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Week 14 college football odds: wagering table set for big Championship Weekend

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There are some strong OVER trends in a conference championship game that some are resigned to believing will be more of a coronation for top-ranked Alabama.

Led by Heisman Trophy betting favorite Tua Tagovailoa, the Alabama Crimson Tide are 13-point favorites against the Georgia Bulldogs with a 63-point total ahead of the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Alabama is actually facing its tightest line of the season, but it is 14-0 straight-up over its last 14 games with an average winning margin of 31.71 points. Georgia is 4-1 against the spread (ATS) in its last five games. The total might seem high by SEC standards, but five of Georgia’s last six games have gone OVER, with an average combined score of 58.67. The total has also gone OVER in five of Alabama’s last seven games in December.

Elsewhere on championship weekend:

BUFFALO (10-2) VS. NORTHERN ILLINOIS (7-5)
The Buffalo Bulls are 3.5-point favorites on the college football odds against the Northern Illinois Huskies with a 49.5-point total in the Mid-American Championship Game at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday. Northern Illinois is 1-8 ATS in its last nine games in Week 14. Buffalo is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games.

NO. 11 WASHINGTON (9-3) VS. NO. 17 UTAH (9-3)
The Washington Huskies are five-point favorites against the Utah Utes with a 44.5-point total in the Pac-12 Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Friday. Utah is 7-1 straight up (SU) and 6-2 ATS in its last eight games. Washington is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games.

NO. 5 OKLAHOMA (11-1) VS. NO. 14 TEXAS (9-3)
The Oklahoma Sooners are eight-point favorites against the Texas Longhorns with a 77.5-point total in the Big 12 Championship Game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The total has gone UNDER in 19 of Texas’ last 25 games against teams from its conference. Oklahoma is 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games in Week 14.

NO. 6 OHIO STATE (11-1) VS. NO. 21 NORTHWESTERN (8-4)
The Ohio State Buckeyes are 14-point favorites against the Northwestern Wildcats with a 60.5-point total in the Big Ten Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Northwestern is 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS in its last six games against Ohio State, according to the OddsShark College Football Database, with an average losing margin of 30.8 points. Ohio State covered in its most recent game against Michigan, but it is 0-3 ATS in its last three games after an ATS win.

NO. 2 CLEMSON (12-0) VS. PITT (7-5)
The Clemson Tigers are 27.5-point favorites against the Pitt Panthers with a 52.5-point total in the ACC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Pittsburgh is 5-2 SU and ATS in its last seven games in December. Clemson is 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS in its last eight games in December.

NO. 8 UCF (11-0) VS. MEMPHIS (8-4)
The UCF Knights are three-point favorites against the Memphis Tigers with a 64.5-point total in the AAC Championship Game. Memphis is 0-6 SU and ATS in its last six games on the road against Central Florida. The total has gone UNDER in six of UCF’s last seven games against its conference.

UAB (9-3) VS. MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE (8-4)
The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders are 1.5-point favorites against the UAB Blazers with a 45-point total in the Conference-USA Championship Game. The total has gone UNDER in seven of UAB’s last 10 games, with an average combined score of 43.1 points. Middle Tennessee is 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS in its last seven games at home.

NO. 22 BOISE STATE (10-2) VS. NO. 25 FRESNO STATE (10-2)
The Boise State Broncos are 2.5-point favorites against the Fresno State Bulldogs with a 52.5-point total in the Mountain West Championship Game. Fresno State is 13-4 ATS in its last 17 games. The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Fresno State’s last 11 games on the road, with an average combined score of 38.0 points. Boise State is 0-6 ATS in its last six games at home in December.

APPALACHIAN STATE (9-2) VS. LOUISIANA (7-5)
The Appalachian State Mountaineers are 16.5-point betting favorites against the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns with a 58.5-point total in the Sun Belt Championship Game. The total has gone UNDER in four of Louisiana-Lafayette’s last five games against Appalachian State, with an average combined score of 46.2 points. Appalachian State is 9-0 SU in its last nine home games, with a winning margin of 27.89 points.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Ex-UCLA head coach Terry Donahue recovering from surgery following cancer diagnosis

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One of the greatest UCLA football head coaches of all-time is the latest to battle one of the most insidious diseases in the history of mankind.

UCLA has confirmed that Terry Donahue was recently diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer and underwent surgery this past Friday.  The 74-year-old Donahue was released from the hospital Tuesday morning and is set to begin chemotherapy.

“The Donahue family appreciates everyone’s well wishes but requests privacy at this time,” the football program wrote in its release.

