Discover BCS National Championship - Notre Dame v Alabama

Alabama an even heavier betting favorite to repeat

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Or re-repeat, as the case may be.

With the start of the 2013 season a mere two days away, Bovada.lv has released its final preseason odds.  And, as expected, the two-time defending BCS champions remain a prohibitive favorite to claim their fourth title in five years.

A 3/1 favorite back in early May, Alabama is now listed as the 5/2 favorite for the 2013 BCS title.  Shortly after winning the BCS title in January, the Tide was listed as a 5/1 favorite.

Ohio State’s odds are listed at 6/1 (up from 13/2), followed by Oregon at 9/1.

Notre Dame, Alabama’s opponent in that title game, continues a slide in the eyes of the betting site.  Listed at 22/1 in January, the Fighting Irish have fallen to 28/1 in early May; 40/1 following the departure of starting quarterback Everett Golson; and now 50/1 ahead of the opener.

The Domers aren’t the only ones slipping, though, as Texas A&M has gone from 8/1 in May to 14/1 in August, presumably due to the uncertainty swirling around Johnny Manziel.  Georgia and Louisville also come in at 14/1.

For those looking for an underdog, Boston College, Iowa and USF are all listed at 500/1.

Below are the latest odds for the 2013 BCS title, again courtesy of Bovada.lv:

Alabama 5/2
Ohio State 6/1
Oregon 9/1
Georgia 14/1
Louisville 14/1
Texas A&M 14/1
Stanford 18/1
LSU 18/1
Clemson 20/1
Texas 20/1
South Carolina 22/1
Florida State 22/1
Florida 25/1
Miami 33/1
Michigan 33/1
Nebraska 40/1
Oklahoma 40/1
Oklahoma State 40/1
USC 40/1
Notre Dame 50/1
UCLA 50/1
TCU 66/1
Wisconsin 66/1
Boise State 100/1
Michigan State 100/1
Oregon State 100/1
North Carolina 125/1
Mississippi 125/1
Auburn 150/1
Kansas State 150/1
Rutgers 150/1
Virginia Tech 150/1
Washington 150/1
Northwestern 150/1
BYU 200/1
California 200/1
Arkansas 250/1
Arizona 250/1
Cincinnati 250/1
Georgia Tech 250/1
Mississippi State 250/1
Missouri 250/1
Pittsburgh 300/1
Tennessee 300/1
West Virginia 300/1
Boston College 500/1
Iowa 500/1
South Florida 500/1

Gophers’ leading sacker ruled out of game vs. Nittany Lions

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 01: Tai'yon Devers #92 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers forces a fumble on Darell Garretson #10 of the Oregon State Beavers in the first quarter at TCF Bank Stadium on September 1, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Gophers recovered the fumble setting up a touchdown.(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
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With injuries decimating its own linebacking corps, Penn State may have caught a break on the other side of the ball.

With the Week 5 game against Minnesota still three days away, the Gophers have already announced that Tai’yon Devers has been ruled out against the Nittany Lions.  Devers is dealing with an ankle injury that will sideline the freshman through at least this coming Saturday.

The defensive end currently leads the Gophers in sacks with three, including one in last week’s game against Colorado State.  That one proved to be an absolute smothering of the Rams’ unfortunate quarterback.

In addition to the sacks, Devers also leads the Gophers with three forced fumbles in three games.  According to head coach Tracy Claeys, Dever being more aware of his on-field surroundings could’ve allowed him to add to those totals this weekend.

From the St. Paul Pioneer-Press:

The Rams tried to cut Devers, who has wreaked havoc off the edge.

“He has to learn to protect himself,” Claeys said. “He’s going to see that a little more.”

Ex-LSU AD repeats claim Les Miles turned down Michigan, more money in 2011

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 03:  Head coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers leads the team on to the field at Tiger Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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One of the biggest open secrets in all of college football has been confirmed (?) by a person who purportedly had a front-row seat to the spectacle.

Shortly after Rich Rodriguez was fired following the 2010 season, Michigan put on the full-court press to land Les Miles as his replacement.  It was known at the time that then-UM athletic director David Brandon and other school officials flew down to Baton Rouge to meet with Miles, who played his football for the Wolverines in the mid-seventies and was an assistant at his alma mater a decade later.

The open secret many still swear by?  That on that trip south Brandon had offered the job, along with a significant raise to what he was making at LSU, to Miles, who ultimately decided to turn it down and stay with the Tigers.

During a radio interview Wednesday, Skip Bertman, LSU athletic director from 2001-2008, confirmed that version of events

“Les Miles turned that job down for more money at Michigan. He turned it down,” Bertman told the ESPN Radio affiliate in Baton Rouge. “He would never say that because he’s a very humble guy. But I was there; he turned it down.”

Renowned Michigan historian John Bacon, however, disputes not only the 2011 claim, but the 2007 claim by Kirk Herbstreit and one made in 2014 as well.

The football program hired Rodriguez in 2007 and Brady Hoke in 2011, then stuck with Hoke through a rough 2014 season that had Miles-to-Ann Arbor speculation flying yet again. Ultimately, though, the university finally landed its Michigan Man in Jim Harbaugh.  I’m thinking that’s working out just fine for the program, regardless of how exactly things transpired with Miles in the past.

Big Ten to use commemorative coin to honor Sam Foltz, Mike Sandler

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Tributes to Nebraska punter Sam Foltz and former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler have seemingly been a weekly occurrence across college football the first four weeks of the season, and the players’ conference will get on board in Week 5.

A commemorative coin will be used to honor both Foltz and Sadler at all seven Big Ten games this weekend, the league announced Wednesday.  As this is the first full weekend of conference action, the coins, with Foltz on one side and Sadler on the other, will be used for the coin flip prior to each league matchup.

The Cornhuskers have decided to use the coins for the remainder of the season.

Folks and Sadler were killed in a July car accident on their way home from a kick camp in Wisconsin. LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye was injured in the wreck, but is kicking this season for the Tigers and honoring both by wearing special cleats.

Below are the coins that will be used, courtesy of the Big Ten:

sam-foltz

mike-sadler

Nick Saban would ‘love’ for Blake Barnett to stay at Alabama

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 05:  Blake Barnett #6 of the Alabama Crimson Tide throws before the Advocare Classic against the Wisconsin Badgers at AT&T Stadium on September 5, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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At least from Alabama’s side of it, the door’s not completely shut on Blake Barnett‘s future being in Tuscaloosa.

Earlier Wednesday, a report surfaced that Barnett had decided to leave the football program and transfer out.  In meeting with the media a short time later, Nick Saban confirmed that Barnett had “expressed some concern about his future” at a meeting earlier in the day.

The head coach said he “didn’t know” when asked if Barnett, who lost the starting quarterback job to true freshman Jalen Hurts earlier this year, was still a part of the team, although he made it clear that the redshirt freshman was still welcome in the locker room if he changes his mind.

“Blake is a fine young man,” Saban said. “He’s done a great job with his program, and we’d love to see him be a part of the program in the future, but we also want him to do what’s best for him.”

Barnett, who started the opener against USC but held on to the job for just tw series, was a five-star 2015 recruit who 247Sports.com rated as the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the country.  The California high school product originally committed to Notre Dame in November of 2013 before decommitting from the Irish in June of the following year.