NC State Wolfpack

Associated Press

Big 12, Oklahoma lead the way on AP Midseason All-America team

1 Comment

The Associated Press has released its first-ever Midseason All-America team, and it’s a Sooner-centric squad. Lincoln Riley‘s club leads all teams with threeL selections and the Big 12 leads all conference with six members of the 25-man team. The Big 12 claimed both starting wide receiver spots in Oklahoma State’s James Washington and West Virginia’s David Sills V. Washington leads the nation in yards per game with 34 grabs for 882 yards and six touchdowns, and Sills is far-and-away the national leader in touchdown grabs with 12, three ahead of the next closest competitor.

Baker Mayfield earned the First Team nod at quarterback (Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph was on the Second Team) after completing the first half of the year with a nation’s best 207.33 quarterback rating. He has completed 72.7 percent of his throws for 12.0 yards per attempt with 17 touchdowns against one interception. Mayfield also led the nation in efficiency last season, and finished third in 2015.

Not surprisingly, Saquon Barkley and Bryce Love claimed both running back slots. Love leads the country with 1,387 rushing yards on an astounding 10.27 yards per carry. Barkley has amassed 649 rushing yards and six touchdowns to go with 395 receiving yards and two touchdowns and a kickoff return touchdown. The pair are the leading betting candidates for the Heisman to this point.

While the Big 12 led the way with six selections, the Pac-12 and Big Ten followed closely behind with five. The SEC garnered four spots (but none on offense), while the ACC notched three. In addition to Oklahoma’s three, Alabama, NC State and Washington State put multiple players on the First Team.

OFFENSE
QB: Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
RB: Saquon Barkley, Penn State
RB: Bryce Love, Stanford
WR: James Washington, Oklahoma State
WR: David Sills V, West Virginia
TE: Jaylen Samuels, NC State
OT: Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
OT: David Edwards, Wisconsin
OG: Quinten Nelson, Notre Dame
OG: Cody O’Connell, Washington State
C: Billy Price, Ohio State
AP: Dante Pettis, Washington
K: Matt Gay, Utah

DEFENSE
DE: Bradley Chubb, NC State
DE: Austin Bryant, Clemson
DT: Hercules Mata’Afa, Washington State
DT: Maurice Hurst, Michigan
LB: Roquan Smith, Georgia
LB: Josey Jewell, Iowa
LB: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
CB: Jalen Davis, Utah State
CB: Levi Wallace, Alabama
S: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
S: DeShon Elliott, Texas
P: Johnny Townsend, Florida

Alabama remains Bovada’s national championship favorite, but Buckeyes are rising

AP Photo/Nati Harnik
8 Comments

After a handful of upsets throughout the top 10 this past weekend, the national championship odds updated by Bovada had some interesting developments. Alabama remains the easy favorite, but Ohio State continued to move up the board from Bovada this week.

Alabama is being given 10/11 odds of winning the national championship this week, after being 5/4 odds a week ago. Ohio State now has the second-best national championship odds with 5/1 odds on the Bovada board. Despite the loss on Friday night at Syracuse, Clemson is still third on the board with 9/1 odds.

Undefeated Georgia and Penn State each have 10/1 odds from Bovada, with undefeated Wisconsin getting a 20/1 shot to win it all. TCU and Miami, each also undefeated, share the same 28/1 odds to win it all, which are the same odds given to one-loss USC. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State each have 25/1 odds.

Washington (40/1) and Auburn (75/1) took big hits on the Bovada board after losses this weekend, but Washington State dropped from 50/1 all the way down to 300/1, while Texas moved from 200/1 to 1,000/1. On the flip side, Michigan State jumped on the board after being off last week. The Spartans are 100/1 this week.

AP Poll: Alabama a unanimous No. 1, Penn State to No. 2 and Ohio State now the highest 1-loss team

Getty Images
16 Comments

Four top-10 teams losing to unranked opponents in one week tends to shake things up a bit.

For starters, Alabama is now unanimously viewed as the No. 1 team in the country. The Tide earned every available No. 1 vote in Sunday’s Coaches’ Poll and the companion AP poll, released Sunday. Penn State moved up to No. 2, the program’s highest ranking since 1999. Georgia followed behind at No. 3, while TCU and Wisconsin filled out the top five.

A fifth straight blowout was enough for Ohio State to jump three spots forward to No. 6, putting the Buckeyes at the front of the 1-loss train, ahead of Clemson.

