Wilson: The College Football National Title Future I Already Bet for 2021, Plus 2 More I’m Eyeing
Kevin C. Cox-Getty Images. Pictured: Jimbo Fisher
College football changes quickly and moves fast. LSU is the new national champions at the expense of Clemson’s 29-game winning streak, but both its quarterback and passing game coordinator are gone, just like that.
With LSU smashing the closing line, as it’s done all year, oddsmakers should be happy to close the book on the Tigers dramatic ascension and near perfect season from a transfer quarterback.
The losses of passing game coordinator Joe Brady to the NFL and quarterback Joe Burrow for LSU come at a time when the SEC West is experiencing change at most programs. Alabama may rely on true freshman quarterback Bryce Young in an opener against USC, while Mississippi State will undergo a dramatic offensive philosophy shift with Mike Leach.
One team in the SEC West has avoided turnover in coaching staff while taking minimal losses to the NFL Draft. That team has finished in the top six over the past two recruiting cycles, and never lower than 17th in the past four years.
The correlation between blue-chip recruits and winning national titles is fact and not theory, as this team looks to break into the upper-echelon of college football.
This article will focus on an early pick for the 2021 national title that may be off the radar.
Other programs just missed the cut, but may be a transfer portal quarterback or offensive coordinator away from investment.
Bet 2021 college football national title futures now at FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Texas A&M Schedule 2020
Texas A&M 2021 Future, 66/1
Both DraftKings and the Westgate SuperBook were hot on the draw with 2021 national champion odds during the LSU-Clemson title game.
The two books had disagreements in several areas, but most notably with the Aggies.
A Texas A&M opener of 30/1 at Westgate in Las Vegas has been knocked down to 25/1. DraftKings has national title odds for the Aggies at 50/1 after opening at 66/1, with SEC title odds at 40/1.
Other than a stellar recruiting profile, Texas A&M will receive small power rating bumps for second-order win total, net turnover adjustment and returning production. There are early NFL Draft defections such as wideout Quartney Davis, but the returning targets have more than enough experience to keep this a potent unit.
The offensive line stays mostly intact with senior center Colton Prater graduating. There were plenty of other players to get game action on the offensive line, while the latest recruiting class brings in the No. 5 overall offensive guard in the nation. Prater had the highest run disruption rate in the unit, which may lead to better run efficiency for running back Isaiah Spiller next season.
The defense returns almost every player to a team that was top 25 in havoc, defensive passing success rate and stuff rate. The biggest need for improvement from a statistical perspective is explosiveness. Kellen Mond led a unit that ranked just 65th in plays over 20 yards from scrimmage.
Mond is expected to be challenged by Zach Calzada, a recruit that turned down Georgia in the aftermath of the Justin Fields transfer. Calzada’s arm talent has plenty of Texas A&M fans optimistic.
Texas A&M could not have asked for a better schedule in 2020 after a few years of brutal slates. Arkansas is supposed to be a road game, but because of the neutral site agreement, Arlington will play host once again.
Georgia and Clemson roll off the schedule for Vanderbilt and Colorado. There’s a decent chance Texas A&M heads into the Nov. 21 Alabama game undefeated or with just a loss to Auburn.
At 30/1 there is little room for hedge in games to close the season with the Crimson Tide and LSU. At 66/1 there is plenty of space to let the ticket ride until just before Thanksgiving.
Other Teams Missing The Cut
Oregon was high on my list from a futures perspective. The Ducks have dominated recruiting in the Pac-12. Mario Cristobal’s team was the first to have odds moved at the Westgate during the national title from a 30/1 opener to 25/1. FanDuel has seen action on the Ducks also, as an opener of 80/1 is down to 60/1.
Oregon returns plenty of talent to dominate a conference schedule, but season opening games against North Dakota State and Ohio State may get a Week 3 national title future back over 80/1. Clemson, Ohio State and the SEC champion are expected to fill the College Football Playoff spots as the Ducks will be the Pac-12’s best chance to reach the semifinals.
One team I will be looking to fade in futures markets is Notre Dame. New offensive coordinator Tom Rees will have his hands full as one of the youngest signal callers in college football.
The Irish have one of the more insane schedules in 2020. Notre Dame starts in Ireland with Navy, travels to Lambeau Field for Wisconsin and hosts Clemson on Nov. 7.
In all, the Irish will face eight bowl teams from this past season. Notre Dame will also have to deal with regression after plenty of fumble luck in the 2019 season.