The fourth set of College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday night, and Clemson is No. 1 for the fourth consecutive week. Alabama remained second, and Oklahoma leapt from seventh to third after winning their second consecutive game against a top-20 team. Iowa moved up a spot from fifth to fourth, and Michigan State jumped from No. 9 to No. 5 after its massive road win over Ohio State.
Ohio State fell from third to eighth due to that loss. Baylor passed the Buckeyes for No. 7 following their decisive win at then-No. 6 Oklahoma State, and Notre Dame dropped from fourth to sixth after a close win a Boston College.
Washington State, Mississippi State, UCLA, Toledo and Temple jumped into the rankings, while LSU, Houston, Memphis, USC and Wisconsin fell out.
The full rankings:
5. Michigan State
6. Notre Dame
8. Ohio State
11. Oklahoma State
13. Florida State
14. North Carolina
18. Ole Miss
20. Washington State
21. Mississippi State
Alabama running back Derrick Henry continues to be the top favorite to win the Heisman Trophy according to the latest odds released by Bovada, but Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is gaining momentum as the season draws to a close. Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott and LSU’s Leonard Fournette have seen their betting odds become less favorable in the past week as well.
Henry is currently listed as a 2/5 favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, becoming Alabama’s second Heisman Trophy winner in program history (Mark Ingram was the first). Last week, Henry’s odds were listed at 2/3. Watson has closed the gap, moving from 7/1 down to 3/1. Elliott and Fournette each slipped from 9/2 down to 14/1. Stanford’s Christain McCaffrey held steady at 50/1 from last week, but Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman stumbled from 25/1 odds to 66/1 odds.
Per Bovada, three new players are now officially on the board as well. The most notable newcomer to the Heisman odds is Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has been given a 14/1 chance of winning the Heisman Trophy. Mayfield has surged on the scene in recent weeks, thanks in large part to Oklahoma’s road win at Baylor and last week’s win over TCU. Mayfield gets one final showcase game this week against Oklahoma State with the Big 12 championship, and a possible playoff spot, on the line.
Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds has also been recognized by the oddsmakers. Reynolds is listed with a 25/1 shot to win the Heisman Trophy. No player from Navy has won the Heisman Trophy since Roger Staubach in 1963. Florida State’s Dalvin Cook is also listed at 50/1 by Bovada.
With rivalry games and conference championships on the line in the next two weekends, it is time for some signature Heisman moments to determine who will end the season posing with the most famous individual award trophy in sports.
Following Ohio State’s tough loss at home to Michigan State on Saturday, running back Ezekiel Elliott went off script with his comments and let his frustrations with the Ohio State playcalling take over. The fire from Ohio State’s best offensive player was fair, especially in hindsight, but it did not go over well with some. On Monday, Elliott apologized for letting his emotions get the best of him in the aftermath.
“I am sorry for all those offended by my statements made by me Saturday after OUR loss,” Elliott said in a note on his Twitter account. “I was caught up in emotions. I hope everyone can understand how strongly I love this team and this university and how much I wanted to win that game but I do not regret anything I said.”
Elliott went on to say his decision to turn pro was made earlier this season as well.
“I am not leaving after this season because we lost that game. I could have told you a month ago that was going to be my last game in the Shoe,” Elliott said. You can read his full statement below.
With Ohio State being bumped behind Michigan State in the Big Ten East Division hunt this past weekend, the Buckeyes have seen their chances of defending their national championship take a hit. That makes Alabama and Clemson the top two favorites for the College Football Playoff national championship as the regular season comes to a close this week in both the SEC and ACC.
According to David Purdum, Las Vegas SuperBook lists Alabama with 3/2 odds to win the national championship, followed by Clemson at 4/1. Ohio State now has the same odds as Iowa, at 20/1. Michigan State has the best odds out of the Big Ten with 12/1 odds following this weekend’s victory in Columbus. Oklahoma, Baylor and Notre Dame are also in the mix between Clemson and Michigan State.
The latest College Football Playoff rankings will be updated Tuesday night. Clemson, Alabama and Notre Dame are expected to hold on to one of the top four spots at a crucial point in the season. Iowa, Michigan State and Oklahoma all have arguments to be made to be place din the top four, but it is also important to remember there are some key games still to be played that could shake up the entire playoff picture in the final couple of weeks. Notre Dame has to get out of Stanford with a win this week to remain in contention. Oklahoma still has to play Oklahoma State. Michigan State and Iowa could square off in the Big Ten Championship Game if the Spartans take care of business at home against Penn State this week.
The odds may be in Alabama’s and Clemson’s favor for now, but each will have to win their rivalry games this weekend against Auburn and South Carolina, respectively (which should be expected), and then win conference title games against Florida and UNC, respectively once more.
Michigan State’s 17-14 upset of undefeated Ohio State wasn’t just a big win for Mark Dantonio and the Spartans.
ESPN says ABC scored a 7.0 rating for the broadcast, making Spartans-Buckeyes the highest-rated college football game so far this season. Ohio State-Virginia Tech previously held the honor of being college football’s most-watched game with a 6.6 rating, edging Alabama-LSU (6.3) and Clemson-Florida State (5.5).
Additionally, ESPN says Michigan’s 28-16 win over Penn State netted a 4.1 rating, making that the most-watched noon ET game in college football this season. That mark will likely last all of one week until ABC’s broadcast of Michigan-Ohio State this Saturday shatters it to fractions.
So the Big Ten now holds the mark for highest-rated noon game and highest-rated game of any time this season, and both were on ESPN networks. Keep that fact in your back pocket the next time your buddy pops off about ESPN’s SEC bias.