If you open your window, you can probably still hear the celebration going on in New Orleans, as well as throughout the entire state of Louisiana, after LSU’s 42-25 win over Clemson in the national championship game on Monday. Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow brought home the title for his school; now that he is headed off to the NFL draft, it will be interesting to see how LSU contends in the SEC West — and the national rankings — next season, as you can be sure that Alabama will be loaded once again, and the gauntlet of such teams as Auburn, Mississippi State and even Texas A&M will be tough for the Tigers to negotiate. The sports betting industry has already released early odds for next year’s national championship, so you can take a look at where your team stands and see if it’s worth a wager. We have the odds to win the 2021 National Championship as well as some thoughts about a few of the top teams.
Early 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Odds
- Clemson +200
- Alabama +400
- LSU +450
- Ohio State +700
- Georgia +1000
- Florida +1500
- Auburn, Oklahoma +2200
- Texas +2500
Obviously, with some time left before the deadline when underclassmen have to decide about entering the NFL draft, these numbers could shift significantly. Clemson could lose top wide receiver Tee Higgins and tailback Travis Etienne. Junior A.J. Terrell could join seniors K’Von Wallace and Tanner Muse in leaving, putting three holes in the starting secondary. Isaiah Simmons played a huge game on Monday and is likely to head to the pro ranks as a result of that performance. The toughest game on Clemson’s 2020 schedule is a game at Notre Dame on November 7; other than that, Clemson should run the table in the ACC. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence has already said that he plans to return, so the Tigers have a viable path back to the semifinals.
Ohio State may be a little underrated in this list. They do lose a lot of talent. Tailback J.K. Dobbins will head to the NFL after setting a school record with 2,003 rushing yards. K.J. Hill and Binjimen Victor will also enter the draft, leaving three big question marks on offense. However, quarterback Justin Fields will return, making the Buckeyes an early favorite in the Big 12. On defense, linebacker Chase Young is penciled in as the #2 pick overall in the NFL draft, and Damon Arnette, Jordan Fuller and Jeffrey Okudah will also leave the Ohio State defense for the draft.
Is Alabama too high on this list? Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa heads to the NFL even with all of those questions floating around with respect to his hip. Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy, the Crimson Tide’s two best wide receivers, are leaving as well. Mac Jones played well in relief of Tagovailoa, but it remains to be seen if his arm is elite. On the defensive side of the ball, Anfernee Jennings, Raekwon Davis, Xavier McKinney, Trevon Diggs and Terrell Lewis all leave Tuscaloosa for the draft. Yes, Nick Saban can reload each off-season, and the Tide’s 2020 recruiting class was ranked #2 by 247Sports, but I think that moneyline has more to do with Alabama’s history than with their reality at this point.
LSU will have a hard time repeating unless than can pull lightning out of the transfer portal once again. Joe Burrow is headed to the NFL, where he will likely be suffering his rookie season as a member of the woeful Cincinnati Bengals. Ja’Marr Chase, winner of the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best receiver, is set to return, but without Burrow it’s hard to see the Tiger offense operating at the level it did this year. Kristian Fulton and Rashard Lawrence leave after their senior year on defense, and several other offensive starters, including Patrick Queen, Jacob Phillips, K’Lavon Chaisson and Grant Delipt, who won the Jim Thorpe Award, could all enter the draft as well.