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

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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

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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.

AP Poll: Alabama a unanimous No. 1, Penn State to No. 2 and Ohio State now the highest 1-loss team

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Four top-10 teams losing to unranked opponents in one week tends to shake things up a bit.

For starters, Alabama is now unanimously viewed as the No. 1 team in the country. The Tide earned every available No. 1 vote in Sunday’s Coaches’ Poll and the companion AP poll, released Sunday. Penn State moved up to No. 2, the program’s highest ranking since 1999. Georgia followed behind at No. 3, while TCU and Wisconsin filled out the top five.

A fifth straight blowout was enough for Ohio State to jump three spots forward to No. 6, putting the Buckeyes at the front of the 1-loss train, ahead of Clemson.

LSU re-joined the poll after knocking off then-No. 10 Auburn, but remained three spots ahead of the blue-and-orange Tigers. West Virginia bumped then-No. 24 Texas Tech out and moved in at No. 23, while Memphis made its 2017 debut, replacing No. 25 Navy.

And, cementing the AP’s status as the greater of the sport’s two opinion polls, voters moved Michigan State ahead of Michigan a week after the Spartans’ win in the Big House.

The full poll:

1. Alabama — 1,525 total points (61 first-place votes)
2. Penn State — 1,432
3. Georgia — 1,417
4. TCU — 1,322
5. Wisconsin — 1,241
6. Ohio State — 1,184
7. Clemson — 1,117
8. Miami — 1,109
9. Oklahoma — 1,066
10. Oklahoma State — 900
11. USC — 886
12. Washington — 811
13. Notre Dame — 798
14. Virginia Tech — 727
15. Washington State — 578
16. South Florida — 573
16. NC State — 573
18. Michigan State — 563
19. Michigan — 558
20. Central Florida — 387
21. Auburn — 303
22. Stanford — 274
23. West Virginia — 157
24. LSU — 108
25. Memphis — 62

Penn State, Georgia, TCU go 2-3-4 in latest Coaches’ Poll

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The lesser of the two opinion polls was released Sunday morning, with a major shakeup in the top 10. Following losses by Clemson, Washington and Washington State, Penn State has moved to No. 2 in the Coaches’ Poll, followed by Georgia, TCU and Wisconsin to fill out the top five. Ohio State gained two spots to No. 6, while Miami’s last second-win over Georgia Tech boosted the Hurricanes three spots to No. 7. Clemson dropped to No. 8, while fellow 1-loss contenders Oklahoma, USC and Oklahoma State followed thereafter, each bumping ahead three spots.

In keeping up with the regular inconsistencies, Michigan remains four spots ahead of Michigan State despite the teams having the same record and Sparty the head-to-head, and the same held true for LSU and Auburn.

The full poll:

1. Alabama — 1,575 total points (63 first-place votes)
2. Penn State — 1,483
3. Georgia — 1,450
4. TCU — 1,345
5. Wisconsin — 1,338
6. Ohio State — 1,243
7. Miami — 1,144
8. Clemson — 1,106
9. Oklahoma — 1,079
10. USC — 930
11. Oklahoma State — 917
12. Washington — 914
13. South Florida — 716
14. Virginia Tech — 701
15. Michigan — 657
16. Notre Dame — 614
17. NC State — 573
18. Washington State — 564
19. Michigan State — 469
20. Central Florida — 439
21. Auburn — 354
22. Stanford — 286
23. West Virginia — 144
24. Texas A&M — 94
25. LSU — 80

No. 13 USC survives Sam Darnold turnovers to come back and beat Utah

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On Saturday night, the many faces of Sam Darnold in 2017 were on display.

There was the dazzling of course, throwing for 358 yards and three scores. There was the head-scratching, such as a trio of fumbles. All things considered, the bottom line might be the most important aspect of the star quarterback’s outing against Utah as No. 13 USC used a thrilling second half comeback to win 28-27 on Saturday night.

All three of those fumbles from Darnold, one that was returned for a touchdown, occurred in the first half where not much could go right for the cardinal and gold. Luckily a trip to the locker room proved to be just the remedy for the team’s struggles as three of their four second-half drives resulted in 88+ yard scoring drives. Playing a big role in that turnaround was the USC offensive line and running back Ronald Jones IIwho finished the game with 111 yards and the go-ahead points on a front flip touchdown into the end zone.

Making a return to Los Angeles not far from where he grew up, Utah QB Troy Williams started once again in place of the injured Tyler Huntley. The senior wound up throwing for 262 yards and a touchdown but tossed an interception and was stopped just short of the goal line on a two-point conversion with 42 seconds left that would have won the Utes the game. Running back Zach Moss, who bruised his way to 141 yards, but it was just not enough in the end.

Everybody in Salt Lake City will now be forced to bemoan the second half slump that led to a blown loss and the decision by Kyle Whittingham for go for two instead of the tie with under a minute left. Those second guesses won’t be easy to take as the team now has lost two straight in the conference but this still seems like the second best squad in the division.

The best? Well that is the school they narrowly lost to. The incredible momentum swings that resulted in a Trojans’ victory gives them a significant leg up in the Pac-12 South race and also keeps them in the hunt for the College Football Playoff. In addition to securing the tie-breaker over the Utes, a pair of bounce-back wins since that tough loss up in Pullman could be big for USC as they head to South Bend next for a huge game against rival Notre Dame next week.

On a weekend where a ton of top 15 teams looked shaky, surviving and coming out with a win is certainly a step in the right direction for Darnold and company given how things played out earlier.