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Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin among 16 Maxwell Coach of the Year semifinalists

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One recent branch of Nicktator’s coaching tree will be vying with his former boss for one set of coaching honors.

The Maxwell Foundation on Thursday announced its 16 semifinalists for the 2017 George Munger College Coach of the Year Award.  Alabama’s Nick Saban is one of the select 16, as is Florida Atlantic’s Lane Kiffin, who spent the previous three seasons as Saban’s offensive coordinator.

The SEC leads all conferences with four semifinalists, followed by two each for the ACC, Big 12 and Big Ten.  The Pac-12 is the lone Power Five conference with just one.

Kiffin is one five Group of Five semifinalists, joining UAB’s Bill Clark, UCF’s Scott Frost, Army’s Jeff Monken and Fresno State’s Jeff Tedford.  The MAC and Sun Belt are the lone conferences without at last one semifinalist.

Alabama the new No. 1 in College Football Playoff ranking; Clemson moves to No. 2, Oklahoma and Miami crack top four

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After quite an active weekend in college football, the selection committee for the College Football Playoff had some work to do with their weekly rankings. Having the benefit of letting the dust settle from the flurry of activity seen over the weekend, the committee gathered as they do on a weekly basis, discussed their thoughts and cooked up a fresh batch of rankings, including a familiar name as this week’s new No. 1.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are back on top of the College Football Playoff rankings for the first time since the final rankings of the 2016 season. What may have been a bit surprising was the rise of Clemson to No. 2, ahead of No. 3 Miami and No. 4 Oklahoma. The committee appears to be giving Clemson credit for their earlier wins because the Tigers have not particularly have been as good as Oklahoma, or Miami. But Clemson was unquestionably going to be in the top four, and the rankings at this point really mean very little as far as the specific seeding is concerned, especially with Clemson locked into the ACC Championship Game against Miami.

What was questioned was how the committee would rank an unbeaten Wisconsin against a two-loss Auburn after last week. The Badgers stayed just ahead of the Tigers, and Wisconsin is the first team out at this point. If Wisconsin wins out, the Badgers will have the door left open with the assumption they would move past either Clemson or Miami after one takes a loss in the ACC Championship Game.

The committee also moved Ohio State and Penn State into the bottom fo the top 10 this week, providing a good path to a possible late playoff push for Wisconsin or Ohio State. USC is the Pac-12’s highest-ranked team at No. 11 this week, suggesting the Pac-12 still needs a good amount of help to get a team in the playoff this year.

UCF remains the highest-ranked team in the Group of Five hunt, but they continue to be joined by their conference allies from the AAC with Memphis moving up one spot this week. There is also a new Group of Five challenger on the selection committee’s radar with Boise State rounding out the top 25 this week.

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Miami
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Auburn
  7. Georgia
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Ohio State
  10. Penn State
  11. USC
  12. TCU
  13. Oklahoma State
  14. Washington State
  15. UCF
  16. Mississippi State
  17. Michigan State
  18. Washington
  19. NC State
  20. LSU
  21. Memphis
  22. Stanford
  23. Northwestern
  24. Michigan
  25. Boise State

 

Who has the best odds to make the College Football Playoff, besides Alabama?

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The latest batch of College Football Playoff selection committee rankings will be released in a few hours, but Bovada has already updated their odds to make the playoff this season ahead of the latest rankings. No matter how the rankings look tonight, the playoff picture is beginning to come into view.

Alabama remains not just the favorite to win the national championship, but the Crimson Tide are an easy favorite to make the playoffs according to the latest Bovada odds. Oklahoma may be a rising favorite to win the national championship, but the Sooners actually have the third-best odds of making the playoff behind last year’s national champions, Clemson. Whatever the case, Bovada feels pretty confident the ACC champion is going to get in this season. Miami is listed with the fourth-best odds to make the playoff, suggesting the ACC champion is a pretty safe bet if you pick the right team.

The same may not be said for the Pac-12. USC has the best odds among Pac-12 teams at +1000, which are the same odds currently given to Michigan, the team sitting in fourth place in the Big Ten East Division as of today. Michigan actually has better odds than Penn State (+1500), a team they were dominated by earlier this season. Wisconsin (+150) and Ohio State (+300) have much better odds of reaching the playoff out of the Big Ten.