LSU re-joined the poll after knocking off then-No. 10 Auburn, but remained three spots ahead of the blue-and-orange Tigers. West Virginia bumped then-No. 24 Texas Tech out and moved in at No. 23, while Memphis made its 2017 debut, replacing No. 25 Navy.

And, cementing the AP’s status as the greater of the sport’s two opinion polls, voters moved Michigan State ahead of Michigan a week after the Spartans’ win in the Big House.

The full poll:

1. Alabama — 1,525 total points (61 first-place votes)
2. Penn State — 1,432
3. Georgia — 1,417
4. TCU — 1,322
5. Wisconsin — 1,241
6. Ohio State — 1,184
7. Clemson — 1,117
8. Miami — 1,109
9. Oklahoma — 1,066
10. Oklahoma State — 900
11. USC — 886
12. Washington — 811
13. Notre Dame — 798
14. Virginia Tech — 727
15. Washington State — 578
16. South Florida — 573
16. NC State — 573
18. Michigan State — 563
19. Michigan — 558
20. Central Florida — 387
21. Auburn — 303
22. Stanford — 274
23. West Virginia — 157
24. LSU — 108
25. Memphis — 62

Penn State, Georgia, TCU go 2-3-4 in latest Coaches’ Poll

Getty Images
5 Comments

The lesser of the two opinion polls was released Sunday morning, with a major shakeup in the top 10. Following losses by Clemson, Washington and Washington State, Penn State has moved to No. 2 in the Coaches’ Poll, followed by Georgia, TCU and Wisconsin to fill out the top five. Ohio State gained two spots to No. 6, while Miami’s last second-win over Georgia Tech boosted the Hurricanes three spots to No. 7. Clemson dropped to No. 8, while fellow 1-loss contenders Oklahoma, USC and Oklahoma State followed thereafter, each bumping ahead three spots.

In keeping up with the regular inconsistencies, Michigan remains four spots ahead of Michigan State despite the teams having the same record and Sparty the head-to-head, and the same held true for LSU and Auburn.

The full poll:

1. Alabama — 1,575 total points (63 first-place votes)
2. Penn State — 1,483
3. Georgia — 1,450
4. TCU — 1,345
5. Wisconsin — 1,338
6. Ohio State — 1,243
7. Miami — 1,144
8. Clemson — 1,106
9. Oklahoma — 1,079
10. USC — 930
11. Oklahoma State — 917
12. Washington — 914
13. South Florida — 716
14. Virginia Tech — 701
15. Michigan — 657
16. Notre Dame — 614
17. NC State — 573
18. Washington State — 564
19. Michigan State — 469
20. Central Florida — 439
21. Auburn — 354
22. Stanford — 286
23. West Virginia — 144
24. Texas A&M — 94
25. LSU — 80

Pat Narduzzi, teammates support Pitt player’s decision to kneel during National Anthem

Associated Press
7 Comments

The National Anthem protest that has enveloped the NFL has created barely a ripple in the college game — in large part because the vast majority of teams are in the locker room when it’s played — but there have been pockets of college players following the lead of their professional counterparts.  One such instance came Saturday afternoon, with Pitt walk-on kicker Ian Troost going solo in kneeling for the anthem prior to the game against North Carolina State.

He wasn’t alone, though, as senior offensive tackle Jaryd Jones-Smith stood behind Troost with his hand on his shoulder.

Afterwards, Pat Narduzzi said he supported Troost’s decision.

“I’m never going to tell a guy you can’t do something,” the head coach said according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “What we’ve talked about is, if you’re going to do that, you’re trying to make a statement, we’re going to stick together. Someone had his hand on his shoulder saying, ‘We’re with you.'”

“I know I’m going to stand and put my hand over my heart,” Narduzzi added.

Troost’s teammates were supportive as well, with one stating that “[m]y take is everyone should be able to do what they think is needed to express themselves,” and another “[e]verybody has their own freedom to do as they please.”

One, however, questioned the effectiveness of this avenue of protest.

“Is really taking that knee going to prove anything?” senior cornerback Avonte Maddox said. “That’s a statement for 30 seconds. You want to take action.

“If you really want to get out and do something, we want to go out in the real world and do things to make actual change, not 30 seconds of fame making a statement out there. Is that really going to help us?”

Troost, who is white, wasn’t made available to the media by the Panthers after the game.