A new playoff format will replace the BCS single-game title game – what should us college football bettors look out for in the last season of the controversial system?
Over the years there has been continuous chatter about the
pros and cons of the BCS and what possible changes could be made to improve the
college football product.
Finally, a change has been made. Out goes one BCS title game
and in its place comes a pair of semi-final games, with the winners moving on
to the Playoff Championship Game 11 days later. The two semis will be held at
the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl in Pasadena and New Orleans respectively.
Though still not a perfect model by any means, a four-team
playoff should be a much more enjoyable option for the typical college football
fan. More games can only be a good thing, especially with so much on the line.
Let our 60% Rule help you predict this year's BCS Championship winner.
An Alabama Three-Peat?
This upcoming season's BCS National Championship Game will
take place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, which should be a nice
sendoff to the old format.
If recent history is anything to go by, we'll likely be
seeing the Crimson Tide take part in the festivities. They're the top overall
favorites in the college football odds at +325.
Nick Saban's team has now won the title game in two straight
years and in three of the past four seasons. In the 2009 season, Alabama topped
Texas 37-21, in 2011 they shut out LSU 21-20, and last season they thumped
Notre Dame 42-14.
Don't expect any kind of dropoff this season. Starting QB AJ
McCarron is back, as is running back T.J. Yeldown and wideouts like Amari
Cooper and Christion Jones. Plus, you always know the Crimson Tide are going to
be one of the most athletic and effective defenses in the country year in and
year out under Saban's watch.
We have seen an SEC team in the BCS National Championship
game for seven straight years now. Other than Alabama's three appearances,
Florida (twice), Auburn, and LSU have made it to the title game.
There's little reason to expect anything to change going
forward. Top high school recruits from around the country are enamored with the
SEC and are going to make those schools their top priorities. Given how
competitive the conference is, NFL teams continue to select SEC players at an
alarming rate in each and every draft.
With the likes of Alabama, Texas A&M (+700), LSU
(+1650), Georgia (+2000), Florida (+2700), and South Carolina (+3400) all
expected to be powerhouses again in 2013, there's an excellent chance we'll be
seeing another SEC representative come January, and bettors would be smart to look at this conference when making their college football picks.
One team on everybody's list is Ohio State (+650), who went
undefeated in their first season under Urban Meyer. With more time to get
comfortable with his system, expect only bigger and better things from the
Buckeyes, who are also eligible to once again compete in a bowl. Will it be the
BCS National Championship?
Some other schools to keep a close eye out for include
Oregon, Louisville, and Stanford.
The Oregon Ducks (+775) lost Chip Kelly to the NFL, but Marcus
Mariota is a special quarterback and their offense shouldn't skip a beat with
former offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich taking over the head coaching
Louisville (+2300) has a Heisman Trophy candidate in Teddy
Bridgewater, who torched the Big East last season. The schedule seems pretty
easy, so the Cardinals have an excellent shot at making noise in the BCS.
Finally there's Stanford (+1600), which should compete with
the best because of their highly regarded offensive line. Immensely talented QB
Kevin Hogan should only get better and better with more experience as well.