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50 For 50, No. 44: Florida Is The Odds-On Favorite In The SEC East?

There are 44 days until Florida's football opener against Florida Atlantic on September 3.

So, somehow, Florida has the best odds in the SEC East to win the SEC. Wait: Florida is the odds-on favorite in the SEC East? Kegs 'n Eggs' Adam Kramer has the Bodog odds for winning the SEC, and they're stunning:

Odds to win SEC (per Bodog): Bama 9/5, Florida 9/2, Georgia 5/1, LSU 5/1, S. Carolina 6/1, Arkansas 14/1, Tenn 18/1

Somehow, the South Carolina team that won the SEC East and made it to Atlanta last year has worse odds than both Florida and Georgia to win the SEC outright. I stand by my immediate reaction to that information: If you can bet on a team that returns a fair bit of its defense and the best running back/wide receiver combination in the SEC to win that league at 6/1 odds, you're getting great value.

The actual SEC East odds make a little more sense. Florida, at 7/4, is the favorite to win the division and go to Atlanta, South Carolina follows at 5/2, Georgia is at 5/1, Kentucky is 25/1, and Vanderbilt is HA HA HA SURELY YOU JEST 75/1.

But still: Florida's the favorite to win the SEC East? The Gators' schedule is brutal, Will Muschamp's roster is young, and the South Carolina game that might determine the division winner is in Columbia. (Inevitably, it will be at night and "Sandstorm" will haunt our souls. Sorry, but you know I'm right.) I get the general idea — South Carolina is still helmed by Stephen Garcia, and these Gators could really be dominant if they live up to their potential early and often — but I wouldn't bet a Florida State fan's money on Florida to win the SEC East, much less the SEC.

Why is this exciting enough to be on our 50 For 50 list, though? Well, being the putative favorite before the season when we're fairly sure we'll be anything but when it starts might be fun. Few fan bases do deeply cynical as well as Florida's, and this just gives us another punch line for all the jokes about John Brantley interceptions that we're preparing just in case.

And, hey, if Florida does somehow turn into a terrifying machine of speed and death and win the SEC, it's delivering on a promise no one thinks these Gators are even realistically making in their most rah-rah of chaos-creating moments! Surprises are fun!

Root for Florida. But if you must wager on the fine sport of college football, consider betting on Carolina.