2014 BCS Probables

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

College Football Betting: Favorites to Win the 2014 BCS Championship

Alabama Crimson Tide: The bar has certainly been set high, but it’s hard to scoff at the chances of the Crimson Tide, following consecutive BCS Championship wins. They still have a lot going for them, including the return of 2-time champion QB AJ McCarron. Running back TJ Yeldon is back, coming off a 1000-yard season, even though leading rusher Eddie Lacy is gone.

A lot of key players left, but it’s difficult to question Saban’s ability to reload. It couldn’t have been that hard to convince top recruits to come to Alabama. Sure, their ability to maintain the fever pitch is an assumption, but Alabama clearly deserves their status as the favorite heading into the season. Their offense should be explosive and if a few youngsters can step in on “D,” Alabama should be just fine. Remember, Alabama doesn’t have to go undefeated to get there.

Ohio State Buckeyes: After finishing 12-0 in 2012, Ohio State is now eligible. Expectations are sky-high. Proven winner head coach Urban Meyer is back for his second year, which is a good sign. QB Braxton Miller should continue to develop. A fantastic runner, if Miller can just slightly elevate his passing acumen, this offense should be tough. He is a creator at QB and has weapons. A lot of the Buckeyes season depends on his continued development, with the whole offense going through their quarterback.

Defense is an issue, with Ohio State losing 6 of it’s front 7, and 8 of their top 12 tacklers from last season. At the same time, Ohio State’s schedule is not terribly tough and incoming defenders should have a chance to cut their teeth and blossom before the real important games later in the season. They should be tough.

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Texas A&M Aggies: Another team with super-high expectations. Some of the optimism is well-channeled, but that defense is a major concern. We’re not talking about having a good season here, we’re talking BCS Championship. And whether the Aggies can get there with this “D” is iffy. Still the new kids on the block in the SEC, are they too young?

Johnny Manziel is a tremendous player and is one guy who just might be able to live up to the hype. Watching how the defending Heisman winner handles himself, still as an underclassman, will be interesting. A lot will be falling directly onto the shoulders of Johnny Football. They are returning fewer starters than any team in the SEC. While they certainly have good recruits waiting in the wings, will they be able to reload as well and seamlessly as Alabama? Probably not.

Oregon Ducks: First the bad: innovative and ultra-successful head coach Chip Kelly is out and off to the NFL. New head coach is Kelly’s OC–Mark Halfrich. With such an offensively-oriented team, bringing in an offensively-geared coach, the focus naturally shifts to the “D.” Helfrich is being asked to do a lot here for a guy who has never been a head coach before. Who knows?

Actually, the Oregon defense has a tendency to be a bit underrated. Again, this is the BCS and to get there and win, a defense has to be exemplary. It’s hard to outscore everybody without fail. Then again, they have come close to doing that before and all it would take is one step forward for them to be right in there contending for a spot in the BCS, where their offense could conceivably be enough. If QB Marcus Mariotta and RB DeAnthony Thomas have great seasons, which they should, you can’t sleep on the Ducks.

Georgia Bulldogs: While not a frontrunner, Georgia didn’t come that far from getting to the big game in 2012, narrowly losing to eventual-champion Alabama in a game for all the marbles last season. QB Aaron Murray returned for this exact reason–to have a chance to do something special. A lot of pieces are in place for Murray and the Bulldogs to do some serious damage this season.

They’re still going to have to beat some super-tough teams to get there, but this year, they get South Carolina and LSU at home. They have a tough season-opener at Clemson and a road game later at Florida, so there are some potential roadblocks. At the same time, if looking for a futures bet with some upside and good odds, Georgia is not a bad stab in the area of 15-1.

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2017/2018 College Football Predictions – Odds for each team to win the college football playoff along with predictions of teams that have a legit shot of winning it all, including a longshot pick.

2017 Heisman Trophy Odds – Picks to Win – College football pundits are expecting either Sam Darnold or Baker Mayfield to win the Heisman this year. Loot takes a look at these and other names that offer tremendous wagering value.

Misc.

College Football Conferences – List of all NCAA football conferences including the teams that make up each conference.

Heisman Trophy Winners – A complete list of Heisman Trophy winners (college football’s best player award) in chronological order, dating back to 1935.

Famous College Football Coaches – Behind every great team is an even better coach. Check out Loot’s picks for the greatest of all-time.

Other Cool Sites

Bettorsworld College Football Picks – These guys have been online since the late 90’s and for good reason… They pick winners against the spread! Highly recommended!