2014 College Football Championship: Odds, Pick, Predictions, Dark Horses
Undervalued College Football Contenders
2014 College Football
The Line: See the Latest Odds
With the 2014 college football season within reach, let’s look at some of the dark horses that can win the national championship and make you a pretty penny.
Here are some longshot teams you should consider on your card before the season begins.
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Georgia Bulldogs – The Georgia Bulldogs return 17 of 22 starters from last year, which is a huge deal if everybody can stay healthy. Yes, one of the lone starters who left the program was quarterback Aaron Murray, but the Bulldogs still have the most talented backfield with a combination of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Quarterback Hutson Mason is also an experienced player who should be able to lead Georgia’s offense to success. Georgia also only plays four true road games and two of them are against Arkansas and Kentucky. As long as Gurley and the rest of the players stay healthy, Georgia deserves a look with odds of +2200.
Miami Hurricanes – You may not hear this anywhere else, but I’m very high on the Miami Hurricanes this season. The reason is quite simple: offense, offense and more offense. When healthy, running back Duke Johnson is one of the best players in college football. Johnson will also have help from backup Dallas Crawford and wide receiver Stacey Coley. Questions at quarterback or not, the Hurricanes have more than enough weapons to be one of the most explosive offensive teams in the country, which always gives a team a fighting chance. The Canes also return a lot of defensive talent, which should make this a better all-around squad than a year ago. Whether or not you think the Hurricanes can truly win it all, odds of +8000 provide a ton of hedging room.
Oregon Ducks – Right now you can get the Oregon Ducks at odds of +1000, which is an absolute steal given the fact they’re likely going to lock up one of those four playoffs spots. The Ducks offense is going to remain as explosive as ever with quarterback Marcus Mariota leading the way, and the defense will remain respectable, especially with cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu returning for another season. The Ducks have been one of the more consistent college programs over the last decade and getting Michigan State, Arizona and Stanford all at home only makes things better. Get Oregon at this price while you still can.
UCLA Bruins – Another Pac-12 team I really like are the UCLA Bruins, a team you can get at odds of +1600. UCLA is a young team that started to mature before our very eyes last season and may be ready to make that huge leap this season. Quarterback Brett Hundley is one of the more underappreciated players in the country, and he has a bunch of weapons at wide receiver to help him out. Defensively, the Bruins are loaded with young talent such as Myles Jack, Kenny Clark and Fabian Moreau. The Bruins are athletic and physical on both sides of the ball and this could very well be the season they show the world they’re ready to start competing for championships outside of basketball. Watch out for this team.
Michigan State Spartans – They say defense wins championships, well, it doesn’t get much better than the Michigan State Spartans. Yes, Michigan State did lose six starters from one of the top defenses in the country but Shilique Calhoun and Marcus Rush still form one of the top defensive end duos. The Spartans secondary is also in good hands with Trae Waynes and Kurtis Drummond holding down the fort in the back end. Michigan State’s offense will need quarterback Connor Cook to improve greatly, but regardless, it’s going to be extremely tough to beat the Spartans as long as their defense shows up. A lot of folks thought the Spartans had what it took to win the championship last year, make sure you pound odds of +2500.