Ole Miss Rebels

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 31:  Wayne Gallman #9 of the Clemson Tigers scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma Sooners during the 2015 Capital One Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

2016 Las Vegas win totals think highly of Clemson, FSU, Sooners and Vols

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The top two teams in the ACC, Clemson and Florida State, are widely expected to once again lead the way in the ACC and the first batch of season win totals from Las Vegas outlet The Golden Nugget back that up. The initial 2016 win totals for a handful of college football programs were released by The Golden Nugget this week, and it would appear the sportsbook expects a big season from the defending ACC champion and national runner-up Clemson.

As noted by The Sporting News, The Golden Nugget gave a regular season win total of 10 to Clemson and Oklahoma, both coming off an appearance in the College Football Playoff last season. Florida State also gets a double-digit win total, as does Tennessee. Defending national champion Alabama has a line of 9.5 for its win total.

Tennessee having a higher win total than Alabama? Well, consider the divisions each play in. The SEC West is still arguably a stronger division than the SEC East, suggesting Tennessee will have an easier path to hitting 10 wins during the regular season. Tennessee opens the season on a neutral field against Virginia Tech in Bristol, while Alabama hits the big stage in Arlington to take on USC. The Trojans have a win total of just 7.5. There was no number available for Virginia Tech.

Defending Big Ten champion Michigan State has a win total number of 8, which is half a game lower than the 8.5 given to Ohio State (take the over now while you can) and 1.5 games lower than in-state rival Michigan (9.5). Defending Pac-12 champion Stanford has to get to eight games to break even. The Golden Nugget set UCLA’s win total at nine, the highest among Pac-12 teams.

Clemson 10 (over -120)
Alabama 9.5
Florida State 10 (over -120)
Oklahoma 10 (under -130)
LSU 9.5 (over -140)
Michigan 9.5 (over -120)
Houston 9 (under -150)
Notre Dame 9 (under -125)
Ohio State 8.5 (over -115)
Tennessee 10
Baylor 9 (under -125)
Michigan State 8 (under -135)
Stanford 8 (under -130
Ole Miss 7.5 (under -115)
Georgia 8.5 (over -145)
Auburn 7 (over -120)
UCLA 9 (over -120)
USC 7.5 (over -120)
Oregon 8.5 (under -120)
Florida 8 (under -125)
Louisville 9
TCU 8.5 (under -125)
Oklahoma State (under -130)
UNLV 4.5

ACC releases early season TV schedule

LOUISVILLE, KY - OCTOBER 30:  Michael Dyer #5 of the Louisville Cardinals runs the ball in the first quarter against the Florida State Seminoles during their game at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on October 30, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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The early portion of the 2016 college football season is, finally, beginning to take shape. ESPN has released its opening weekend schedule and broadcast tandems in recent days, and now the ACC has stepped up to the plate by unveiling the conference’s complete broadcast schedule for the first three weeks of the season.

As you may expect, the ACC slate is packed full of Thursday and Friday night games. In addition to opening weekend dandies like B.C.- Georgia Tech from Ireland, UNC-Georgia from Atlanta and FSU-Ole Miss on Labor Day night, the early season schedule is highlighted by the reunion of the Keystone State rivalry in Pittsburgh on Sept. 10 and an interesting Florida State-Louisville duel on Sept. 17.

Without further ado, below is the complete slate of ACC broadcast dates as it stands today (all times Eastern):

Thursday, Sept. 1
Charlotte at Louisville — 7 p.m., RSN
Tulane at Wake Forest — 7 p.m., ESPN3
William & Mary at N.C. State — 7:30 p.m., ESPN3

Friday, Sept. 2
Colgate at Syracuse — 7 p.m., ESPN3

Saturday, Sept. 3
Boston College vs. Georgia Tech (from Dublin, Ireland) — 7:30 a.m., ESPN2
Liberty at Virginia Tech — 12:30 p.m., ACC Network
Villanova at Pitt — 1:30 p.m., ESPN3
Richmond at Virginia — 3:30 p.m., ESPN3
North Carolina vs. Georgia (from Atlanta) — 5:30 p.m., ESPN
Florida A&M at Miami — 6 p.m., ESPN3
North Carolina Central at Duke — 6 p.m., ESPN3
Clemson at Auburn — 9 p.m., ESPN

