Cal Football: What Are the Odds Cal Will Make the 2020 College Football Playoff?

Photo by Stan Szeto - USA TODAY Sports

Jake Curtis

Assuming there is a college football next fall -- and there is no certainty there will be a college football in 2020 -- it makes sense during the sports stoppage to consider which teams have the best chance to win the national championship.

Oddsmakers have already established odds for teams to reach the four-team College Football Playoff. Which begs the question: What are the odds of Cal getting to the CFP?

Hopes are high for Cal in the 2020 season, and a recent USA TODAY preseason top-25 had the Bears ranked No. 23 in the nation. There have been whispers that the Golden Bears might have a chance to get to the Rose Bowl for the first time since the 1958 season. 

Well, the only way Cal could play in the Rose Bowl next season -- assuming there is a season -- is to be one of the top four teams in the final CFB rankings. That's because the Rose Bowl will host one of the two national semifinal games next season. Next season's Rose Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 1, 2021, with a 2 p.m. West Coast time kickoff in Pasadena, if you are planning to buy tickets.

The other semifinal game will be the same day at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

So what are the odds of Cal getting to one of those two games.

Based on the odds provided by, Cal is a 50-to-1 shot to be part of the College Football Playoff. That means a $2 bet on the Bears will bring you $100 if Cal makes it to the CFP. It also means a lot of other teams have far better odds of making it to Pasadena or New Orleans.

Cal's chances depend in large part on how well the Bears adapt to the offense being installed by new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave. Musgraves notes in the video below that changes will be "significant," and with only four spring practices under their belts, the Bears players may have trouble feeling comfortable with all the nuances.

But a lot of other schools had an abbreviated spring workout schedule.

Here are the odds of the 25 teams with best odds of getting into the College Football Playoffs. Cal is listed atop the pile, which is then listed in descending order of the teams' odds. You will note that three Pac-12 teams are in this bunch, including Washington, at 10-to-1. A lot of experts believe the 2020 Cal team will be better than the Huskies, who have a new head coach and will have a new starting quarterback. But who knows?

You will also note that three schools -- Clemson, Ohio State and Alabama -- are better than even money to reach the national semifinals.

Odds to Make the 2020 College Football Playoff (National title game scheduled for January 11, 2021, in Miami)

Cal: 50-to-1

Clemson: 1-to-2

Ohio State: 2-to-3

Alabama: 4-to-5

Oklahoma: 5-to-4

Georgia: 3-to-2

LSU: 2-to-1

Notre Dame: 11-to-4

Florida:  7-to-2

Texas: 4-to-1  

Texas A&M: 4-to-1

Auburn:  5-to-1

Oregon: 5-to-1

Penn State: 6-to-1

Michigan: 13-to-2

Washington: 10-to-1

Wisconsin: 10-to-1

Florida State: 14-to-1

Oklahoma State: 14-to-1

Tennessee: 14-to-1

Utah:  14-to-1

Miami FL: 16-to-1

Minnesota: 16-to-1

Iowa State: 20-to-1

Nebraska: 20-to-1

Iowa:  25-to-1