The three teams with the best chance of going undefeated in the upcoming college football betting season are rather obvious: Alabama is the favorite to win the national championship, Ohio State is right behind the Crimson Tide, and the Stanford Cardinal are in position to make a bold run as well.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama is such an obvious choice to go unbeaten primarily because head coach Nick Saban has managed to get the Crimson Tide to the point where they don’t rebuild, and are always reloading. More to the point, though, quarterback A.J. McCarron returns for yet another season, and much of the Tide’s frontline talent – especially on offense – will be back in the fold. The offensive line could be a slight concern, but the skill position studs on the Tide will enable Alabama to not miss a beat in the crucible of the Southeastern Conference. One also has to point out that the Texas A&M team Alabama must visit in the middle of September will be without offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, an anchor of the Aggies’ offensive line and a primary reason Texas A&M was able to beat the Tide in 2012. Alabama’s pass rush should be more effective in this contest. The Tide figure to be able to contain the defending Heisman Trophy winner, quarterback Johnny Manziel. The odds of Manziel and A&M winning two straight games against Alabama are low. Assuming Alabama can win that game against the Aggies, the Crimson Tide would then host LSU later in the season, and that’s a game Saban’s boys should win.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State is in a position where its conference just doesn’t figure to offer many formidable roadblocks on the way to an unbeaten season. The Buckeyes weren’t eligible for division or conference championships last year in the Big Ten because of NCAA sanctions, but this year, they can play for all the prizes the college football world has to offer. Michigan State is not likely to be a force in the Big Ten. Northwestern could be pesky, but the Wildcats generally do not wind up at the top of the standings. Nebraska has a fairly favorable schedule, but the Huskers have proved to be erratic under head coach Bo Pelini. Wisconsin should still be very formidable, but will the Badgers be able to put all the pieces together under first-year head coach Gary Andersen? Ohio State is looking at a situation in which its season-ending road game at Michigan could very well be the difference between an 11-1 or 12-1 season and a 13-0 masterpiece. Michigan has recruited on a level similar to Ohio State, but Michigan’s passing game still needs to prove itself before the Wolverines can be considered the favorite in that rivalry-game matchup.
3. Stanford Cardinal
Stanford is the Pac-12 Conference favorite for two obvious reasons: The Cardinal will not have to make a road trip to Oregon this season; Stanford hosts the Ducks in this year’s schedule rotation. Second, Oregon is no longer coached by dynamic sideline sultan Chip Kelly. The Ducks will probably take a step backward for that very reason, opening the door for Stanford to go 13-0 on the football betting lines.