Revealed: The voters who dissed the Gators

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Earlier today, the Associated Press released their preseason Top 25 rankings, and Florida was a near-unanimous selection as the top team in the country.

In fact, their garnering of 58 of the 60 first-place votes was the highest percentage in the history of the poll.

However, that meant two people had the “audacity” to put another team ahead of the defending national champs.  Common sense would say that, since Texas received the other two first-place nods, it would likely be someone in-state or from the Big 12 conference who placed the Longhorns ahead of the Mighty Gators.

At least in this case, common sense would be wrong.

So, just who were the “offending parties”?  Without further ado, we present to you Joe Giglio of the Raleigh News & Observer and Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. (And I’ll go ahead and apologize to the two gentlemen for any emails from Florida ISP’s which may or may not flood their inbox.)

Both writers had Florida No. 2 on their ballots and, while Giglio’s ballot was pretty much standard  poll fare throughout, Gorman’s was… how should I say it… most definitely against the grain and a unique piece of work.

Not only was Gorman one of two to not place Florida atop his list, but he also had Tennessee at No. 16 and Northwestern at No. 21.  Northwestern had five points in the “others receiving votes” category, meaning Gorman was the only person in America to vote for the Wildcats based on the “1 point for 25th, 2 points for 24th, etc.” method used by the AP.

Additionally, the Gazette writer didn’t even have Georgia, the No. 13 team according to both the AP and USA Today, in his Top 25 teams in the country.

Then again, and so as not to just pick on Gorman, Adam Van Brimmer of the Savannah Morning News had Utah at No. 2 — yes, in this year’s poll — TCU at No. 8 and Texas Tech at No. 9.  And Cal not rated in his Top 25.

Of course, none of this really matters in the grand scheme of things.  All it really does is highlight the farce that preseason polls are and will always be.

Former USC assistant coach Todd McNair loses defamation lawsuit vs. NCAA

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By a vote of 9-3, former USC running backs coach Todd McNair has lost his defamation lawsuit against the NCAA. Following six days of deliberation, the verdict brings to a close the Reggie Bush scandal that began more than a decade ago, a scandal that saw the Trojans lose their 2004 BCS national championship and Bush be stripped of his 2005 Heisman Trophy.

McNair sued the NCAA after it found him guilty of unethical conduct while Bush received impermissible benefits. He was given a 1-year show-cause penalty, and has not worked since his contract expired in the summer of 2010.

McNair sought $27 million in damages from the NCAA.

McNair’s attorney Bruce Broilett told ESPN his team was “very disappointed … disappointed in the result. Assessing the situation and considering our next steps.”

David Beaty releases statement on firing of KU AD Sheahon Zenger

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Kansas fired athletics director Sheahon Zenger earlier today. If the move was immediately greeted as a vote of no-confidence in Zenger’s ability to find and hire the next Jayhawks football coach — and, thus, a vote of no-confidence in the David Beaty era — that’s because it pretty much is.

“But Athletics continues to face a number of challenges, and progress in key areas has been elusive. To achieve the level of success we need and expect, I have determined a change in leadership is necessary,” KU chancellor Douglas Girod said in his statement announcing Zenger’s firing.

The playbook is well documented by now: to replace the head coach, you must first replace the AD who hired the head coach, and the replacement will then hire the new head coach. We’ve seen it play out at a number of places, most recently Nebraska, where Bill Moos was brought in to replace Shawn Eichorst, and Moos promptly fired Mike Riley and hired Scott Frost.

Beaty is a well-liked coach, but college football is a results business and a 3-33 record speaks for itself. Beaty surely knows that score better than anyone.

Hours after the news went public, Beaty released a statement of his own on Monday afternoon.

As if the 3-33 mark wasn’t obvious enough, the beginning of the end of the Beaty era likely came on Monday.

Alabama (still) a massive favorite over Louisville, other Week 1 lines

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It’s been about four months since we checked in on the Week 1 betting lines in college football, highlighted by Alabama’s installation as a massive favorite for its date with Louisville in Orlando.

And in the four months since, the public has clearly lost faith in the Nick Saban Football Machine.

After starting as a 29.5-point favorite, Alabama has been downgraded… to a 28.5-point favorite, according to lines released by Bet Online.

Other lines of note:

  • UCF (-20.5) at Connecticut
  • Northwestern (+4.5) at Purdue
  • Colorado (-6) vs. Colorado State (at Denver)
  • San Diego State (+14.5) at Stanford
  • Florida Atlantic (+23) at Oklahoma
  • Oregon State (+38) at Ohio State
  • Texas (-10.5) at Maryland
  • Boise State (-10.5) at Troy
  • Arizona (-14) vs. BYU (at Phoenix)
  • Auburn (-3.5) vs. Washington (at Atlanta)
  • Ole Miss (-1.5) vs. Texas Tech (at Houston)
  • West Virginia (-7) vs. Tennessee (at Charlotte)
  • North Carolina (+6) at California
  • Michigan (+2) at Notre Dame
  • Alabama (-28.5) vs. Louisville (at Orlando)
  • Miami (-3) vs. LSU (at Dallas)
  • Virginia Tech (+6.5) at Florida State

Check out the entire list of lines here.

Royal Wedding barely beats CFP title game in TV ratings

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In case you didn’t already know, allow me to be the first to tell you there was a Royal Wedding over the weekend. The audience interested in watching Prince Harry wed Meghan Markel had next to nothing in common with those interested in watching Alabama and Georgia play football, but it turns out the two groups are nearly the exact same size.

According to a tweet by Front Office Sports, the Royal Wedding stands as the eighth most popular viewing spectacle of 2018 to date at 29.2 million viewers, just edging out the College Football Playoff Championship’s 28.4 million viewers.

Another similar dynamic played out when This Is Us‘s finale (on NBC!) nudged out Georgia’ Rose Bowl comeback over Oklahoma — 27 million to 26.9 million — for the No. 12 spot to date.

The good news here is that there shouldn’t be another Royal Wedding for, oh, another 25 years or so, so the 2019 CFP title game should have less competition for the No. 8 spot moving forward.