James Madison v West Virginia

Geno Smith is Bovada’s new Heisman favorite


Not only did USC’s loss to Stanford take the shine off the Trojans in the eyes of the oddsmakers as a team, it also had an impact individually for one of the pivotal characters in the defeat.

USC quarterback Matt Barkley, a 3-1 favorite entering the season, now sits at 5/1 in Bovada.com‘s odds to win the 2012 Heisman.  The new favorite?  West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith at 5/2; he was at 8-1 prior to the start of the new season.

Putting Smith up as the favorite makes sense after three weeks as the senior is second in the country in QB rating; third in passing yards per game; first in completion percentage, with the same amount of incompletions as touchdowns (nine); and tied for fourth in scoring passes, all the while not throwing an interception in his 75 attempts thus far.

The player who’s taken the biggest tumble since the final preseason odds were released is Montee Ball.  The Wisconsin running back entered 2012 as with 6/1 odds to win the Heisman, second behind Barkley.  After rushing for just 320 yards and two touchdowns — and averaging just 3.8 yards per carry — Ball has seen those odds tumble to 30/1.

Below are the complete set of 2012 Heisman odds, courtesy of Bovada.com and with the preseason odds listed in parentheses:

Geno Smith — West Virginia — QB — 5/2 (8/1)
Matt Barkley — USC – QB — 5/1 (3/1)
De’Anthony Thomas — Oregon — RB — 15/2 (20/1)
Landry Jones — Oklahoma — QB — 15/1 (8/1)
Collin Klein — Kansas State — QB — 15/1 (75/1)
Braxton Miller — Ohio State — QB — 15/1 (65/1)
Le’Veon Bell — Michigan State — RB — 15/1 (125/1)
EJ Manuel — Florida State — QB — 18/1 (30/1)
Denard Robinson — Michigan — QB — 20/1 (15/2)
Aaron Murray — Georgia — QB — 20/1 (15/1)
Marcus Lattimore — South Carolina — RB — 20/1 (18/1)
Tajh Boyd — Clemson — QB — 20/1 (45/1)
AJ McCarron — Alabama — QB — 28/1 (22/1)
Montee Ball — Wisconsin — RB — 30/1 (6/1)
Taylor Martinez — Nebraska — QB — 30/1 (80/1)

Video: There’s nothing wrong with Cardale Jones

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In the minds of some in the media and even more in the fan base, Ohio State in general and Cardale Jones specifically have been underwhelming through the first five games of the 2015 season.

Jones, in particular, has been a rather large target of much of the angst.  Coming off a Cinderella-like three-game postseason run that helped OSU to a national championship, the perception is that Jones has been underwhelming and underperforming; even head coach Urban Meyer appeared to be leaning in that direction as he considered making the switch to J.T. Barrett prior to the Western Michigan win before reaffirming his commitment to the redshirt junior.

Is that perception valid?  Statistically, he’s not that far off from where he was in the 2014 postseason, at least in a couple of categories.

He’s completing 61.3 percent of his passes this season compared to 59.4 percent in the games against Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon.  It was 9.9 yards per attempt in that three-game stretch last season, 8.2 in five games this season.  When it comes to scoring and turning the ball over, however, that’s another matter entirely.

He threw a touchdown pass every 15 pass attempts in the 2014 postseason; this season, it’s one every 21 attempts.  Even more glaring, he’s currently throwing an interception every 21 attempts as well.  During the run that made him a household name, it was one pick every 37.5 throws.

So, fewer touchdowns plus more turnovers equals validation of the angst, right?  Not so fast, at least as far as the college arm of Pro Football Focus goes.

UCLA suspends P Adam Searl following arrest on rape charges

Tre' Hale, Adam Searl
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A very serious allegation has triggered the latest resetting of the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker.

UCLA confirmed in a statement that Adam Searl (pictured, No. 39) has been indefinitely suspended from the football program.  The move comes nearly a day after the punter was arrested on three counts of rape.

He was released a handful of hours after his arrest on a $300,000 bond.

“We have been informed of the situation involving Adam Searl, and we take these accusations very seriously,” UCLA head coach Jim Mora said in a statement. “Adam has been suspended from the team indefinitely while the legal process runs its course. Due to the ongoing police investigation, we are unable to discuss this matter further at this time.”

The arrest stems from an incident that allegedly occurred in the middle of last October, and is the result what the Los Angeles Police Department described as “an exhaustive investigation.” As for what led to the charges, here’s the Los Angeles Daily News‘ account of the alleged incident:

The victim, a student at UCLA, reported the alleged assault to the LAPD on Oct. 14, 2014. She told police that she had met the suspect outside of an off-campus house party in Westwood. They went to another residence, where she fell asleep and awoke to find him assaulting her. She was able to identify Searl following the police investigation.

Searl punted 11 times as a redshirt freshman last season. He had punted five times this season as the backup to Matt Mengel.