Monday, Sept. 5
Florida State vs. Ole Miss (from Orlando, Fla.) — 8 p.m., ESPN

Friday, Sept. 9
Louisville at Syracuse — 8 p.m., ESPN2

Saturday, Sept. 10
Penn State at Pitt — 12 p.m., ABC/ESPN
Charleston Southern at Florida State — 12:30 p.m., RSN
Troy at Clemson — 12:30 p.m., ACC Network
Mercer at Georgia Tech — 3 p.m., ESPN3
Wake Forest at Duke — 3:30 p.m., ESPNU
Florida Atlantic at Miami — 6 p.m., ESPN3
North Carolina at Illinois — 7:30 p.m., BTN

Saturday, Sept. 17
Florida State at Louisville — 12 p.m., ABC
South Carolina State at Clemson — 12 p.m., RSN
Vanderbilt at Georgia Tech — 12:30 p.m., ACC Network
Boston College at Virginia Tech — 3:30 p.m., ESPNU
South Florida at Syracuse — 3:30 p.m., ESPN3
James Madison at North Carolina — 3:30 p.m., RSN
Old Dominion at N.C. State — 6 p.m., ESPN3
Delaware at Wake Forest — 6:30 p.m., ESPN3

Thursday, Sept. 22
Clemson at Georgia Tech — 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Saturday, Sept. 24
Duke at Notre Dame — 3:30 p.m., NBC

Friday, Oct. 7
Clemson at Boston College — 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Friday, Oct. 14
Duke at Louisville — 7 p.m., ESPN

Thursday, Oct. 20
Miami at Virginia Tech — 7 p.m., ESPN

Thursday, Oct. 27
Virginia Tech at Pitt — 7 p.m., ESPN

Saturday, Oct. 29
Miami at Notre Dame — 3:30 p.m., NBC

Thursday, Nov. 10
North Carolina at Duke — 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Friday, Nov. 11
Boston College at Florida State — 7:30 p.m., ESPN2

Thursday, Nov. 17
Louisville at Houston — TBA, ESPN

Saturday, Nov. 19
Virginia Tech at Notre Dame — 3:30 p.m., NBC

Friday, Nov. 25
N.C. State at North Carolina — 12 p.m. or 3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN/ESPN2

Saturday, Dec. 3
ACC Championship (at Charlotte, N.C.) — 7:45 p.m. or 8 p.m., ESPN/ABC

57 centers named to Rimington Award spring watch list

AJ McCarron, Ryan Kelly
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You know how I know we’re getting closer to the start of a new season?  The first watch list of the offseason has arrived.

The first for that honor this year is the Rimington Award, which on Tuesday released its spring watch list that is 57 players strong.  The Rimington Award, named in honor of former Nebraska standout Dave Rimington, is presented annually to the top center in the nation and is determined by the consensus All-American center pick from three existing All-America teams — Walter Camp. Sporting News and FWAA.

None of the finalists for the 2015 award, won by Alabama’s Ryan Kelly, are included on this year’s initial watch list as all three have since moved on with expired eligibility.

The ACC and SEC pace all conferences with eight watch listers apiece, followed by the AAC and Big 12 with seven each.  The Big Ten placed six, while the Pac-12’s three was the least of all of the Power Five programs.

All 10 of the FBS leagues, plus one independent (Notre Dame), are represented on the spring watch list, the full roster of which appears below.

AAC
Deyshawn Bond, Cincinnati, senior
Ryan Crozier, UConn, redshirt sophomore
Will Noble, Houston, sophomore
Drew Kyser, Memphis, sophomore
Evan Brown, SMU, junior
Brendan McGowan, Temple, redshirt senior
Chandler Miller, Tulsa, sophomore

ACC
Jay Guillermo, Clemson, senior
Alec Eberle, Florida State, redshirt sophomore
Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech, redshirt senior
Nicholas Linder, Miami, junior
Lucas Crowley, North Carolina, senior
Alex Officer, Pittsburgh, redshirt junior
Jason Emerich, Syracuse, redshirt senior
Jackson Matteo, Virginia, senior

BIG TEN
Joe Spencer, Illinois, senior
Sean Welsh, Iowa, junior
Brendan Moore, Maryland, sophomore
Mason Cole, Michigan, junior
Dylan Utter, Nebraska, senior
Michael Dieter, Wisconsin, sophomore

