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Washington Huskies Are Back as National Championship Contenders

SBD Staff Writer

by SBD Staff Writer in College Football

Sep 13, 2018 · 10:00 AM PDT

Washington Huskies
Washington's National Title Odds have mostly recovered since their loss to Auburn. Photo by NGader (Flickr).
  • Is Washington a National Championship contender?
  • Can the Huskies make the College Football Playoff?
  • Can anyone compete with Alabama?

Washington fell out of National Championship contention with a 21-16 loss to Auburn out of the gate and it set their average odds across a number of top online sportsbooks back to +3500. But, storming back with a commanding 45-3 win over North Dakota put the Huskies right back in the hunt with their average odds going back up to +1700 while sliding into the number ten slot in the AP Top 25 polls.

2019 College Football Playoff Average Odds

I’m not too confident that Washington has what it takes to win a national championship due to Alabama’s dominance, not to mention Clemson, Georgia or Ohio State standing in the way. But, maybe squeaking in that fourth playoff seed ahead of a team like Wisconsin or Auburn by season’s end is possible.

Washington climbed back up the AP Top 25 to tenth, but their average odds of +1700 places them at seventh, tied with Oklahoma. Alabama leads the way by a good margin at +170, while Clemson hangs around at +420 and Ohio State and Georgia both stand at +610.

The top four have a good gap on the rest of the class, as #5 odds leader Wisconsin sits at +1500 before Auburn at +1600 and Washington and Oklahoma hone in at +1700. Notre Dame and Stanford close out the top ten at +2100 and +4600 respectively.

2019 College Football Playoff Top 10 Contenders

Team [ Odds to Win 2019 College Football Playoff
Alabama +200
Clemson +450
Ohio State +700
Georgia +700
Wisconsin +1200
Auburn +1200
Notre-Dame +1400
Oklahoma +1600
Washington +2500
Penn State +2500

The odds above from one prominent online sportsbooks see Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide resting comfortably on the throne two weeks into the season. Their 2018 National Championship opponents, the Georgia Bulldogs, are tied for third with Ohio State at +700, while Clemson are listed in second at +450. As both teams look unstoppable in 2018, we could see a fourth edition of the annual Clemson/Alabama playoff game.

Wisconsin has a chance on the back of Jonathan Taylor, who is coming off a 253 yard, three touchdown performance against New Mexico.

Outside of the elite four, Auburn and Wisconsin provide solid value at +1200. Auburn face LSU this week and a win would buff their already impressive Playoff resume. Wisconsin has a chance on the back of Jonathan Taylor, who is coming off a 253 yard, three touchdown performance against New Mexico. Notre Dame could make it on the heels of their defense and if Brandon Wimbush can get rolling at quarterback.

Kyler Murray is definitely rolling at QB for Oklahoma. The Sooner’s signal caller has already accounted for seven touchdowns in two games after throwing for three and running for a pair against UCLA. A Heisman trophy and National Championship is certainly on his mind, so don’t count them out too soon.

Washington provides great value but does have an upset alert incoming as they prepare to face-off versus Utah this week. Both teams have a stout defense and an impressive offense, especially in the red zone. Utes QB Tyler Huntley is a red-zone beast, scoring 18 RZ scores since last season, so Huskies star safety Taylor Rapp will have to keep a close eye on him.

If Washington’s offensive line doesn’t hold it’s own, Huskies pivot Jake Browning could have a tough day inside the 20-yard line. Keep an eye on this game, because depending on how Washington performs against an unranked Utah team could indicate whether they are contenders or pretenders.

Penn State is a bit of a longshot at +2500 as well, but stranger things have happened. QB Trace McSorley is an undersized competitor, but compete he does. The senior has six total touchdowns and hasn’t turned the ball over once in their two victories with a combined 96 points scored (albeit versus Appalachian State and Pittsburgh).

If McSorley can continue against top competition and the defense can hold down the fort, Penn State may just be there when it’s all said and done.

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