College football futures watch: Ridder, Cincinnati surge into the discussion

Desmond Ridder and the Cincinnati Bearcats
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Ricky Dimon

NCAAF· 2 weeks ago

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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.

Heading into last week, it wasn’t clear if there was any completely dominant team in college football this season. Now it is plainly obvious: there are two. Alabama and Georgia destroyed top-12 opponents in Ole Miss and Arkansas, respectively, to cement their status as the top two teams in the country. As the national title futures odds suggest, it’s the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs…and then there is everyone else. ‘Bama also boasts the Heisman Trophy favorite in quarterback Bryce Young.

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

National Championship

Alabama +150
Georgia +175
Ohio State +1000
Oklahoma +1500
Cincinnati +2500
Penn State +2500

Alabama and Georgia were already considerable favorites even before their exploits this past Saturday. The Crimson Tide improved from +175 to +150 to lift another College Football Playoff trophy following their 42-21 defeat of Ole Miss. Georgia moved up from +200 to +175 after destroying Arkansas 37-0.

Zamir White resting on the bench during SEC Championship game

The biggest results in terms of the National Championship futures market were Oregon losing to Stanford and Cincinnati beating Notre Dame. Previously a +1500 fourth choice, the Ducks are now all the way down at +4500 to win it all. The Bearcats moved into the picture (+2500 along with Penn State) following their win over Notre Dame. Ohio State is still the third favorite (+1200 to +1000), while Oklahoma moved up from fifth to fourth on the list thanks to Oregon’s setback (the Sooners are still +1500).

Heisman Trophy

Bryce Young, QB, Alabama +120
Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss +200
Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati +1200
CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State +2000

Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma +2500

As expected, the quarterback of the winning team in the Alabama vs Ole Miss game is the leader in the Heisman Trophy clubhouse. Young led the Crimson Tide to a victory over Matt Corral and the Rebels. But Young wasn’t good enough and Corral didn’t struggle enough to totally decide the race at this point in the season. Alabama’s sophomore signal-caller completed 20 of 26 passes for 241 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Corral, a junior, went 21-of-29 for 213 yards, 1 TD, and no INTs. He also rushed for a scored but lost a fumble. Now the Heisman favorite, Young saw his odds improve from +175 to +120. Corral fell from +150 to +200.

For the time being, the only other player in serious contention is Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder (+1200). The senior made a statement in his team’s huge 24-13 victory over Notre Dame by throwing for 297 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also rushed for 26 yards and a TD. For the season, Ridder is completing 63.5 percent of his attempts for 1,045 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. The Louisville, Kent. native has also scored 3 times on the ground.

Pac-12

No Power 5 conference is crazier and tougher to call than the Pac-12. Arizona State is now the favorite a +175, passing Oregon (+180). UCLA is not too far behind at +600, while Utah is in the realistic picture at +850. Oregon State (+1200) and Stanford (+1600) can’t be entirely discounted.

Oregon certainly has time to get back in the Pac-12 North picture, especially with Stanford having to visit Arizona State this coming weekend. The Ducks should wake up and bounce back from their loss to the Cardinal, giving them solid buy-low value at +180.

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.

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