Penn State Nittany Lions

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07:  Les Miles, head coach of the LSU Tigers, reacts during the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Bama’s still the favorite, but LSU makes significant gain in Bovada title odds

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Back in February, four other teams had, per Bovada.lv, better odds to win the 2016 College Football Playoff than LSU.  Six months later, and less than a month before the start of a new season, the Tigers lag behind just one.

Currently, Alabama, 7/1 in February, is listed as Bovada‘s favorite at 6/1.  Right behind them is SEC West rival LSU at 7/1 and 2016 playoff runnerup Clemson at 17/2.

Ohio State, Bovada‘s wagering favorite earlier this year, has seen its odds grow longer at 9/1.  Those are the same odds hated rival Michigan (15/2 in February) is getting from the gambling website.

Houston (66/1) and Boise State (150/1) are the only Group of Five teams listed.  BYU (250/1) as a football independent (for now?) is also included.

Below are the updated odds for the 2016 College Football Playoff championship, again courtesy of Bovada.lv:

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Thought retired because of chronic knee injury, ex-Penn State TE Adam Breneman resurfaces at UMass

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 23:  Adam Breneman #81 of the Penn State Nittany Lions catches a 2 yard touchdown pass against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the game on November 23, 2013 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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In January of this year, Penn State announced that Adam Breneman would be forced to retire from the sport due to a chronic knee injury.  Nearly six months later?

Never mind.

On his Twitter account Tuesday night, Breneman announced that he would be resuming his collegiate playing career at UMass.  The tight end’s decision came “[a]fter consultation with my trainers and doctors, and a lot of hard work in the gym.”

“After much prayer, I believe that this is all part of God’s plan for me,” Breneman added.

Mentioned in the social media missive, Austin Whipple is a quarterback who transferred from Penn State to UMass in July of 2014. He’s also the son of Minutemen head coach Mark Whipple.

If Breneman is healthy, he’ll be a significant target for Whipple’s offense as he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2016. The health angle, though, makes it a big if.

Breneman missed all of the 2014 season because of the chronic knee injury that forced his brief sabbatical, and played in just two games this past season.

As a true freshman in 2013, Breneman caught 15 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns.  Those were the only statistics Breneman would end up recording because of the injury issues.

A four-star member of PSU’s 2013 recruiting class, the 6-4, 243-pound Breneman was rated as the No. 3 tight end in the country.  Aside from quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Breneman was the highest-rated member of that class.

Prior to signing with the Nittany Lions, Breneman sustained a torn ACL the summer before his senior in high school in 2012.  It’s the same knee that led to his truncated career in Happy Valley.

Ohio State sits atop AP’s Top 100 poll of all-time college football programs

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 12:  Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes hoist the trophy after defeating the Oregon Ducks 42 to 20 in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Just in time for the start of a new season, the Associated Press has found a new way to stir up fan bases all across the country.

For the first time in the organization’s 80-plus year history, the AP has put together its Top 100 programs, a list that’s based on total poll appearances, number of times ranked No. 1 and bonuses for AP national championships.  From the AP:

The Associated Press has been ranking the best teams in college football since 1936. Over 80 years and 1,103 polls, a total of 165 schools have been ranked and 44 of them have been ranked No. 1 (Minnesota was the first).

To determine the all-time Top 25, the AP formula counted poll appearances (one point) to mark consistency, No. 1 rankings (one point) to acknowledge elite programs and gave a bonus for AP championships (10 points).

And the end result of that formula?  Ohio State, with 105 No. 1 rankings (tops among any school) and 852 poll appearances to go along with five titles, is the No. 1 team in the AP Top 100.  The Buckeyes have appeared in a whopping 77.24 percent of all AP polls; the only other program above 70 percent is No. 2 Oklahoma (71.08).

OSU is one of three current Big Ten teams — Nebraska (No. 6) and Michigan (No. 7) — in the Top 10, the most of any other conference.

The Big 12 — OU and Texas (No. 8) — and SEC — Alabama (No. 4) and Florida (No. 10) — were next with two apiece.  Football independent Notre Dame comes in at No. 3, while the one each from the ACC (No. 9 Florida State) and the Pac-12 (No. 5 USC).  FSU’s placement is particularly impressive as the Seminoles didn’t make their AP poll debut until 1964; no other team in the Top 25 is even remotely close, with Florida and its first appearance in 1950 the only program even remotely in FSU’s territory.

