- The Pac-12 has struggled to get teams into the College Football Playoff.
- They’ve also struggled with winning once they’re in.
- This year does not look like it will break that trend for the Pac-12.
LAS VEGAS - The Pac-12 has had a disappointing run of it in the College Football Playoff era.
Outside of an Oregon appearance in the first year of the CFP and a 2016-2017 Washington team that got blown out by Alabama, the Pac-12 has not sent a team to the playoff. Basically, they’ve never been truly competitive in the Playoff outside of that first year, and the 2021-2022 season does not seem likely to generate any change on that front.
ESPN’s FPI model predicts that the PAC-12 will have an incredibly tough time of making it to the playoff in 2021-2022.
“Our model is particularly skeptical of the Pac-12's chances of putting a team in the playoff this season,” wrote Seth Walder of ESPN. “The Pac-12's problems are twofold. First, the obvious: It lacks an elite team. The Ducks come in at No. 12 in FPI's rankings, which means they're almost certainly going to have to beat expectations in order to reach the CFP. And then second: its two best playoff hopefuls -- Oregon and USC -- both have a rough out of conference matchup in the form of games at Ohio State and at Notre Dame, respectively.”
Let’s take a look at the betting odds for Oregon and USC and see if they have what it takes to make it to the College Football Playoff, or if the online sportsbooks agree with Walder that they just aren’t good enough.
Oregon Regular Season Wins
- Over 9 Wins -130
- Under 9 Wins +100
USC Regular Season Wins
- 8½ Wins -130
- Over 8½ Wins +100
Those aren't atrocious over/under numbers for a normal team, but they’re pretty bad in the context of teams trying to make the CFP. For context, here’s Alabama and other SEC teams like Texas A&M can be used for comparison.
Alabama Regular Season Wins
- 11½ Wins -125
- Over 11½ Wins -105
Texas A&M Regular Season Wins
- Over 9½ Wins -115
- Under 9½ Wins -115
That should make it clear what we’re talking about here. Texas A&M is a good team with a very tough schedule, and they still have a higher O/U line than arguably the two best teams in the Pac-12.
That’s hard to argue with - and it suggests that the conclusions that Walder drew about the Pac-12’s viability are more or less correct. Online gambling fans should remain skeptical of the Pac-12 in the near future.