After a tumultuous 2020 season, teams, fans, virtually everyone is looking to return to a sense of normalcy. In a season where Alabama looked country miles ahead of everyone else in the field, some bright stories took the season by surprise. Is Alabama going to be good again? Yes. Do they have a challenger? You bet. Is the season going to have surprises? It sure will. Here is an early betting preview of the upcoming college football season.
National Title Contender: Texas A&M Aggies
Does anyone else get sick of talking about Alabama? For a change, here is a completely legitimate team to dethrone Alabama once and for all. Whether you like him or not, Jimbo Fisher is a fantastic football coach. After just missing the playoffs last year, he came out swinging, ready for a year of domination. Not only should Alabama fear Fisher and the Aggies, but every team should also be. They have defensive weapons returning for one last chance at greatness. The SEC has produced champions and this year will be no different, just not Alabama.
Surprise Team: Wisconsin Badgers
Why is it that the Big 10 offers so much yet seems to deliver so little (besides a possible NFL starter Justin Fields)? The 2020 Badgers looked like they had it all, a pro-looking quarterback, stellar coaching, and a manageable schedule. Well, then this thing we call COVID-19 hit. They still managed to rout Illinois and Michigan before falling off the cliff.
A quick scroll through their schedule yields nothing but winnable games at Camp Randall and manageable road games. The Badgers have been good in the past but have not made that jump. This surprise team may surprise everyone and launch themselves into the CFB Playoffs after just a 4-3 finish in 2020.
National Title Contender: Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma is just a scary offensive team. They are returning QB Spencer Rattler who lit it up last year, a stellar receiving core, and perhaps the Big 12’s best running back core led by Kennedy Brooks who opted out of 2020. This is not the same team as the previous playoff teams, they are better! This offensive juggernaut of a team is simply not going to get outscored. They currently have an 8-game winning streak from last season and no reason to slow down. A bet on the Sooners to win it all is a bet worth making this year.
Surprise Team: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
To call them a surprise team is maybe a stretch but after their 2020 season, who can say if they are legit or not. It is always a fun story to see David beat Goliath, even when David has a fighting chicken as their mascot.
Regardless, if you tuned into a Chanticleer game in 2020, you got a show for the ages. Everyone seems to be backing the teal for 2021 with 20 of 22 starters returning. Coastal will get a Kansas on September 10th, a team with a new head coach, and some fire in the Big 12. A win could build onto an already confident football team. Dare I say CFB Playoff bound?
Conclusion: College Football Is Back
Last season saw so many ups and downs that many lost touch. Many are hopeful that this season can bring us back to a sense of normal and barring any major shifts in the pandemic, we may be on track. Fans are ready, organizations are ready and you can bet players are ready for a smooth, yet exhilarating college football season.