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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.

Gary Pinkel undergoing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for a second time

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Former Missouri and Toledo head coach Gary Pinkel revealed in a TV interview on Sunday night that he is once again undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“I’m doing good. I had to get treatment again for the first time in four years. My cancer came out of remission, and so I had treatment last month. I’m doing fine,” Pinkel told KMIZ. “With my type of lymphoma, you’ll never be healed. But that’s kind of why I retired when I did – I just wanted to not go back and regret working 85 hours a week, 35 weeks out of the year when I could be doing other things with my family and my eight grandkids.”

Pinkel was originally diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in May of 2015 and stepped down after that season. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer that begins in the lymph nodes and then spreads throughout the body.

“You keep battling it. I’m going to battle it, Pinkel said. “I’ve got a very positive approach to it, and I’m around a lot of good people that are helping me. There’s a lot of people out there with a lot worse cancers than Gary Pinkel has, and so prayers to all of them.”

Since retiring, Pinkel has used his time as a fundraiser for Missouri and also running the GP M.A.D.E. Foundation, which supports children with cancer and also provides mentoring for at-need kids.

Pinkel, 63, was 191-110-3 as a head coach at two schools over 25 seasons.

 

Former Bengals offensive coordinator reportedly joining Florida support staff

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Former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Ken Zampese is joining Florida’s staff as an analyst, according to Sports Illustrated‘s Andy Benoit.

Zampese spent the 2016-17 seasons as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator after serving 13 seasons as Marvin Lewis‘s quarterbacks coach. Cincinnati went 13-18-1 in Zampese’s two seasons running the offense, which is why he spent 2018 as the Cleveland Browns’ quarterbacks coach and the first part of 2019 as the offensive coordinator for the AAF’s Atlanta Legends.

He is the son of former Chargers, Rams, Cowboys and Patriots offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese.

It is not immediately known what the younger Zampese’s role will be with the Gators, but his experience indicates he’ll work with Dan Mullen and coordinators John Hevesy and Billy Gonzales to develop Florida’s offensive plan and help Brian Johnson tutor the quarterbacks, or perhaps use his coordinator experience to self-scout Florida’s offense and scout Florida’s future opponents.

Arizona launched hostile workplace probe following sexual harassment claims against Wildcat football players

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Arizona launched a hostile workplace investigation into its football program following multiple claims of sexual assault and sexual harassment made by multiple female equipment managers against multiple former Wildcat football players, the program confirmed to the Tucson Daily Star.

Lawyers representing the university did not say when the probe took place, but did say it was sparked by two complaints made by female equipment mangers. From the paper:

In 2014, two UA students who worked as equipment managers separately reported incidents involving nonconsensual sex with football players. In August of that year, police were told that a 21-year-old woman working for the athletic department had sex at least twice with three UA football players while the she was heavily intoxicated. One of the players recorded at least one of the encounters and showed it to other students, the report said.

The woman told police that she lost her job after the recording was released, according to the report.

….

While investigating the woman’s claim, UA’s Title IX office approached former manager Jacquelyn Hinek, who had quit her job months before, citing pervasive sexual harassment. After speaking to UA investigators, Hinek told Tucson police that she had been sexually assaulted in April 2013 by several men associated with the football team while at an off-campus party. She said the incident was recorded on a cell phone and later shown to other students. 

“The Office of Institutional Equity conducted a thorough review of the football equipment manager program and there were no findings of sex discrimination as a result of that investigation,” UA spokesman Chris Sigurdson told the paper via email.

The probe was one of three major investigations into the football program.

Arizona is currently being sued for Title IX violations by an alleged victim of former Wildcats running back Orlando Bradford, whom the victim says hit, choked and imprisoned her over a 2-day period in September 2016. Bradford is currently serving a 5-year prison sentence, but the Title IX suit seeks to depose a number of key figures within the football program, including former head coach Rich Rodriguez, who himself was the subject of a hostile workplace investigation in 2017. Allegations of sexual harassment made by his former assistant led to his dismissal last January. Rodriguez has denied any sexual harassment claims, arguing instead they were an extortion attempt against him.

In total, Arizona said it investigated 27 athletes or athletic department employees for sexual harassment, sexual assault or domestic violence from 2012 through ’17 (the period coinciding with Rodriguez’s hiring and firing), eight of them involving the football program.

UConn reportedly looking to keep football program in FBS, not FCS

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All the reporting that came out since the bombshell reports saying Connecticut is looking to leave the American Athletic Conference to rejoin the non-football Big East have confirmed that, yes, this is really happening, likely in time for the 2020-21 athletic year. The reporting has also said that UConn’s soon-to-be-homeless football program will not drop down to FCS, but instead join a different conference or try to make it as an FBS independent.

On Saturday, Stadium’s Brett McMurphy tweeted that UConn has determined it will not return to FCS, where the program competed for most of its history before joining the then-power conference Big East in 2004.

On Sunday morning, NCAA.com’s Andy Katz followed with a note saying it looked like the Huskies will try to make a go of it as an independent, writing that UConn will attempt to schedule neighbors like UMass (a fellow independent), Boston College, Syracuse and Rutgers while honoring existing contracts for home-and-homes with Duke, Illinois, NC State and others.

For a check in with someone who might actually know something, let’s see what Huskies head coach Randy Edsall has to say.

Oh, well.

Either way, it sounds like the train is moving and we could hear something official sooner rather than later.