Oddsmakers jump on Tide bandwagon

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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

Florida is opening spring practices to fans

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What’s one easy way to get fans on board with a new head coach? Invite them to practice.

Florida head coach Dan Mullen wants the doors to be open to fans to come watch the Gators practice during the first two spring practices the Gators will conduct next month. Seats will be limited at the practice field, of course, but Mullen seems optimistic this will help get the energy going for the program from the jump this spring, and that could potentially lead to a good crowd at Florida’s spring game to wrap up the spring practice schedule.

Florida is scheduled to begin their spring football practices on March 16. That practice and the next day will be open to fans to attend practice, which likely will lead to some personal interactions with coaches and players for any fans who take Mullen up on his offer. Florida’s spring game is scheduled for April 14.

Florida fans may be getting a chance to see a hard-working bunch of Gators. Early indications are Florida players are already claiming to be working harder than they have in years in the offseason workout routine.

But it won’t be just the fans that will be given some exclusive first-hand looks at the Gators this spring. Mullen will also look to extend an open invitation to Florida faculty and staff to some spring practices. Those dates are yet to be determined.

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Clemson commit wins free Chick-fil-A for a year

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Who doesn’t love a good meal from Chick-fil-A? Hopefully Clemson commit BT Potter does because he just won free Chick-fil-A for an entire year.

Potter was voted the Chandler Catanzaro Kicker of the Year, and to the victor go the waffle fries. In addition to a $1,000 scholarship, Potter will have a one-year supply of Chick-fil-A meals on the house. That could add up to a lot of chicken sandwiches for the second-ranked kicker in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals.

This wasn’t a contest won by asking for retweets on Twitter, but Potter did have Clemson fans come to his support by stuffing an online ballot box. Maybe Potter can use his Chick-fil-A year-long supply to hand out some milkshakes.

The best part about all this? There doesn’t seem to be any way for the NCAA to come in and ruin the fun, as there are no NCAA violations in play here. Score one for the good guys.

Potter, a native of South Carolina, committed to the Tigers back in June 2017.

WATCH: Penn State players danced to Backstreet Boys and Nicki Minaj at THON

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Everybody, rock your body! Penn State football players put on an impressively choreographed performance during a brief skit at Penn State’s annual THON dance marathon.

Although Penn State players were unable to participate in a separate THON-related event due to a scheduling oversight and an NCAA rule, a handful of representatives from the football program took the stage to show off their best dance moves (as did every other Penn State sports team, and more). The mix started off with some Backstreet Boys and ended with some Nicki Minaj, with one player dressed for the part.

The results from Penn State’s annual dance marathon are in too. Penn State students raised $10,151,663.93 to put toward fighting pediatric cancer.

Florida players say they are working harder than ever before in offseason workouts

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It did not take very long for Dan Mullen to prove his way of working in the offseason is going to be a little different from what Florida players had become accustomed to. Judging by a few tweets from Gators players coming out in recent days, Mullen has Florida players working harder than they have in quite some time.

It is not all that uncommon to have a completely new approach to training and physical conditioning any time there is a coaching change at a football program, and the mere change in workout approach alone can be enough to send a jolt through an entire program. Not to suggest workouts under former head coach (and new Michigan offensive assistant) Jim McElwain were easy, but some players on Florida’s roster are claiming on Twitter the workouts they are going through now are getting the job done.

Mullen brought strength and conditioning coach Nick Savage with him from Mississippi State, and you probably see why. Savage has quickly earned the respect of a number of the Florida football players after some intense workouts. Mullen and Savage are out to raise the bar when it comes to both toughness and physical endurance. That could have been seen as an area of weakness for Florida the past couple of years against certain teams (Alabama and Michigan, for example).

The work being put in now is just the beginning for how Mullen wants to get Florida back to the top of the SEC. Getting the team stronger now will have to lead to on-field development as well, especially on offense. Fortunately for Mullen, the offense has been one of his specialties.

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