August has arrived, and autumn is right around the corner, which means the NCAA college football season is on the way. And based on the early 2020 CFP National Championship odds posted by online sportsbook Bovada, two familiar foes will have the inside track as favorites to win the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship in January.
Since the CFP era kicked off in the 2014-2015 season, Alabama and Clemson have each won a pair of National Championship games, alternating titles over the last four years.
That stretch of sustained success for both programs has pitted the Crimson Tide against the Tigers on three occasions, with Alabama claiming the crown in 2015-16, and Clemson striking back in 2016-17 and 2018-19. Last year’s title game saw two 14-0 teams square off, as young quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence led overwhelming offensive attacks for the Tide and the Tigers, respectively.
A junior, Tagovailoa will be back under center for what is likely his swan song in Alabama, before hitting the NFL Draft as the likely #1 overall pick. Lawrence is only a sophomore, so he’ll be breaking huddles and throwing bombs in Clemson for at least two more years before beginning his own NFL dream.
Both quarterbacks have a National Championship trophy on their mantle already. According to Bovada’s oddsmakers, Tagovailoa is also a slight (+250) favorite over Lawrence at (+275) odds to win the 2019 Heisman Trophy in a two-man race.
Head coaches Dabo Sweeney and Nick Saban are respectively running well-rounded juggernauts in top-ranked Clemson and second-ranked Alabama, which were the only two teams to receive first-place votes in the annual preseason Amway Coaches Poll. As the dominant forces in college football for the last four years and counting – the Tide and Tigers have combined to go 109-9 over that span. It’s therefore no surprise to see these archrivals listed as 2020 CFP National Championship odds co-favorites at (+225).
The closest team to catching the Clemson / Alabama two-headed dragon in the 2020 CFP National Championship odds is third-ranked Georgia, a team which has come agonizingly close to toppling the Crimson Tide dynasty in recent years.
Last year in the SEC Championship Game, the Bulldogs blew a fourth quarter lead by allowing Alabama starter-turned-backup QB Jalen Hurts to score two touchdowns in the final six minutes to engineer a stunning 35-28 comeback win.
And in the 2017-18 season, Alabama’s most recent title run was capped off by a similarly thrilling 26-23 overtime win when Tagovailoa replaced Hurts and sparked his own historic comeback.
The Bulldogs boast five-star recruits and NFL ready veterans across the board. So if Alabama stumbles even slightly in the loaded SEC, Georgia could easily capitalize en route to the program’s return to its championship roots.
Fourth-ranked Ohio State is up next at (+1000), making the Buckeyes the last team priced at 10 to 1 or better on a national title.
The Buckeyes won the first CFP National Championship game back in 2014-2015, knocking off Alabama in the semifinals, and they lost to Clemson in the 2016-17 semifinals. So, the program certainly has postseason bona fides. But that success came under the stewardship of former head coach Urban Meyer, who announced his retirement after winning the 2019 Rose Bowl.
Last year’s Ohio State team went 13-1, and new head coach Ryan Day has studied under Meyer for the last two seasons, making the Buckeyes a prime candidate to secure a coveted spot in the four-team CFP bracket.
|Team||2020 CFP Title Odds
|U of Washington||+5000|