With about two weeks to go until the start of the college football season, we will take a look at the odds to win the BCS national Championship game. There has been a lot of talk about the USC Trojans in the wake of the Reggie Bush case, and their postseason ban as well as their ban from the coaches poll has taken them out of the running for the national title.
Last year’s champion Alabama goes in as the heavy favorite at 4/1, and they should. They return Greg McElroy fresh of a 2,508 yard passing season with 17 touchdowns and only four picks. The senior quarterback was a little bit more passive on the road than at home in 2009, averaging 6.5 yards per completion compared to the 8.1 yard average at home.
This paid off in the interception department, as he threw zero picks when playing away from Bryant-Denny Stadium. And as you all know, McElroy isn’t even the most dangerous weapon on the Crimson Tide offense.
Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram returns to the team after running for 1,658 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2009. He added 334 yards and three scores through the air and remains the biggest threat on Alabama’s offense.
While the title is Alabama’s to lose, the price makes a bet on the Crimson Tide risky. You receive very little payout for the money you invest, and an injury or two could possibly ruin the Tide’s chances. Still, they are the clear-cut favorite to win.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are the second choice at sportsbooks at 6/1. Dual threat quarterback Terrelle Pryor will lead the way once again, but he needs to cut back on his turnovers. After being picked off only four times in 2008, he threw 11 interceptions last year and had problems holding on to the football at times.
The Buckeyes return a total of nine starters on offense and look as dangerous as ever. The defense loses a few pieces, but they still look solid. Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa could have a breakout year, and Ohio State has a legitimate shot at the title.
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Florida is an interesting pick at 10/1, despite losing Tim Tebow. New quarterback John Brantley has shown that he can lead the team with his strong arm, but it remains to be seen how he deals with the pressure of replacing Tebow.
Brantley threw 48 passes last season and completed 36 of them. He threw for seven touchdowns and wasn’t picked off. This should give the Gators hope that he can replace Tebow and lead the team to a title. We will have to wait and see how he fares in his first season as a starter, but the 10/1 odds offer an interesting value.
Boise State could have its best shot at a national title yet. The Broncos play their usual weak WAC schedule, but they spiced up their season with games against the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Oregon State Beavers.
Everything will depend on the month of September for coach Chris Peterson’s team, as both of the tough tests come early in the season. The Broncos open up their 2010 campaign against Virginia Tech at FedEx Field in Washington D.C. on September 6.
If they win that one, they will have to take care of the Wyoming Cowboys before facing Oregon State at home on September 25. Boise State has shown that it can beat the Beavers at Bronco Stadium, when they dismantled Mike Riley’s team 42-14 behind five touchdowns from Ian Johnson.
Of course the Beavers didn’t have Jacquizz Rodgers in 2006, and Boise State doesn’t have Ian Johnson anymore, but the Broncos have one of the best passers in the nation in Kellen Moore. If Boise State wins those two games, it is “business as usual” for the best team in the WAC.
The payout at 8/1 isn’t tremendous, but the Broncos are still worth a look. All odds for this article were taken from Bodog Sportsbook who is offering a nice signup bonus to all visitors of the Maddux Sports blog this football season.