In a span of just a few hours, Lane Kiffin Tuesday bolstered his first Florida Atlantic roster with a pair of Power Five transfers.
In the middle of the afternoon Tuesday, Auburn confirmed that John Franklin III had decided to transfer from the Tigers in order to be closer to his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home. Not long after, the quarterback-turned-wide receiver revealed on his Instagram account that he is “coming home and looking forward to playing my last collegiate season at FAU under Coach Lane Kiffin.”
Franklin would come to the Owls as a graduate transfer, giving him immediate eligibility.
Not even four hours later, Chris Robison took to social media on his private Twitter account to announce that he too will be transferring into Kiffin’s FAU program. The quarterback was dismissed by Oklahoma earlier this month for violating unspecified team rules.
A four-star member of the Sooners’ 2017 recruiting class, Robison was rated as the No. 7 pro-style quarterback in the country; the No. 29 player at any position in the state of Texas; and the No. 173 recruit on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. As an early enrollee, Robison took part in spring practice and played in the spring game, completing 3-of-5 passes for 49 yards.
Roughly 12 hours after that game, he was arrested for being drunk in public. Because of only what were described as “personal reasons,” Robison wasn’t enrolled in summer classes and didn’t take part in football workouts during the same period.
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.
Not surprisingly, the wagering favorite for one of the most storied awards in sports remains unchanged.
Back in January, Bovada.lv installed USC quarterback Sam Darnold as a 9/1 favorite to win the 2017 Heisman Trophy; a month later, those odds shortened to 4/1. Tuesday, the same wagering establishment released its updated Heisman odds, with Darnold remaining a 4-1 favorite.
Up next this time around, however, is Saquon Barkley at 7/1. In February, the Penn State running back was at 12/1 and behind four other players.
After that, it’s Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield at 15/2 (he was 13/2 in Feb.), Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett at 8/1 (12/1) and Louisville quarterback and reigning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson at 8/1 (13/2).
No other positions other than quarterbacks and running backs were listed.
Below is the complete set of 2017 Heisman Trophy odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv.
Unfortunately for all involved, the speculation has proven accurate.
Friday, rumors began to surface that Nick Basquine had suffered a rather significant injury that would likely force the wide receiver to miss the entire season. Saturday, first-year head coach Lincoln Riley confirmed that Basquine suffered an Achilles injury that will sideline him for all of 2017.
Last season, Basquine, a former walk-on, caught 20 passes for 265 yards and a touchdown. He was expected to have a bigger role in the slot this season for the Sooners prior to the injury.
Basquine will have another season of eligibility remaining in 2018 as he will enter his fifth year in Norman. Whether he’d be eligible for a sixth season remains to be seen as he’s already used his redshirt.
Yes, polls, especially ones released more than three weeks before a season actually begins, are essentially useless and merely fodder for discussion ahead of actual football being played. This poll, though, may help narrow the discussion field of potential national title contenders considerably.
This week, the USA Today Coaches’ poll was released way too early, with Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, USC, Clemson and Penn State occupying the Nos. 1-6 spots in the initial Top 25, respectively.
Why is that arbitrary number of six potentially significant? Over the past 15 seasons, 10 of the eventual national champions began the season ranked in the Top Six of the preseason coaches’ poll.
- Clemson, 2016, No. 2
- Alabama, 2015, No. 3
- Ohio State, 2014, No. 6
- Alabama, 2012, No. 2
- Alabama, 2011, No. 2
- Alabama, 2009, No. 5
- Florida, 2008, No. 5
- LSU, 2007, No. 2
- Texas, 2005, No. 2
- USC, 2004, No. 1
Add 2006 Florida (No. 8 to start that season) into the equation, and 11 of the last 15 national champions began the season inside of the coaches’ Top 10. The outliers?
- Florida State, 2013, No. 12
- Auburn, 2010, No. 23
- LSU, 2003, No. 15
- Ohio State, 2002, No. 12
To further refine it, just twice in the last 13 years has the eventual national champion been outside of the Top Eight in the coaches’ preseason poll.
So, what does it all mean? Not a damn thing, really, but congratulations anyway to fan bases of Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, USC, Clemson, Penn State, Washington and Oklahoma as one of you will (very likely) be celebrating a national championship at season’s end. Probably. Maybe.