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Vegas Odds – Who Will Compete With Ohio State in 2015?

The 2016 College Football Playoff.

All the overthinking. The weighing of incoming recruits of classes; the pencil shavings from constant erasing as you cement your top four; your playoff predictions lacks that sleeper. While the nation fills their brackets, you’d have to be bargaining your soul to Lucifer himself by leaving out the defending champions in Ohio State.

Opening up the preseason as favorites, Vegas sportsbooks mark the Buckeyes at +400 to repeat.

Are you really surprised?

Ohio State holds potentially three All-American quarterbacks on the depth chart next season; most teams are lucky to have one. Oh, and the Big 10, thanks for coming out. Just a flurry of subpar squads, an abundance of .500 teams, and a sigh from respected fan bases as bowl season approaches each season. It’s scripted out like a middle-school play.

Hell, even Harbaugh heading to Michigan may stay somewhat irrelevant for the following few years. Any Big 10 fans anxiously waiting for the rivalry to ensue with Meyer and Harbaugh should hold off on getting their panties in a bunch, at least for a couple campaigns.

Michigan competes every season against Ohio State, no matter how lackluster or downtrodden the year has been. Coming from someone who reps the maize and blue on a daily basis, it’s easy to claim the next few years the regime of the Buckeye.

Ezekiel Elliot shifted into second, third, and fourth gear en route to making both Alabama and Oregon look utterly inept on defense. So yeah, mark his name at the tailback slot.

Ohio State will be loaded once more on defense. Need proof? Check the boxscore of the 2015 playoffs. They lit up a Bama defense and flustered an Oregon offense. A pure masterpiece sculpted by Urban Meyer. Try to count the Buckeyes out for 2016.

While the writers at Today’s U gave our input on who could reach the playoff in 2016, some reactions get the best of us at times.

With that being said, let’s unravel a couple choices to take home the title next season (besides Ohio State of course).

USC (+1400)

The beasts out west rank fourth regarding value–only TCU and Alabama follow Ohio State. The prediction for USC to make the playoff should speak volumes to its talent in 2015.

Pete Carroll packing his bags for the NFL, and a series of mediocre seasons followed. Could the Trojans return back to the glory days of Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, and Carson Palmer?

I noted Kesler’s return at quarterback bodes well for USC, and they’ve scooped up plenty of top recruits this offseason.

NCAA FOOTBALL: JAN 02 TaxSlayer Bowl - Iowa v Tennessee

Joshua Dobbs and Tennessee will be one of the favorites in the SEC East.

Tennessee (+6600)

Today’s U writer Ryan Wooden’s grin spans from ear to ear with the solid value the Volunteers present.

The Volunteers splashed once more in recruiting, sweeping the nation for one of the top spots yet again. Could Tennessee be the Mississippi State of 2014-15?

The talent is present, the returnees will play a large factor, and the classes continue to stack up for Rocky Top.

The SEC could very well be a coin flip next season with the copious amount of teams that could break out. If you’re not a buyer in the Volunteers, I believe you’ll be surprised when the season comes.

Longshots, but we still love ’em:

NC State (+50,000)

No more Jameis Winston dropping touchdown passes over opposing defenders in the ACC.

Look out for Jacoby Brissett next season. The versatile quarterback looks to build on an impressive, underrated season.

Arizona (+11,000)

Anu Solomon at quarterback and Scooby Wright containing the whole field at middle linebacker. Not a bad mix for a potential bracket buster. Plus, anytime you want to see Oregon lose a game, throw the Wildcats on the field.

Buckeyes, ‘books, and bracket busters. If you aren’t already curled up in the fetal position waiting for college football, shame on you.

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