We’re only three weeks into the college football season, but that hasn’t stopped the wise guys from updating the national championship odds for this coming January.
As expected, the SEC and Big Ten are expected to send their best to the College Football Playoff, but a lot can happen between now and then.
Including a potential burst from contenders out of the Pac-12, the ACC, and the Big 12, as big-name programs make a comeback this season.
Let’s take a look at the latest national championship odds for this year for the top 10 contenders so far.
Odds courtesy SI Sportsbook
Texas A&M (+10000). There’s already a costly loss at home to App State on the Aggies’ playoff resume, but there’s also a solid win over a ranked Miami. Now comes the hard part as A&M opens the conference Slate and the Weekly Gauntlet of the SEC West. It has the defense to take it places, but there are still nagging concerns about an offense that struggles to grind out consistent yards even after a quarterback changeover to Max Johnson.
Kentucky (+10,000). UK skirted past Florida in a crucial road game early, but there are still major clashes ahead against Ole Miss, Tennessee, and at home to Georgia in November. There’s a long way before we can say definitively that the Wildcats are even No. 2 in the SEC East, but lead back Chris Rodriguez will come back to start October, a major help as this offense will balance out more and take some pressure off quarterback Will Levis.
Tennessee (+5,000). A new contender in the SEC East this year, thanks to a blistering offense led by veteran quarterback Hendon Hooker. It’ll get tested at home to Florida, at LSU, against Alabama, and a two week Slug fest against Kentucky and at Georgia. That’s where Josh Heupel can earn his new raise.
Penn State (+5,000). Following a statement Rout at Auburn, the Nittany Lions look poised to give Ohio State and Michigan a challenge in the Big Ten East behind 6th year quarterback Sean Clifford, a stud in receiver Mitchell Tinsley, and a huge piece in running back Nick Singleton, who’s over 11 ypc.
Oklahoma (+4,000). OU played complementary football in a Destruction of Nebraska, showing a type of balance that will be hard for Big 12 defenses to stop going forward. The Sooners ran for over 300 yards on the Huskers, an important building block as Dillon Gabriel builds rapport with a talented receiver room.
Michigan (+2,500). What do we really know about this team, given its cushy soft non-conference schedule? For one thing, JJ McCarthy isn’t just a gifted runner: he’s very accurate throwing the ball, completing 88% of his attempts, gone over 200 yards in 2 starts, has 4 total TDs, and absorbed just one sack. UM’s conference slate bodes well, too, with PSU and MSU at home before going to Ohio State.
USC (+1200). The early returns on this hyped offense have proven correct, averaging almost 51 ppg, allowing a shade under 20, and combining for over 500 yards each time out. Jordan Addison has 5 TDs on 18 catches and the schedule looks winnable, but watch for a date at Utah on Oct. 15.
Clemson (+1,000). This team will go as far as its defensive front seven can take it, which is to a likely ACC title, but there are still concerns about DJ Uiagalelei’s ability to push the ball downfield consistently after slower starts against Furman and La. Tech.
Ohio State (+300). The perennial Big Ten favorites have an Arsenal of skill targets that can decimate any defense, led by Heisman contender CJ Stroud at quarterback, but Jim Knowles’ new D still has tests to pass against the league’s best like Wisconsin, Penn State, and Michigan before we crown this team.
Alabama (+200). College football’s Greatest Dynasty is perfect through 3 games, but the Offensive line and receiver group could stand to improve after a lackluster showing at Texas. But if the last 15 years have proven anything, it’s that the Tide will be the best coached team on any field.
Georgia (+175). Looking like the best all-round Squad in college football so far, the Bulldogs have the power on the inside, the speed on the perimeter, the quarterback who can deliver, and a defense that will strangle anything in front of it. Georgia should be undefeated going into the SEC title game, probably against Alabama.
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