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Texas’ CFP National Championship Odds Continue to Fade

Texas Longhorns
The Texas Longhorns have less than a 1% chance of making the College Football Playoff according to ESPN's playoff predictor. Photo by Johntex [CC License].
  • The Texas Longhorns’ average National Championship Odds have plummeted to +2600
  • Texas is returning just eight starters and is ranked outside the Top-25 according to ESPN’s Football Power Index
  • Is there any value betting Texas to win the National Title?

The Texas Longhorns will enter the upcoming College Football season with lofty expectations, but is it time to temper the excitement? They’re fresh off their first 10 win season since 2009, and even though head coach Tom Herman believes his team is a National Championship contender, the online sportsbooks seem to disagree.

Odds to Win 2020 CFP National Championship

Team Odds at BetOnline
Clemson Tigers +175
Alabama Crimson Tide +225
Georgia Bulldogs +700
Ohio State Buckeyes +900
Oklahoma Sooners +1200
Michigan Wolverines +1600
Texas Longhorns +2500
Florida Gators +3300
LSU Tigers +3300
Notre Dame Fighting Irish +3300

*Odds taken on 04/18/19

The Longhorns’ average CFP National Championship odds have been lengthened to +2600, after opening at +2100 three months ago. Texas has yet to make the College Football Playoff since it was introduced in 2014, and they haven’t won a conference championship this decade.

Reasons for Optimism

The main reason to be optimistic about the Longhorns next season is their stability at the quarterback position. For the first time since Colt McCoy departed after the 2009 season, Texas has a bonafide star under center.

Sam Ehlinger was outstanding in 2018, accounting for 41 touchdowns while leading the Longhorns to a Sugar Bowl ring. He’s just the sixth Power 5 QB to throw for 25 TD and run for another 15, joining Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota and Lamar Jackson. As good as Ehlinger was last season, he has the chance to be even better in 2019 thanks to the number three recruiting class in the nation, led by 5-star wide receiver Bru McCoy.

McCoy is already garnering rave reviews in spring practice, and could be the explosive threat that takes Ehlinger and the Longhorns offense to the next level.

Big Shoes to Fill

While the offense appears to be in good shape, the defense has glaring holes thanks to the departure of several key starters. Gone from last season’s Sugar Bowl winning roster is the entire starting defensive line, two starting linebackers, both starting corners and a starting nickelback.

Gone from last season’s Sugar Bowl winning roster is the entire starting defensive line, two starting linebackers, both starting corners and a starting nickelback.

Their dynamite recruiting class will cover up some of those holes, but the drop off is expected to be significant, which is why most projection systems view Texas as overvalued in the betting market. ESPN’s playoff predictor gives the Longhorns less than a 1% chance of making the College Football Playoff, and their Football Power Index has them ranked outside the Top-25. Bill Connelly’s S&P ratings are even lower on Texas, ranking them 35th overall.

Leave the Longhorns Alone

With only eight returning starters, it would make more sense to delay betting the Longhorns to win the National Championship until 2021, if Ehlinger returns for his senior season. This team is too inexperienced to be considered a serious contender for the upcoming season, but if you’re looking for value consider LSU at +3300.

They’re ranked fourth by ESPN’s FPI, they have a solid starting QB in Joe Burrow and their defensive line is deeper than it’s been in years.

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