With the long NCAA offseason in the rearview mirror, the college football betting community can rest assured that the wait is finally over. We’re one week out from the first slate of Week 1 matchups, and from that point forward, for these teams, it’s all about bringing everything they’ve got until bowl season wraps up in early 2014.
Just last January we watched Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide steamroll their way to a second consecutive BCS national championship, their third in four seasons, and this year they’ll return many of the same vital cogs that powered them to their 2012 success.
Expect quarterback A.J. McCarron back under center for his senior season, looking to follow up on a 30-touchdown season in which he passed for just under 3,000 yards. He’ll team up with sophomore running back T.J. Yeldon, who ran for 12 touchdowns of his own in a platoon with the since-departed Eddie Lacy.
Naturally, the Crimson Tide are atop the college football futures with 5-2 odds of winning the BCS national championship.
It won’t be a cake walk for Alabama in the perennially competitive SEC, but with LSU and Georgia the next best options heading into the season — with 18-1 and 16-1 odds, respectively — it wouldn’t be surprising to see more of the same in 2013.
New on the scene this time out — having been ruled ineligible for last season — are the Ohio State Buckeyes. After finishing their empty 2012 campaign with a 12-0 record, the Urban Meyer-led squad has 6-1 odds of winning the national championship, good for the No. 2 spot on the NCAA football futures.
OSU will rely heavily on junior quarterback Braxton Miller to help rebuild the Bucks’ reputation after the Jim Tressel scandal that plagued the program over the past few years, but if last season is any indication, they’re in good hands.
Miller and Meyer are a combination worth keeping tabs on early in 2013, especially since the former could be on the shortlist for the Heisman Trophy.
The SEC and Big Ten aren’t the only conferences with national powerhouses, however, as Pac-12 juggernaut Oregon has 7-2 odds on the NCAA futures, and Louisville represents the shiny new American Athletic Conference with 14-1 national championship odds.
With so many variables left to be defined over the course of the next three months, it’s anybody’s guess as to how bowl play will shape up in 2013-14. That’s just one of the many reasons why it’s about time we say goodbye to summer and hello to college football.
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