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2013 Preseason Top 25: Ohio State opens with fourth best odds to win 2014 BCS Championship Game

The Buckeyes enter 2013 with the fourth best odds to win the 2014 BCS Championship Game.

Braxton Miller and company open 2013 with the fourth best odds to win the 2014 BCS Championship Game.
Braxton Miller and company open 2013 with the fourth best odds to win the 2014 BCS Championship Game.

Someone much smarter than us once said that if you really want to gauge a truly accurate, un-beholden preseason top 25, you look to those with the most on the line. While it's no secret that the coaches basically punt on their top 25 (lettings SIDs and the like handle the honors) and even the most steadfast members of the press likely don't have the opportunity to truly perform their due diligence week in-week out, the oddsmakers in Vegas have literal money on the line.

The earliest odds for the 2013-2014 college football national championship race didn't take long to come to light, and while Ohio State ends 2012 as the lone unbeaten in college football, given a light schedule, they'll very likely have to run the gauntlet again if they want a chance to finish where Alabama finished yesterday evening hoisting the Coaches' Trophy.

CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman was the first with next season's odds (courtesy of Vegas Insider RJ Bell):

Even with all Ohio State brings back, given how Texas A&M closed their season, it's a little bit surprising to see them behind the Buckeyes. And also given how many LSU Tigers declared for the draft today, it's somewhat curious Ohio State and/or A&M aren't ahead of them.

All in all, fourth is probably something most Ohio State backers can get behind. But what would've happened if the 2012-2013 Ohio State Buckeyes had faced national champion Alabama?

We'll always be left to wonder.

UPDATE: Bovada's odds are now out, and they cast the Buckeyes in a slightly more favorable light. Their sports book pegs the Buckeyes as having the third best odds to win it all in 2013-2014:

Odds to win the 2013-2014 BCS National Championship
Alabama 5/1
Oregon 8/1
Ohio State 17/2
LSU 12/1
Texas A&M 12/1
Florida 14/1
Florida State 14/1
Clemson 22/1
Louisville 22/1
Notre Dame 22/1
Miami 25/1
Oklahoma 25/1
South Carolina 25/1
Georgia 28/1
Nebraska 28/1
Stanford 30/1
Texas 30/1
Michigan 33/1
USC 33/1
Oklahoma State 40/1
UCLA 40/1
Mississippi State 50/1
Wisconsin 50/1
TCU 66/1
Virginia Tech 66/1
Boise State 75/1
Michigan State 75/1
North Carolina 75/1
Oregon State 75/1
Arkansas 100/1
Arizona 100/1
Kansas State 100/1
Rutgers 100/1
Tennessee 100/1
Washington 100/1
Cincinnati 125/1
BYU 150/1
Pittsburgh 150/1
West Virginia 150/1
Auburn 200/1
Georgia Tech 200/1
Iowa 200/1
Missouri 250/1
Boston College 300/1
California 300/1
South Florida 300/1