Alabama head coach Nick Saban watches his team during the first half of an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game against Ohio State, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
- Alabama has opened as +350 to repeat as national champion and win the 2022 CFP Championship Game
- The Crimson Tide won this season’s title game Monday night, routing Ohio State 52-24
- A look at the opening can be found below along with analysis
The confetti barely stopped falling at Hard Rock Stadium when Alabama was installed as the favorite to win the College Football Playoff national championship next season.
The Crimson Tide opened at +350. Clemson and Georgia are the co-second choices to win the national championship. Ohio State and Oklahoma are the fourth picks.
Alabama beat Ohio State 52-24 in the CFP Championship Game on Monday night at Miami Gardens, Fla.
Here is a look at the odds:
2021-22 College Football National Championship Odds
Odds taken Jan. 11 from FanDuel
Tide Time Again
Alabama will have a new quarterback and offensive coordinator next season but its hard to imagine the Crimson Tide missing a beat.
Bryce Young, a five-star recruit, will take over for Mac Jones at QB. Coach Nick Saban will have no shortage of strong candidates for the OC job as moves on to Texas as head coach.
Young will also be surrounded by a slew of playmakers, including wide receiver John Metchie III, tight end Jahleel Billingsley and running backs Trey Sanders and Jace McClellan. Metchie had 47 receptions for 835 yards and six touchdowns this season.
Bryce Young’s first career TD at @AlabamaFTBL 🎯
He got next. pic.twitter.com/qwFuhGpiyz
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 21, 2020
Linebackers Will Anderson Jr. and Christopher Allen should form the backbone of the defense unless Allen unexpectedly declares for the NFL Draft.
Perhaps Alabama will get lucky and some draft-eligible players like running Najee Harris and linebacker Dylan Moses decide to return to Tuscaloosa for another season.
D.J. Steps in at Clemson
Trevor Lawrence is moving on to the NFL. However, Clemson got a taste of what life will be like with D.J. Uiagalelei at quarterback as he threw for 439 yards in a regular-season loss to Notre Dame when Lawrence was sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19.
D.J. Uiagalelei shares a moment with his family after running it in for the score in his first career start for @ClemsonFB 🧡 pic.twitter.com/dvnLI5nTtM
— ACC Network (@accnetwork) October 31, 2020
Clemson should also have plenty of talent at the skill positions. Lyn-J Dixon should ably replace Travis Etienne at running back while wide receivers E.J. Williams and Frank Ladson have NFL future.
Linebacker James Skalski, the heart and soul of the defense, also returns for his 2021 senior season. He will be one of the top players on that unit along with defensive end Myles Murphy and linebacker Trenton Simpson.
Love or hate him, Dabo Swinney is a master motivator. Missing the CFP Championship Game for just the second time in six years should provide plenty of motivation.
Daniels Sparks Georgia
With JT Daniels ensconced as the starting quarterback from the first day of training camp, Georgia should be considered the team with the best chance of overtaking Alabama in the SEC in 2021.
Daniels was inserted into the lineup for the seventh game of the season and Georgia went on to win its last four games, including beating undefeated Cincinnati in the Peach Bowl.
Five-straight TDs on third down for JT Daniels 👀 pic.twitter.com/2tmTW1jTxJ
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) December 12, 2020
In four games, the transfer from USC passed for 1,231 yards and 10 touchdowns with two interceptions.
With running back Zamir Smith and wide receiver George Pickens returning, the offense should be potent. The top tacklers will also be back in linebacker Nakobe Dean and safety Lewis Cine.
Wilson Makes OSU Dangerous
It is certainly realistic to think Ohio State could return to the title game again next January despite the likely loss of quarterback Justin Field to the NFL Draft.
Whoever winds up at QB1, he will have the opportunity to throw to one of the top wide receivers in the nation in Garrett Wilson. In helping Ohio State to the title game, Wilson had 40 catches for 673 yards and five touchdowns in seven games.
It’s Natty week… time for Garrett Wilson hours 💯🌰 pic.twitter.com/JGV1weJqyW
— 𝓑𝓮𝓬𝓴 💯 (@Beck_WRLD) January 6, 2021
The competition for the quarterback job should be fierce in training camp. Redshirt freshman C.J. Stroud will likely have a slight edge over Jack Miller III and incoming freshman Kyle McCord.
The defense will suffer some key losses but should be strong up front with linemen Zach Harrison, Tyreke Smith and Tommy Togiai.
Oklahoma Has Momentum
Oklahoma finished the 2020 season with eight straight wins, including a 55-20 blasting of Florida in the Cotton Bowl, following a 1-2 start.
The Sooner expect big things next season now that quarterback Spencer Rattler has a year of starting experience. Rattler completed 67.5% of his passes for 3,031 yards in 10 games this season with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Spencer Rattler and Marvin Mims making it look easy out there 🎯 pic.twitter.com/bS7GqiYBjC
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 24, 2020
Rattler will have outstanding targets in wide receivers Marvin Mims and Theo Wease. Marcus Major and Seth McGowan should form a dynamic running back duo.
The big question is whether Lincoln Riley will return as coach. Rumors are rampant that Riley might jump to the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles to be reunited with Jalen Hurts.
The 2021-22 National Champ Will Be…
It’s not sexy to bet the chalk but Alabama has built an offensive machine and it is hard to imagine any team overtaking the Crimson Tide next season.
An interesting longshot play is Texas A&M, coming off a 9-1 season. The Aggies lose a ton of seniors including four-year starting quarterback Isaiah Mond but should still be dangerous with running back Isaiah Spiller, wide receiver Ainias Smith and All-America guard Kenyon Green returning.
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.