When Caesars released 2020 national title odds right after the 2019 season ended, Clemson led the way with 2-1 odds (equivalent to a 33% chance), followed by Alabama at 4-1 (20%). Ohio State was fourth at 7-1 (13%), and Notre Dame was at 25-1 (4%).
Heading into Friday's College Football Playoff semifinals, SP+ gives Alabama a 46% chance of winning the title, Clemson 27%, Ohio State 21% and Notre Dame 6%.
After 50 weeks -- with a pandemic that sidelined coaches and countless players, wildly altered schedules and the most frustrating, draining and downright odd season any of us have ever witnessed -- Bama and Clemson basically traded places on the totem pole. Everything else stayed mostly the same.
Even by its own stodgy, oligarchic standards, college football is not exactly swimming in unpredictability and parity at the moment. But Friday's semifinals offer us plenty of storylines all the same.
We get a repeat of 2019's best game (Ohio State-Clemson). We get another chance to watch the best offense in the sport (Alabama). We get an array of potential redemption plotlines: Ohio State attempting revenge on Clemson; Alabama trying to close the deal in a way it couldn't in 2018; and Notre Dame again attempting to prove it belongs with the elite and not merely the nearly elite. We also get two games that are pretty fun to break down. So let's get started.