Never to early to start looking at next season, no matter what the sport. I’ve been studying the NCAA 2011 BSC futures, and there are no surprises early on. The usual suspects are there, even though a few have dropped their stranglehold on the top spot they’ve held for a few years. Let’s look through some top teams and see where they stand right now.
To nobody’s surprise, Alabama tops the list right now. They’re a 7/2 shot, which is extremely favorable, as well as quite an enticing option for pre-season bets on who’ll win it all. Alabama had 24 seniors depart at the end of last year, but many key guys remain, and new talent is ready to step in and keep this team at the top. And that starts and ends with QB Greg McElroy and RB Mark Ingram. With 17 passing and rushing touchdowns, respectably, in 2009, look for huge years out of these offensive stars in 2010.
Ohio State – perhaps more of a process of elimination placement – sneaks into the #2 spots on the oddsmakers list at 13:2. They have a nice upside, but I still think they’re missing that destructive, killer instinct on defense that defined the team in the mid 90’s. I don’t think they can win the big one. Prove me wrong, Buckeyes.
Florida, expectedly, slides to a 16:1 shot. I’m surprised they didn’t fall further. No Tebow is one thing, but the press on the coaching staff and everything else about expectations and living up to past teams will be a nightmare for these guys, at least for most of the year. Strong talent remains, but beware of putting too many eggs in this Gator basket.
How about a “long shot?” Nebraska has made steady improvements over the last two years, and I think they’re ready to show they’ve learned from their mistakes and matured into a contender. They still play in one of the toughest conferences around. At 15:1, it couldn’t hurt to drop $100 on them right now and forget about it.
Other titans that have come back to reality are Oklahoma and Texas, both who are suffering through their own QB deficiencies as they transition as organizations. OU is 18:1 and Texas is 14:1. Honestly, both proved they couldn’t win a NCAA football bet without their key guy, and even with a steady presence at quarterback to start the year, it still won’t be McCoy or Bradford taking the snaps. Why take a chance? You might give up some winnings on the other end, but better to feel these guys out and play them on a week-to-week basis.