College football prowess is based on recruiting. Top 10 recruiting classes, to be exact.
Since 1996, there’s only been one team to win a national championship without having at least 2 Top 10 recruiting classes in the 4 years leading up to their national championship. That was Bob Stoops’ 2000 Oklahoma team, who had 3 Top 25 classes, but no Top 10 classes.
There are only 13 teams that, according to recent history, can win the 2016 National Championship. There’s been a ton of articles about this fact. If you’re looking for futures bets, this is the way to look into it. If you want to bet on the other 12 teams listed, that’s on you. But you’ll be betting on something that’s only happened one time in 20 years. That’s it…
According to Sportsbook.ag, this is the odds for this year’s national championship. The teams in green are the ones that match our criteria.
Oklahoma State 60/1
Now, to break this down, there are 7 from the SEC, 2 from the ACC, 2 from the Big 10, 1 Pac 12 and 1 independent. Let’s break these down by strength of schedule. One way to look at this is picking the teams with the easiest road. The other way to look is to see who has the most difficult schedule, because they can afford a loss somewhere early in the season, like Alabama last year and Ohio St the year before that.
Now, let’s look at who all plays each other.
|5-Sep||Ole Miss (neutral site)|
|29-Oct||at Florida St|
|3-Sep||USC (neutral site)|
|17-Sep||at Ole Miss|
|5-Sep||Florida St (neutral site)|
|3-Sep||Alabama (neutral site)|
|24-Sep||at Ole Miss|
|29-Oct||Florida (neutral site)|
|26-Nov||at Ohio St|
|29-Oct||at Ole Miss|
|26-Nov||at Florida St|
That’s a lot of games between the 13 teams with the best chance to win the national title. As we go through the season, you’ll want to keep an eye on the teams’ odds that may jump up. After Alabama’s loss to Ole Miss last season, I took a futures bet on Alabama to win the national championship at +2200, when they were only +300 the week before.
We’ll dive into each team more at some point next week.