LSU is 4/1 ‘chalk’ to win BCS in 2012

Published on Jan. 18 at 2:15 a.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

While Alabama continues to celebrate its second national title in the last three seasons, has released its 2012 future odds to win the BCS Championship.

Although it got blitzed 21-0 by the Crimson Tide in New Orleans, LSU opened as the 7/2 ‘chalk’ (risk $100 to win $350) to win it all in Miami next year. This number has been moved to 4/1 after a few days of betting.

The Tide has the second-shortest odds at 6/1, but we should note that this number opened at 5/1.

Les Miles’s team returns a wealth of talent, including all four of its stud running backs, Heisman finalist Tyrann Mathieu and defensive line stalwarts like Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo. However, fifth-senior quarterbacks Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee are gone, leaving the starting job to Georgia transfer Zach Mettenberger.

Mettenberger will have two years of eligibility remaining. He has great size (6’6”, 235) and was one of the most highly regarded prep players in the 2009 class. Mettenberger had a 32/4 touchdown-to-interception ratio at Butler County CC in Kansas after leaving Athens and before arriving in Baton Rouge.

There was the belief that Mettenberger could get pushed by true freshman Gunner Kiel, but the LSU verbal commit, ranked as this year’s No. 1 prep QB by most recruitniks, stunned Miles by enrolling at Notre Dame instead on Jan. 17. Therefore, the back-up signal caller will be dual-threat redshirt freshman Jerrard Randall.

Alabama and LSU both have to face Arkansas in Fayetteville in 2012, and that will be a tall task for both schools. The Tide will bring back four starters on defense and five on offense. All-SEC players like RB Trent Richardson, SS Mark Barron, CB Dre Kirkpatrick and LB Dont’a Hightower must be replaced, in addition to WRs Marquis Maze and Darius Hanks.

But rising junior QB A.J. McCarron looked extremely sharp in the BCS blowout and appears poised for an outstanding campaign. Even with the departures, he’ll have plenty of talent around him, including RB Eddie Lacy.

The third-shortest odds on the board belong to USC (6/1). Obviously, the early money has come in on the Trojans, who opened at 8/1 along with Oklahoma and Oregon. The Sooners and Ducks remain at 8/1.

The return of senior QB Matt Barkley and junior WR Robert Woods has many thinking that Lane Kiffin has Southern Cal poised to return to the top of college football in its first season off of probation following two years of postseason purgatory.

The Ducks will be without RB LaMichael James and QB Darron Thomas, both of whom bolted early for the NFL Draft. But Oregon fans shouldn’t fret because Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense still has a plethora of talent, including sophomore QB Bryan Bennett and RB De’Anthony Thomas.

Oklahoma brings back veteran QB Landry Jones and will get Oklahoma St. and Kansas St. in Norman.

With QB Aaron Murray returning along with RB Isaiah Crowell, WR Malcolm Mitchell and nearly the entire defense, Georgia has been tabbed with 12/1 odds. Most importantly, the Bulldogs don’t have to play Arkansas, LSU or Alabama – again! The non-conference slate is also a joke with four home games vs. Buffalo, FAU, Ga. Southern and Ga. Tech.

The next-shortest odds belong to FSU (15/1), Va. Tech (25/1), West Va. (30/1), Clemson (30/1), South Carolina (30/1), Notre Dame (30/1), Texas (30/1), Michigan (30/1) and Michigan St. (30/1).

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

–The looming QB battle at Auburn will not include rising senior Barrett Trotter, who started the first seven games of 2011 before being benched. Trotter (11/6 TD-INT) came off the bench and played a key role in the Tigers’ blowout win over Virginia in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl but, sensing his playing time could be limited in 2012, decided to give up football. Trotter has already graduated.

–Former Auburn RB Michael Dyer followed the school’s former offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn to Arkansas St. after being given his release from AU. Dyer was suspended for the Tigers’ bowl game after reportedly testing positive for marijuana. After rushing for more than 1,000 yards during his freshman and sophomore seasons, Dyer is 10th-leading rusher in Auburn history. When Dyer will be eligible to play for the Red Wolves remains in question.

– has released its odds for who will win the Heisman next year. USC’s Matt Barkley is the favorite with 3/1 odds, followed by Wisconsin’s Montee Ball (4/1). Michigan QB Denard Robinson (5/1), Oklahoma QB Landry Jones (6/1) and West Va. QB Geno Smith (8/1) have the next shortest odds. Georgia QB Aaron Murray and South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore are sporting 10/1 numbers, while Clemson’s Sammy Watkins, Alabama’s A.J. McCarron and Nebraska’s Rex Burkhead own 20/1 odds.

–Other notable future numbers for next year include Boise St. (60/1), TCU (60/1), Florida (75/1), Penn St. (100/1), Oklahoma St. (100/1), Stanford (100/1), Tennessee (100/1) and Ga. Tech (200/1).

–If your team takes a cream-cheese bagel in the national-title game, the last thing you want to do is pass out drunk at a Krystal in the French Quarter. This guy did and then an Alabama fan teabagged him. Ouch!

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