Mississippi State has leapt from the ranks of the unranked all the way to No. 17 in the latest AP poll, released Sunday afternoon.
The Bulldogs walloped then-No. 12 LSU 37-7 in Starkville on Saturday evening, the club’s largest margin of victory in the 111-game history of the series. Additionally, Mississippi State’s road blowout victory over Louisiana Tech became even more impressive when the red-and-blue Bulldogs went on the road and beat defending Conference USA champion Western Kentucky.
Elsewhere, San Diego State, Utah and Oregon made their 2017 debuts in the AP poll, replacing Kansas State, Stanford, Tennessee and UCLA. Clemson’s 47-21 drubbing of Louisville allowed the Tigers to nudge past Oklahoma for the No. 2 spot in the poll and pull within 60 points of the No. 1 ranking.
The full poll:
- Alabama — 1,504 total points (45 first-place votes)
- Clemson — 1,446 (15)
- Oklahoma — 1,432 (1)
- Penn State — 1,306
- USC — 1,241
- Oklahoma State — 1,154
- Washington — 1,141
- Michigan — 1,081
- Wisconsin — 1,031
- Ohio State — 1,015
- Georgia — 940
- Florida State — 922
- Virginia Tech — 730
- Miami — 606
- Auburn — 596
- TCU — 553
- Mississippi State — 532
- Washington State — 419
- Louisville — 356
- Florida — 308
- South Florida — 272
- San Diego State — 201
- Utah — 194
- Oregon — 158
- LSU — 153
The lesser of the two exhibition polls was released early Sunday afternoon, and Alabama held off Clemson for the No. 1 spot. There was some thought the Tigers could pass the Tide after their second consecutive impressive victory, but Alabama generated 59 first-place votes to Clemson’s six.
Elsewhere, Mississippi State was this week’s highest climber, jumping into the poll at No. 19. Their victim, LSU, plummeted from No. 12 to No. 23.
Additionally, Stanford, Kansas State and UCLA dropped out after their respective losses Saturday, and Oregon and San Diego State joined the Bulldogs as 2017 newcomers to the poll.
The full poll:
- Alabama — 1,618 total points (59 first-place votes)
- Clemson — 1,535 (6)
- Oklahoma — 1,505
- Penn State — 1,364
- USC — 1,348
- Washington — 1,277
- Oklahoma State — 1,219
- Michigan — 1,171
- Ohio State — 1,052
- Wisconsin — 1,032
- Florida State — 985
- Georgia — 978
- Virginia Tech — 775
- Miami — 659
- TCU — 602
- Auburn — 555
- South Florida — 446
- Washington State — 441
- Mississippi State — 412
- Louisville — 382
- Utah — 324
- Florida — 312
- LSU — 243
- Oregon — 208
- San Diego State — 141
Virginia Tech hits the road this week to take on East Carolina, and they are doing so without starting right corner back Adonis Alexander. Hokies head coach Justin Fuente announced Alexander is not traveling with the team this weekend. Without spilling the details for why Alexander is not traveling with the team, Fuente strongly suggested Alexander was in violation of team rules.
“We will continue to uphold the exemplary standards of Virgina Tech football,” Fuente said in a brief statement. “Integrity, trust, and teamwork remain the foundation of this program and that will not change. Adonis has not lived up to our expectations at Virginia Tech.”
Alexander has started each of Virginia Tech’s first two games of the season and has accumulated 14 tackles and three pass breakups. With Adonis not making the trip to East Carolina this weekend, Virginia Tech will likely slide his backup, Brandon Facyson into the starting role. The redshirt senior has one tackle in the first two games of the year.
No team ever wants to go into a game without a starting cornerback, but the Hokies should be OK in this road contest. The Pirates have the nation’s 20th-ranked passing offense with 310.0 passing yards per game through the first two weeks, but Thomas Sirk has just one touchdown and four interceptions and Gardner Minshew has also been picked off once with one touchdown. Given the early season struggles for the Pirates, East Carolina has both quarterback options listed as potential starters as they continue to figure out how to move the football with any consistency.
Virginia Tech and East Carolina will meet at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday on CBS Sports Network.
Now we know a little more of the rest of the story.
Monday, Virginia Tech announced that Tavante Beckett had been “suspended indefinitely from practice, competition and team-related activities.” No reason, not even the standard “unspecified violations of team rules,” was given.
Wednesday, Andy Bitter of the Roanoke Times added some clarity to the situation by reporting that the linebacker was charged Sept. 11 with possession of marijuana and conspiracy to sell/distribute marijuana. The latter charge is a felony, the former a misdemeanor.
Because one of the charges is a felony, Tech policy dictates an automatic suspension until the case is resolved.
A three-star 2016 signee, Beckett played in 13 games as a true freshman, mostly on special teams. This season, he was listed as the No. 2 middle linebacker for the Hokies.
Ohio State may no longer be viable national title contenders in the eyes of some fans, that’s not how one Las Vegas book sees it.
Despite an embarrassing home loss to Oklahoma Saturday night, OSU is currently an 8/1 favorite to claim the 2017 College Football Playoff championship according to Bovada.lv. That’s down just slightly from the 6/1 they were at after Week 1 and behind just two other teams — Alabama at 7/4 (13/5 on Sept. 5) and USC at 6/1.
And the team that convincingly dropped the Buckeyes? The Sooners are at 8/1 after being at 14/1 a week ago.
Of course, there is precedence for OSU bouncing back from such an early-season loss, which is surely in the back of Vegas’ oddsmaking minds. Three years ago, OSU stumbled in a double-digit Week 2 loss to Virginia Tech before going undefeated the remainder of the year and claiming the 2014 national championship in the first season of the CFP.
Getting back to the here and now, the 2016 national champions, Clemson (20/1), are at 14/1 in Bovada‘s latest title odds, as are Michigan and Penn State. Both of those Big Ten teams hold steady from their odds a week ago.
Houston, at 100/1, is the only Group of Five team still on the board.
Below is the latest set of 2017 national championship odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv.