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Per, Alabama, Clemson remain double-digit favorites

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The Clemson Tigers are 12.5-point favorites against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish with a 56.5-point total on the Cotton Bowl odds at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by

Support for No. 3 Notre Dame has led to some adjustment in the betting line, and now the favored Tigers have lost defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence to a failed drug test. That might make life easier for Notre Dame’s offensive line and quarterback Ian Book, but No. 2 Clemson is 6-2 against the spread (ATS) in its last eight games as a double-digit favorite for reasons that go beyond one player.

With that said, Notre Dame is 4-1 ATS in its last five games against the Atlantic Coast Conference according to the OddsShark College Football Database.

Clemson ranks fourth in the country in both total offense and total defense, while Notre Dame ranks 28th and 22nd in those categories. The total has gone OVER in six of Notre Dame’s last eight games in December.

Orange Bowl Odds: No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 Alabama (-14)
The Alabama Crimson Tide are 14-point favorites against the Oklahoma Sooners with a 77-point total on the Orange Bowl odds at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, which is the second CFP semifinal.

The Sooners lead the country in scoring (49.5 points per game) with Alabama second (47.9). However, the Crimson Tide, who expect to have Heisman Trophy runner-up quarterback Tua Tagovailoa healthy after an ankle injury four weeks ago, finished 98 places ahead of Oklahoma in the total defense rankings and are 30-0 straight up (SU) and 18-12 ATS in their last 30 games as a favorite of 13.0 or more points.

Oklahoma, led by Heisman-winning quarterback Kyler Murray, is 2-4 both SU and ATS in its last six postseason games as the underdog.

The total has gone OVER in six of Alabama’s last eight games in December. The total has gone OVER in four of Oklahoma’s last five games, with an average combined score of 93.6 points.

Peach Bowl Odds: No. 10 Florida vs. No. 7 Michigan
The Michigan Wolverines are 6-point favorites against the Florida Gators with a 51-point total on the Peach Bowl odds at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Michigan is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games as a favorite, but quarterback Shea Patterson has a diminishing supporting cast with leading rusher Karan Higdon, defensive end Rashan Gary and linebacker Devin Bush sitting out to prepare for the NFL draft.

However, Florida, led offensively by quarterback Feleipe Franks, is 0-4 SU in its last four games against Michigan (with an average losing margin of 16 points) and is also 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games as the underdog. The total has gone OVER in six of Florida’s last seven games, with an average combined score of 58.86 points.

Elsewhere Saturday, the South Carolina Gamecocks are 5-point favorites against the Virginia Cavaliers with a 54-point total in the Belk Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium in Charlotte. South Carolina is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 games against the ACC.

And the Nevada Wolf Pack are 1-point favorites against the Arkansas State Red Wolves with a 56.5-point total in the Arizona Bowl at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona. Nevada is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games in December.

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

Florida State apologizes for MLK Day tweet

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As the old adage goes, the best-laid plans of mice and men’s Twitter accounts often go awry.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, Florida State’s official recruiting account on Twitter posted an inspirational quote from the slain Civil Rights leader. It would’ve been fine for all involved if the account would’ve stopped there; unfortunately for all involved, they didn’t stop there.

Instead, a photoshopped image of Dr. King wearing a football glove and apparently performing the Tomahawk Chop was included as part of the tweet.

Not surprisingly, the Twitter account caught significant heat and flack for the image on social media. Just as unsurprisingly, the tweet was deleted less than an hour after it was posted and an apology subsequently issued.

Rutgers hires Andy Buh to coordinate defense

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Rutgers has hired Andy Buh as its defensive coordinator, the program has announced.

“We are excited to add Andy to the Rutgers football family,” head coach Chris Ash said in a statement. “He is an outstanding linebackers coach and has extensive experience in the Big Ten. Andy and I share a defensive philosophy and he is very familiar with the scheme we run, which will benefit the continued development of our defense.”

Ash and Buh worked together previously at Wisconsin, where Ash was the defensive coordinator and Buh the linebackers coach. He spent the past three seasons as the defensive coordinator at Maryland and has previous coordinator experience at Stanford, Nevada and Cal.

Buh replaces Jay Niemann, who served as the Scarlet Knights’ defensive coordinator for the first three seasons of the Ash era. Rutgers was 69th in total and yards per play defense and 89th in scoring in 2018, surrendering 31.4 points per game. Buh’s Maryland defense placed 78th, allowing 28.7 points per outing.

Rutgers is 7-29 under Ash and 3-24 in Big Ten play.

North Texas inks home and homes with Baylor, Tulane

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North Texas celebrated MLK Day by announcing a slew of future football opponents.

The Mean Green announced Monday it will play home-and-homes with Baylor and Tulane in the 2028 and ’29 campaigns. North Texas will visit the Bears and Green Wave in 2028, then host both in 2029. UNT will visit Baylor on Sept. 2 and Tulane on Sept. 23 in 2028, while the Mean Green will host Baylor and Tulane in back-to-back weeks to open 2029, with the Bears coming on Sept. 1 and the Green Wave on Sept. 8.

A previously scheduled home game with Army was bumped from 2027 to 2028 in conjunction with Monday’s announcements. North Texas also announced a home game with Texas Southern for Sept. 24, 2022.

Baylor will be the fourth Power 5 program and the second Big 12 opponent to visit Apogee Stadium, which opened in 2011. Indiana visited in Apogee’s opening season, Cal will make a visit in 2022 and Texas Tech will come to Denton in 2027.

“I am thrilled to announce two quality home-and-home series have been added to our schedules,” Mean Green AD Wren Baker said in a statement. “Baylor joins Cal and Texas Tech as Power 5 conference teams coming to Denton over the next few years. Tulane is a quality American Athletic Conference team that will be a fun trip for our fans when we return to New Orleans. I appreciate (COO) Jared Mosley‘s diligent efforts to find compelling games for our fans.”

North Texas and Baylor have met 13 times previously. The Bears have won 12 of those meetings but North Texas took the most recent meeting in Denton, a 52-14 thumping in 2003. That remains UNT’s most recent win over a Big 12 opponent.

The Mean Green and Green Wave have played just once previously, a 21-14 Tulane victory in New Orleans in 2013.

Baylor has a previously scheduled trip to Oregon slated for 2028, a return trip for the Ducks’ flight to Waco in 2027. Tulane also has a home-and-home with Iowa State in 2028-29, with the home dates flipped from the UNT series.

Boise State to replace iconic blue turf (with more, newer blue turf)

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Boise State became a household name through playing on its trendsetting blue turf (and winning a lot), such that the school now owns a trademark for any non-green collegiate field.

The current blue playing surface is set to go away this spring, only to be replaced by a newer, bigger, bluer (probably) version.

“It’s needed,” Boise State AD Curt Apsey told the Idaho Statesman. “We’re not just doing it to do it. It’s near the end of the usual lifespan.”

The current playing surface was installed ahead of the 2010 season; FieldTurf surfaces usually have a lifespan of eight to 10 years.

“The field is shredding,” Broncos head coach Bryan Harsin told the paper last summer. “It’s just old. It needs to be replaced. It’s just time.”

Boise State has played on a blue surface since 1986, when then-AD Gene Blaymaier put in blue AstroTurf at a cost of $750,000. The school did not even join FBS until a decade later.

The new surface will extend beyond the playing field to cover the area that previously held the Broncos’ track. It is expected to cost between $600,000 and $1 million, but the school is approved to spend $600,000 as of now.