The 2016 college football season starts Friday – in Australia of all places. Judging by the NCAAF odds, some famous programs are going to be disappointed this year.
Who's going to win the National Championship this year? According to odds posted at Bovada, the 2016 FBS college football season should be highly competitive: Alabama, the reigning champions, are +600 favorites at press time, followed closely by LSU (+700), Clemson (+850), Ohio State (+900), Michigan (+900), and Florida State (+1000). A strong case could be made for any of those six powerhouses.
Then you have the long shots on the NCAAF odds board. What has happened to the likes of Oregon (+3300), Auburn (+5000) and Texas (+6600)? Even worse, take a gander at the bottom of the list, where Missouri, Cal, Pitt and Texas Tech are available at +50000. And they said nobody would offer odds like that again after Leicester City won the Premiership last year.
But hey, at least those teams are on the board. There are some well-known FBS programs that didn't even make it on the list, which means you can't even put them in your NCAAF picks to win the title – not at Bovada, at least. Here are some of the teams that are off the market as we go to press:
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
Hawaii have the honor of opening the regular season against Cal this Friday (10:00 p.m. ET, ESPN) at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia. The Bears are 20-point favorites, which explains why the Warriors aren't on the odds list. They finished 3-10 SU and ATS last year, losing all eight of their games in the Mountain West.
Army Black Knights
We're long past the point where the military academies could be considered title favorites. Army was by far the worst of the three independent FBS teams last year, checking in at 2-10 SU and 5-6-1 ATS. But hey, they almost pulled off the big upset in the Army-Navy Game, losing 21-17 as 21-point underdogs (Navy isn't on this year's list, either).
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
They played Princeton in what may have been the first intercollegiate football game back in 1869, but the Scarlet Knights are babies in the Big Ten. Rutgers went 4-8 SU and ATS last season, and they'll be under a new head coach this year in rookie Chris Ash, a former defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, Arkansas, and Ohio State.
Not only are the Buffs (4-9 SU, 5-7-1 ATS) off the National Championship radar, they're tied for last with Oregon State at +10000 to win the Pac-12. They've got a very tough schedule this year with road games at Michigan, Oregon, and USC. Expect at least some improvement in Year Three under coach Mike MacIntyre.
Duke Blue Devils
But they won the Pinstripe Bowl last year! No matter; bettors think of basketball when they think of Duke (8-5 SU, 7-6 ATS). Hardly seems fair for a team that's gone bowling every year since 2012. The Blue Devils will probably do it again this year, too, although nothing comes easy in the ACC.