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AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Early 2024 College Football Conference Champion Value Picks

We are just 50 days from the start of the 2024 college football season. Things will look much different in 2024, with the Power Five shifting to a Power Four. Here’s an early look at each conference’s potential value picks to make a run at finishing atop the standings.



Let’s start with the conference that’s been most dominant in college football for the past decade and a half: the SEC. Five of the top seven current national title favorites hail from the SEC (Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Ole Miss, and LSU). Things are going to be wild within the conference this year, and we could see even more upsets than usual in college football thanks to realignment. It says a lot about the depth of the conference that Kentucky Wildcats odds to win the SEC are 11th at +10000 considering the success Mark Stoops has had with the program, registering in the AP top 25 in each of the past four seasons with a high of No. 7 in 2022. The more realistic value to win the conference is Texas A&M at +1500. The Aggies underperformed last season but have plenty of talent and could instantly get in the CFP mix if new head coach Mike Elko has immediate success.


Big Ten

The clear conference that’s currently in the top two with the SEC in NCAAF is the Big Ten, which adds four stellar schools in Oregon, UCLA, USC, and Washington. For years, it’s been Ohio State or Michigan finishing first in the Big Ten, with the Buckeyes winning from 2017-2020 and the Wolverines winning from 2021-2023. With Jim Harbaugh and a bunch of players leaving Michigan, Ohio State is the deserving favorite this season—but keep an eye on Penn State (third-best odds) potentially finally getting over the hump after a year of experience under quarterback Drew Allar’s belt.



The weirdest thing about the recent realignment might be Cal and Stanford playing the “Atlantic Coast Conference” from the total other side of the country (SMU joined as well). Ultimately, the ACC this year is likely to come down to one of the established schools, with Florida State looking to build on 2023’s phenomenal break out campaign, Clemson eyeing to get back closer among the nation’s elite, and Miami entering Year 3 under Mario Cristobal. If the ACC is balanced, you can consider watching a team like Louisville (7-1 in the conference in 2023) with the fifth-best odds at +650 in Jeff Brohm’s second year at the helm.


Big 12

The Big 12 might be the most wide-open conference among the new Power Four this season, but Utah (+300) is the favorite and has a chance to bring a tough style of football under Kyle Whittingham that translates incredibly well. As for values to win the conference, it’s hard not to like fellow new entrant Colorado at +2500. They got off to a tremendous start under Deion Sanders last year before the wheels fell off a bit. But the Buffs have high-end talent in quarterback Shedeur Sanders and two-way star Travis Hunter, and we’ll see if the roster turnover leads to more success throughout the entire season. Overall, Colorado being outside the top ten in odds to win the Big 12 seems off, as Coach Prime has shown he can get a program on the right track—and they have the quarterback to go places if he’s protected.