Preseason Prospectus: Football Edition

Top 10 Preseason

May 24th, 2018

1. Alabama Crimson Tide - RiskIt valuation: $690

Vegas Odds: 9/4

Despite a possible quarterback controversy and a third defensive coordinator in four years, Nick Saban is returning with much of the same team. The slight changes give us little reason to wonder if the Crimson Tide are still at the top of their game, and our charts. 

2. Clemson Tigers - RiskIt valuation: $630

Vegas Odds: 6/1

Amongst the scant few reasons to drop Alabama below #1 is Clemson's roster. Dabo Swinney lost of few players to the NFL draft, but maintained clout on both sides of the ball. Clemson is a solid pick at preseason #2.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes - RiskIt valuation: $360

Vegas Odds: 15/2

Despite my heart's allegiances, Ohio State deserves this place at #3...some may argue that they deserved a place in last year's playoff. A quarterback battle rages on, which has become routine for Urban Meyer. There was the usual attrition to the draft, but the Buckeyes remain the team to beat in the Big 10. 

4. Wisconsin Badgers - RiskIt valuation: $250

Vegas Odds: 30/1

Wisconsin has given me a lot of reasons to predict them in the top four, but nothing I say counts for anything on the field. Last season they dropped a couple opportune games, and I suspect maintaining their quarterback, the entire offensive line staff and star running back will put them in similar positions to try again this year. Wins down the line will earn them a longer season. 

5. Georgia Bulldogs - RiskIt valuation: $420

Vegas Odds: 8/1

Kirby Smart has an all-star recruiting class coming in, but he also had some holes to fill. An offense can be built around sophomore Jake Fromm. 

6. Oklahoma Sooners - RiskIt valuation: $300

Vegas Odds: 22/1

Oklahoma will be facing some early challenges (FAU and UCLA) in the season to test their grit, which will tell us if the key pieces they lost to the draft have them where they deserve to be at #6, or if the hype around their replacements have them overvalued. 

7. Washington Huskies - RiskIt valuation: $200

Vegas Odds: 22/1

Jake Browning and Coach Chris Petersen return to show off what they've been building over the past four years. The season will open against Auburn and should satiate that hunger for football we are all feeling. The Huskies have ground to slide upward in rankings should that game fall in their favor. 

8. Penn State - RiskIt valuation: $240

Vegas Odds: 15/1

Most of the team that was four points away from an undefeated season is returning. The new offensive coordinator cut his teeth well in the Fiesta Bowl win but that one game does not showcase how quarterback Trace McSorley will handle a new director. 

9. Notre Dame - RiskIt valuation: $185

Vegas Odds: 55/1

A disappointing end of their season overshadows a hearty beginning, challenge lies in replacing two top 10 O-linemen in Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey, but the team still has plenty to develop. Notre Dame has scheduled themselves a gauntlet of a season and development is imminent. 

10. Auburn - RiskIt valuation: $225

Vegas Odds: 28/1

Plenty of talent on both sides of the ball to repeat last year's SEC West Championship and take it the rest of the way. Gus Malzhan thinks so, too. The trouble is in Auburn's games in Tuscaloosa and Athens this year, but challenge has boded well for them in the past.