that hurt their chances.

Even selection committee chairman Kirby Hocutt said that the margin between the Huskies and No. 5 Michigan was “very, very small.” But with Washington now having one less loss than Michigan (10-2) and a conference championship, there’s no keeping them out. Meanwhile, the Wolverines didn’t qualify for the Big Ten championship game after a 30-27 overtime loss to Ohio State.

As for the game against Colorado, the Huskies’ offense didn’t look elite, but their defense proved why its one of the best in the country. They hounded the Buffs all night, forcing three interceptions and limiting them to just 163 yards.

Washington QB Jake Browning struggled most of the night, but the duel rushing attack of Myles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman is what put points on the board for this team.

Gaskin had 159 rushing yards on 29 carries, while Coleman tallied 101 yards on 18 attempts. Coleman also kicked off the scoring for Washington, getting a one-yard TD on the game’s first drive.

Colorado kept things close early without senior QB Sefo Liufau (ankle), and went into the locker room down only 14-7. Liufau made an inspired comeback attempt by playing in the third quarter. However, his first pass was an interception, which Washington’s Taylor Rapp returned for a 35-yard touchdown (see below).

https://twitter.com/Pac12Network/status/804901827044982784?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Liufau remained in the game, but things didn’t get any better for him as he threw another interception on the ensuing Colorado possession. This gave Washington a short field, which they turned into another TD and a 24-7 lead.

The game officially became a blowout when receiver John Ross made a highlight-reel touchdown catch from 20 yards out.

https://twitter.com/Pac12Network/status/804909453350866944?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

As you can see in the video, Ross was being pressured and lofted a high pass to Ross, who made an amazing one-handed catch, then turned around for a wide-open path to the end zone. This made the score 31-7, and both teams tacked on a few points in garbage time.

The victory seals Washington’s first conference title since 2000, and their first 12-win season since they won the national title in 1991.

Although some will still argue that the Huskies aren’t a lock when the CFP committee doles out four spots, it’s hard to see them not getting in now. They won seven of their ten Pac-12 games by at least three scores, including the 38-point margin against a good Stanford team.

Who Will Washington Play?

Even with a statement victory over Colorado, it’s unlikely that Washington moves beyond its No. 4 slot in the CFP.

We have Alabama and Ohio State grabbing the No. 1 and 2 seeds, while Clemson currently holds the 3 seed. Clemson would have to lose to Virginia Tech in the ACC title game, or win in a sloppy affair, to help Washington move up.

If Clemson wins, odds are that the Huskies will face No. 1 Alabama (12-0) in the Peach Bowl. The good news is that Washington would at least have a chance to play for the national title. The bad news is that they’ll face a team that has won 11 of its 12 games by double digits.

Assuming the Tigers lose against Virginia Tech, the alternative would be Ohio State. The Buckeyes have a dominant defense, but their offense hasn’t always looked great. This is similar to Washington, which is also led by its defense.

The CFP Selection show is on Sunday, December 4, when the four CFP participants will be revealed.

College Football Playoff Picture – Can Michigan Still Get In?

ohio-state-vs-michiganIt wasn’t hard picking out the highlight of college football’s rivalry weekend, as No. 2 Ohio State eked out a 30-27 overtime victory over the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines.

The victory all but ensures that Ohio State (11-1) will be earn a spot in the College Football Playoff (CFP). If so, they would become the first non-conference champion invited since the system began in 2014.

As for Michigan, they’ve fallen to No. 5 in the latest CFP rankings, sitting behind both Clemson and Washington. Wisconsin (No. 6) and Penn State (No. 8) are both knocking on the door as they’ll play in the Big Ten conference championship.

Does Michigan have a chance to still get in? Is there any way that No. 1 Alabama could fall out of the top four? Let’s answer these questions and more by looking at the predicted top four teams as well as a scenario where Michigan still get ins.

No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide; would face No. 4 in Peach Bowl

Given that CFP Committee chairman Kirby Hocutt told CBS “we always have a focus on who are the best football teams,” Alabama (12-0) is an absolute lock in the top 4.

