In Louisiana, we have two seasons: Summer and football season (okay, and maybe crawfish season).
It’s never too early to start thinking about college football in Louisiana: Saturday nights in Death Valley, where it never rains. Dancing outside of Cajun Field, or doing the Hullabaloo at Yulman Stadium and rooting for the Tulane Green Wave.
Online sports betting is up and running in Louisiana, and many sportsbooks have already posted odds on who the next college football champion will be and the Heisman Trophy favorite.
There have been some great college moments in Louisiana sports history. Can LSU and new coach Brian Kelly give Louisiana another one (or two) in 2022?
What do the Oddsmakers say?
It’s no surprise that at Caesars, BetMGM, and DraftKings, the favorite to win the 2022 college football national title is Alabama and (former LSU coach) Nick Saban. Alabama is +200 at Caesars and at BetMGM to win the title….again. The Crimson Tide is the favorite at DraftKings at +225.
The reigning national champs, Georgia Bulldogs, are next on the list at all three sportsbooks, but with a different number at all three. Georgia is +250 at BetMGM, +275 at DraftKings and +325 at Caesars.
How about dem Tigers?
The Bayou Bengals check in at DraftKings at +6000, mixed in with a group of schools that includes Penn State, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Miami, and Florida. BetMGM has the Tigers at +8000.
LSU will look a lot different in 2022. The Tigers are coming off a 6-7 season that saw coach Ed Orgeron step down late in the year. LSU nabbed former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly to be its next head coach. The Tigers are scheduled to open the Kelly Era Sunday, Sept. 4, against Florida State.
Odds for Louisiana
LSU isn’t the only Division 1 college football program in the state. The University of Louisiana–Lafayette is coming off a 13-1 season. It even included a victory in the New Orleans Bowl and the Sun Belt Conference title. The DraftKings sportsbook has the Ragin’ Cajuns as +50,000 to win the national title. BetMGM has them at +20,000.
The rest of Louisiana’s teams are big underdogs. Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, and Tulane are each +100,000 at DraftKings and BetMGM.
What about the Heisman?
A pair of LSU stars have their names up on the BetMGM odds to win the Heisman Trophy. Wide receiver Kayshon Boutte is +8000 to win the prize as college football’s best player, and so is transfer quarterback Myles Brennan. That’s a duo worth watching in 2023.
No surprise that Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, who won the Heisman in 2021, is the favorite to win the trophy again in 2022. BetMGM lists Young’s odds as +250. Only one person, Archie Griffin of Ohio State, has won the trophy twice in his career. That was in 1974 and 1975.
Greatest college football moments in Louisiana
Louisiana college football is full of legendary moments and traditions that span generations. Here’s a look at some, but there are plenty of others to debate.
Cannon’s Run: Yes, just mention Ole Miss and Halloween night, and an LSU fan knows exactly what you mean. Billy Cannon’s 89-yard punt return against the Rebels in 1959 stands the test of time as one of the greatest plays in history.
Perfect Wave: 1998 belonged to the Wave. Led by future NFL quarterback Shaun King, the Green Wave rolled to a 12-0 record, beating BYU in the Liberty Bowl and finishing sixth in the final polls.
ULM 21, Alabama 14: Sure, the Crimson Tide are the big dogs now, but back in 2007, Nick Saban and the Tide were mere pups. ULM (formerly known as Northeast Louisiana) took down the Tide on a touchdown by Marty Humphrey in the third quarter.
The Bayou Classic: Every year, the Superdome turns into Party Central for the Bayou Classic between HBCU’s Southern and Grambling. And then there are the bands, Grambling’s “World Famed” group and the Human Jukebox from Southern put on a show that’s sometimes better than the game. Grambling won 29-26 in 2021.
LSU 2019: Perhaps the most outstanding college football team ever assembled, LSU went 15-0 to win the national title and featured Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow’s pro career is off to a good start, as he just guided the Cincinnati Bengals to Super Bowl LVI.