The LSU Tigers won their fourth national championship in school history on Monday night in New Orleans.
Joe Burrow and the Tigers capped off one of the greatest seasons in recent college football history with a ring, but despite their dominance throughout the year, the Bayou Bengals are not one of the three favorites to win the national championship next year per the college football futures odds. Instead, the Clemson Tigers are favored to avenge their defeat at the hands of LSU by winning their third national championship in five years.
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College football championship for 2020 season
Clemson +225Alabama +350Ohio State +450LSU +600Georgia +800Florida +1400Auburn +2000Notre Dame +2500Oklahoma +2500Texas +2500Michigan +3300Oregon +3300Penn State +3300Texas A&M +4000Florida State +5000Wisconsin +5000Oklahoma State +6600Tennessee +6600USC +6600Iowa State +10000Kentucky +10000Miami (FL) +10000Minnesota +10000Nebraska +10000Utah +10000Washington +10000Iowa +15000BYU +50000
Clemson is the early favorite
Clemson is the favorite to win the national championship mainly because the Tigers are returning the frontrunner to win the 2020 Heisman Trophy in Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence has been sensational in his first two years as a collegiate quarterback, and he is the odds-on favorite to be selected No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. Additionally, the Tigers will get deeper after Dabo Swinney signed the No. 1 rated recruiting class in the country, but Clemson has another big advantage over the rest of the contenders too.
Unlike the rest of the major contenders, there is no one of note to contend with Clemson in the ACC.
Alabama, LSU, and Auburn are in the loaded SEC West, and Ohio State must deal with Penn State and Michigan in the Big Ten East. Clemson’s toughest conference test will be Florida State in all likelihood, but the Seminoles probably won’t be much of a match for the Tigers in the first year of the Mike Norvell era. Notre Dame and South Carolina could provide a challenge in non-conference play, but the Tigers are likely to be favored by at least a touchdown in both games, making it very likely this team goes 11-1 or 12-0 in the regular season.
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Alabama has questions, but don’t count Tide out
Alabama failed to make it to the national championship for the first time since the 2014 season this year, as everything went wrong for the Crimson Tide. Star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a devastating season-ending injury, and the defensive front seven couldn’t overcome attrition and injury. Despite those mishaps, Alabama went 11-2 and finished the season in the top ten of the AP Poll, and the Crimson Tide are expected to reload rather than rebuild this offseason.
Tagovailoa and Alabama’s most talented receiving corps in school history are set to depart, but the defense will be as good as ever after the underclassmen saw plenty of experience in 2019. Mac Jones played well in relief of Tagovailoa at the end of the season, so the Crimson Tide don’t have to answer as many questions as you might think in 2020.
Ohio State faces difficult schedule
The Buckeyes didn’t miss a beat in their first season under Ryan Day. Day ensured that there was a smooth transition out of the Urban Meyer era by leading Ohio State to an undefeated record, and the Buckeyes continue to be the predominant recruiting power in the Big Ten as well. Justin Fields is the second favorite to win the Heisman Trophy after a sensational first year in Columbus, but the defensive line will finally need to be rebuilt after losing Nick Bosa and Chase Young in consecutive seasons.
Ohio State has a tricky schedule in 2020. The Buckeyes will travel to Eugene to take on Oregon in the second week of the season, and they must go on the road to face Michigan State and Penn State in consecutive weeks in mid-October after hosting Iowa. That stretch will likely mean at least one loss for Ohio State, so it may be difficult for the Buckeyes to get back to the CFP.
Don’t bank on an LSU repeat
The reigning national champions were one of the most overpowering teams we have seen in modern college football history, but LSU must replace a lot of firepower in 2020. Joe Burrow will be playing on Sundays, and other stars like Grant Delpit, Kristian Fulton, Justin Jefferson, and K’Lavon Chaisson might have played their last game in purple and gold on Monday night. As long as passing game coordinator Joe Brady remains in the box, LSU will be a contender though, and Baton Rouge could be the destination for coveted quarterbacks in the transfer portal.