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Clemson moves to No. 2 in latest AP poll, Mississippi State joins at No. 17


Mississippi State has leapt from the ranks of the unranked all the way to No. 17 in the latest AP poll, released Sunday afternoon.

The Bulldogs walloped then-No. 12 LSU 37-7 in Starkville on Saturday evening, the club’s largest margin of victory in the 111-game history of the series. Additionally, Mississippi State’s road blowout victory over Louisiana Tech became even more impressive when the red-and-blue Bulldogs went on the road and beat defending Conference USA champion Western Kentucky.

Elsewhere, San Diego State, Utah and Oregon made their 2017 debuts in the AP poll, replacing Kansas State, Stanford, Tennessee and UCLA. Clemson’s 47-21 drubbing of Louisville allowed the Tigers to nudge past Oklahoma for the No. 2 spot in the poll and pull within 60 points of the No. 1 ranking.

The full poll:

  1. Alabama — 1,504 total points (45 first-place votes)
  2. Clemson — 1,446 (15)
  3. Oklahoma — 1,432 (1)
  4. Penn State — 1,306
  5. USC — 1,241
  6. Oklahoma State — 1,154
  7. Washington — 1,141
  8. Michigan — 1,081
  9. Wisconsin — 1,031
  10. Ohio State — 1,015
  11. Georgia — 940
  12. Florida State — 922
  13. Virginia Tech — 730
  14. Miami — 606
  15. Auburn — 596
  16. TCU — 553
  17. Mississippi State — 532
  18. Washington State — 419
  19. Louisville — 356
  20. Florida — 308
  21. South Florida — 272
  22. San Diego State — 201
  23. Utah — 194
  24. Oregon — 158
  25. LSU — 153

Alabama remains No. 1 in latest Coaches’ Poll

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The lesser of the two exhibition polls was released early Sunday afternoon, and Alabama held off Clemson for the No. 1 spot. There was some thought the Tigers could pass the Tide after their second consecutive impressive victory, but Alabama generated 59 first-place votes to Clemson’s six.

Elsewhere, Mississippi State was this week’s highest climber, jumping into the poll at No. 19. Their victim, LSU, plummeted from No. 12 to No. 23.

Additionally, Stanford, Kansas State and UCLA dropped out after their respective losses Saturday, and Oregon and San Diego State joined the Bulldogs as 2017 newcomers to the poll.

The full poll:

  1. Alabama — 1,618 total points (59 first-place votes)
  2. Clemson — 1,535 (6)
  3. Oklahoma — 1,505
  4. Penn State — 1,364
  5. USC — 1,348
  6. Washington — 1,277
  7. Oklahoma State — 1,219
  8. Michigan — 1,171
  9. Ohio State — 1,052
  10. Wisconsin — 1,032
  11. Florida State — 985
  12. Georgia — 978
  13. Virginia Tech — 775
  14. Miami — 659
  15. TCU — 602
  16. Auburn — 555
  17. South Florida — 446
  18. Washington State — 441
  19. Mississippi State — 412
  20. Louisville — 382
  21. Utah — 324
  22. Florida — 312
  23. LSU — 243
  24. Oregon — 208
  25. San Diego State — 141

Vegas remains very high on Ohio State’s national title hopes

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Ohio State may no longer be viable national title contenders in the eyes of some fans, that’s not how one Las Vegas book sees it.

Despite an embarrassing home loss to Oklahoma Saturday night, OSU is currently an 8/1 favorite to claim the 2017 College Football Playoff championship according to Bovada.lv. That’s down just slightly from the 6/1 they were at after Week 1 and behind just two other teams — Alabama at 7/4 (13/5 on Sept. 5) and USC at 6/1.

And the team that convincingly dropped the Buckeyes? The Sooners are at 8/1 after being at 14/1 a week ago.

Of course, there is precedence for OSU bouncing back from such an early-season loss, which is surely in the back of Vegas’ oddsmaking minds. Three years ago, OSU stumbled in a double-digit Week 2 loss to Virginia Tech before going undefeated the remainder of the year and claiming the 2014 national championship in the first season of the CFP.

Getting back to the here and now, the 2016 national champions, Clemson (20/1), are at 14/1 in Bovada‘s latest title odds, as are Michigan and Penn State. Both of those Big Ten teams hold steady from their odds a week ago.

Houston, at 100/1, is the only Group of Five team still on the board.

Below is the latest set of 2017 national championship odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv.

Coaches poll downplays Oklahoma, but Sooners still move to No. 3

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As expected, the Oklahoma Sooners caused a bit of a stir in the Amway Coaches Poll the day after the Sooners left Columbus, Ohio with a statement win. Despite an impressive showing though, Oklahoma could not grab any first-place votes and have to settle for moving up three spots this week to No. 3 in the poll. Top-ranked Alabama remains firmly entrenched atop the coaches poll, followed by defending national champion Clemson.

Oklahoma and No. 4 USC each passed defending Big Ten champion Penn State on the strength of victories against ranked opponents this weekend. Penn State is the only team in the top five without a victory over a ranked opponent in the first two weeks of the season. No. 6 Washington, No. 7 Michigan and No. 8 Oklahoma State all took advantage of a tumble by the Buckeyes. Ohio State fell from No. 2 down to No. 9 this week after losing at home to Oklahoma. The Buckeyes are the highest-ranked team with a loss, followed immediately by the only winless team in the top 10, Florida State (the Seminoles had a game this week scratched due to Hurricane Irma).

It is a bit surprising to see Oklahoma not make more of a push in the ranking from the coaches. The Sooners arguably have the best win in the first two weeks with a true road win against a team the coaches poll had ranked No. 2 just a week ago. You could go so far as to make an argument Oklahoma should be No. 1, if not coming in at No. 2.

The only newcomer in the coaches poll this week is No. 20 TCU, who had been floating just off the radar in the others receiving votes category last week. A road win at Arkansas was impressive enough to make a solid move up the ranking.

Here is the full coaches poll for this week, with first-place votes noted.

  1. Alabama (58 first-place votes)
  2. Clemson (2)
  3. Oklahoma
  4. USC
  5. Penn State
  6. Washington
  7. Michigan
  8. Oklahoma State
  9. Ohio State
  10. Florida State
  11. LSU
  12. Wisconsin
  13. Georgia
  14. Louisville
  15. Miami
  16. Virginia Tech
  17. Auburn
  18. Kansas State
  19. Stanford
  20. TCU
  21. USF
  22. Washington State
  23. Tennessee
  24. Utah
  25. Florida

Four arrested after being caught painting BYU cougar statue Utah red

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C’mon, when it’s rivalry week, you gotta wrap that thing up.

Saturday night in Provo, Utah and BYU will play in the 92nd edition of the Holy War.  Ahead of that rivalry renewal, a few Utah fans (presumably) decided that the cougar statue outside of Lavell Edwards Stadium could use a little touch-up.

With red paint.

According to the Deseret News, four suspects were arrested at 4:40 a.m. local time and cited for criminal mischief. “[O]fficers responded and located the suspects in a vehicle with red paint on their hands,” the News wrote.

By noon Mountain time, the newspaper reported, the BYU grounds crew had the paint removed from the statue.

The Utes, incidentally, have won six straight in the series and 11 of the last 14. The Cougars’ last win came in November of 2009, a 26-23 overtime affair in Provo.