College Football Season Win Totals Odds and Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 7/19/2011
Sportsbooks like Bodog, BetOnline, and WagerWeb are getting ready to release their college football season win totals odds for some of the top teams in the nation, but to get an early jump on your college football handicapping efforts to project how many games teams such as Oklahoma and Alabama might win this season, we will take a look at the regular season schedules for four of the programs at the top of most of the 2011 preseason polls and offer some season win totals predictions for each.
Bob Stoops’ Sooners went 12-2 last season, including a 23-20 victory over Nebraska in the Big 12 Conference Championship Game and a 48-20 romp over Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl. They return nine starters on offense, including quarterback Landry Jones and wide receiver Ryan Broyes. Seven of the starters on defense will be back including all-conference linebacker Travis Lewis.
When it comes to the 2011 Oklahoma Sooners football schedule, the defection of Nebraska as well as Colorado from the Big 12 not only makes its path to a BCS title game all the more navigable, it eliminates the need to play a conference title game with only 10 teams left in the Big 12. The main obstacle in the Sooners’ 12-game regular season schedule is a Sept. 17 trip to Tallahassee for a nonconference showdown with Florida State, one of our other top teams.
Other potential land mines along the way include an Oct. 8 game at Texas, a home game against Texas A&M on Nov. 5, and a regular season finale against Oklahoma State on the road on Dec. 3. Realistically, with the talent on this team it should not lose more than one game and could very well run the table if it gets by the Seminoles in Week 3. Prediction: 11-1
A team from the SEC has won the BCS national Title the last five years, and 2011 could very well be Alabama’s turn in the rotation. The Crimson Tide are loaded with talent with both veterans and some up-and-coming recruits. They return seven starters on offense and 10 starters on defense from a team that went 10-3 last season.
As is the main problem with any team in the SEC, the Alabama Crimson Tide football schedule during conference play is one of the most brutal in the nation simply because of the level of talent in the SEC itself. Pitfalls and trap games lie around every corner as hopes of earning a shot in the BCS Championship Game can be easily dashed by any number of SEC opponents.
Alabama will be tested right away with a Sept.10 trip to Happy Valley to play Penn State. It should come away with a win, but it will not be as easy as looks. The Tide face Arkansas at home on Sept. 24 followed by a road trip to Gainesville the following week to tangle with the Florida Gators. The real test will come on Nov. 5 when they take on probably the second-best team in the conference, LSU. Fortunately, they play the Tigers in Tuscaloosa, so they should be favored to win. All this adds up to at least 10 wins with a loss at The Swamp and one more possible hiccup along the way. Prediction: 10-2
The ‘Jimbo Fisher era’ at Florida State enters its second season with one of the most talented football teams in recent memory. The Seminoles are poised to try and help the ACC return to prominence by making their team extremely relevant to the BCS rankings. A good part of the starting defense is back, including the entire front line on a unit that gave up an average of less than 20 points a game. E.J. Manuel takes the reins at quarterback and brings the added dimension of being able to effectively gain yardage with his legs.
The rest of the conference has yet to catch up with Florida State with the possible exception of Virginia Tech. The Seminoles were 9-3 in the regular season last year, but lost to the Hokies, 44-33, in the ACC title game. They do not play Tech in the regular season this year, but have a couple of tough nonconference games on the Florida State Seminoles football schedule that could very well end up in the loss column.
As previously mentioned, Florida State faces the Sooners early in the season and the Seminoles close things out on the road in its traditional game against Florida on Nov. 26. Everything else in between should end up as a ‘W,’ with the exception of a possible loss to Miami on Nov. 12. Prediction: 9-3
The expanded Pac-12 Conference brings Utah and Colorado into the fold this season. The Ducks find themselves in the North Division with their primary competition being Stanford. Last season Oregon put together a tremendous run to get all the way to BCS title game unscathed, but could not get past Auburn and finished 12-1 on the year.
Quarterback Darren Thomas and Heisman Trophy hopeful RB LaMichael James are back to join five other starters from last season’s No.1 ranked scoring offense. The defense will need to be rebuilt from the ground up after losing seven starters from last year.
Concerning the 2011 Oregon Ducks football schedule, the team will know where they stand right away with a season opener against LSU at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas on Sept. 3. Things remain quiet the rest of September and October, with eight winnable games before locking horns with Stanford on the road on Nov. 12. They follow this up with games against USC, and in-state rival Oregon State to close out the regular season. Oregon will be a good, solid team this year, but not to the level of last year’s squad. The veterans keep the Ducks competitive every week, but do not bank on another 12-0 run. The Prediction: 9-3
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