Projecting winners of CFP semifinals, national championship

·2 min read

The College Football Playoff is almost here, and FiveThirtyEight has some intriguing predictions for how the rest of the season will play out.

FiveThirtyEight projects a nightmare for many college football fans: a two SEC team national championship game. How likely does FiveThirtyEight’s model think each of the CFP teams have to win it all?

Alabama versus Cincinnati

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is preparing to face Cincinnati without star receiver John Metchie. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

FiveThirtyEight gives Alabama a 71% chance to defeat the Cincinnati Bearcats. Cincinnati enters the game undefeated and has a quality road win over Notre Dame.

The Bearcats aren’t as battle-tested as the Crimson Tide, but they may look to copy other teams’ successful strategies at slowing Alabama. Cincinnati defensive back Ahmad Gardner is capable of slowing Alabama’s remaining star wide receiver, Jameson Williams. The Bearcats will have to win or at least draw in the trenches. Cincinnati can’t be dominated in the trenches and expect to win.

Georgia versus Michigan

Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara must play well against Georgia’s strong defense. Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia is projected to defeat Michigan 63% of the time according to FiveThirtyEight. The Bulldogs are coming off a tough SEC championship loss, but will have a chance to get back on track against Michigan.

The Wolverines will looks to pressure Stetson Bennett or J.T. Daniels from the edge. This game will like come down to who can run the ball more effectively.

Surprising CFP title favorite

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FiveThirtyEight favors Georgia to win the CFP over Alabama, despite Alabama’s recent victory in the SEC championship. Their model gives UGA a 37% chance to win it all and Alabama a 36% chance to bring home another national championship.

CFP Underdogs

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Cincinnati and Michigan are the two underdogs entering the CFP. The Bearcats have a 9% chance to win the CFP. Michigan has an opportunity to win their first national title since 1997. The Wolverines have a 17% chance to end the season as national champions.

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