We're getting close to the start of another college football season, meaning it's about time we check in and look over the futures odds once again.
Ohio State Buckeyes (+370)
The Buckeyes will be trying to defend their national championship title, and right now they're the current favorites on the college football odds board to do just that. They're on top of the futures list for the national champion, and no one's really all that close if you look relative to the other top contender.
Yes, it's another immensely talented group that Urban Meyer will be in charge of in 2015. Cardale Jones, of course, will lead the way after bursting onto the scene when it mattered most last season, but he's not going to actually "lead" the way.
Let me explain.
You see, Ezekiel Elliott is going to be the most influental player on the team for the Buckeyes this season, a statement which is backed up by the fact he's right at the top of the Heisman futures odds list as well. The running back had a huge season as a sophomore. He ran for over 1850 yards and 18 touchdowns and had 220 receiving yards to boost, and you have to figure those numbers are only going to go up as Elliott heads into this junior year at Ohio State.
With a ton of talent from top to bottom, on both sides of the ball, the Buckeyes are the top dogs in the college football landscape heading in.
Alabama Crimson Tide (+900)
They may not be number one, but we've gotten used to see the Crimson Tide hover near the top regardless, and that's the case again ahead of 2015.
Alabama fell short last year and will be eager to compete for the title again, and this is a program that will be handing over the reigns at quarterback to Jake Coker. Derrick Henry is the first-choice running back afte rushing for nearly 1,000 yards (and recording 11 touchdowns) last season, and there is plenty of wideout depth to make up for the loss of Amari Cooper to the NFL.
Then, you throw in the fact Alabama always has one of the nation's most competitive defenses and you can see why Alabama is a firm favorite.
TCU Horned Frogs (+1050)
This is probably the name that stands out most to the casual observer. The Horned Frogs are up in the upper echelon and are priced ahead of some college football giants, like the two analyzed below.
And, this TCU team is all about Trevone Boykin, who like Ohio State's Elliott is in the early running for 2016 Heisman. Boykin has been terrorizing opposing defenses throughout his entire college career, and he's likely saved his best for last as gets set to close the chapter and embark on an NFL career. Boykin can kill you with his arm or his legs, and that dual-threat ability has helped TCU become one of the most prolific offenses in college football. Even scarier, the Horned Frogs were ranked in the top ten in fewest points allowed per game too, so their balance shouldn't go unnoticed.
Needless to say, TCU is going to a strong favorite to win the Big 12, and though it's not going to be easy, they seem well-equipped to deal with any challengers as long as Boykin stays healthy.
The Tigers will have Jeremy Johnson (Heisman candidate) running the show now, and there's some very real hype surrounding what he's capable of. We've seen flashes of Johnson's ability and it's safe to say this Auburn team will be scoring some points. They've re-tooled their defense too, so seeing them here makes sense.
As for the Trojans, Cody Kessler is locked into the starting role and is another Heisman candidate ahead of the start of the new season. USC is the early favorite to win the Pac-12.