After 234 long and arduous days, the 2013 season is finally, mercifully upon us, with the likes of North Carolina-South Carolina and Ole Miss-Vanderbilt opening the year in a matter of hours. That, though, won’t stop us from taking a peek on down the 2013 road.
According to RJ Bell of Pregame.com, there are just five teams at the FBS level who are currently favored in every game this season: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Oregon, No. 5 Georgia and No. 9 Louisville.
Right now, the four Top 25 opponents on the Bulldogs’ schedule — No. 8 Clemson this weekend, No. 6 South Carolina, No. 12 LSU and No. 10 Florida — are tops among the five schools. The Buckeyes (No. 23 Wisconsin, No. 22 Northwestern and No. 17 Michigan) and the Ducks (No. 21 UCLA, No. 4 Stanford and No. 25 Oregon State) are right behind with three each, while two-time defending BCS champion Tide have just two (No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 12 LSU).
Louisville, on the other hand, has exactly zero ranked teams currently on its schedule. In fact, the “highest-ranked” team the Cardinals are scheduled to play is Cincinnati, which came in as the team with the 14th-most points in the Associated Press’ “others receiving votes” category. That would ostensibly make the Bearcats the No. 39 team in the country.
While those five are favored in every game, they’re not the prohibitive favorites in all them.
Georgia is just a 1.5-point favorite against Clemson Saturday, while the Tide is a seven-point favorite versus Texas A&M. In between, the oddsmakers have Oregon as a four-point favorite against the team responsible for the Ducks’ lone 2012 loss, Stanford, while Ohio State is favored by 3.5 points over Michigan. Louisville’s closest game is as a 2.5-point favorite over Cincinnati.
Not so surprisingly, all of those games for the five favorites are on the road.
(Tip O’ the Cap: the imitable Ralph Russo)