Alabama Favored to Repeat as National Champions

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Despite losing Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry to the NFL Draft and quarterback Jake Coker to graduation among many other key players, the Alabama Crimson Tide are the 6/1 betting favorite to defend their College Football Playoff national championship in 2017.

Henry’s loss would seem to be the biggest hole to fill for Alabama after the school won its fourth NCAA title in six years with a 45-40 victory against the Clemson Tigers.

However, the Crimson Tide has had a successful history of replacing its leading rusher with another top-rated player under head coach Nick Saban going back to its previous Heisman winner Mark Ingram, who passed the torch to Trent Richardson. Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon later followed, with all of them eventually getting drafted.

Clemson is the 7/1 second choice to win the 2017 national title and will have a couple key offensive pieces back playing in Death Valley.

Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson finished third in Heisman voting behind Henry and Stanford Cardinal running back Christian McCaffrey, but he will return for his junior season as will leading rusher Wayne Gallman, who totaled a school-record 1,527 yards as a sophomore.

Watson and Gallman combined for 2,632 yards and 25 touchdowns on the ground in 2015.

Alabama and Clemson were two of four teams in the final Top 25 rankings to finish with only one loss last season. The Ohio State Buckeyes and Houston Cougars were the others.

Ohio State hopes to get back to the College Football Playoff next season after winning the first-ever CFP Championship Game over the Oregon Ducks in 2015. The Buckeyes are 10/1 to win it behind another Big Ten rival in the Michigan Wolverines, who are listed at 9/1.

The Wolverines figure to be better in head coach Jim Harbaugh’s second year in Ann Arbor, extending his rivalry with Urban Meyer and Ohio State.

The Oklahoma Sooners and Michigan State Spartans rounded out last year’s CFP field, with the former having much better odds to return than the latter. The Sooners are also 10/1 to win the national championship and will have quarterback Baker Mayfield back for another season compared to 25/1 for the Spartans, who lose Connor Cook.

Odds to win the national championship in 2017:

1. Alabama 6/1

2. Clemson 7/1

3. Michigan 9/1

4. Ohio State 10/1

4. Oklahoma 10/1

6. LSU 13/1

6. Tennessee 13/1

6. Baylor 13/1

9. Florida State 16/1

9. Notre Dame 16/1

11. Stanford 20/1

12. Ole Miss 25/1

12. Michigan State 25/1

14. UCLA 30/1

14. Georgia 30/1

14. Auburn 30/1

14. TCU 30/1

18. Washington 40/1

18. Oregon 40/1

20. Oklahoma State 50/1

20. Florida 50/1

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.