The Alabama Crimson Tide have won two of the last three national titles and three in the last five years under head coach Nick Saban.
But if oddsmakers have it right, they won’t be adding to the trophy case in Tuscaloosa in 2014. Alabama enters the season as the second betting choice in college football futures, behind Florida State at 5/1.
By most teams' standards, an 11-2 SU and 7-6 ATS season would be considered a success. But for Alabama it is championship or bust, and the Crimson Tide failed to win their third straight national title last year.
Alabama entered the SEC Championship Game against Auburn undefeated, but saw its championship dreams crushed by one of the most stunning plays in college football history when Auburn returned a missed field goal for a touchdown to win the game. [ College football playoff betting odds – Bama near the top ]
Florida State quarterback transfer Jacob Coker was expected to take over at quarterback, but Blake Sims is now expected to start the opener against West Virginia. Whoever is under center has big shoes to fill with AJ McCarron having departed for the NFL.
Neither will be asked to do too much on most nights with the defense shutting down opposing teams and elite running back T.J. Yeldon lined up in the backfield. Yeldon has rushed for at least 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns in each of the last two seasons and is going off at 18/1 to win the Heisman Trophy this season.
Perhaps no team will benefit more from the playoff system being put into place in college football than the Alabama Crimson Tide. With a 36-4 SU record over the last three seasons, Alabama's losses are few and far between, and the team's pro-style offense and defense look to be built for success in a playoff system.
In addition to being a 5/1 to win the championship, Alabama is also a 7/5 favorite to win the SEC. The regular season win total is set at 10.5.
Every offseason Alabama loses starters to the NFL, and every year it patches up those holes with more tailor-made five-star recruits. The Crimson Tide are the current standard in college football, and college football bettors can routinely count on Saban's group to be in the national spotlight all season long.