Oklahoma Sooners

LOUISVILLE, KY - SEPTEMBER 17: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Louisville Cardinals runs for a touchdown during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
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Louisville’s Lamar Jackson is Bovada’s overwhelming Heisman favorite

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As the Lamar Jackson Heisman hype train hurtles down the tracks, at least one wagering establishment has wholeheartedly hopped aboard.

In its latest set of odds released Tuesday afternoon, Bovada.lv has pushed the Louisville quarterback to its pole position for the 2016 Heisman Trophy.  In fact, Jackson, whose 18 touchdowns this season are more than all but seven teams have scored through three weeks, is the site’s overwhelming favorite at 1/2 after being at 6/1 just one week ago.

The Sept. 13 favorite, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, has gone from 5/1 to 8/1.  Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (9/2) has slightly longer odds at 11/2, while Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett held steady at 6/1.

Greg Ward Jr. saw one of the biggest surges as the Houston quarterback went from 25/1 a week ago to 16/1.

Leonard Fournette was Bovada‘s preseason Heisman favorite at 4/1.  The LSU running back dropped to 12/1 after Week 2 and 20/1 after Week 3.  Around this time last year, Fournette was the Bovada favorite for the Heisman that ultimately went to Alabama running back Derrick Henry, who couldn’t even crack the top six 12 months ago.

Two players that were off the board last go ’round were added: San Diego State running back Donnell Pumphrey (25/1) and Washington quarterback Jake Browning (40/1).  A handful of players were taken off the board, most notably quarterbacks Chad Kelly (Ole Miss), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) and Josh Rosen (UCLA).

Below is the complete list of Heisman Trophy odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv:


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Bob Stoops shuts some players off from media after backup QB’s “basic defense” comment of Buckeyes

Bob Stoops
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
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You had to see this one coming, right? Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops is preventing a number of his players from media opportunities moving forward following backup quarterback Austin Kendall provided bulletin board material for Ohio State’s defense. We can probably safely assume Kendall is on the “do not talk to the media” list for now.

On an Oklahoma-produced television show previewing last weekend’s game against the Buckeyes, Kendall suggested Ohio State’s defense was nothing special and that starter Baker Mayfield would “light them up.”

I think they have a really basic defense,” Kendall said. “I think we can go out there and, I mean, Baker, he’ll light them up. I’m really looking forward to it. If my number’s called, I think I can do the same.”

Ohio State forced two Oklahoma turnovers and allowed the Sooners to convert just five of 13 third-down plays and none of the three fourth-down plays run by Oklahoma. Mayfield completed 17-of-32 pass attempts for 226 yards with a pair of interceptions, one of which was returned 68 yards for a touchdown by Jerome Baker in the first quarter.

Here is the audio clip from last week that started the uproar, courtesy of Brandon Zimmerman of The Buckeye Battle Cry

Poll numbers confirm a nightmarish start for the Big 12

BERKELEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 17:  Wide receiver Melquise Stovall #1 of the California Golden Bears scores a touchdown against the Texas Longhorns in the first half on September 17, 2016 at California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California.  Cal won 50-43.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
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There was a never-before-seen oddity in today’s AP poll, though you are forgiven if it slipped by you unnoticed.

Just three Big 12 teams dotted the poll: No. 16 Baylor, No. 21 Texas and No. 25 Oklahoma. Which means, for the first time in the league’s 21-year history, not a single Big 12 team qualified for the AP’s top 15.

Saturday’s twin losses by Oklahoma (to Ohio State) and Texas (to Cal) likely doomed the Big 12 to its second CFP-free postseason in just the third year of the system.

Eliminating leagues entirely this early in the season is asking for trouble — recall what you thought of Ohio State’s title chances after that home loss to Virginia Tech in September of ’14 — but the Big 12’s seem safe considering the conference has accomplished next to nothing in non-conference play. Texas’s win over Notre Dame has aged like a forgotten cup of milk, and the league’s second-best win is… Oklahoma State over Pittsburgh? West Virginia over Missouri?

The most memorable moment of September has been Oklahoma State’s unjust loss to Central Michigan. (Which, oddly, has kept the Pokes out of the rankings even after Saturday’s win over Pittsburgh.)

Overall, the Big 12 is 3-10 against the Power 5, the American and the MAC and 16-12 against the rest of college football. That includes the FCS.

