Tide's Ingram takes Heisman in 'closest race ever'

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In the storied history of the Alabama football program and the 75-year history of the Heisman, no Tide player has ever taken home the prestigious hardware.

Until tonight.

Surrounded by well over 20 past winners, an extremely emotional Mark Ingram was named as the 75th winner of the Heisman.  It was the closest race in the history of the award.

The sophomore running back had been by most accounts the front runner since around the midpoint of the season, but seemed to come back to the pack with a poor showing in the second-to-last game of the season against Auburn.  In the end, though, his season-long excellence, combined with a tremendous effort in the SEC title game, allowed the sophomore to hold off the nation’s leading rusher.

As we said, it was the closest race in the history of the Heisman, surpassing the 1985 battle between Auburn’s Bo Jackson and Iowa’s Chuck Long, which went Jackson by a scant 45 points.

Ingram finished a mere 28 points ahead of Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, with the final tally ending up 1,304-1276.  Ingram garnered 227 first-place votes, while Gerhart was just behind him at 222.

The three voting regions that did not have a finalist — the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Midweast — are what proved to be the impetus that pushed Ingram over the edge and into the trophy.  Ingram finished first in all three of those blocs, with Gerhart second in each.  Ingram also took the South, while Gerhart took the Far West for his only regional “win”.

Somewhat surprisingly, Texas’ Colt McCoy ended up third in the voting.  Not surprising that he finished well behind the winner, mind you, but that he finished well ahead of Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh — 1,145 (203 first-place votes) to 815 (161).

In perhaps the most stunning development of the night, Florida’s Tim Tebow, somehow, picked up 43 first-place votes in finishing a distant fifth with 390 points.

C.J. Spiller had 26 first-place votes and 223 points to finish sixth, while Boise State quarterback Kellon Moore came in seventh with 10 and 100, respectively.

Report: Florida State TE Mavin Saunders pursuing graduate transfer to Kansas

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Florida State tight end Mavin Saunders will pursue a graduate transfer to Kansas, according to a report from Bud Elliott of SBNation.

Saunders did not record a statistic as a redshirt junior in 2017. He caught 10 passes for 182 yards in 12 appearances in 2016, and made two starts as a redshirt freshman in 2015.

A native of the Bahamas, Saunders graduated from The Kinkaid School in Houston before enrolling at Florida State. The Jayhawks are losing their top tight end from the 2017 team. Senior Ben Johnson finished second on the club with 30 receptions for 363 yards and one touchdown this fall. He was the only tight end to catch a pass this season.

Scott Frost adds AP Coach of the Year to award haul

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Scott Frost will have to make room for a little more hardware as he moves to Nebraska. On Monday, the Associated Press named Frost its coach of the year for the 2017 season.

Frost received 21 first-place votes and 100 total points in the voting consisting of 57 voters in the AP Top 25. Frost beat out Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney for the award following an undefeated 12-0 season at UCF that ended with an AAC championship and a berth in the Peach Bowl as the highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion. Despite already being hired to be the head coach at Nebraska and UCF hiring a new head coach, Frost has stayed committed to coaching the Knights in the bowl game even if it makes for some long days flying between Lincoln and Orlando as he pulls double duty.

Frost turned UCF football around in short order. After inheriting a team that had gone 0-12 just prior to his arrival, Frost reinvigorated the mindset of the program and led UCF to a 6-7 season in his debut as UCF head coach in 2016. To follow that up in 2017, Frost led UCF to an undefeated season and conference championship to help return the program to a big bowl game for the first time since facing Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl with Blake Bortles at quarterback.

Frost already collected a few coach of the year honors with the Eddie Robinson Award from the Football Writers Association of America and the Home Depot Coach of the Year award.

West Virginia WR David Sills V to return in 2018

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Watch out Big 12, because West Virginia has a very dangerous combination confirmed to be returning in 2018. Days after quarterback Will Grier announced his intention to return to Morgantown for another season, his top wide receiver says he will be there too. David Sills V announced his decision to return for the 2018 season on Monday, giving West Virginia the most potent passing combo in the Big 12 heading into next season.

“After talking with my family and my coaches and taking time in prayer, I have decided to return for my senior season at West Virginia University,” Sills said in a released statement. “I look forward to our bowl game and having another year with my teammates here in Morgantown. It is important to me to finish what I started in the classroom and help our program win a Big 12 championship. WVU holds a special place in my heart, and I am looking forward to seeing what this team can accomplish next year.”

Sills V caught 60 passes for 980 yards and a nation-leading 18 touchdowns this season for West Virginia, leading to being named a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award and multiple All-American nods.

“David proved this year that he can be one of the best receivers in college football,” West Virginia head football coach Dana Holgorsen said. “Another season will help him improve in all areas, and I know our fans will be excited  to see him team up with Will Grier for another year.”

Bovada likes Alabama to beat Georgia, but Oklahoma has odds in their favor

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Alabama has long been considered the favorite to win the national championship in college football according to Bovada this season, and that is not exactly changing with the College Football Playoff here. But if the Crimson Tide get paired up with Oklahoma, Alabama could be playing the role of underdog.

The latest odds released for each possible College Football Playoff national championship scenario have been updated by Bovada, and they continue to bode well for Alabama if they end up facing Georgia in Atlanta. Alabama is a 7/2 favorite against Georgia, while Georgia has been given 25/4 odds to beat the Crimson Tide. Georgia also has 13/2 odds against Clemson, while the Tigers have been given 4/1 odds against the Bulldogs.

The odds continue to bode well for Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma, however. The Sooners have been given 6/1 odds against Alabama and 7/1 odds against Clemson should Oklahoma get by Georgia in the Rose Bowl semifinal to play for their first College Football Playoff national championship.

Here are the different odds for the College Football Playoff national championship as updated by Bovada on Monday morning;

  • Alabama over Georgia – 7/2
  • Alabama over Oklahoma – 4/1
  • Clemson over Georgia – 4/1
  • Clemson over Oklahoma – 6/1
  • Georgia over Alabama – 25/4
  • Georgia over Clemson – 13/2
  • Oklahoma over Alabama 6/1
  • Oklahoma over Clemson – 7/1

Which bet do you like the most?