The confetti has only recently fallen for Alabama in the desert, but next year’s college football season is sure to offer plenty of intrigue. Alabama will be looking to repeat as champions, but there are plenty of challengers to the ultimate prize in college football.
Out west, Stanford has to be considered a contender to make the Playoff. The Cardinal barely missed out this year, and proved their worth by blowing out Iowa in the Rose Bowl 45-16. Heisman finalist Christian McCaffrey will once again be in the running for college football’s most prestigious award, and should be in for another outstanding season.
The Big Ten is also crowded with contenders, as some of the nation’s best coaches will always put their team in contention. Jim Harbaugh didn’t lead the Wolverines to greatness in his first season, but should compete with Mark Dantonio’s Spartans and Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes for seminal spots next year.
But according to Vegas, not much is slated to change at the top. Alabama is still the favorite next year, but only slightly over fellow semifinalists Clemson and Oklahoma.
Aforementioned Stanford checks in at 20-1, but still hold the best odds for any Pac-12 team. Behind them in-conference are UCLA (30-1) Oregon (40-1), and Washington (40-1). Michigan State, after losing to Alabama in the 2016 semifinal, has dropped to 15-1.
Alabama kicks off their title defense next season September 3rd, against USC at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.