After notching their eighth straight win to open the 2018 season, the Alabama Crimson Tide remain the heavy favorites to win the College Football Playoff national championship.
According to College Football Talk's Kevin McGuire, the Tide are 1-2 to repeat as champions. The Clemson Tigers (5-1) are next on the list after beating the North Carolina State Wolfpack 41-7. The Michigan Wolverines moved into a tie for fourth following a decisive 21-7 victory over the Michigan State Spartans.
At 12-1, Michigan has equal odds with the Ohio State Buckeyes, who are coming off a 49-20 upset to the Purdue Boilermakers. Head coach Urban Meyer told reporters the result highlighted the team's biggest issues this season.
Ohio State had 7-1 title odds heading into Week 8, per McGuire. The Buckeyes' stock is clearly trending downward, but they remain firmly in the playoff discussion.
Ohio State's schedule levels off a bit before its season finale at home to Michigan. The Buckeyes play the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Michigan State and Maryland Terrapins in their next three games. As long as they run the table and capture a Big Ten title, they'll be a playoff team.
The calculus is similarly straightforward for Alabama, which hanged 58 points on the Tennessee Volunteers.
"It's like I said in the press conference earlier in the week, these guys can run the ball, probably not throw a pass today, and score 58 points," Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt told reporters after the game.
Anything can happen in the College Football Playoff, but Alabama is head and shoulders above everybody else in FBS.
The Wolverines would have their hands full in a semifinal or national championship matchup with the Tide, but they're at least proving themselves worthy of a playoff berth.
Michigan's 14-point margin of victory over its in-state rival was deceiving. The Wolverines out-gained the Spartans 395-94 and held Michigan State to 0-for-12 on third downs.
Shea Patterson in particular is a reason to view this year's Michigan team differently compared to recent seasons. Patterson threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns while running for 24 yards on eight carries Saturday. The Wolverines have desperately needed consistency at the quarterback position, and that's what Patterson is providing.
Looking a little further down the odds, the Pac-12 should be in panic mode. The Washington State Cougars upset the Oregon Ducks on Saturday, which may have ruined the conference's hopes of getting a team into the playoff.
The two-loss Washington Huskies have the best playoff odds (300-1), which isn't saying much. Washington will need a lot of help the rest of the way to punch a ticket to the semifinals.
Washington State could potentially overtake the Huskies in Week 9 with a win over the 24th-ranked Stanford Cardinal, and going beyond that, a one-loss Pac-12 champion would likely be a lock for the playoff.
All is not lost for the Pac-12, but oddsmakers will almost certainly remain skeptical of a program that hasn't won 10 games since 2003.