San Diego State Aztecs

Getty Images

15 semifinalists unveiled for prestigious Walter Camp Player of the Year Award

Leave a comment

One of the most prestigious awards in college football has whittled down the list of players who will be able to claim the famed hardware this season.

Wednesday, the Walter Camp Foundation announced its 15 “Players to Watch,” essentially semifinalists, for its prestigious Player of the Year Award. The Camp Award is voted on by the 130 FBS head coaches/sports information directors and is the fourth-oldest award in the sport.

“It’s been another exciting college football season with many teams and players still in the hunt for national recognition,” Foundation president Michael Madera said in a statement. “We’ve identified some outstanding players and we know the final weeks of the regular season should be even more thrilling.”

Players on both sides of the ball are eligible, but just four defensive players made the cut — North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb, Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, Miami defensive back Jaquan Johnson and Washington defensive end Hercules Mala’afa. Six of the 15 semifinalists are quarterbacks, the other five are running backs.

Only two players from a Group of Five program, Central Florida quarterback McKenzie Milton and San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny, are included.

Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, last year’s Camp winner, is a semifinalist once again.

Below is the complete “Players to Watch” list:

Josh Adams, RB, Junior, Notre Dame
Saquon Barkley, RB, Junior, Penn State
Bradley Chubb, DE, Senior, North Carolina State
Sam Darnold, QB, Sophomore, USC
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Junior, Alabama
Baker Mayfield, QB, Senior, Oklahoma
Lamar Jackson, QB, Junior, Louisville
Jaquan Johnson, DB, Junior, Miami
Bryce Love, RB, Junior, Stanford
Hercules Mala’afa, DE, Junior, Washington State
McKenzie Milton, QB, Sophomore, UCF
Rashaad Penny, RB, Senior, San Diego State
Mason Rudolph, QB, Senior, Oklahoma State
Khalil Tate, QB, Sophomore, Arizona
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Freshman, Wisconsin

Saquon Barkley now Bovada’s overwhelming Heisman wagering favorite

Getty Images
4 Comments

What a difference a week makes.

Last Monday, Stanford running back Bryce Love had drawn even with his Penn State counterpart, Saquon Barkley, as 7/5 favorites to win the 2017 Heisman Trophy according to Bovada.lv.  With the Cardinal on a bye and Barkley impressing in a huge nationally-televised win over Michigan, the Nittany Lions junior is now listed as an overwhelming 4/11 Heisman favorite by the same wagering website.  For reference, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, last year’s Heisman winner, was a 1/3 favorite around this time last year.

Love’s odds are now longer at 3/1, as are the next two players — Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield (12/1, from 11/1) and Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett (14/1, from 9/1).  Two other quarterbacks, Jackson (18/1 a week ago) and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph (9/1), are now each at 33/1.

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts did see his odds shorten significantly, going from 50/1 a week ago to 20/1 in the latest release.

Those seven players mentioned above are the only ones now listed as a whopping nine players have since been taken off the board, including the only two from Group of Five programs — South Florida quarterback Quinton Flowers and San Diego State running back Rashad Penny.

Below is the complete set of 2017 Heisman Trophy odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv:

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

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
1 Comment

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

AP Photo/Nati Harnik
8 Comments

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.

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

Associated Press
1 Comment

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.