It may still be a little presumptuous to say it, but it’s starting to look like the college football season will continue and eventually finish with a new national champion crowned. That does not mean there will not be any problems or issues along the way.
For instance, if the College Football Playoff Committee puts a 7-0 Pac-12 team or an 8-0 Big Ten team in over a one-loss SEC or ACC team, people are going to go nuts.
Let’s be real, Big 12 fans. A one-loss Big 12 team will not deserve a spot.
That was not always the case, though. In March, both were considered decent dark horse candidates to win the national title this year (Oklahoma +2500; Texas +4000). With two losses already under their belts, it is likely safe to assume both are done (current odds– +6600 and +8000 respectively).
Of course, during a year as messed up as 2020 has been, it would not be shocking to see our first two-loss team make the college football playoffs and win it all. So, it may be wise not to rule them out entirely (at least not yet).
When the Big Ten and Pac-12 finally get things underway, it will be interesting to see how the odds move. But for now, the top of the leaderboard is populated by the usual suspects.
NCAA Football National Championship Odds: Still No Surprises Here
If you have not bet on the favorite, Clemson (+200; odds via DraftKings), yet, you may want to do so this week. After dispatching their first three opponents with relative ease, they will face a tough match-up this week in the Miami Hurricanes.
Should they win, as expected (they are a 16-point favorite), their odds are going to get even shorter. On the off chance they do lose, then their odds will get longer. But with the reputation Clemson has, they may not move much at all.
But if Miami were to win, their odds will take a massive leap from where they are heading into the week (+6000). Their defense might slow Trevor Lawrence down, but can D’Eriq King solve the Clemson defense for Miami?
That is an excellent question.
As could be expected, Alabama (+300) is in the picture. Mac Jones and the Crimson Tide offense look like they are going to be fine this season. While the defense may not be entirely up to standard for Nick Saban, it is still a darn good unit.
They’ll get put to the test in a couple of weeks when they face Georgia (+1400). The Bulldogs defense looks like it is up where it left off last season. Since Kirby Smart inserted Stetson Bennett behind center, the offense is looking great as well.
Along with beating Alabama, if Georgia wants to be taken seriously as a contender, they will have to beat Florida (+1400). The Gators are rolling on offense so far this season and could have a legitimate Heisman candidate in Kyle Trask. But their defense is going to need to tighten up if they want to make it past Georgia.
The Big 10 Enters the NCAAF National Championship Odds Discussion
Not much can be said about the Big Ten teams with odds yet. However, oddsmakers appear to think at least one (maybe more) could factor into the national championship picture:
• Ohio State +250
• Penn State +2800
• Michigan +4000
• Wisconsin +4000
Notre Dame (+4000) is still in the hunt after a 2-0 start. While they have outscored their opponents 79-13, they have not played anyone tough, yet. Pitt will not roll over for them when they play later this month. The real test, though, will come in November when they face Clemson and North Carolina.
If you are looking for a longshot, there are several good teams with +10000 odds. Minnesota is coming off a great 2019 season and has a lot of talent coming back. LSU appears to have bounced back from a hard loss to Mississippi State.
While the Bulldogs looked tough a week ago, they did not look so tough against lowly Arkansas Saturday night. UCF was already on the outside looking in since they are a Group of Five team, but losing Saturday night to Tulsa probably ends their shot.
As for Pac-12 teams, Oregon has the best odds at +10000 along with USC, followed by Washington (+12500), Utah (+20000), and Arizona State (+25000).
So far, it looks like we will see many of the same faces in the college football playoffs. It will not be shocking if one of them goes on to win it all. But there is plenty of time left for someone to emerge and become a challenger.
The question, of course, is who.