The college football season may be months away, but the first signs that kick-off is approaching are starting to pop up. Specifically from Vegas, where over/under win totals were released a few weeks ago, followed by updated national championship odds which dropped on Monday.
So who does the Las Vegas Superbook like to take home the title? Here are the odds for some of college football's top teams.
Yes the defending national champion lost a generational quarterback in Deshaun Watson, a first-round NFL Draft pick at wide receiver in Mike Williams and the heart of their defense in linebacker Ben Boulware, but don't sleep on their chances to repeat. The Tigers weren't just a great team last season, they were also a great program. They have won at least 10 games each of the last six seasons.
Penn State: 20-1
This number feels suprisingly low for the defending Big Ten champion, which happens to be returning 16 starters. The Nittany Lions' entire season will likely come down to the final two weeks of October, where they play Michigan and at Ohio State in back-to-back weeks.
Apparently there is some excitement in Vegas over Ed Orgeron's first season as full-time head coach in Baton Rouge. The Tigers come in with the second-best odds in all of the SEC (you can probably guess who is No. 1), a sign that Vegas believes LSU's offense will be improved under new offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
For all his hijinks, Jim Harbaugh must be doing something right as Michigan's head coach - no team has better odds, relative to what they lost, than the Wolverines do. For Michigan to come close to reaching a national championship, they will need young players to step up on defense, where only one starter returns.
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The Sooners are once again heavy favorites in the Big 12 and with good reason: they are the two-time defending champion and return one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in college football. The key for Oklahoma may be how they replace everyone around Baker Mayfield. They lost a pair of 1,000-yard rushers (Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine) and Biletnikoff Award winner Dede Westbrook at wide receiver.
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The hype at USC is through the roof after the Trojans' spectacular 10-3 season in 2016, capped by a thrilling 52-49 Rose Bowl victory over Penn State. Can the Trojans possibly go one step further? A lot will depend on whether Sam Darnold (31 touchdowns, nine interceptions) can fulfill his Heisman potential.
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Florida State: 7-1
There's plenty to like with the Seminoles, who return their starting quarterback and nine defensive starters off last year's Orange Bowl winning team. The big question: Can they possibly get past Alabama in Week 1? And if they can't, can they pick up the pieces and run the table from there?
Ohio State: 4-1
The Buckeyes don't rebuild, they reload, and even after losing three first round picks (seven selections overall) in the NFL Draft, the guys in Vegas still like them to make a run at the title. Most of the Buckeyes' success will likely be tied to how quarterback J.T. Barrett develops in new OC Kevin Wilson's scheme. Barrett's completion percentage has gone down each of the past three seasons.
Ah, it's good to be king. Despite losing 10 players in the NFL Draft (including four in the first round) the Tide are overwhelming favorites in Vegas. It once again proves that while the calendar may change, one thing stays the same: The road to the national championship goes through T-Town!