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2018 College Football Playoff & Heisman Odds

Alex Kilpatrick

by Alex Kilpatrick in College Football

Updated Jan 17, 2018 · 9:38 AM PST

Aubie the Auburn Tiger
Auburn's National Championship odds improved significantly after a crucial neutral-site win over Oregon. Photo by J. Glover (CC License).

College football is over, and Alabama won it all. It just goes to show: strong recruiting, a sound defense, and a good running game are what wins championships. That, and a five-star QB to come off the bench and save the day.

What does not win championships? Excellent kicking games. You deserved better, Rodrigo Blankenship.

With the first overtime title game in CFP history in the books, we’ve set odds on next season, in case you want to start arguing about this right away.

Odds to win 2018 College Football Playoff

  • Alabama: 6/1
  • Georgia: 7/1
  • Ohio State: 8/1
  • Michigan: 10/1
  • Clemson: 12/1
  • Penn State: 15/1
  • USC: 18/1
  • Auburn: 18/1
  • Notre Dame: 18/1
  • Wisconsin: 20/1
  • Miami: 20/1
  • Washington: 25/1
  • LSU: 30/1
  • Texas: 30/1
  • Oklahoma: 30/1
  • Mississippi State: 35/1
  • South Florida: 35/1
  • UCF: 35/1


While Alabama and Georgia are obvious favorites, having fielded incredible teams and recruited better than almost anyone, there might be some surprises further down here. Michigan is set up beautifully for 2018, with a ton of returning starters, an enormously talented transfer QB, and a schedule that’s ripe for building a Playoff resume. They play Notre Dame in Week 1, and I must sadly report that Notre Dame will have a good football team in 2018.

Odds to win 2018 Heisman Trophy

  • Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia: 10/1
  • Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State: 14/1
  • Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin: 14/1
  • D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia: 14/1
  • Bryce Love, RB, Stanford: 15/1
  • Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan: 16/1
  • Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn: 20/1
  • Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona: 20/1
  • Jalen Hurts, QB, Alabama: 22/1
  • Kelly Bryant, QB, Clemson: 25/1
  • Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas: 25/1
  • Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State: 30/1
  • Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon: 30/1
  • Deondre Francois, QB, Florida State: 30/1
  • Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma: 35/1
  • Ed Oliver, DT, Houston: 35/1
  • Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State: 35/1
  • Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State: 35/1
  • Jake Browning, QB, Washington: 35/1
  • McKenzie Milton, QB, UCF: 35/1
  • Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama: 50/1


Alright, so we’ll filter for QB’s and running backs (nobody else ever really wins), and we’ll also filter for Power 5 schools. As much as I want Ed Oliver to win every award available to him, it’s just not likely. Fade west coast players like Bryce Love, Justin Herbert, and Jake Browning, because they just do not get the hype you need to win the statue.

Jalen Hurts would have been the favorite about 18 hours ago. But after getting benched for Tua Tagovailoa and watching the true freshman lead Bama to the title, you have to wonder who starts for the Tide in Week 1 next year. That said, don’t write him off just yet; he’s been consistently good and occasionally fantastic at the most-watched program in the country.

Bobby Bowden, Heisman Relaxer
Bobby Bowden with Charlie Ward’s Heisman. Photo: Mark Foley (Public Domain)

Odds that the Heisman Trophy Winner is a …

  • Quarterback: 1/1
  • Running back:  3/2
  • Defensive player: 12/1
  • Any kind of lineman: 15/1
  • Power 5 player: 1/4
  • Group of 5 player: 4/1

Odds the SEC is won by Nick Saban or a former Nick Saban Assistant: 7/13

Four SEC teams are coached by former Nick Saban assistants: Texas A&M (Jimbo Fisher), Tennessee (Jeremy Pruitt), Georgia (Kirby Smart), and South Carolina (Will Muschamp). Two of those teams (guess which) are overwhelming favorites to win the conference next year.

Odds the 2018 College Football Playoff is won by Nick Saban or a former Nick Saban assistant: 4/1

Add to the above list Michigan State (Mark Dantonio) and Florida Atlantic (Lane Kiffin) and you’ve got pretty good odds that the CFP champion is either going to come from this tree or its root.

Odds there’s another contested national title: 7/3

Why not? UCF has gotten a lot of attention by whooping Auburn and calling themselves national champions, and attention is what programs outside the circle of blue bloods live and die by. Why not go to Disney World?

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