BIG 12
Kyle Fuller, Baylor, senior
Dalton Risner, Kansas State, sophomore
Jonathan Alvarez, Oklahoma, junior
Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State, junior
Austin Schlottman, TCU, junior
Tony Morales, Texas Tech, senior
Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia, redshirt senior

CONFERENCE USA
Michael Montero, FIU, senior
Dillon DeBoer, FAU, redshirt senior
Daniel Stephens, Middle Tennessee State, senior
Nick Clarke, Old Dominion, sophomore
Cameron Tom, Southern Miss, senior
Max Halpin, Western Kentucky, redshirt senior

MAC
Tim McAuliffe, Bowling Green redshirt junior
James O’Hagan, Buffalo, sophomore

MOUNTAIN WEST
Jake Bennett, Colorado State, junior
Asotui Eli, Hawaii, redshirt sophomore
Nathan Goltry, Nevada, senior
Arthur Flores, San Diego State, senior
Austin Stephens, Utah State, senior

PAC-12
Toa, Lobendahn, USC, junior
Coleman Shelton, Washington, junior
Riley Sorenson, Washington State, senior

SEC
Frank Ragnow, Arkansas, junior
Brandon Kublanow, Georgia, senior
Jon Toth, Kentucky, senior
Ethan Pocic, LSU, senior
Jamaal Clayborn, Mississippi State, senior
Robert Conyers, Ole Miss, senior
Alan Knott, South Carolina, redshirt junior
Coleman Thomas, Tennessee, junior

SUN BELT
Devin Mondie, Arkansas State, senior
Andy Kwon, Georgia Southern, senior
Gabe Mobley, Georgia State, sophomore
Steve Matlock, Idaho, senior

INDEPENDENTS
Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame, junior

SEC joins ACC in utilizing ‘collaborative process’ for instant replay

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Associated Press
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Earlier this month, the ACC became the first conference to adopt what was described as “collaborative instant replay.”  Less than a week later, the SEC has followed the ACC’s centralized lead.

The SEC announced in a Tuesday press release that it “will implement a collaborative process for instant replay in the sport of football beginning with the 2016 season, following a unanimous vote of the league’s athletics directors and approval by the SEC Executive Committee.”  The conference’s decision to utilize a command center for instant replay comes a month after it was tested during an unnamed member school’s spring game.

“Under this experiment, personnel operating from SEC Headquarters will assist the in-stadium Instant Replay Officials when replay decisions are made,” the release further added.  Additional details, including detailed plans and complete logistics for the new replay process, will be presented to coaches and administrators during the SEC Media Days in July.

Those details will then be released to the public at a media briefing during those meetings.

“Our goal is to continue to use the best-available resources to support correct outcomes when instant replay is used,” said SEC commissioner Greg Sankey in a statement. “We believe the collaborative effort, which will involve additional officiating experts during replay reviews, will enhance the Conference’s football officiating program. I believe this update to the instant replay review process will better support football officiating in the SEC through the use of technology.”

ESPN selections set for epic opening weekend

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 11:  Clemson Tigers fans cheer in the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 11, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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We already knew that the opening weekend of the 2016 was going to be epic.  Now we know on which channels (most of the) said epic-ness will take place.

Tuesday, ESPN announced its channel selections for the Week 1 slate of games, with the World Wide Leader kicking off its coverage with South Carolina-Vanderbilt on ESPN Sept. 1 — hold on, it gets better — and being bookended by Ole Miss-Florida State on Labor Day.

In between, it’s highly-anticipated opening Saturday matchups such as Oklahoma-Houston (noon ET, ABC), LSU-Wisconsin (3:30 ET, ABC, Lambeau Field), Georgia-North Carolina (5:30 ET, ESPN), USC-Alabama (8 ET, ABC) and Clemson-Auburn (9 ET, ESPN).  For those with an international lean, and are early risers, the Georgia Tech-Boston College will be broadcast live from Dublin, Ireland, beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2.

Oh, and lest we forget the clash of iconic programs: Notre Dame-Texas, kicking off at 7:30 ET Sunday night as the NFL season will be a week away from kicking off.

And all of that is without even mentioning games that have yet to have their broadcast destination announced, including UCLA-Texas A&M, Kansas State-Stanford, Missouri-West Virginia and Arizona-BYU, among others.

So, yes, it’ going to be one hell of an opening weekend.  Go ahead and prepare your goodbyes to family and friends now, informing them you’ll see them on the other side of Labor Day.