College football bettors just witnessed one of the most dominant campaigns ever put forth by an LSU Tigers program that ran roughshod upon the SEC before skunking both Oklahoma and Clemson to win its fourth all-time national championship. They did so as lofty 33-1 underdogs at the outset of the season, but went off the board odds on +145 favorites to hoist the hardware at online sportsbooks once the final four teams were announced for the College Football Playoff. With so much departed from Coach O’s championship squad heading into 2020-21 including the likely No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, it’s pretty safe to assume LSU won’t be in the running to defend its title; a 15-1 return on the title odds solidifies that belief. Here’s a very early look at the top contenders in the eyes of the linemakers as well as those possibly getting overlooked just like last year’s Geaux Tigers.
Ohio State +390
Notre Dame +3000
Texas A&M +4000
Penn State +4500
Oklahoma State +6000
Mississippi State +10000
Arizona State +20000
Clemson Tigers +230
With the 1-2 punch of Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne back to lead the offense, Dabo Swinney’s Tigers are the current frontrunners to win it all in the eyes of those booking the bets. And how could they not? This program has qualified for the CFP five straight seasons, and has another loaded recruiting class to stack on top of the loaded one from a year ago. Oh yeah, the ACC still stinks!
Ohio State Buckeyes +390
While it will be interesting to see how Ryan Day’s squad bounces back from spitting the bit against Clemson in the College Football Playoff semis last season, you simply can’t argue with the talent returning to Columbus. Especially with Justin Fields leading the offense once again after dazzling as the units’ shot caller a short season ago. While the B1G looks a bit tougher, the Buckeyes are still the cream of the conference’s crop.
Alabama Crimson Tide +560
Tua is gone. Jeudy is gone. Ruggs is gone. Wills Jr. is gone. McKinney is gone. Do you really think that matters for an Alabama program that had qualified for the College Football Playoff before failing to do so just last season? If anything, that should have Nick Saban all the more motivated to get the job done when the newest edition of the Crimson Tide returns to the playing field hopefully come late August.
Georgia Bulldogs +800
As good the Dawgs have been the last two seasons in compiling 11-2 records and splitting their bowl games, the overtime loss to Alabama in the national championship game still stings. Kirby Smart has done a heck of a job with the program, but ventures back into waters not chartered for a few seasons with Jake Fromm off to the NFL. UGA’s defense will once again be stout, but it’s shot of competing for the title will ultimately come down to how grad transfer Jamie Newman pans out running the offense.
LSU Tigers +1450
Fresh off one of the most dominating campaigns ever witnessed at the college football level, Ed Orgeron and his staff now must go to work in the role of the hunted instead of the other way around. But with a daunting SEC road schedule that includes trips to Gainesville, College Station and Auburn, it’ll be rough for the Tigers to come anywhere close to mimicking last year’s feat. Baton Rouge will sober up in 2020-21!
Florida Gators +1800
The Gators 2020 campaign will ultimately come down to how it performs against Georgia and LSU this season. With no Alabama on the docket once again and only being forced to cross state lines three times through 12 games, things are sure set up nicely for Dan Mullen’s Gators in the SEC East. For it to amount to anything, a great start must be attained against the likes of Kentucky, Tennessee and South Carolina before that crucial home clash with LSU on October 10.
Oklahoma Sooners +1800
From Baker Mayfield to Jalen Hurts to Spencer Rattler; Lincoln Riley’s offense looks like it’s simply just too good to fail regardless of who is running it. Should that once again turn out to be the case, Boomer Sooner will once again be in the mix for the title just like they are seemingly every passing season. Unfortunately, playing in the Big 12 where defense isn’t required always sneaks up on them when it matters most. Should that side of the ball continue to go unimproved, Oklahoma won’t be winning anything.
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