A Way Too Early Look at the 2021 NCAAF Season

Let’s get into the 2021 NCAAF season! Nick Saban and Alabama have had roughly a month to savor their 2020 college football national championship. You know the Crimson Tide is back to work preparing to win another in 2021.

Alabama will lose a number of key players as well as coaches from their national title team, but they will simply reload as they are among the favorites to win it again.

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Here’s a way too early look at the 2021 NCAAF season.

Roll Tide

The last team to win consecutive national championships was … you guessed it … Alabama. Saban and company did it in 2011 and 2012. 

In order to do it again, Saban will need to replace QB Mac Jones, RB Najee Harris, and Heisman Trophy winning WR DeVonta Smith. Saban has already had to replace most of his offensive staff which followed former OC Steve Sarkisian to Texas.

Regardless, Saban will have five five-stars and 15 four-star recruits added to the roster this season. Bryce Young, the No. 2 recruit in last year’s class, will take over at quarterback. 

With another outstanding roster, Saban and the Tide are the +300 favorite to win a second consecutive national title. Alabama has won six national championships in the last 12 seasons.

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2021 NCAAF Season – The Usual Suspects

Since the introduction of the College Football Playoff, it seems there have been a handful of schools that have dominated. Alabama, of course, is one. Clemson is another. The Tigers have played in six straight CFPs and have won two national championships.

They will lose QB Trevor Lawrence, likely the first pick in the 2021 NFL draft, and RB Travis Etienne. Like Alabama though, Clemson will reload. D.J. Uiagalelei will take over at quarterback and the offense likely will not miss a beat. 

The 6-4 sophomore started last year in place of Lawrence when he was out due to the coronavirus. Uiagalelei is a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate. He is one of the reasons why Clemson is favored at +350 to win a third national title in six years at online sportsbooks.

Ohio State has played in four of the seven CFPs. Last year, the Buckeyes lost in the national championship game. Head coach Ryan Day will lose QB Justin Fields, another high draft pick. Like Saban at Alabama, Day has a roster full of four- and five-star athletes that make the Buckeyes a +400 favorite to win next year’s national championship.

The other usual suspect is the Big 12’s Oklahoma. The Sooners have also played in four of seven CFPs. They made it to three straight before losing two games early last season. 

Oklahoma did, however, win another Big 12 title and the Sooners return QB Spencer Rattler. That is one of the reasons they are listed at +800 to capture the CFP.

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Longshot for the 2021 NCAAF Season

It’s extremely hard for teams to break through into this upper echelon of college football. If there is a team that could do so during the 2021 NCAAF season, it might be Iowa State.

What head coach Matt Campbell has done there is incredible. Last year, Campbell’s Cyclones beat Oklahoma and Texas in the same season. Iowa State lost to Oklahoma in the conference championship game and finished 9-3 overall. 

The Cyclones are given +5000 odds to win it all, but they will return QB Brock Purdy and Big 12 leading rusher Breece Hall who had 1,572 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns last season.

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