For the first time in three years there is a new favorite to win the College Football National Championship, as Clemson has supplanted Alabama as the oddsmakers’ pick for 2020. The Tigers are a 2/1 selection according to BetOnline, while the Crimson Tide is at 11/4.

Clemson football
Members of the Clemson football team celebrate their national championship victory over Alabama two weeks ago. (Image: USA Today Sports)

Bovada and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook have Clemson as a the 7/4 favorite, while Alabama is at 5/2.

This is a big change from the beginning of the year when Alabama was the top pick by oddsmakers. The Crimson Tide was 2/1 to win the 2020 national championship, while Georgia was second at 9/2 and Clemson was third at 6/1.

Upset Changes Odds

Then Clemson faced Alabama in the College Football Playoff Championship in Santa Clara and destroyed the Crimson Tide, 44-16. The Tigers defeated Alabama for the third time in the CFP. It was the third time the two have met in the title game, with Clemson winning two of three times. Alabama won 45-40 in 2015, while Clemson won the following year 35-31.

Ironically the No. 2 ranked team has pulled off the upset in all three contests. Being the favorite in the College Football Playoff  Championship has not been an advantage at all. In the other two match ups, the lower ranked team has won every time.

This year, though, was the largest margin of victory, beating Ohio State’s 42-20 defeat of Oregon in 2015.

The day after Clemson shocked Alabama, coach Dabo Swinney still marveled at his team’s performance.

“I don’t think that we went into the game thinking we were going to beat Alabama by four touchdowns,” Swinney said. “It just kind of went that way. It was our night, and we got control of the game. Sometimes when you get momentum rolling like we were able to get it and just the energy all channeled in the right direction, it can kind of be insurmountable, and that’s what happened.”

Breaking SEC Reign

Clemson is just one team that will be challenging the SEC’s dominance in the College Football Playoffs next season. There has been at least one SEC team in the CFP, and in 2017 both Alabama and Georgia made the final game.

In the 2019 season, the SEC might be challenged more aggressively, not only by Clemson, but by the Big Ten Conference.

Ohio State, which won the inaugural CFP Championship in 2015, has odds of 8/1 to win the 2020 title game. Despite losing legendary coach Urban Meyer, his replacement, Ryan Day has already grabbed some five-star recruits and pulled off a coup when former Georgia quarterback Jason Fields.

Another Big Ten team that should challenge for a spot in the CFP is Michigan. Jim Harbaugh managed to lure away Josh Gattis from Alabama and named him his new offensive coordinator. New quarterback recruit Cade McNamara also should help him immediately.

Another team that landed a coveted quarterback was Oklahoma. They won the Jalen Hurts sweepstakes, when the former Alabama starter picked the Sooners over a host of other teams clamoring for his services. As a result Oklahoma went from a 30/1 pick to win the national championship to a 16/1 pick.

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