Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The 2012 BCS national championship game is still four days away, which means it's entirely too early to start discussing the 2013 BCS national championship game, right?
Nonsense--particularly if you're the sort of college football fan who's paying attention to what Las Vegas is already saying about that 2013 championship. Blog Kegs n' Eggs has compiled the early national title odds released this week by the Caesars Palace sportsbook, and the favorite won't surprise anyone who's taken a look at their defensive depth chart: LSU checks in at the top of the list at 3/1.
The Bayou Bengals are followed by USC, at 6/1 following the return of Matt Barkley. Alabama (7/1), Oregon (9/1), and Arkansas (12/1) round out the book's "top 5."
Here's the rest of the contenders as sorted by conference, with some commentary to follow:
Florida State: 18/1
Virginia Tech: 18/1
North Carolina: 100/1
Georgia Tech: 100/1
Kansas State: 25/1
Oklahoma State: 40/1
Michigan State: 40/1
Penn State: 100/1
BIG EAST (WE THINK)
West Virginia: 50/1
Arizona State: 75/1
Washington State: 100/1
South Carolina: 28/1
Texas A&M: 60/1
Mississippi State: 75/1
Notre Dame: 22/1
Boise State: 50/1
The field is listed at 50/1. Comments:
-- Not that it's a surprise given that it's won five (and in four days, six) straight BCS titles, but still interesting to see the level of love for the SEC: four of the top six teams, half the 14-team conference at 35/1 or better, and only three teams (Ole Miss, Kentucky and Tennessee) are consigned to the field. (Incidentally, when was the last time Vegas offered national championship odds on Vanderbilt but not Tennessee? We're going on a limb to say "never.")
-- Is Michigan really going to enter 2012 as the Big Ten favorite -- Denard Robinson will be back, but there's major losses on both lines -- or is their status here just a result of the large numbers of Wolverine fans willing to bet on their favorite team? We're guessing the latter; of all the teams listed at 20/1 or better, they're the team we'd give the longest shot.
-- Other teams that might be overvalued: Alabama, who lose major chunks of their defense and offensive line; Notre Dame, because their schedule isn't getting any easier; and even at 75/1, Arizona State, because c'mon.
-- On the other hand, who might be undervalued? West Virginia should be even more explosive in year 2 of the Dana Holgorsen era, and the defense is young; TCU, who'll have the schedule strength to break into the BCS title game if they go undefeated again; and Virginia Tech, still with Logan Thomas at the controls and a cushy ACC slate.
Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.