From the best odds to the worst on the board, here is how Bovada is currently listing the playoff contenders

  • Alabama -700
  • Clemson -250
  • Oklahoma -200
  • Miami -140
  • Wisconsin +150
  • Georgia +170
  • Auburn +200
  • Ohio State +300
  • Michigan +1000
  • USC +1000
  • Penn State +1500
  • TCU +1500
  • Notre Dame +2000
  • Oklahoma State +2000
  • Washington +2000

Oklahoma has second-best odds to win national title, but Alabama remains the favorite

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Alabama survived a road trip over the weekend and remains the favorite to win this year’s national championship, according to Bovada. But the latest batch of championship odds has a bit of a twist this week with some big name contenders falling over the weekend. Notre Dame is now off the board entirely after getting blown away by Miami for their second loss of the year. And Oklahoma continues to surge and now has the second-best odds on the board to win it all.

Oklahoma’s path to the College Football Playoff has been pretty clear for a few weeks now. If the Sooners go 12-1 with the Big 12 championship, they feel like a solid lock to make the College Football Playoff. And with the Heisman Trophy runaway favorite leading the offense, the Sooners look dangerous.

The ACC has a couple of worthy contenders as well. The defending national champions, Clemson, and the undefeated Miami Hurricanes each have +800 odds according to Bovada. That feels about right, given the assumption the ACC champion is heading to the playoff and both Clemson and Miami have locked in their spot in the ACC Championship Game.

Auburn moved up the board as well, and ahead of Georgia, after blowing out the previous top-ranked team in the playoff standings. Auburn still must face Alabama in the Iron Bowl, but the Tigers have put bettors on notice.

Latest National Championship Odds via Bovada

  • Alabama -110
  • Oklahoma +400
  • Clemson +800
  • Miami +800
  • Auburn +1000
  • Georgia +1200
  • Wisconsin +1200
  • Ohio State +1600
  • USC +6600
  • Michigan +7500
  • Washington +10000

If you feel inclined to put any money on Washington, you can always just send it my way and I’ll double the buyout being offered by Bovada should it happen. Washington is sitting in third place in the Pac-12 standings and is an incredibly long shot to make the playoff for a second-straight season.

Miami and Oklahoma move into top four of AP Top 25

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Georgia and Notre Dame each managed to stay in the top 10 of the AP Top 25 this week after getting blown out on the road, which has allowed both Miami and Oklahoma to move into the top four this week. Miami even picked up some first-place votes from the AP voters following their dominating performance against the Fighting Irish.

No. 1 Alabama remains on top of the poll with a sizable share of the first-place votes from the voters. Miami’s ranking at No. 2 is the highest Miami has been ranked in the AP poll since the 2003 season when they reached the same spot in the poll.

No. 3 Oklahoma moved past No. 4 Clemson and took advantage of No. 7 Georgia and No. 9 Notre Dame falling in the polls. The AP voters kept No. 5 Wisconsin ahead of No. 6 Auburn, and the Tigers did move ahead of the Georgia team they just demolished. No. 8 Ohio State and No. 10 Oklahoma State each jumped into the top 10 this week. No. 11 TCU fell three spots to fall out of the top 10, while No. 12 USC and No. 13 Penn State each moved up three spots to just on the outside of the top 10. The Trojans and Nittany Lions each moved ahead of No. 14 UCF, who remained in the same spot in the poll this week. No. 16 Washington also tumbled out of the top 10, falling five spots, yet they remain in front of the team that beat them Friday night, No. 20 Stanford.

No. 17 Mississippi State actually moved up one spot in the poll this week despite losing at home to Alabama. Meanwhile, No. 24 West Virgina won on the road and dropped one spot in the poll.

Here is this week’s AP Top 25:

  1. Alabama (57 first-place votes)
  2. Miami (4)
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Clemson
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Auburn
  7. Georgia
  8. Ohio State
  9. Notre Dame
  10. Oklahoma State
  11. TCU
  12. USC
  13. Penn State
  14. UCF
  15. Washington State
  16. Washington
  17. Mississippi State
  18. Memphis
  19. Michigan
  20. Stanford
  21. LSU
  22. Michigan State
  23. USF
  24. West Virginia
  25. NC State