Even if Alabama were to lose to Florida in the SEC Championship, it’s hard to see any scenario where they A) don’t get in, and B) drop from the No. 1 spot. It might take a 60-0 nothing skunking by Florida to end the Tide’s season.

We all know that’s not going to happen, though, considering that Alabama has won 11 of its 12 games by double digits. They’ve trailed in the second half for a total of nine and a half minutes, which is less than a point per game.

Either this is Nick Saban’s most-dominant squad ever, or the rest of the SEC is off its game. We could argue a little of both, but there’s no question that the Tide look better than anybody else right now.

No. 2 Ohio State; would face No. 3 in Fiesta Bowl

jt-barrett-playoffsOhio State almost benefits from not qualifying for the Big Ten Championship. They are the only other team that seems a lock right now, with the lone blemish on their schedule being a 24-21 loss to Penn State in Happy Valley.

The Michigan game — where Ohio State was mostly outplayed — showed that the Bucks have trouble scoring on a tough defense. But they got just enough magic, and 3 turnovers from Michigan QB Wilson Speight, to win the game.

A 45-24 win at Oklahoma, 30-23 victory at Wisconsin, 62-3 drubbing of Nebraska, and 30-27 win over Michigan give Ohio State the nation’s most impressive schedule. Something crazy would have to happen in the conference championship week for them not to get into the CFP.

No. 3 Clemson; would play No. 2 in Fiesta Bowl

clemson-deshaun-watsonClemson has a couple of nice wins on its schedule, including beating Louisville 42-36 and defeating Florida State 37-34. A late-season stumble against Pittsburgh, which also beat Penn State, remains their lone loss.

They’ve since made a statement, destroying rival South Carolina 56-7. They can guarantee themselves a spot in the College Football Playoff by beating Virginia Tech (9-3) in the ACC Championship.

If Clemson were to lose, though, they’d likely be out of the picture. After all, they haven’t beaten one top-10 CFP team, and their wins over Florida State, Louisville, and Auburn were by a combined 15 points.

No. 4 Washington; would play No. 1 in Peach Bowl

Much like Clemson, the Huskies suffered a late-season loss to USC by a score of 26-13. Washington’s only noteworthy win was their 44-6 domination of Stanford, which ranks 17th in the CFP rankings.

Washington (11-1) presents the ultimate question of if a great record and conference championship trump a relatively weak schedule. The Pac-12 being weak has hurt Washington’s standing, but the USC loss didn’t help the situation.

None of this will matter, though, if the Huskies can win against 10th-ranked Colorado (10-2) in the Pac-12 championship game.

Making the Case for No. 5 Michigan (10-2)

The one team that’s currently still in the debate with Washington for the No. 4 spot is the Wolverines. What’s currently preventing Michigan from being in the CFP is that they’re a two-loss team that won’t win their conference.

This is likely enough to keep them out of the playoff unless Clemson or Washington loses and opens up a spot. Assuming either of these teams lose, then Michigan has an excellent case based on their schedule, and the fact that non-conference-winner Ohio State looks to qualify.

As for Michigan’s schedule, they beat Colorado 45-28, Penn State 49-10, and Wisconsin 14-7. If not for a late 14-13 loss against Iowa, the Wolverines would likely be the second Big Ten team making it without a conference championship.

If we look at the Big Ten’s top four teams and margin of victory against each other, it goes: Michigan 90-47 (2-1 record), Ohio State 81-74 (2-1 record), Penn State 34-70 (1-1), and Wisconsin 30-44 (0-2 record).

If Colorado, another victim of a Michigan beatdown, beats Washington, the Wolverines have their strongest case yet.

Other Teams on the Fringe

Wisconsin (10-2) – Nothing about Wisconsin’s schedule jumps out, but they have a chance for a quality win against Penn State. Their pair of one-touchdown losses to Ohio State and Michigan show that this team can compete against anybody.

