Deandre Francois Heisman (20/1) – Francois burst onto the stage last year as a freshman on opening weekend against Ole Miss, putting up 419 yards en route to a 22 point comeback victory. He slowed down a bit the rest of the season but still showed some electric flashes that have us drooling over these odds.
Florida State plays one the toughest schedules in the country which means voters’ eyes will consistently be on Francois. A big game against Alabama could place him at the top of the polls immediately.
On the field, Florida St. had an awful O-Line last year and he was getting constantly chased from the pocket. He still threw for more yards than any other freshman. With a greatly improved O-line I expect to see Francois take a leap in his sophomore season similar to Lamar Jackson last year and become the best player in the country.
Florida SEC Champ (10/1) - Any time you are betting against Alabama to win the SEC, it’s a tough pill to swallow. However, I think a weak SEC East makes this a great value. Florida is stacked at every position, and are starting highly touted freshman Felipe Franks at QB, which I think is a great sign. Even if they lose to Michigan week 1 with a skeleton squad the value is still there, because they are a shoe in to represent the East in the SEC Championship. Georgia and Tennessee both have big question marks. If they are in that game, you are getting +1000 odds to beat Alabama (or another SEC west foe).
I also think Jim McElwain is the next big college football coach. This is by far the most talent he’s had on a roster in his career and I’m looking forward to what he can do with it. He has been successful with much less.
TCU Big 12 Champs (8/1) – The Big 12 is up in the air this year and I think TCU has just as good of a chance as any other team to conference. There are new coaches at the traditional powers Oklahoma, Texas, and Baylor which I think leaves Gary Patterson as the clear best coach in the conference. He certainly has the most experience, which matches his roster that brings a lot of guys back from last year.
This pick lies very much in the hands of QB Kenny “Trill” Hill. Hill had the ultimate break out game at Texas A&M, dropping 500+ yards on South Carolina. However, failed to live up to those expectations which ultimately resulted in his departure from A&M. He has as much talent as any QB in the country and by all accounts has worked hard this offseason for his final chance to prove the hype long ago was worth it. They will need to beat either Oklahoma or Oklahoma St. on the road this year to make this happen, however at 8/1 odds I love the horned frogs to finally win the Big 12.