NCAA College Football Betting 2013/14: Back Ohio State to lift the BCS Crystal Football come January 6

Will either Urban Meyer or Nick Saban hold aloft the Crystal Football come January 6 2014?
Will Urban Meyer hold aloft the Crystal Football come January 6 2014?

With the NCAA College Football season starting this weekend Neil Monnery takes you through the top teams and how they will fare...

"All logic points to an Ohio State v Alabama Title Game come the end of the season but when has the NCAA season ever been logical?"

This is the final year of the Bowl Championship Series and fans of College Football are rejoicing. After this season we'll see a four-team playoff but until then the two teams competing in the BCS Championship Game will be chosen thanks to a mixture of human eyes and computers.

Julie Andrews tells us that we should 'start at the very beginning, it is a very good place to start' and starting anywhere but the South Eastern Conference when looking for the champion would be foolish. Since 2006 all the BCS Champions have come from the SEC and that isn't by chance.

Alabama have been crowned as champions three out of the last four years and they open up as the very short 3.412/5 favourites on the exchange. A.J. McCarron returns under center as he aims to become a back-to-back-to-back champion. They have a favourable schedule and are pre-season ranked #1.

While 3.412/5 is short, I think punters need to closely monitor whether Johnny Manziel is deemed ineligible by the NCAA for selling autographs. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner and Texas A&M Quarterback caused Alabama all sorts of issues last season in an upset win in Tuscaloosa. If Manziel is allowed to play then Alabama's trip to College Station might just be a de-facto SEC Western Division title game. I'd hold off backing Alabama until after this game because they won't go much shorter than 3.412/5 even after that game.

Alabama got 58 out the 60 #1 votes in the pre-season poll with Georgia and Ohio State each receiving one and it is the latter that might present the best value. Ohio State are currently trading at 7.613/2 on the exchange and don't have an out of conference schedule that will worry anyone. Both Wisconsin and Penn State travel to the Horseshoe with Ohio State's toughest road game being 'The Game' at Ann Arbor.

Ohio State now have Urban Meyer calling the shots and with two National Championships on his CV coupled with an undefeated season at Utah then his presence there can't be overlooked. Oh and throw in the fact that were undefeated last season and only didn't play for the National Championship due to a one-year postseason ban.

Oregon are similarly priced at 7.613/2 but that surprises me. Their dynamic Head Coach Chip Kelly has departed for the NFL and any hopes of reaching the title game goes through Stanford. The Stanford Cardinals have made three BCS Bowls in the past three years and are building a programme to be proud of and at 25/1 on the Betfair Sportsbook show genuine value.

Elsewhere value points back to the Big Ten and Michigan. Brady Hoke is turning around one of the most famous schools in NCAA Football history and at 46.045/1 on the exchange they'll go shorter than that as they should be undefeated until at least October 12 when they travel to Beaver Stadium as quite possibly a top five ranked team and certainly top ten.

Keep a close eye on Johnny Manziel's eligibility. Whether he is allowed to play or not will impact both Texas A&M's season and also Alabama's for that huge early season showdown on September 14.

All logic points to an Ohio State v Alabama Title Game come the end of the season but when has the NCAA season ever been logical?

Recommend Bets
Back Ohio State to win the BCS Championship Game at 7.06/1 and higher on the exchange.
Back Stanford to win the BCS Championship Game at 25/1 on the Sportsbook to lay them on the exchange later in the season.
Back Michigan to win the BCS Championship Game at 46.045/1 on the exchange to lay them later in the season.

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