NCAA College Football Division Futures – The ACC and SEC
The two major college conferences that are comprised of nation’s most prominent football programs on the East Coast are the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Southeast Conference. Each conference contains 12 schools and two divisions, so not only are there odds posted for each team in terms of winning a conference title, there are odds posted for each to win their respective division in order to earn a spot in Conference Championship Game in early December.
The ACC has the Atlantic Division and the Coastal Division. Florida State, which is Bodog.com’s third favorite to win a national title this season at 10/1, has been opened as a prohibitive -300 favorite to win the ACC Atlantic Division.
Jimbo Fisher’s Seminoles are loaded this season on defense with eight starters returning from last year’s squad that gave up less than 20 points a game. The defensive line will be anchored by DE Brandon Jenkins and the secondary has a solid playmaker in CB Xavier Rhodes. E.J Manual will take over as the starting quarterback for the departed Christian Ponder and he will have seven additional starters back from last year. The second favorite to win the division is Maryland at +350 followed by Clemson at +500.
The Coastal Division is a bit more up for grabs with Virginia Tech the favorite at -110, followed by Miami at +150 and North Carolina at +200. The Hokies return 13 starters from a team that went a perfect 8-0 last season in conference play and finished 11-3 after a 0-2 start. Logan Taylor will have some big shoes to fill with the departure of QB Tyrod Taylor, but the strength of this team lies in a defense that is led by All-American CB Jayron Hosley and All-Conference LB Bruce Taylor.
The Hurricanes will look to put up a challenge with a slew of new faces on both sides of the ball after losing nine starters from last year’s team. The Tar Heels will be looking to put their off-field issues from a year ago behind them in an effort to make a legitimate run at the Hokies.
The SEC has produced the last five national champions and is in a great position to make it sixth straight will Alabama as the second favorite to with the BCS Championship at 11/2. The Crimson Tide are favored at -150 to win the SEC West Division followed by LSU at +200 and Arkansas at +500. Alabama’s starting quarterback position remains up for grabs between A.J. McCarron and Phillip Sims, but both are more than capable of replacing the departed Greg McElroy. Trent Richardson will take over as s the featured running back and Darius Hanks and Marquis Maze should be the two primary receivers in the passing game.
LSU could be a sleeper this season; much like Auburn was a year ago. The Tigers are loaded on both sides of the ball with nine starters returning on offense including RB Spencer Ware and seven starters on a defense that was ranked 11th in the nation in points allowed. The Razorbacks will have to find a way to quickly reload after losing nine starters from last year’s team including QB Ryan Mallett, who is now in the NFL.
The East Division odds have Florida as the favorite at +125, closely followed by Georgia at +160 and South Carolina at +250. Will Muschamp takes over for the retired Urban Meyer as the Gators’ head coach and new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis will switch the offense to a pro set from Meyer’s spread formation. QB John Brantley should benefit from the change after struggling to run the spread last season. Florida returns just four starters on defense, but this team should have little problem finding replacements with a roster that is still loaded with talent from Meyer’s past recruiting efforts.
The Bulldogs return seven starters on offense including QB Aaron Murray and All-Conference TE Orson Charles. The defending East Division Champion Gamecocks are coming off their best season in Steve Spurrier’s tenure as head coach, but lost 11 starters from last year’s squad.
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