Oklahoma (9-2) – After a rocky 1-2 start that included losses to Houston and Ohio State, the Sooners have reeled off eight straight victories. If they beat Oklahoma State, a nine-game winning streak combined with the Big-12 championship could catapult Oklahoma into the CFP.

Penn State (10-2) – The Nittany Lions took two early season losses to Pittsburgh and Michigan. Losing to Michigan by a score of 49-10 really hurts Penn State’s chances. But their victory over Ohio State impresses the selection committee.

Oklahoma State (9-2) – The Cowboys have the two-worst losses of anybody on this list, losing to Central Michigan and Baylor. They’ve since won seven straight, but they’d need a blowout win against the Sooners for serious consideration.

Colorado (10-2) – The Buffaloes have one of the tougher schedules in the nation, beating Stanford 10-5, but losing to Michigan 45-28 and to USC 21-17. If Colorado can win big against the Huskies, they have an outside chance at the CFP. But they would need help in other spots too, such as Clemson losing.

Can Ohio State Make Playoffs without Big Ten Title?

jt-barrett-playoffsOn October 23, the No. 2-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes looked in control of their game against Penn State. But they had a late field goal blocked, which was returned by Grant Haley for a 60-yard, game-winning touchdown.

The Buckeyes have since climbed back to No. 2 behind top-ranked Alabama. But the Penn State loss still haunts them as they face the realistic possibility of not playing for the Big Ten title. As long as the Nittany Lions win out, they—not Ohio State—could be playing in a Big Ten Championship.

If this happens, should the Buckeyes still make the College Football Playoffs?

It’s little surprise that their quarterback, J.T. Barrett, thinks that his team should definitely be in if they win their final two contests against Michigan State and Michigan.

“I see it like this: If we win out all our games, Big Ten Championship or not, you’re not gonna put us in? Like you’re going to leave Ohio State out?” Barrett told Cleveland.com. “That’s how I see it. That doesn’t make sense to me.”

Ohio State wasn’t in this position until last weekend, when Michigan lost 14-13 to the Iowa Hawkeyes. This puts Ohio State (9-1), Michigan (9-1), and Penn State (8-2) into a three-way tie atop the Big Ten.

The Nittany Lions hold the division tiebreaker over OSU because of their win in the Oct 23 meeting. They now just need to take care of business against lower-tier opponents in Rutgers and Michigan State, combined with an Ohio State victory against Michigan.

The only path for OSU to Indianapolis is for Penn State to lose one of their final two games, combined with the Buckeyes winning out.

The CFP committee places a lot of emphasis on the four playoff teams winning their conferences. But in Barrett’s mind, it should be about whom the selection committee thinks are the best teams.

“I know Big Ten Championships and conference championships is a major thing,” said Barrett, “but then you’re talking about one of those two-loss teams and things like that. It’s something totally different.”

He added, “I think if we won our games, that’s the only thing we can control, the only thing we can handle. And (the playoff) is left to somebody else, people on the committee and things like that. At the end of the day, it’s one of those things of, ‘We can’t control that.’ We control winning games, and if we do that, I feel like we’ve done our part.”

This raises an important thought about whether the CFP committee would really overlook the Buckeyes in favor of two-loss teams like Penn State or the West division leader Wisconsin.

Ohio State isn’t alone in worrying about what the selection committee will do since other teams are also on the fringe. Undefeated Alabama is currently the only team that doesn’t have to question whether they’re in line for a postseason berth.

Unless things work themselves out over the coming weeks, the CFP selection committee isn’t in an enviable position right now.

“We don’t look forward,” CFP committee member Kirby Hocutt told Land of 10 regarding Ohio State’s chances. “As we saw, anything can happen on any given Saturday. We do not look forward and anticipate what may happen in the future.”

The biggest precedent for this situation thus far was in 2014, when No. 3 TCU fell to No. 6 despite winning 55-3 in their final regular-season game. Without winning a conference championship, TCU didn’t make it into the CFP. But Big Ten champion Ohio State moved up to No. 4 and would go on to win the CFP that year.

This season, it could be Ohio State on the outside looking in if they’re not able to play for a conference championship.