BCS National Championship - Florida State v Auburn

Las Vegas says Florida State, Oregon, Alabama the top favorites in 2014


The Florida State Seminoles look to have the odds in their favor to repeat as national champions in the 2014 season. According to Las Vegas Sports Book, Florida State is opening with 4/1 odds to win the national championship.

The Oregon Ducks are also were given good odds at 5/1. Alabama has opened at 6/1. The Ducks could be the Pac-12 favorite with Marcus Mariota back for another season and looking to make up for a season that fell a tad shy of expectations in Eugene in the first year of the post-Chip Kelly era. Alabama always seems to have the betting line sin their favor and despite sending eight more players through the NFL Draft it looks as though Vegas is feeling pretty confident Nick Saban will once again be able to reload instead of rebuild in the fall.

Some other notable betting odds, courtesy of David Purdum via Twitter…

The championship stage will be different this season with four teams being selected by a selection committee to participate in a four-team playoff. How this affects the betting odds is over my head, but it is still a good litmus test for which teams could be the trendy picks in the new season. Some schools tend to have more money bet on them than others (Notre Dame will always bring in a little more money than Oklahoma State, for example), and the betting lines are a reflection of that in some ways.

One team that might be worth keeping an eye on might be UCLA. The Bruins have a talented roster coming back in 2014 and a very favorable schedule with home games against Oregon, USC and Stanford in conference play and they play a game against Texas early in Arlington, Texas. At those odds, UCLA might be a good-value bet.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah