College Football Playoff championship: Comparing title game to BCS, Super Bowl and more

Will the CFP championship be close for the first time in four years? 

SEC titans No. 1 Alabama meets No. 3 Georgia Jan. 10 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. 

Sporting News broke down the CFP semifinals, which have been subject to one-sided blowouts, last week. Now, we take a closer look at the CFP championship game and its seven-year history. 

Yes, Alabama, LSU and Clemson have won the last three championship games in blowout fashion. Will that trend continue? How does the CFP championship game compare to the BCS championship? The Super Bowl in the last seven years?

SN takes a closer look at the numbers to find out: 

Have all the CFP championship games been blowouts? 

Results have been mixed. Three of the seven CFP championship games have been decided by five points or less. Here is a look at the last seven championship games and the margin of victory: 

The average margin of victory in those games is 15.3 points per game. That is high, and a product of that is the last three games. Clemson, LSU and Alabama have won the last three CFP championship games by an average of 24.3 points per game. 

What is the chance for an upset? 

The higher seed has struggled in the CFP championship game with a 2-5 S/U record. The No. 1 overall seed is 2-3 S/U in championship games, though those victories came the last two seasons with LSU and Alabama. 

The No. 4 team is 2-0 in championship games, though Ohio State (2014-15) and Alabama (2017-18) are hardly Cinderella stories. 

Here is the record of the higher seed in the CFP championship games by matchup: 

Bettors can pay attention to those trends. The favorite in the CFP championship game is 4-3 S/U and 2-5 ATS. Alabama is 3-2 S/U and 1-4 ATS in CFP title games.

What was the closest CFP championship game?

No. 4 Alabama beat No. 3 Georgia 26-23 in overtime in the 2017-18 CFP championship game. Tua Tagovailoa threw the game-winning TD in overtime to DeVonta Smith on second-and-26. 

CFP championship vs. BCS championship 

It’s close. The BCS championship game ran through the 1998-2013 seasons. The average margin of victory in those 16 BCS championship games was 15.2 points per game. That is almost identical to the 15.3 ppg. margin in the CFP championship games so far.

The BCS championship game put the No. 1 vs. No. 2 team in the final computer poll in the championship games. The No. 1 and No. 2 team each won the championship game eight times. 

CFP championship vs. Super Bowl

The Super Bowl has been a closer game the last seven years. The last seven Super Bowls have been decided by an average of 10.7 points per game, and four of those matchups have been decided by 10 points or less.

The distribution of the margin of victory compared to the CFP championship is not that far off, however. Both had had three games decided by 10 points or less, and neither have had a game decided by 30 points or more.

Margin of victory: CFP title game vs. Super Bowl  

Does the CFP championship work? 

Sure. It has delivered three No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchups in seven seasons before 2021-22. Granted all three of those matchups featured Clemson and Alabama, and those two schools have dominated the CFP era. 

Especially the Crimson Tide. They now have six CFP championship appearances in eight years. The Patriots are the closest to that run in the NFL with five Super Bowl appearances in eight years between 2011 and 2018.

The game itself, however, has been a success, even if the results are not that different from BCS championship games.

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