The highest-rated non-Power Five team is BYU at No. 34.  The highest-rated Group of Five team is Houston at No. 49.  Interestingly, both of those programs have been mentioned very prominently as the Big 12 looks to expand.

Below is the all-time AP Top 25.  For the complete Top 100, click HERE.

1. Ohio State
2. Oklahoma
3. Notre Dame
4. Alabama
5. Southern Cal
6. Nebraska
7. Michigan
8. Texas
9. Florida State
10. Florida
11. LSU
12. Penn State
13. Miami
14. Tennessee
15. Georgia
16. Auburn
17. UCLA
18. Texas A&M
19. Michigan State
20. Washington
21. Arkansas
22. Clemson
23. Pittsburgh
24. Wisconsin
25. Iowa

Report: Jim Delany to retire as B1G commish in 2020

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26:  Commissioner of The Big Ten Conference Jim Delany speaks at The Big Ten Network Kick Off Party at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 26, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Wink Public Relations)
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One of the most powerful men in collegiate athletics is nearing the end of his reign.

During his time at the podium during Big Ten Media Days Tuesday, commissioner Jim Delany hinted very strongly that he would not be around when the conference’s new media rights deal expires in 2022.  In fact, the 68-year-old commish sounded fairly positive that he’ll be somewhere other than the league’s headquarters in Rosemont, Ill., when that deal comes up for negotiations.

“I have a lot of energy and a lot of interest in what’s going on in the college space today,” Delany said. “I will be around for a bit. Whether I’m around here for six years is probably a little bit beyond how I see it.”

A short time later, Nicole Auerbach of USA Today, citing a person with direct knowledge of the situation, reported that Delany will step down in 2020.  Jut when in 2020 Delany would ceded control after more than three decades on the job isn’t clear.

Delany took over as commissioner of the conference in 1989.  Arguably his greatest accomplishment in that role was helping the league to develop the Big Ten Network, an in-house ATM that has helped the conference stay in step with the SEC financially.

During his tenure, he also helped shepherd the Big ten through the maze of expansion, first with Penn State in the early nineties and then with Nebraska in 2011 and Maryland and Rutgers three years later.

Jim Mora ‘comfortable’ with, ‘stands by’ Tom Bradley in wake of unsealed Penn State documents

Joe Paterno, Tom Bradley
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Earlier this week, Urban Meyer claimed he had “no issue” with his current Ohio State defensive coordinator as the Penn State scandal flared up yet again.  Thursday, it was another head coach’s turn to stand by his man.

In court documents unsealed earlier this week, it was alleged that Joe Paterno, along with some members of his Penn State coaching staff, had knowledge of convicted serial pedophile Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing boys as far back as 1976.  According to testimony from former PSU assistant Mike McQueary, then-defensive coordinator and current UCLA DC Tom Bradley told him of an incident in the nineties in which then-defensive backs coach and current OSU DC Greg Schiano witnessed something untoward involving Sandusky.

Specifically, it was alleged that “Greg had come into his office white as a ghost and said he just saw Jerry doing something to a boy in the shower,” McQueary testified, regarding what he claims Bradley had told him. “And that’s it. That’s all he ever told me.”

“At no time did Tom Bradley ever witness any inappropriate behavior,” a statement from his representatives released shortly thereafter began. “Nor did he have any knowledge of alleged incidents in the 80’s and 90’s.  He has consistently testified as such.  Any assertions to the contrary are false.”

Like Meyer did with a member of his coaching staff, Jim Mora defended Bradley in his first public comments on the development.

“I know this about Tom: He is a man of integrity,” the Bruins head coach told ESPN.com. “He’s been vetted by a number of different people as well as UCLA — very, very thoroughly. It took us a long time to hire him because our university takes these things very seriously. So we went through the process of vetting his background and his stories and he made a statement and he stands by that statement and I stand by him. I feel comfortable with that.”

Bradley spent 33 seasons as an assistant under Paterno, taking over as interim head coach after the Paterno was fired in the wake of the Sandusky sex scandal.  Bradley was not retained by Bill O’Brien the following season, and was out of football for three years before being hired by West Virginia as defensive line coach in 2014.

In February of last year, he was hired by UCLA.