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We are just over two weeks away from the start of the 2012 college football season, and the excitement in the air is building among college campuses all around the country. National Championship hopes are alive, as fans have visions of a BCS Trophy dancing in their heads.
It won’t be long though before the pretenders are separated from the contenders, and the real race for the BCS National Championship gets underway.
So which teams are oddsmakers leaning towards coming into the 2012 season? Conventional wisdom would lead towards the SEC right?
Well, when a conference has won the national championship each of the past six seasons, you can bet that they will probably have a number of teams at or near the top of the list of favorites in the preseason. But when it comes to the betting odds to win the 2012-13 BCS National Championship, it is not a team from the SEC that leads the way.
Actually, it’s a team that hasn’t played in a bowl game the last two seasons. No, not because they didn’t win enough games, it was because they were serving sanctions set down by the NCAA. But the USC Trojans are free and clear, and primed to make a run at a national championship. The Trojans lead the way on BCS championship betting lines, going off at 3/1 at Bovada Sportsbook. That is in large part due to quarterback Matt Barkley coming back for his senior season. Barkley is arguably the top quarterback in the country, and the preseason Heisman Trophy favorite.
Behind USC are the two teams that played for the National championship last season. In the first-ever rematch, two conference and division rivals battled it out in the title game. The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the LSU Tigers to win their second national championship in three seasons. And oddsmakers do not see the talent level dropping off.
In fact, LSU and Alabama go No.1 and No.2 on the preseason rankings, with USC No.3. But oddsmakers obviously believe that the road for USC to a national championship is easier in the Pac 12 than the SEC.
Probably good thinking.
Alabama comes in at 5/1 to win a second-straight championship and a third in four years, while LSU comes in at 6/1. The Tigers suffered a huge loss with the dismissal of cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, a Heisman finalist in 2011. But there is still a ton of talent on this team, for which oddsmakers favor them to be a serious contender.
There are two other teams in the top-10 national championship favorites from the SEC as well. The Georgia Bulldogs (16/1), and the Arkansas Razorbacks (25/1) are both expected to play factors.
Also in the top-10 are the Florida State Seminoles (13/2), the Oklahoma Sooners (10/1), Oregon Ducks (10/1), Texas Longhorns (22/1), Michigan Wolverines (30/1). Check out these betting odds and the rest below.