College football season is right around the corner and for the first time ever in FBS there will be a playoff format to determine the national champion. A committee will select the top-four teams in the country to compete in two seeded semifinal games. From there, the winners of those matchups will meet in the national championship game in Cowboys Stadium.
The Florida State Seminoles come in as the defending champions, closing out the BCS era on top of the college football landscape. To have a chance at repeating, the Seminoles will need to prove themselves worthy of being a top-four semifinalist.
Oddsmakers certainly think FSU will be right there in Cowboys Stadium. The Seminoles are one of the two teams picked to end up the championship but they are second on the list of 2015 College Football Championship betting lines to the Alabama Crimson Tide. FSU and Alabama have been back and forth according to Bovada Sportsbook. The Tide are installed at 5/1, with the Seminoles coming in at 11/2.
Coincidentally, Alabama will likely start a former backup quarterback from Florida State in Jacob Coker. It was last offseason that Coker battled Jameis Winston for the starting spot. Winston of course went on to become the starter, lead FSU to an undefeated regular season, win the Heisman Trophy, and then the national championship over Auburn.
The overall talent of the Crimson Tide appears to be a key variable that gives Alabama a small advantage. That is not to say that the Seminoles are not extremely talented. To say otherwise would be foolish. But head coach Nick Saban has instilled a winning attitude in Tuscaloosa that is trying to be mirrored by many other programs, including in Tallahassee.
But Alabama and Florida State aren’t the only contenders coming in to the year. The Oregon Ducks out of the Pac 12 are perceived to be the nearest contenders. The Ducks are set at 8/1.
Then comes the national runner up in Auburn. The Tigers make the SEC West the toughest division in all of college football. The Iron Bowl could once again have a stake in the national championship at the end of the season, but we are still a long way off from that conversation. At 9/1, Auburn is projected to be right there in the end.
As expected, the SEC makes up plenty of the top-10 favorites to win it all. In addition to Alabama and Auburn, Georgia (14/1), and LSU (22/1), are among those in the conversation. Florida, South Carolina, and Ole Miss aren’t far behind either.
One team to be on the lookout for is Oklahoma. The Sooners beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl last season, and head coach Bob Stoops is fired up to get back into action. Stoops has one of his most talented teams in Norman over the last few seasons. Oklahoma is set at 9/1 alongside Auburn.
The 2014-15 College Football season will kick off August 28th. We are just three weeks away, and this could be one of the most historic seasons yet. Betting odds for the national champion + each conference are already available. Check out the payouts below.