The Associated Press released its preseason Top 25 college football poll Monday and, to no one's surprise, the Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide enter the campaign ranked first and second, respectively.
The Tigers and Crimson Tide have met in three of the last four College Football Playoff championship games and are expected to do so again this season. Clemson is the +225 favorite to win the national title, followed by Alabama at +250. Georgia (6-1) is the only other team with odds shorter than 10-1 to win the championship.
Though it was hardly unexpected to see Clemson and Alabama top the poll, some other teams' rankings don't reflect their respective odds in the betting market. Here's a look at the teams ranked too high and too low in the AP preseason Top 25, according to oddsmakers.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (No. 9)
Notre Dame reached the College Football Playoff last season, and the first AP poll has the Fighting Irish at No. 9. But the betting market isn't quite as bullish. The Irish are 50-1 to win the national championship, the same odds given to Washington, Utah, Penn State, and Nebraska. Oddsmakers also have Notre Dame tied for the 10th-lowest odds to make the College Football Playoff at 12-1. The Fighting Irish will be good again, returning 13 starters from last year's 12-1 team, but the betting market doesn't expect a return to the postseason this year.
Texas A&M Aggies (No. 12)
The Aggies sit No. 12 in the AP's first poll and they certainly have the talent to be a top-10 team. The betting market, however, isn't nearly as high on Texas A&M, pegging the program at a distant 200-1 to win the national title and 30-1 to reach the College Football Playoff. The apparent lack of respect from oddsmakers has nothing to do with talent. Texas A&M faces one of the toughest schedules in the country, joining South Carolina as the only teams with the tall order of facing Clemson, Alabama, and Georgia - the three national championship favorites. The AP preseason poll ranks how teams look right now, but the betting market believes the Aggies' schedule will be too much to overcome over a full campaign.
Penn State Nittany Lions (No. 15)
Penn State is an obvious candidate to regress in 2019 after going 9-4 last season with experienced quarterback Trace McSorely. This year, the Nittany Lions will be breaking in a new quarterback while navigating a schedule that includes Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State - with three of those games on the road. The AP preseason poll pegs Penn State to remain a top-15 team, but the betting market disagrees: The Nittany Lions are 25-1 to make the College Football Playoff, 100-1 to win the national championship, and 20-1 to capture the Big Ten title.
Michigan Wolverines (No. 7)
The AP poll has Michigan at a respectable No. 7, shortly behind rival Ohio State at No. 5. The betting market loves the Wolverines this year, though, making Michigan the fourth-ranked national title favorite at 14-1 and the 8-5 favorite over Ohio State (2-1) to take the Big Ten championship. It's not a huge discrepancy, but oddsmakers have Michigan as the nation's fourth-best team heading into the season, ahead of Ohio State, Oklahoma, and LSU.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (No. 24)
The biggest surprise of the AP preseason poll is Nebraska at 24. There's a lot of love in the betting market for the Cornhuskers heading into Scott Frost's second season. Nebraska is the third-ranked favorite to win the Big Ten title at 8-1, yet Michigan State (16-1), Penn State (20-1), Wisconsin (20-1), and Iowa (30-1) all rank higher in the AP poll. One note: The Cornhuskers' odds are traditionally shorter than they should be because Nebraska fans flock to Las Vegas to bet futures. Last year, the Cornhuskers were Westgate LV SuperBook's largest liability to win the national title. They finished 4-8. Regardless, bettors and oddsmakers expect Nebraska to outperform its preseason AP ranking.
Memphis Tigers (unranked)
The Tigers are getting no love in the AP preseason poll. What's interesting here is UCF at No. 17 while Memphis is unranked. The betting market doesn't see much of a difference between the two, listing them as co-favorites (5-2) to win the AAC championship. It's not entirely surprising to see UCF ranked and Memphis left out, though; the Knights finished 12-1 last year and get much more media attention. But if you judge these teams based on their respective odds, they're much closer than the AP preseason rankings suggest.