As always, there is plenty of intrigue for the upcoming college football season. Will the Big 12 be shutout of the playoffs again? Can Will Muschamp's defense help Auburn knock off Alabama? Who will finish last in the SEC West? Can Ohio State remain dominant? Etc., etc., etc.
It's hard to project what may happen, but Vegas always gives it a shot.
The gambling site Bovada has released their odds for the upcoming college football season. Ohio State is the favorite, not surprisingly, coming in with 11/4 odds to repeat as national champions. Alabama and TCU both follow at 7/1, fellow Iron Bowl rival Auburn at 9/1 and USC closes out the top five at 16/1. The first ACC team, Clemson, comes in at No. 9 with 22/1 odds.
What about the only team to beat Ohio State last year? Yes, Virginia Tech is listed with national title odds at 100/1. That doesn't seem terrible until you look at the other teams they're grouped with.
Among the other teams with 100/1 odds are Florida, an SEC team with a new coach and essentially no offensive line or quarterback, and Mississippi State who may finish last in the SEC West. To say these teams are long shots would be putting it mildly, but Vegas still likes them more than the Terps who they gave a 500/1 shot to go all the way.
In terms of conference odds, Virginia Tech is tied for fourth in the ACC with 9/1 odds. Clemson is the favorite at 2/1, but Florida State is second at 5/2 despite the departure of star quarterback Jameis Winston. Georgia Tech is third at 5/1, the highest from the Coastal Division. Virginia is tied for last at 200/1 with Boston College, Syracuse and Wake Forest. Ouch.
Maryland's outlook in the Big Ten is not much better. With teams like Ohio State, Michigan State and the possibly resurgent Michigan, the oddsmakers are not giving the Terps much of a shot at 100/1, tied with Illinois and Indiana. When it comes to football odds, Illinois and Indiana are not usually teams you want to be grouped with.
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