It should come as no surprise that the current CFP titleholders have been placed as the 2022 favourites to retain the college football championship. In this year’s AP Preseason poll, they received the majority vote, giving oddsmakers the nod to position them as the betting favourites.
The Alabama Crimson Tide opened as college football odds-on-favourite and the AP preseason #1 team to win the 2022 national title.
The AP (Associated Press) poll delivers weekly rankings of the top 25 NCAA teams in Division I sports: football and basketball. These rankings are derived from 65 professional sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the nation. Individual rankings are then combined to produce a national ranking for each team.
And this week, Alabama received 47 out of 63 first-place votes from the AP panel to obtain this season’s top position whilst gaining the odds-on favourite at the most reputable NFL sportsbooks.
The top-10 AP poll with odds are as follows;
- Alabama +250 [3.50] 2.5/1
- Oklahoma +700 [8.00] 7/1
- Clemson +450 [5.50] 4.5/1
- Ohio State +600 [7.00] 6/1
- Georgia +600 [7.00] 6/1
- Texas A&M +3300 [34.00] 33/1
- Iowa State +3300 [34.00] 33/1
- Cincinnati +15000 [151.00] 150/1
- Notre Dame +7000 [71.00] 70/1
- North Carolina +4500 [46.00] 45/1
Oklahoma and Clemson received three first-place votes and are ranked 2 and 3. Despite these AP rankings, the oddsmakers didn’t agree with the votes and have positioned Clemson Tigers with the second-shortest odds (+450) after Bama and Oklahoma own the fourth-best odds (+700). Third best odds have been shared with last season’s finalist Ohio State and Georgia (+600).
Four Out Of Six for Crimson Tide
With Alabama taking the top position in both the AP polls and the bookmaker’s odds, it marks the fourth time Bama has been the #1 ranked team in six years. In addition, it’ll be the 13th consecutive season where they’ve been position in the preseason Top 5. Bama hasn’t finished below the Top 10 rankings in the last decade, which shouldn’t be overlooked as they own six college football title wins and three Top 4 finishes in the previous 12 years.
The 2020/2021 season opened up with Alabama as the #2 ranked; 21 first-place votes were matched with the second shortest preseason odds at +340. The #1 vote went to the Trevor Lawrence-led Clemson Tigers with 38 votes, and the bookmakers followed suit when locating them as the odds-on-favourite to win the CFP title at +200 odds.
Clemson failed to achieve the expected success of the AP poll and became the 15th AP Preseason #1 team in the last 17 years who were unable to win the National title. To add, in the preseason poll’s 71-year history, only 11 top-ranked preseason teams have gone on to win the CFP title game. With that said, Alabama was the last team to accomplish this, winning the 2017 championship as +240 preseason betting favourites.
The Greatest Alabama Team in History
The 2021 championship-winning team stamped their mark in football history and quickly claimed the title of Nick Saban’s most outstanding team in history. They finished the season with an unblemished 13-0, defeating 11 South-eastern Conference teams to finish off Notre Dame and Ohio State in the playoffs.
Unfortunately, their elite offense has succumbed to significant losses, with Heisman winner DeVonta Smith, QB Mac Jones, and running back Najee Harris to the NFL 2021 first-round draft. The good news, Nick Saban owns a collective of blue-chip team members who will take on more prominent roles this season. The likes of Brian Robinson, John Metchie, and five-star recruit Bruce Young.
Alabama is amongst rare company; they are one of four schools who’ve achieved consecutive NCAA titles, alongside Oklahoma, Nebraska, and USC. Plus, they’re the only program to win two back-to-back championships, in 1978/79 and again in 2011/12. But coach Saban is under no illusion that repeating this accomplishment will be difficult with the loss of so many key starters.
“The penalty of success, winning a national championship, is that you lose good players: Six first-round draft picks, and 10 draft picks.” He said at the SEC Media Day in Hoover, Alabama.
The critical factor is continuity; Bama’s last back-to-back title team had this, the 2021 squad doesn’t. Sure, the blue-chip talents are present, but they’re young and inexperienced. They’ll have to handle the more significant roles, and rebuilding a team isn’t straightforward. With this said, no team has proved the oddsmakers correct more than Alabama.