Donahue, who played his college football for the Bruins in the mid-sixties, served as the offensive line coach at his alma mater from 1971-75 before replacing Dick Vermeil, who left to take the same job with the Philadelphia Eagles, and taking over as head coach in 1976.

In 20 seasons leading UCLA, Donahue led the Bruins to a school-record 151 wins.  From 1976-95, Donahue captured five Pac-12 championships and two conference Coach of the Year honors. He was the first coach in NCAA history to win a bowl game in seven consecutive seasons, and had a 10-9-1 record against crosstown rival USC.

In 2000, Donahue was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Southern Miss, Troy schedule 4-game series

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Southern Miss and Troy on Tuesday jointly announced a four-game series to be spread across the next decade.

Troy will visit Hattiesburg on Sept. 18, 2021, but Southern Miss will not make a return visit until Sept. 14, 2024. The teams will then take the next three years off before resuming in Troy again on Sept. 16, 2028, and the series will conclude on Sept. 1, 2029 in Hattiesburg.

“We are excited to announce these future games for our football program,” Southern Miss AD Jeremy McClain said. “Our scheduling philosophy moving forward will continue to include regionally based opponents that provide great opportunities for fans to enjoy Golden Eagle football.”

Southern Miss and Troy have met nine times previously, first in 1937 and most recently 2016. The Trojans won both of those games, while Southern Miss took the seven in between.

As of today, Southern Miss has its entire 2021 non-conference slate lined up against teams from the state of Alabama. The Golden Eagles open at South Alabama, then visit Tuscaloosa a week after hosting Troy. The Trojans stand as USM’s only non-conference opponent on the books for the 2024, ’28 and ’29 seasons.

Troy, meanwhile, hosts Liberty on Sept. 11, 2021, and visits South Carolina a week after the trip to Hattiesburg. The Trojans will visit Memphis a week before hosting USM in 2024, and have no other games scheduled in 2028 or ’29.

 

Former USC, Tennessee assistant Willie Mack Garza joins Wyoming staff

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Wyoming has hired Willie Mack Garza as the club’s safeties coach, the program announced Tuesday.

Garza is a new name to Cowboys fans but not new to head coach Craig Bohl. Garza worked for Bohl at North Dakota State from 2005-08. That stint led him to join Lane Kiffin‘s staffs at Tennessee (2009) and USC (’10). At Tennessee, Garza committed a show-cause penalty for violating a recruiting rule.

“I do want to make one thing clear, Willie Mack has acknowledged a mistake he made 10 years ago that resulted in him being disciplined by the NCAA for a recruiting violation,” Bohl said. “Since then, he has been reinstated by the NCAA.  We have a reputation of holding ourselves to high ethical standards here at the University of Wyoming, and I expect Coach Garza to follow those high standards.”

Garza spent the past two seasons at Dixie State, a Division II school in Utah, including one as defensive coordinator. He left Dixie State earlier this year to become the co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Texas A&M-Commerce, another Division II school.

“First and foremost this is a blessing that Coach (Craig) Bohl and the University of Wyoming Athletics Department has provided me this opportunity to come coach here,” said Garza.  “I love coaching.  It is in my blood.  I love being around the players and the other coaches, going into the WAR Room and preparing.  This is also an opportunity for me to provide a platform for young men to be successful on and off the football field in the four to five years that they are here and for the rest of their lives.”

With Garza aboard, Cowboys defensive coordinator Jake Dickert will now transition to linebackers coach in addition to his coordinator duties.

At least nine players have now left South Carolina this offseason

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The transfer train has made frequent stops in Columbia throughout the offseason, and the month of May has been no exception.

Cole Cubelic of the SEC Network was the first to report Monday that the name of safety Jonathan Gipson is now listed in the NCAA transfer database.  Additionally, 247Sports.com is reporting that wide receiver-turned-running back Joe Thomas has entered the portal as well.

After coming to the Gamecocks as a three-star 2018 signee, Gipson played in two games as a true freshman.  Because he played in fewer than four games, Gipson can take a redshirt for 2018, which would leave him with four years of eligibility.  However, barring something unexpected, Gipson would have to sit out the 2019 season if he moves on to another FBS program, meaning he’d have three years to play three seasons beginning in 2020.

Thomas, a walk-on, played in two games this past season as well.

Gipson and Thomas are at least the eighth and ninth players to transfer from the Gamecocks this offseason, joining, among others, defensive end Shameik Blackshear (HERE), linebacker Zay Brown (HERE), quarterback Darius Douglas (HERE) and running back Ty’Son Williams (HERE).