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Dave Clawson calls Lamar Jackson’s Wake accusations ‘fake news’

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In a story that was Peak Offseason that has bled into the actual season, Dave Clawson has clapped back at Lamar Jackson‘s assumption that Clawson anonymously trashed the Heisman winner’s future NFL prospects.

For those with better things to do, here’s the primer: an unnamed ACC coach spoke to Sports Illustrated about Deshaun Watson‘s NFL chances, where this quote was published:

“We played [Watson] and Lamar Jackson, and Jackson has no shot at playing quarterback in the NFL. None,” the coach said. “He can’t make the throws and can’t read coverages. He’s not going to have a chance.”

Jackson said at ACC media days that he thought he knew the identity of the unnamed coach. “Yeah, I heard Wake Forest. I heard (it was) the Wake Forest coach,” he said. “But we won, so I don’t really care.”

Clawson has now come out and stated that hot take did not belong to him.“This is what’s called fake news,” Clawson told Demon Deacon Digest on Monday.

“I think he is one of the very best players in all of college football, and one of the most dynamic quarterbacks I’ve seen play the game,” Clawson said. “I have great respect for him as a player and how he’s developed as a quarterback.”

For the record, Jackson completed 14-of-26 passes for 145 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions — his second-lowest passer rating of the regular season — while rushing 22 times for 153 yards. Louisville won the game 44-12 in a game better remembered as the Wakeyleaks game. Watson experienced better success against Wake Forest, hitting 23-of-33 throws for 202 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions while rushing seven times for 47 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-13 Clemson victory.

Bovada continues to tap Alabama as 2017 title favorite

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When last we left Bovada.lv‘s odds for the 2017 national champion, 2016 runners-up Alabama sat atop the initial wagering odds.  On the cusp of a new season?  Same old, same old.  Pretty much.

Along with its updated Heisman Trophy odds, Bovada also revealed its updated odds to win the next edition of the College Football Playoff championship, with the Crimson Tide sitting as a comfortable favorite at 12/5.  In January, those odds were a little longer at 4/1.

The next two teams, USC and Ohio State, saw their odds shorten as well, with the former going from 9/1 to 6/1 and the latter from 15/2 to 13/2.  Florida State and Michigan, at 7/1 and 9/1, respectively, seven months ago, have lengthened a bit to 15/2 for the Seminoles and 16/1 for the Wolverines.

Prior to Bob Stoops’ retirement, Oklahoma had been at 9/1; after his abrupt departure, those odds have tumbled to 16/1.

Below are the complete set of updated 2017 national championship odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv.

Lamar Jackson adds another chapter to Louisville’s budding “rivalry” with Wake Forest

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In terms of suddenly interesting conference rivalries who have added several layers of weirdness over the years, it’s hard to top the budding battle between Louisville and Wake Forest.

Most of the recent animosity surrounding the two programs involves last year’s bizarre “WakeyLeaks” scandal in which a Demon Deacons radio analyst reportedly passed confidential game plan information to the Cardinals’ co-offensive coordinator. While that saga has mostly died down now that several schools and the ACC have levied punishments, it seems there’s still plenty of bad blood left in the ACC Atlantic.

The latest chapter involves the reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, who appears to have read and reacted to comments from an anonymous ACC coach dismissing his NFL prospects in a Sports Illustrated story published back in January.

“Yeah, I heard Wake Forest. I heard (it was) the Wake Forest coach,” Jackson said Saturday, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. “But we won, so I don’t really care.”

It’s unclear if the quarterback is referring directly to Wake head coach Dave Clawson or an assistant but he’s certainly pointing the finger directly at somebody in Winston-Salem. The Deacs were one of the few defenses to contain Jackson (season low 145 yards passing and five sacks) last season in a game that wound up being a (much closer than the scoreline indicated) 44-12 win for Louisville.

While you wouldn’t think Louisville at Wake Forest is on the short list of must-see ACC games in 2017, go ahead and circle that October 28 meeting between the two schools anyway because there could definitely be a little bad blood that spills over onto the field in one of the league most unconventional football “rivalries” of recent memory.

ACC preseason poll predicts FSU will beat Miami for ACC title

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The Miami Hurricanes are set to embark on their 14th season as a member of the ACC since moving over from the old Big East. The Hurricanes were brought in to the ACC to help give the football product a boost, but Miami has yet to play for an ACC championship. Could that drought end this season?

Miami was chosen as the ACC’s Coastal Division favorite by the preseason poll at ACC media days. The Hurricanes edged out defending Coastal Division champion Virginia Tech for the top preseason spot in the division. With Mark Richt gearing up for his second season on the job at Miami, the expectations continue to rise as he tries to emulate some of the success he had at Georgia in the SEC. Considering the ACC’s Coastal Division tends to be a division up for grabs the last few years, why not Miami this season?

In the Atlantic Division, the preseason poll is heavy on Florida State, with defending ACC and national champion Clemson coming in second place behind the Seminoles. Florida State is being hyped as a top playoff contender for the 2017 season, and the preseason poll out of the ACC seems to support that thought pretty well. Florida State will open the season with a bang against Alabama in Atlanta. If all goes according to plan, it could end up being a preview of a future playoff or national championship game this season.

Louisville quarterback and 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson was chosen as the preseason ACC player of the year, easily outpacing the next man in line, Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois.

ACC Championship
  1. Florida State – 118
  2. Clemson – 35
  3. Louisville – 7
  4. (tie) Virginia Tech – 3
    (tie)Miami – 3
  5. Duke – 1
Atlantic Division  
(First place votes in parenthesis)                  
  1. Florida State (121) – 1,108
  2. Clemson (37) – 1,007
  3. Louisville (9) – 843
  4. NC State – 658
  5. Wake Forest – 415
  6. Syracuse  – 362
  7. Boston College – 283
Coastal Division
(First place votes in parenthesis)                  
  1. Miami (103) – 1,065
  2. Virginia Tech (40) – 932
  3. Georgia Tech (9) – 708
  4. Pitt (7) – 673
  5. North Carolina (4) – 606
  6. Duke (4) -473
  7. Virginia -219
ACC Player of the Year
  1. Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville – 113
  2. Deondre Francois, QB, Florida State – 23
  3. Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson – 11
  4. Harold Landry, DE, Boston College – 8
  5. Jaylen Samuels, AP, NC State – 7
  6. Eric Dungey, QB, Syracuse – 2
  7. (tie) Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami – 1
    (tie) Ahmmon Richards, WR, Miami – 1
    (tie) Daniel Jones, QB, Duke – 1

ACC tops as Bronko Nagurski watch list hits triple digits

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It may not be the biggest award in college football, but it’s certainly the most voluminous.

Watch List Season continued unabated Thursday morning, with the Bronko Nagurski Trophy revealing a group which consists of a whopping 103 FBA players.  Within that triple-digit preseason club, there are 30 defensive backs, 29 linebackers, 25 defensive ends and 19 defensive tackles.

Two 2016 first-team Football Writers Association of America All-Americans appear on the list — Clemson’s Christian Wilkins (pictured) and Florida State’s Tarvarus McFadden.

Conference-wise, the ACC leads with 20 players selected for the initial watch list.  The Big Ten is next with 16, followed by the SEC’s 14, the Pac-12’s 13 and the Big 12’s 11.  The AAC paced Group of Five leagues with 10, with the Sun Belt (6), Mountain West (5), Mid-American (3) and Conference USA (2) rounding out the conferences, while football independents chipped in the remaining three.

The Nagurski Trophy has been handed out annually since 1993 to college football’s best defensive player.  Last year’s winner was Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen.