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Texas National Championship Odds Still Short Despite Early Struggles

Alex Kilpatrick

by Alex Kilpatrick in College Football

Sep 11, 2018 · 2:43 PM PDT

Texas Notre Dame
Texas started its last season under Charlie Strong by beating Notre Dame. A lot has changed since then! Photo by Stephanie Serrano (Released)
  • Texas has lost the first game of the season to Maryland. Again
  • The Longhorn’s national championship odds are a lot shorter than you might expect
  • It’s not because they beat Tulsa so soundly!

How are Texas’ national championship odds reacting to their slow start in year two under Tom Herman? About as reasonably as Texas fans themselves! That’s not a coincidence!

Texas National Championship Average Odds

2018 National Championship Odds

School National Title Odds
Alabama +140
Auburn +1600
Texas +2500
Mississippi State +6500
Stanford +4800
Texas A&M +8000

These odds as of 9/11/2018. Check out these Maryland sports betting apps:

Let’s dig into why Texas’ odds might seem a little strange.

2018 Texas Schedule and Results

Here’s Texas’ first four games, with the results for the two games they’ve played and the date for the games they haven’t played.

Opponent Result
at Maryland L 34-29
vs Tulsa W 28-21
vs USC TBD September 9th
vs TCU TBD September 22nd

Texas started the season by seeking revenge against Maryland, against whom they suffered an embarrassing loss last year. The game started with a touching/slightly uncomfortable moment, in which Maryland took the field with ten men to honour Jordan McNair, who died after suffering heat exhaustion in training.

I say it’s weird because Jordan McNair’s death was at least partially the result of Maryland’s coaching culture and institutional disregard for safety. Anyway, it was nice of Texas to decline the penalty. It was maybe too nice for Texas to lose the game. Again. Another inauspicious start to Tom Herman’s forthcoming DYNASTY at Texas.

Texas bounced back in their home opener by… beating Tulsa 28-21. It was an absolute skin-of-the-teeth win, and one that does not look at all promising for the Longhorns. Texas was 22.5 point favorites entering that game, and was lucky to escape with a win.

Texas National Championship Odds, Compared

Texas’s average national title odds are shorter than Stanford, Mississippi State, West Virginia, and Texas A&M. Here’s what those teams have done to deserve longer odds than Texas:

  • Stanford beat San Diego State and USC
  • Mississippi State blew out Stephen F Austin and beat Kansas State handily
  • West Virginia blew out Youngstown State and Tennessee
  • Texas A&M blew out Northwestern State and very nearly/should have beat Clemson

Notice that none of these teams have lost to Maryland. In fact the only loss here is a narrow loss to Clemson that came down to a probably blown call. Stretching Clemson to their fullest is probably the textbook definition of a “quality loss,” and one the Playoff Committee will regard favorably.

Those are all much better results than anything Texas has achieved so far. It’s not like Texas has an easy run from here: Oklahoma, USC, and TCU will all be tough games, as will West Virginia and Iowa State. Texas has not yet recorded a win over a Power 5 team, and it very well might be mid-October before they do so.

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