Whether or not the Alabama Roll Tide wins the CFP title – though they are the online wagering favorites to do so – it is almost certain that they will win at least as many games as the most winning school; that’s The Crimson Permanent Assurance. One of their customary 1-2 losses per season might come early, though, as they face another strong favorite.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Win total: 10½
Head coach Nick Saban is an overachiever who has only failed to break the 10-win in the first of his 10 seasons and counting in UA, so this total almost seems like an insult. Alabama had back-to-back 14-win seasons in 2015 and 2016, and while they lost the big one to Clemson that means they went undefeated in the regular season – obviously in both non-conference and SEC play. The Tide’s offense is pretty much intact from last season, and putting together a new defense is like a wet dream to the straw-behatted Saban.
Florida State Seminoles
The Seminoles will open their non-conference schedule against Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game – which almost seems like putting the cart in front of the horse, as this matchup has College Football Playoff written all over it, and in fact, no other team seems to have more potential to defeat the Tide than FSU. Unlike UA, though, the Seminoles’ projected online wagering win total is more in line with what they have accomplished recently, but it might be a bit on the conservative side as well. Especially considering that Jimbo Fisher better shoot for at least 14 wins if he wants another National Championship like in the year of our lord 2014.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Urban Meyer has absolutely no idea what it’s like to win fewer than 11 games as OSU head coach. In fact, they should call him Pope Urban XI. Other than a somewhat unexpected defeat to Penn State, the Buckeyes’ only other loss was an expected one to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl/CFP Semifinal. Ohio State will have a chance to exact revenge on the Nittany Lions as well as participate in another edition of The Game with the Michigan Wolverines. Additionally, OSU and Illinois will rekindle their rivalry.
And speaking of the Wolverines, Michigan University seems poised to do neither worse nor better than in the previous two seasons – in which they went 10-3. It could be more, though, if only the Wolverines don’t run out of steam towards the end of the season as they did in 2016.
Early online wagering Heisman trophy candidate Sam Darnold led the Trojans to a nine-game winning streak last year following a 1-3 start, including a Rose Bowl win over Penn State. Expectations are high for the upcoming regular season, in particular with a schedule that can be considered to be on the soft side. It would take a real sophomore slump on the part of the sophomore Darnold for USC to regress to fewer than 10 wins per season like in 2014 and 2015.