College Football 2013 Mid-Majors to Watch

College Football Betting Trends- 2013 Mid-Majors to Watch

The last time a Mid-Major football program won a national title was BYU in 1984, but that does not mean that there aren’t a few programs out there that are more than capable of making some serious noise in 2013. The following is a brief look at a few of these schools along with their current odds to win next season’s BSC title as provided by BetOnline.

The team at the top of my list is the Boise State Broncos out of the Mountain West Conference. This has been one of the winningest programs in Division IA over the past decade and a consistent threat to the big boys from the majors in the national rankings. They finished the 2012 season ranked 18th in the final AP poll after going 11-2.

The Broncos have been opened at +6600 to win a national title this season and with a good chunk of their offense back from last season there is some solid value in those odds. Quarterback Joe Southwick is back for his senior year after throwing for 2,730 yards and 19 touchdowns last season. More importantly is the return of wide receiver Matt Miller, who earned All-Conference honors for hauling-in 66 receptions for 769 yards. Two major concerns for the team are the loss of running back DJ Harper, who rushed for 1,137 yards, and seven starters from a defense that was ranked eighth in the nation in points allowed last year.

Another quality Mid-Major that has the ability to make a climb up the polls next season is another team from the MWC, the Fresno State Bulldogs. They have been opened as a +2000 field bet to win a BCS title, but with a very manageable non-conference schedule and an early season home game against Boise State, the Bulldogs are in good position to run off quite a few wins if they can get by the Broncos in mid-September.

Fresno State returns 16 starters from last year’s squad that went 9-4 overall and 7-1 in conference play. Leading the way is quarterback Derek Carr, who entertained thoughts of coming out early for this year’s NFL draft after throwing for 4,104 yards and 37 touchdowns as junior last season. He will have his top two targets back as well in wide receivers Davante Adams and Isaiah Burse. Adams earned All-Conference honors with a team-high 102 receptions for 1,312 yards and Burse was second on the team in receiving yards with 851 yards. These two combined to score 21 touchdowns in 2012.

Fresno State will have a good bulk of its defense back from last season especially up front with its entire defensive line intact. This unit was torched for 42 points in a loss to Oregon and gave up 43 points to SMU in the Hawaii Bowl, but it held Boise State to just 20 points in its only conference loss.

While you will not find the East Carolina Pirates in too many preseason polls or futures odds lists, they remain the ultimate ‘under the radar’ team for 2013. They are coming off an 8-5 campaign in 2012 that included an impressive 7-1 record in Conference USA. What makes them so attractive heading into next season is that they will have 18 of 22 starters back from that squad.

Head coach Ruffin McNeill has to be licking his chops to get this team on the field with quarterback Shane Carden as one of the best kept secrets in college football. He threw for 3,116 yards and 23 touchdowns as a freshman while completing 66.1 percent of his passes. The upside potential remains high for a much better performance this season with solid run support from running back Vintavious Cooper. He rushed for 1,049 yards last year to garner All-Conference honors.

Dave Schwab

DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.