Nick Saban’s reign at the top appears to be holding steady. According to oddsmakers, the Alabama Crimson Tide once again have the best shot of winning the national championship.
Alabama’s dominance under Saban has been the biggest story in college football over the past decade. Since his second season in Tuscaloosa, Saban has accrued an astounding 125-14 record and six national championships. The Crimson Tide are coming off a shocking overtime win over Georgia in last year’s title game, elevating Saban to new heights in the pantheon of coaching greats.
Once again, Alabama is expected to bring back more silverware to campus. The Tide, who compete in the talent-rich SEC, have 2/1 odds to win the national championship — well ahead of the No. 2 team, Clemson, who are listed at 9/2.
Dabo Swinney’s Tigers, who won the 2016 national championship, play in the less competitive ACC, but will have to fend off the Miami Hurricanes, who are longshots to win the title at 50/1.
Perhaps the most intriguing school of the 2018 season is Ohio State. The Buckeyes have the third-best odds at 8/1 but questions surround the future of Urban Meyer. The famed head coach, who was placed on paid administrative leave on Aug. 1, may or may not survive the fallout over the late firing of assistant coach Zach Smith following domestic abuse allegations.
Georgia, after falling short to SEC rivals Alabama in the championship game, have the fourth-best odds at 10/1. The Bulldogs are seeking their first title since 1980.
Other notable schools include longshots Notre Dame (40/1), LSU (66/1) and USC (66/1). The Fighting Irish are coming off a 10-3 season, which included a thumping of the Trojans in South Bend, 49-14. Brian Kelly’s squad ended the season on a high note, holding off LSU in the Citrus Bowl, 21-17.
USC enter the season with questions at quarterback, while their former head coach Ed Orgeron will look to rebound from a 9-4 season in Baton Rouge after a 6-2 record with the Tigers in 2016.
Most of the top college football teams begin the season on Saturday, Sept. 1.
National Championship Betting Odds (Vegas Insider)
Ohio State, 8/1
Penn State, 25/1
Michigan State, 40/1
Notre Dame, 40/1
Florida State, 50/1
Miami, Fl., 50/1
Texas A&M, 100/1
Virginia Tech, 100/1
West Virginia, 100/1
Oklahoma State, 250/1
Texas Tech, 500/1