Odds to Win College Football Championship
The first year of the college football playoff was a major success. The No. 4 seed Ohio State Buckeyes did the improbable after barely getting into the playoff. They first upset No. 1 Alabama 42-35 in the Sugar Bowl to earn their spot in the National Championship.
There, the Buckeyes would dominate No. 2 Oregon 42-20 despite committing four turnovers. Urban Meyer earned his third national championship as a head coach. It was one of the most improbable feats you will ever see as the Buckeyes won it all with third-string quarterback Cardale Jones as the starter over their final three games of the season.
If this was still the BCS era, the Buckeyes would never have had a chance to win the title. It would have been Florida State vs. Alabama in the BCS Championship. Well, both the Crimson Tide and the Seminoles lost their first-round games in the four-team playoff.
Now that the season is over, oddsmakers have wasted no time putting up odds to win the 2015-16 National Championship. Take a look below as I provide some insight into the biggest favorites to win it next year. You can find these odds at Bovada.
Ohio State (6/1)
The Buckeyes just captured their 6th National Championship as a program and their first since 2002. Urban Meyer has proven to be one of the best college football coaches to ever step foot on the field. It took him only three years to win a championship at Ohio State, which was the third of his career. Ohio State went 14-1 this year and is obviously the No. 1 ranked team in the country at season’s end.
The Buckeyes are expected to have 14 returning starters next year, including four on the offensive line. Meyer will have his hands full in trying to decide who is going to play quarterback between Braxton Miller, Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett. That’s a pretty great problem to have. This team will have plenty of talent and experience returning to win it all again with seven starters back on both sides of the football.
The Horned Frogs were the biggest surprise team in the country this season. They went 11-1 during the regular season with their only loss coming at Baylor by a final of 61-58 after they blew a 20-point lead. TCU felt like it was snubbed from the four-team playoff as it went from being ranked No. 3 to No. 6 in the final week of the season even after beating Iowa State by 52 points. It took out its frustration on Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl with a resounding 42-3 victory.
That win over Ole Miss has many folks wondering if TCU was the best team in the country this past year. Well, the Horned Frogs finished with the No. 3 ranking in the final AP Poll and will have a great chance of making the four-team playoff in 2015-16. That’s because they return 15 starters with nine on offense ans six on defense. That includes QB Trevone Boykin, who will be a front-runner to win the Heisman Trophy.
The Crimson Tide entered the four-team playoff as the No. 1 ranked team after a 12-1 regular season and an SEC Championship. They looked well on their way to making the championship game with a 21-6 lead over Ohio State early, but that’s when everything fell apart. They wound up losing 42-35 and were really outplayed for most of the time. Alabama finishes the season ranked No. 4 in the final AP Poll.
You have to make Alabama one of the favorites to win the championship almost every year because of the talent that Nick Saban brings to Tuscaloosa. Even though the Crimson Tide only have 12 starters back this year, which is the third-lowest mark in the SEC, they will have the talent to win it all. Their defense should be one of the best in the country with eight starters back, but the offense only has four starters returning and loses quarterback Blake Sims. Finding that next great QB at Alabama will be the key for Saban and company.
After making the National Championship Game in 2013-14 and coming withing seconds of beating Florida State, the Auburn Tigers fell flat on their faces in 2014-15. They lost four of their final five games of the season, including a 31-34 (OT) loss to Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl to finish just 8-5. I expected the Tigers to regress quite a bit this past season because they had gotten so many breaks in close games in 2013-14 until their 3-point loss to FSU in the championship.
Gus Malzahn is arguably the best offensive mind in the country and will have another loaded offense in 2015-16. Now, he has hired Will Muschamp to be the defensive coordinator to try and improve a shaky unit on that side of the ball. The Tigers finished as the No. 22 ranked team in the country in the AP Poll this past season. Like Alabama, they return just 12 starters with four on offense and eight on defense. The talent will be there to make a run at another SEC title, and they’ll get to play the Iron Bowl at home this coming season.
The Ducks did a great job of recovering from an early loss to Arizona. They would reel off nine straight victories all by double-digits thereafter, including a 59-20 win over Florida State in the Rose Bowl after entering the four-team playoff as the No. 2 ranked team. Unfortunately, Oregon was unable to capture its first championship in school history as it lost to Ohio State 42-20 in the National Championship Game.
Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota put this team on his back and had a tremendous season. Unfortunately for Ducks’ fans, it’s likely that Mariota will forgo his senior season to enter the NFL Draft, where he’ll surely be one of the first two picks off the board. That would leave Oregon with just 12 returning starters for next year. The Ducks did finish 13-2 and were ranked No. 2 in the final AP Poll, but if they don’t have Mariota next year, it’s hard to give them much of a chance to win it all.
Complete List of Odds for 2015-16 College Football Championship
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