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Bryce Love draws even with Saquon Barkley on Bovada’s Heisman board

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If you have been staying up late on the weekends to watch some Pac-12 football, then you are well aware of the impact running back Bryce Love is having for the Cardinal. You also have been watching him skyrocket up the Heisman board the past few weeks. Now, according to Bovada’s latest Heisman odds, Love has pulled even on the board with Penn State’s Saquon Barkley.

Barkley and Love each have 7/5 odds to win the Heisman Trophy, with Love seemingly gaining the momentum in the race according to Bovada the past few weeks. Love continues to pile up the rushing yards, while Barkley is accumulating all-purpose yardage in a variety of ways. Barkley was off this past week, which may have played a slight role in the Heisman odds as well, especially after two not-so-Barkley-esque performances in the stat sheet heading into the bye week. Meanwhile, Love has been dominant in Pac-12 action.

As mentioned yesterday, Ohio State quarterback JT Barrett continues to move up the Heisman ladder as the Buckeyes have surged in recent weeks since losing to Oklahoma. Barrett moved from 28/1 odds last week to 9/1 odds this week. Barrett and Barkley will be going head-to-head in two weeks in Columbus, and Barkley’s make-or-break run for the Heisman Trophy will begin this week with the start of a key three-game stretch against Michigan and back-to-back road games against Ohio State and Michigan State.

USC quarterback Sam Darnold started the season as the Heisman favorite on the board, but his odds have slipped to 40/1 after a rough showing in a win this weekend. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, has slipped to 18/1 odds despite Louisville losing a third game this weekend.

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

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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

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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

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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

No. 5 Washington becomes fourth Top 10 team to go down in Week 7

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One of the bigger storylines heading into Week 7 was the fact that there were no ranked vs. ranked matchups, the subliminal implication being that this would be an uneventful weekend.  As is ofttimes the case, the sport of college football scoffed in the general direction of conventional wisdom.

Friday night begat No. 2 Clemson falling to Syracuse and No. 8 Washington State embarrassing itself against Cal; Saturday afternoon begat No. 10 Auburn coughing up a second-half lead in a loss to LSU.

Early Sunday morning brought additional Top 10 carnage.

Ranked fifth nationally and winners of nine straight in the regular season, Washington entered the weekend comfortable favorites over 2-3 Arizona State.  In a game that didn’t feel as close as the final score indicated, however, UW fell from the ranks of the unbeaten as Arizona State laid a stunning 13-7 loss on the Huskies.

UW’s loss means that four of the teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 10 coming into Week 7 went down in defeat ahead of Week 8 in the biggest top-shelf shakeup of the 2017 season thus far.  The teams that avoided being caught up in the upset maelstrom?  No. 1 Alabama, No. 3 Penn State, No. 4 Georgia, No. 6 TCU, No. 7 Wisconsin and No. 9 Ohio State.

The Nittany Lions were on a bye this weekend, while the other five Top 10 teams left unscathed won by an average of 25.4 points; take away UW’s eight-point win over Purdue, and that average jumps to nearly 30.  Add it all up and it was, on all fronts, a seismic shift when it comes to the Power Five balance of power.

Then there’s this: when you add in No. 19 San Diego State getting beat by Boise State — a significant development in the Group of Five —  five undefeated teams suffered their first losses of the 2017 season this weekend.

And, again, this great sport scoffs in the general direction of what you think may or may not happen any particular weekend.