Oddsmakers jump on Tide bandwagon


Throughout the offseason and in the week leading up to the start of the 2012 season, oddsmakers had pegged USC as the team most likely to walk away at the end of the year hoisting the crystal football.

The Trojans’ “upset” loss at the hands of Stanford over the weekend shook up the race for the BcS title, and also caused at least one gambling website to shift its focus to a team that’s been there, done that two of the past three years.

In the latest set of odds released by Bovada, Alabama, ranked No. 1 in both the coaches’ and Associated Press polls each of the last two weeks, is the prohibitive favorite to win the 2012 BcS championship, coming in at 19/10.  LSU currently sits at 7/2, up from 6/1 in the last set of numbers released in late August.  In fact, five of the 13 teams with the best odds per Bovada hail from the SEC.

USC, which had been a 3/1 favorite, tumbled to 12/1.  Ahead of the Trojans are Florida State (8/1), Oregon (9-1) and Georgia (11/1).

Arkansas entered the season with 25/1 odds to win claim the BcS title.  An embarrassing home loss to Sun Belt Conference member Louisiana-Monroe and a humiliating woodshedding at the hands of the Tide, however, have dropped the Razorbacks to 500/1.

Below is the complete set of BcS championship odds, courtesy of Bovada.com:

Alabama 19/10
LSU 7/2
Florida State 8/1
Oregon 9/1
Georgia 11/1
USC 12/1
Oklahoma 15/1
West Virginia 20/1
Notre Dame 25/1
Stanford 25/1
South Carolina 28/1
Texas 30/1
Florida 30/1
Clemson 40/1
TCU 60/1
Cincinnati 75/1
Mississippi State 75/1
Michigan 80/1
Kansas State 100/1
Michigan State 100/1
Nebraska 100/1
Oklahoma State 100/1
Oregon State 100/1
Louisville 100/1
Arizona 100/1
Wisconsin 125/1
Virginia Tech 150/1
BYU 150/1
UCLA 200/1
Missouri 300/1
Tennessee 300/1
Arkansas 500/1
Boise State 500/1
Georgia Tech 500/1
Miami (Florida) 500/1
Texas A&M 500/1

Reports: Bob Diaco finalizes deal with Oklahoma

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It appears Lincoln Riley has all but officially gotten his man.

Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Bob Diaco was expected to take a job on Riley’s Oklahoma football staff. Friday, Pete Thamel of SI.com tweeted that Diaco has finalized a deal to join the football program. ESPN.com‘s Adam Rittenberg subsequently confirmed the initial report.

With all 10 of Riley’s on-field assistant slots filled, Diaco will serve as a defensive analyst for the Sooners.

Diaco spent the 2017 season as the defensive coordinator at Nebraska, let go after that one year following the firing of head coach Mike Riley.  Prior to that brief stint in Lincoln, he was the head coach at UConn for three seasons before being fired after going 11-26 during his time with the Huskies.

Prior to that, he was the coordinator at Notre Dame for four seasons from 2010-13.

Florida’s athletics facilities upgrade scheduled to be completed in 2021

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Dan Mullen is just breaking in his new office chair, but it will be a few more years until the new head coach to truly be able to get comfortable in his new digs. The University of Florida is scheduled to begin a complete overhaul of the athletics facilities in Gainesville this summer. When it is complete, a brand new state-of-the-art football training facility will be among the highlights of the $130 million project.

The new football facility is planned to occupy a space currently used by Florida’s baseball stadium. WOrk on the football facility will have to wait until the baseball program can move into its new stadium that is part of the renovation plans at Florida.

“With the change in facility locations for both baseball and football, we will now adjust the sequencing for these projects,” Florida AD Scott Stricklin said in a press release, according to Gridiron Now. “Baseball will need to be built first, which will allow us to repurpose the current baseball site and put the stand-alone football complex in that space.”

The new football training facility will take up a good chunk of the renovation costs with an estimated price tag of $65 million for a 130,000 square foot structure. Florida won’t have to wait until 2021 to use the facility, however, as the Gators should be expected to be able to start using the new complex as early as 2019 while the construction and renovation continues.

Michigan high school coach shuts doors to EMU football following shutting down of athletic programs

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Eastern Michigan University made some tough decisions this week when it cut four athletic programs. Although cutting football was not deemed to be an option by AD Scott Wetherbee, the decision is already having some ramifications for the football program moving forward as one high school in the state of Michigan says the Eagles are no longer welcome on their premises.

Noel Dean, who coaches both the football and wrestling programs at Lowell High School, stated in a public letter addressed to EMU head coach Chris Creighton that he will no longer welcome Creighton or anyone else associated with EMU to his high school for recruiting purposes if the university goes through with cutting the wrestling program. Dean also issues a warning to Creighton in the letter, suggesting it may not be long before the university takes another hard look at the value of the football program.

“I can’t stand by and not take a stand against what is happening at EMU with the wrestling program,” Dean wrote in his letter, which was shared by Michigan Grappler. “Wrestling contributes too much to the fabric of our schools systems in Michigan (a guy from South Dakota might not get it), but if I stick to the facts on this. wrestling is only a bone to keep people happy FOR NOW. They are coming for you next.

“If this goes through, you and your staff will not be allowed in any one of our buildings.”

That is most certainly a hard line in the sand putting EMU on notice. If one school in the state of Michigan decides to close its doors to EMU and this message spreads throughout the high school coaching community in the state of Michigan, EMU would be in some serious trouble.

Helmet sticker to The Detroit Free Press.


Ed Warinner goes from $250K Michigan analyst to $525K U-M line coach

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Ed Warinner‘s bank account might want to consider sending Jim McElwain a thank-you note.

In January of this year, Warinner left Minnesota to take a job as a senior offensive analyst at Michigan. However, a month later, McElwain was added as U-M’s wide receivers coach; in an unsurprising twist to that move, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Tim Drevno officially stepped down from his twin posts eight days after McElwain’s hiring and ultimately ended up back at USC.

McElwain, as had been widely expected before he was officially added to Jim Harbaugh‘s coaching staff, took over Drevno’s coordinating duties. Warinner, meanwhile, was officially named as Drevno’s replacement as line coach earlier this month.

According to mlive.com, Warinner has signed a two-year contract that will pay him $525,000 in 2018 and $550,000 in 2019. His scheduled salary for his role as an analyst with the football program? A “measly” $250,000.

Warinner spent the 2017 season as the offensive line coach and running-game coordinator at Minnesota. Prior to that, He was the line coach at Ohio State from 2012-16. In 2015, he added the title of co-offensive coordinator.