An empty non-conference season is bad enough, but it builds into the league’s inherent problem: its 9-game, round-robin schedule without a championship game was built for the bowl-and-poll era, not the Playoff. Heading into its sixth season of existence, no team has run through the 9-game gauntlet unbeaten.

With no title game to serve as a punctuator and no good non-conference wins to look back upon, the Big 12 champion — whoever it is — may have a tough time arguing for one of the final four spots.

Alabama-Ole Miss draws second-highest TV rating of 2016 season to date

OXFORD, MS - SEPTEMBER 17:  Head coach Hugh Freeze of the Mississippi Rebels congratulates head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide after Alabama defeated Mississippi 48-43 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Oxford, Mississippi.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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For college football TV ratings nerds (like me), Saturday’s Week 3 action was an interesting test study in fans’ viewing habits and the power of branding.

The day was full of good games involving brand-name programs and, equally important, brand-name programs playing in different time slots and spread across different networks. Florida State at noon on ABC. Alabama in the afternoon slot on CBS, opposite Oregon and Nebraska on ABC. The prime time slot offered Notre Dame on NBC, Ohio State and Oklahoma on FOX and USC on ABC.

The results are in, and Alabama’s 48-43 defeat of Ole Miss won the day with a 5.4 rating, which doubled the same time slot from the same week a year ago (Auburn-LSU, 2.7). The 5.4 rating is the highest daytime number of the 2016 season thus far, and passed Florida State-Ole Miss on Labor Day night for the second-highest rated game in all time slots. (Texas-Notre Dame’s 7.0 remains king.)

That’s not to say CBS was the only winner of the day.

Louisville’s 63-20 beatdown of Florida State scored a 4.5, ABC’s highest-rated noon kick for a game this early in the season since 2005. Ratings for Oregon-Nebraska, Stanford-USC and other ESPN offerings were not immediately available.

Michigan State’s 36-28 win over Notre Dame was also a ratings winner for NBC.

FOX also scored high for Ohio State’s 45-24 bludgeoning of Oklahoma was one of the network’s most successful broadcasts in the package’s short history as well.

While CBS won the day — that The Eye had the distinction of showing the only top-level game that was actually competitive from stem to stern no doubt helped — Saturday was a good one for college football and its broadcasters across the board.

(HT Sports Media Watch)

AP Top 25: North Dakota State receives votes and Buckeyes and Louisville move up in top 3

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 17:  J.T. Barrett #16 of the Ohio State Buckeyes walks with his offense off the field in the second half of their game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Norman, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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Following a dominating performance at home against Florida State, the Louisville Cardinals moved to No. 3 in this week’s Associated Press top 25. Alabama remained on top, and Ohio State moved into second in this week’s Top 25.

Louisville picked up six first-place votes in the AP Top 25, two more than No. 2 Ohio State received by far below the 50 accumulated by Alabama. No. 4 Michigan somehow received one first-place vote from the voting panel after their victory over Colorado. No. 5 Clemson, No. 6 Houston and No. 7 Stanford all stayed firm in the poll this week, while No. 8 Michigan State jumped into the top 10 ahead of No. 9 Washington and No. 10 Texas A&M. No. 11 Wisconsin fell two spots to make room for the newcomers.

Speaking of newcomers, No. 20 Nebraska, No. 22 San Diego State and No. 24 Utah all make appearances in the poll this week. Despite home losses and 1-2 records, No. 23 Ole Miss and No. 25 Oklahoma remain in the AP Top 25. Notre Dame also is 1-2, but the Fighting Irish were dumped by the AP voters this week.

The AP voters were not as forgiving to Iowa as the coaches were this week. While the Hawkeyes managed to remain on the fringe of the top 25 in the coaches poll, the AP voters dumped Iowa after losing at home to North Dakota State. North Dakota State received votes from the AP voters and is listed as the third team in the others receiving votes category, behind TCU and UCLA. The Bison are one spot ahead of Boise State in the vote totals.

Here is the full Associated Press Top 25 for this week, with first-place votes noted:

  1. Alabama (59)
  2. Ohio State (4)
  3. Louisville (6)
  4. Michigan (1)
  5. Clemson
  6. Houston
  7. Stanford
  8. Michigan State
  9. Washington
  10. Texas A&M
  11. Wisconsin
  12. Georgia
  13. Florida State
  14. Tennessee
  15. Miami
  16. Baylor
  17. Arkansas
  18. LSU
  19. Florida
  20. Nebraska
  21. Texas
  22. San Diego State
  23. Ole Miss
  24. Utah
  25. Oklahoma