Vegas Insider has released the opening lines for the 2014-15 bowl games. The biggest favorite is Stanford, a 14-5-point pick over Maryland in the Foster Farms Bowl at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, just a short drive from the Cardinal's campus.
Three teams are favored by a point. They are Nevada over Louisiana Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl, Bowling Green over South Alabama in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl and Fresno State over Rice in the Hawaii Bowl.
The Dec. 20 New Orleans Bowl kicks off the run of 39 games, which ends with the playoff title game on Jan. 12 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
There were 128 teams competing in Division I-A this season, and 76 of the teams are going bowling, meaning 59.4% of teams made the postseason. Next year there will be 40 bowls with the addition of the Cure Bowl in Orlando.
The odds of making the postseason are even better if a team is from a so-called Power 5 conference, plus independent Notre Dame. That group consists of 69 teams and 48 of them made the posteason (69.6%).
Yes, there's real football to discuss while Baylor and Texas Christian continue to try and figure out what went wrong when the Big 12 was locked out of the playoff.
Alabama is the odds-on favorite to win the playoff, followed by Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State, according to Bovada. Opening lines had the Crimson Tide as 10-point favorites over the Buckeyes and the Ducks as 9-point favorites over the Seminoles.
RJ Bell of Pregame reports that Las Vegas oddsmakers say Texas Christian, not Florida State, should be included among the four playoff teams.
The Horned Frogs, despite losing to Baylor, "shared" the Big 12 title with the Bears. But Baylor isn't included in the Final Four. Alabama, Oregon and Ohio State are the three other teams besides TCU. The Bears are the fifth-best team, according to oddsmakers.
In making the argument for TCU, Vegas says seven teams would be favored over Florida State, including five teams ranked below the Seminoles. The Horned Frogs would be 6-point favories against the Seminoles.
Wiz correspondent Greg Laughlin spent Saturday night in Boise, where the hometown Boise State Broncos took on Fresno State in the Mountain West championship game. The Broncos defeated the Bulldogs, 28-14, to win their first outright Mountain West title and first outright title in any conference since 2009.