College football teams will start reporting to training camp in a little over a month and the 2016 season kicks off in exactly 80 days from today in Australia between California and Hawaii. Here’s an updated look at the teams favored to win the College Football Playoff with NCAA Football betting odds.
2016 College Football Championship Odds Overview
Alabama Crimson Tide (+700)
No surprise here that the Crimson Tide are favored as they have become a dynasty for the ages under Coach Nick Saban. Of course the Tide beat Clemson in a thrilling national championship game last season. For the third season in a row, Alabama exited this year’s spring practice with an unresolved quarterback competition. The Tide eventually found answers the past two seasons, reaching the inaugural College Football Playoff in 2014 (with Blake Sims) and winning their fourth national title under Saban in 2015 (with Coker). Junior Cooper Bateman looks to have the edge heading into preseason camp. There is suddenly one big question mark for the Tide: the status of All-American offensive tackle Cam Robinson, an expected Top-10 pick in next year’s NFL Draft. Robinson and teammate Hootie Jones were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and possessing a handgun in the presence of drugs last month in their hometown of West Monroe, Louisiana. Robinson also received a felony charge for possessing a stolen firearm. Saban has yet to decide on punishment. Robinson, a former five-star recruit, has started all 29 games in two seasons at left tackle.
Clemson Tigers (+825)
Clemson opens this season where it finished last year: in second. With junior quarterback Deshaun Watson coming back for what will probably be his final college season, the Tigers might be poised to be even more explosive on offense than they were last season. But the Tigers must replace eight starters on defense. One guy who was expected to start on that side of the ball was defensive back Adrian Baker. But he tore his ACL in March. Baker, who notched 13 total tackles and two interceptions through 12 games last season, was expected to seize a starting spot that All-American cornerback Mackensie Alexander vacated. A few days later, another defensive back, Kaleb Chambers, was dismissed from the team. Chalmers, 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, is a freshman who redshirted last season. He was expected to provide depth in the secondary, where three of Clemson’s four starters from last year’s team left early for the NFL Draft.
Ohio State (+1000)
I don’t think Ohio State should be this high on the list as the Buckeyes lost a ton off last year’s team that beat Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. Ohio State set a record by having 12 players selected in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft. Probably the biggest hole to fill is at running back with Ezekiel Elliott gone — he was the fourth overall pick in the draft. Mike Weber looks to be the leading candidate. Though Weber is still technically in a position battle with senior Brio’nte Dunn, the redshirt freshman took control of the battle when he rushed the ball eight times for 38 yards and two touchdowns in the spring game. Dunn, who still has a lot to prove before he’s worthy of getting a ton of carries as a senior, didn’t dress in the spring game because of a minor injury. My NCAAF betting projection is that OSU doesn’t even win the Big Ten, much less get to the College Football Playoff.