Once again the college football national championship game delivered on the excitement level meter. Another instant classic with numerous storylines that will live on forever for those watching.
However, before Mercedes-Benz Dome cleanup crew was even half done with their job in completing all the work they had to do, next season's college football odds were released.
In what will be the least surprising sports story of the year for 2018, Alabama, winners of five of the past nine college football championships, is the odds-on favorite to repeat.Alabama +225Ohio St +700Clemson +800Georgia +1000Michigan +1500Penn St +1500Auburn +2500Oklahoma +2500Florida St +3000Miami FL +3000Michigan St +3000Texas +3000Wisconsin +3000LSU +4000USC +4000Washington +4000Notre Dame +5000Stanford +5000Texas A&M +5000Virginia Tech +5000West Virginia +5000
As always, coach Nick Saban will bring in a fresh batch of top line recruits that will supplant the playmakers who have left early for the NFL draft. The returning players will be coached-up by the Crimson Tide staff and competition will be as keen as ever, to bring the best out of the players.
One immediate competition will be at quarterback between Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa. Or will it? Does Hurts see the handwriting on the wall and transfer out? Stay tuned, this could be fascinating story through August camp for Alabama.
The Other Obvious Contenders to Alabama
Ohio State will suffer their fair share of losses, but not close to as many as after the 2016 campaign. Remember, the Buckeyes finished fifth in final CFP voting and might have gotten in over the Tide except for dud they had at Iowa. Also, like Bama, Urban Meyer has great-looking QB in Dwayne Haskins, who was terrific in Michigan victory and he has stronger, more accurate arm than the departing J.T. Barrett. The Buckeyes are also high on talented dual-threat quarterback Tate Martell. The roster is loaded, but games at Penn State and at Michigan State will be challenging.
Clemson on offense should be fine, with QB Kelly Bryant back, but he could be pushed by incoming freshman, Trevor Lawrence, regarded as the best pocket passer coming out of high school. Depending on how many Tigers defensive linemen enter the draft, that for the moment is the largest concern on defense.
Georgia will suffer personnel losses, but Kirby Smart has arguably the best recruiting class coming in and QB Jake Fromm is an outstanding foundation to build around.
Michigan and Penn State will return a talented array of players and they will be a part of the national picture. Plus, lurking out there is someone that is under the radar, that will catch us all off guard when we hit the middle of October.
Until next college football season, enjoy, and we will cover any important betting news and start having upcoming team reports for 2018 before you know it.