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)
The Willie Taggart era at Oregon is barely a month old, and already the first crisis has arrived.
A report from The Oregonian uncovered that at least three Ducks football players have been sent to the hospital after undergoing grueling workouts administered by new strength coach Irele Oderinde, who followed Taggart from South Florida. Offensive linemen Doug Brenner and Sam Poutasi and tight end Cam McCormick are in “fair condition” at Springfield’s PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend, where they have remained since late last week.
Poutasi has reportedly been diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, a soft tissue condition triggered by overwork that can lead to kidney damage.
While those three players remained hospitalized, The Oregonian reports the rest of the team was required to complete the same workouts this week:
The sources said that some players “passed out” and others later complained of discolored urine, which is a common symptom of rhabdomyolysis. After testing, others were found to have highly elevated levels of creatine kinase, an indicator of the syndrome.
“The safety and welfare of all of our student-athletes is paramount in all that we do,” Oregon said in a statement to The Oregonian. “While we cannot comment on the health of our individual students, we have implemented modifications as we transition back into full training to prevent further occurrences.
“We thank our medical staff and trainers for their continued monitoring of the students and we will continue to support our young men as they recover.”
Taggart visited the players in Riverbend before leaving the state to recruit, the paper reported.
Brenner is entering his senior season, while Poutasi and McCormick redshirted last fall.
Tennessee is still in search of its next athletics director, which has become a point of contention lately — and especially over the past 24 hours.
Alabama hired Greg Byrne away from Arizona without ever letting the job hit the open market, which begs the question, just what the heck are they doing in Knoxville? Outgoing AD Dave Hart has been outgoing since before football season started. Getting outmaneuvered by their rivals to the south — their immensely more successful rivals to the south, at least in the sport that matters in Tennessee — has created turmoil for an athletics department that majors in it.
As an apparent slice of red meet to the fans, the Vols let it be known Monday Phillip Fulmer is a serious candidate for their AD job.
“Fulmer has grown close to Tennessee President Joe DiPietro and a group of influential boosters have been working behind the scenes to help install him as Dave Hart’s replacement, according to people close to the situation,” Wolken writes.
Fulmer has exactly zero athletics director experience, but he is a harken back to the glory days of yonder for the Volunteers. He went 152-52 in 17 seasons with six top-10 finishes, three SEC titles, six SEC East crowns and a national championship in 1998.
In fact, even the “bad” Fulmer seasons — a .531 SEC winning percentage with one top-15 finish and one SEC East championship from 2005-08 — compare favorably with the marks of his three successors. Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley and Butch Jones have collectively posted a .349 SEC winning percentage with zero top-15 finishes and zero SEC East championships in the eight seasons since Fulmer’s dumping.
It’s not clear what Fulmer brings to the department beyond a familiar face and a living, breathing link to the glory days, but perhaps those attributes are good enough at Tennessee.
Missouri State running back Richard Nelson was fatally shot in the back while attempting to break up a fight on Saturday night. He was 18 years old.
According to a description of the altercation from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nelson was at his home in his native Las Vegas when he attempted to break up a fight between his older sister and “several individuals” when one of the individuals shot Nelson multiple times. Officers responded to a call and transported him to Sunrise Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“I saw blood and everything,” Nelson’s girlfriend Christina Martinez told the Review-Journal. “The next thing I know, I look at him in the eyes. I touch his head and his eyes are closed. I heard his last breath and I just cried and cried,” she said Sunday. “I knew at that moment that I should have done something more. I wish I could have hugged him one last time. I wish I could have kissed him and said goodbye.”
Nelson planned to fly back to Missouri on Sunday to begin preparations for his redshirt freshman season in 2017.
“Our Missouri State football family is in shock and mourning at the loss of one of our family members,” Missouri State coach Dave Steckel said in a statement. “Richard is like a son and a brother. It is a tragedy that he lost his life defending what is right. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in Las Vegas, and we know he is in a good place with God. We ask everyone to respect the privacy of our football family at this time as we begin the healing process.”
“Richard is like a son and a brother,” added Missouri State AD Kyle Moats. “It is a tragedy that he lost his life defending what is right. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in Las Vegas, and we know he is in a good place with God.”
The average college football team topped 30 points per game for the first time in the game’s history, according to data compiled and released by the NCAA.
The typical team scored 30.04 points per game this fall, busting the record of 29.7 points per game per team set last fall. The Big 12 led all conferences with an average of 33.58 points per game. Western Kentucky led all teams with 45.5 points per game.
Consequently, the 2016 season also set the record for the longest average game time in FBS history.
As Dennis Dodd for CBS Sports notes, this is the seventh time since 2000 the average scoring record has been broken. That same record was broken 19 times in the previous 63 seasons.
This season also saw records broken for average total offense (417.5 yards per game), yards per play (5.83), yards per pass attempt (7.39) and touchdowns per game (3.82).
However, teams did average 182.99 rushing yards per game, the highest number since 1979.