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Texas Gaining on Oklahoma in 2019-20 CFP National Title Odds

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in College Football

Updated Jan 6, 2023 · 3:17 AM PST

Texas QB Sam Ehlinger clapping.
The hype around junior QB Sam Ehlinger was been a big part of why Texas' 2019 win total opened at a high 9.5. Photo by Twitter user @LonghornsWire.
  • The Texas Longhorns’ average National Championship odds have shortened to +2300
  • Texas is gaining ground on its Big 12 rival Oklahoma, whose average odds haven’t moved in well over a month
  • Are the Longhorns a good bet to win the 2020 National Championship?

Texas football is back folks! Or at least that’s what online sportsbooks want you to believe. The Longhorns are fresh off their first 10-win season in a decade, and are generating plenty of buzz both in the media and the college football futures market.

Odds to Win 2020 CFP National Championship

Team 2020 CFP National Championship Odds
Alabama Crimson Tide +205
Clemson Tigers +240
Georgia Bulldogs +700
Ohio State Buckeyes +850
Oklahoma Sooners +1400
Michigan Wolverines +1800
Texas Longhorns +2300
Florida Gators +2600
LSU Tigers +2600
Oregon Ducks +2600

*Odds taken on 06/19/19

Their average  National Championship odds have shortened to +2300 (from +2500 in May), and while bookmakers appear to be growing bullish on this Texas team, they haven’t touched the odds of the Big 12 favorite, Oklahoma, in well over a month.

Sam Ehlinger is the Catalyst for the Longhorns Hype

Texas finally has a bonafide stud at the quarterback position. Sam Ehlinger is fresh off a sophomore season that was statistically superior to anything Colt McCoy or Vince Young accomplished at that age, and most believe he’ll be even better in 2019.

Ehlinger accounted for 25 touchdowns through the air, and another 16 on the ground last season, while earning an 85.7 grade from Pro Football Focus and forcing the seventh-most missed tackles in forced rushing situations. His ceiling is the main reason why the Longhorns are closing the gap on the Sooners in the betting market, but the hype might be getting out of hand, especially if you ask a certain Oklahoma alum.

The fact is no matter how prolific Texas’ offense is in 2019, they’re going to have a very difficult time keeping other elite teams out of the endzone.

The Longhorns Defense Will be Their Downfall

Texas will be breaking in eight new defensive starters this season, including an entirely new defensive line from a season ago. Growing pains will be inevitable, especially early on, and one slip up could derail any shot they might have at reaching the College Football Playoff.

Two months ago, ESPN’s Playoff Predictor gave the Longhorns less than a 1-percent chance to make the Playoff, while assigning the Sooners a 35-percent chance to return for a third consecutive season. Oklahoma is rated higher in the early season polls, and has the firepower to pick apart the Texas defense at every level.

Oklahoma is the Big 12 Team to Back

If you feel the need to back a Big 12 team to win the National Championship, sticking with a proven commodity like the Sooners makes the most sense.

The Longhorns may be a team on the rise, but they’ll likely be more dangerous in 2020 assuming Ehlinger returns for his senior year and all the newcomers have a full season to mature. Personally, I don’t believe any Big 12 team can hang with Clemson or Alabama, and the projection systems seem to agree.

Both the Tigers and Crimson Tide rate top-four in future QB, offense, and defense rankings, while Texas is outside the top-five in all three categories and Oklahoma’s defense isn’t even ranked.

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