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How Michigan's Recruiting Class Affects College Football Playoff Championship Odds

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With a star-studded 2016 recruiting class in tow, Jim Harbaugh's Wolverines have risen in the College Football Playoff odds for next year.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Not even a month removed from Alabama's exclamation point over Clemson in the 2016 College Football Playoff Championship, the odds for next season's contenders already are dangling for bettors.

For Michigan, who just had a 10-3 season under a Jim Harbaugh that's now fully-acclimated with his surroundings, it's evident that the Maize and Blue will be a viable contender next season. Bovada opened up the odds for the 2017 College Football Playoff just a handful of days after Alabama defeated Clemson to win the national title. It was no surprise that the defending champions and the runner-ups were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, but it was more of a surprise that Michigan was tied for the third-best odds:

Bovada's 2017 CFP Championship Odds before National Signing Day
School Odds
Alabama 7/1
Clemson 15/2
Baylor 12/1
Michigan 12/1
Ohio State 12/1
LSU 14/1
Notre Dame 14/1
Oklahoma 14/1
Stanford 14/1
Florida State 16/1

Now, National Signing Day has come and gone, and Harbaugh raked in the fifth-best recruiting class in 2016. As a result, the numbers have fluctuated and the current Bovada futures for the 2017 College Football Playoff are listed below. Though the Wolverines remain tied for the third-best odds, their pricing made a substantial leap:

Bovada's 2017 CFP Championship Odds after National Signing Day
School Odds
Ohio State 6/1
Alabama 7/1
Michigan 15/2
Clemson 15/2
Oklahoma 14/1
Tennessee 14/1
LSU 14/1
Baylor 16/1
Stanford 16/1
Notre Dame 16/1

Yes, in less than a month, Michigan's odds have gone from 12/1 to 15/2.

Obviously, this list doesn't equate to what we can expect once a full year has been consumed. This could just be an alteration of the sportsbooks to avoid duplicating odds from that logjam in the top 10. Still, Michigan has jumped Baylor and is deadlocked with Clemson. And know this: Michigan's odds have every right to be where they now are.

Numbers will change, and hell, it's only February. But that shouldn't prohibit any premature excitement for fans because the Wolverines could be in the thick of things once 2017 rolls around. And it's never a negative to have the 'books on your side.