You say the corpse of the 2019 college football season isn’t even cold yet, and we’re already looking ahead to 2020 when it comes to title odds? We say of course we are. Because that’s how we roll. Or something.
Monday night, in New Orleans appropriately enough, LSU landed its magic carpet ride of a 2019 season in seemingly the only way possible, overwhelming Clemson with waves of offensive talent to claim the College Football Playoff championship. The video game that was Joe Burrow, wobbly early on, righted itself in the romp, with the Heisman Trophy winner setting the single-season record for touchdown passes en route to the ever-elusive ring.
The reality that will set in a day or two from now? Burrow has played his last down in a Tigers uniform, with the senior expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Burrow’s counterpart on the night, Trevor Lawrence, will return to Clemson for one more season before he’s expected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
As such, the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has installed Clemson as a way-too-early 9/4 favorite to win the 2020 national championship. LSU, meanwhile, sits at 8/1.
A year ago at this time? Clemson, the reigning national champions, was at 7/2, behind Alabama at 3/2. And LSU? They were at 50/1 on Jan. 8, 2019.
This year, between Clemson and LSU, Ohio State comes in at an initial 3/1 and Alabama, which will be replacing Tua Tagovailoa, at 6/1. Georgia’s odds are at 8/1 as well.
Of those five teams, just two — Clemson (Lawrence) and Ohio State (Justin Fields) — will return their starting quarterback.
At 14/1, Florida is the only other team in that neighborhood. Six others start off at 30/1 — Auburn, Oklahoma, Oregon, Notre Dame, Penn State and Texas A&M.
And as for the Group of Five? At 1,000/1, Houston has the highest odds.