Tue 13/01/2015 - 21:11 EST

Ohio State Favored for 2015-16 National Title … and Should Be

The 2014-15 college football season is not even 24 hours old but already Bovada is on top of things for odds on next season’s College Football Playoff champion and your 6/1 favorite, to no surprise, is current champion Ohio State.

The Buckeyes wouldn’t have been able to play for this season’s national championship had the BCS standings still been in play — OSU would have faced Oregon in the Rose Bowl and Alabama would have played Florida State for the BCS title. Thus the College Football Playoff was clearly a success as OSU was much better than the top-ranked Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl and then clearly better than the No. 2 Ducks in the national title game Monday night at AT&T Stadium outside Dallas.  It was the first national title for the once-embattled Big Ten since 2002 and the third for Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer. He joins former SEC rival Nick Saban as the only coaches to win national championships at multiple schools, with Meyer winning two at Florida with Tim Tebow.

OSU probably will be No. 1 in the preseason polls come August. The Buckeyes do lose some key players such as receiver Devin Smith, defensive tackle Michael Bennett, defensive end Steve Miller, linebacker Curtis Grant and cornerback Doran Grant. But the offensive line will be a strength and running back Ezekiel Elliott, the MVP of the national title game against Oregon with 246 rushing yards and four touchdowns, is an early 2015 Heisman leader. He finished the year with 696 yards and eight touchdowns in his final three games.

What will Ohio State do at quarterback? If 2012-13 starter Braxton Miller sticks around, there will be a three-man race for the job, as he’ll have to beat out J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones. Miller was a Heisman favorite entering this season before suffering a season-ending injury in August. Barrett set several school and Big Ten records in Miller’s place before getting hurt in the regular-season finale vs. Michigan. Jones started the final three games of the season and actually showed enough promise that there are reports Jones could turn pro. He could if he wanted to as a third-year sophomore but he’s still very raw and not ready for the  NFL. At least one guy is likely to leave, likely Miller who could transfer anywhere and play immediately because he graduated.

The Buckeyes are losing offensive coordinator Tom Herman, the Broyles Award winner as the country’s top assistant, who was hired as Houston’s new head coach. But let’s not kid ourselves: Meyer runs that offense. The 2015 schedule is manageable and OSU will be a favorite in every game. The Buckeyes open Sept. 7 at Virginia Tech, which handed Ohio State its only loss this season. The key Big Ten game should be Nov. 21 against Michigan State in Columbus. OSU closes the regular season as usual at blood rival Michigan, with Meyer facing off against  Jim Harbaugh for the first time. Think Harbaugh will have his guys ready for that?

Here’s the full Bovada odds list:

Ohio State 6/1

TCU 15/2

Alabama 10/1

Auburn 14/1

Oregon 14/1

Baylor 16/1

Florida State 16/1

LSU 16/1

Michigan State 16/1

Notre Dame 20/1

USC 20/1

Mississippi State 25/1

Oklahoma 25/1

Boise State 33/1

Clemson 33/1

Florida 33/1

Georgia 33/1

Mississippi 33/1

Stanford 33/1

Texas A&M 33/1

UCLA 33/1

Wisconsin 33/1

Arizona 40/1

Arizona State 40/1

Arkansas 50/1

Georgia Tech 50/1

Kansas State 50/1

Louisville 50/1

Missouri 50/1

Nebraska 50/1

Oklahoma State 50/1

South Carolina 50/1

Texas 50/1

Tennessee 66/1

Utah 66/1

Miami 75/1

Michigan 75/1

Penn State 75/1

Washington 75/1

West Virginia 75/1

BYU 100/1

California 100/1

Cincinnati 100/1

Duke 100/1

Iowa 100/1

Marshall 100/1

Maryland 100/1

North Carolina 100/1

Oregon State 100/1

Pittsburgh 100/1

Rutgers 100/1

Virginia Tech 100/1

Boston College 200/1

Northwestern 200/1

South Florida 200/1

Texas Tech 200/1

UCF 200/1

Category : Sports Betting News

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