College football futures watch: Oklahoma and Clemson on the way down

Spencer Rattler and the Oklahoma Sooners
Photo of Ricky Dimon

Ricky Dimon


Show Bio

Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email
Read more about Ricky Dimon

The College Football Playoff lineup is sometimes a foregone conclusion at the beginning of a college football season. That does not appear to be the case in 2021. Usual suspects like Alabama and Ohio State are undefeated, but Clemson and Ohio State have already incurred losses. The bottom line is that the top programs in the nation are not looking dominant so far this year.

Let’s take a look at where some of the futures markets stand following three full weeks of college football action.

National Championship

Alabama +175
Georgia +330
Oklahoma +1000
Clemson +1200
Ohio State +1200
Oregon +2000

Nobody in the top 10 lost this past weekend, but there was still plenty of moving and shaking with the futures odds. Although Oklahoma is still the third favorite behind Alabama and Georgia, it plunged from +750 to +1000 after struggling with Nebraska. Clemson, which fell to Georgia and then just barely beat Georgia Tech 14-8, slipped from +800 to +1200. Ohio State, which had already nosedived to +900 following a setback against Oregon, fell even father to +1200 following its unimpressive performance against Tulsa. The Ducks continue to impress and saw their odds improve from +2500 to +2000.

Alabama and Georgia are pretty much in the exact same spots they found themselves a week ago. The Crimson Tide failed to dominate in a 31-29 thriller with Florida, but it looks like they will have to lose before the public gets off the bandwagon. Will it be ‘Bama vs Georgia in the SEC Championship? There is still a long way to go, but the Bulldogs kicked off their SEC schedule with a 40-13 rout of South Carolina.

Heisman Trophy

Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss +200
Bryce Young, QB, Alabama +225
Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati +1800

Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma +1800
CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State +1800

There may not be a change atop the rankings, but we do have a new Heisman Trophy favorite. That distinction now belongs to Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral, who has surpassed Alabama signal-caller Bryce Young. Corral comes into Week 4 at +200, while Young is +225.

Interestingly, Young’s odds actually improved—and a lot—even though he dropped down the list of favorites. He jumped up from +350, but Corral skyrocketed from +500. All of that can be explained by not only their own stellar play but also by the failures of other contenders. Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler didn’t do much of anything against Nebraska, which is he why he endured a free-fall from +800 to +1800. Ohio State’s CJ Stroud is also +1800 after heading into Week 3 at +1000. The Buckeyes relied almost entirely on running back TreVeyon Henderson in their 41-20 defeat of Tulsa as Stroud simply stayed out of the way.

Heisman odds generally fluctuate wildly over the course of a season, so I’m not about to jump on any favorite this early. Chances are good you will be able to get Corral and Young at longer odds sometime down the road than you can right now. With Rattler all the way down at +1800, I still think he has the best value.

ACC Championship

Is it time to start fading Clemson? Three points against Georgia followed by 14 against Georgia Tech is alarming. The question is: is there finally value on some other team to win the ACC? Or is there buy-low value on the Tigers since -300 isn’t overly extreme? Right now those are tough questions to answer. It’s clear that Clemson isn’t great; the thing is that no other contender in the ACC has looked especially impressive.

Since it’s still early, I would lean toward a young Clemson team getting it together by the time things really start to matter in the ACC. Juice of -300 isn’t scaring me away.

At Pickswise we offer free expert College Football Picks and College Football Predictions for all games in the Power Five conferences and the top 25 teams outside of Power five, including our College Football Parlay picks each week.

By signing up you agree to our terms and privacy policy