Contributor to NBCSports.com and Athlon Sports. Host of Locked on Nittany Lions Podcast, Twitch streamer, trombone player and amateur runner. FWAA member and Philadelphia area native and resident.
Clemson may not have won the national championship last season, but the ACC champion Tigers did claim a pair of signature victories on their path to the national title game. Now, as is a tradition at Clemson, those victories are forever memorialized in Clemson football’s graveyard.
Clemson places tombstones for significant victories at the football practice fields. Significant victories are described as victories over ranked opponents that are played away from Death Valley. Last season, Clemson clobbered Virginia in the ACC Championship Game for its only win over a ranked opponent in the regular season. The Tigers then topped Big Ten champion Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, the stage for one of the semifinal matchups in the College Football Playoff.
Now, those victories have a reserved plot in Clemson’s graveyard display.
Of course, Clemson was hoping to add another black tombstone to the graveyard this spring. Clemson uses black tombstones for national title victories. Clemson was unable to add a third tombstone to the collection this year after losing to LSU in the national championship game in January.
Which conference has produced the best NFL talent over the past decade? Perhaps not too surprisingly, it has been the SEC. A total of 12 SEC players were named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s. The SEC had one more player than the next best-represented conference, the ACC.
LSU and Wisconsin each had two players named to the NFL All-Decade team, with both Badgers representatives — defensive end J.J. Watt and offensive tackle Joe Thomas — being among the eight unanimous selections. LSU is represented by Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu.
The schools that were most represented were California and Pittsburgh. Former Cal players on the team include Aaron Rodgers, Marshawn Lynch, Alex Mack, and Cameron Jordan. Cal made up nearly half of the count for the Pac-12 (9 total players). Pitt’s four players — Aaron Donald, Larry Fitzgerald, Darrelle Revis, and LeSean McCoy — helped boost the ACC’s total as well.
To keep things simple, this count is based entirely on what conference schools reside right now. A number of players in the NFL may have played in a different conference than where their alma mater currently sits. Rather than go through and break down the list to include the old Big East, all players were counted under their school’s current conference affiliation. Two Division 2 conferences were represented in the count (Bloomsburg’s Jahri Evans for the PSAC and West Alabama’s Tyreek Hill for the Gulf South).
- SEC – 12
- ACC – 11
- Pac-12 – 9
- Big 12 – 6
- Big Ten – 5
- MAC – 3
- American – 2
- MWC – 2
- Independents – 1
- PSAC (D2) – 1
- Gulf South (D2) – 1
Former Michigan quarterback Tom Brady joined some rare company by being named to his second all-decade team.
With the sports world on indefinite hold, cutbacks and budget adjustments are being made just about everywhere. The Pac-12 is no exception as commissioner Larry Scott will reportedly be taking a temporary pay cut.
According to veteran college football reporter Jon Wilner of The Mercury News, the cuts within the Pac-12 will not stop there. The conference will also be cutting back on pay to additional executive staff members. On top of that, Pac-12 Networks will be laying off 8% of its staff (which Wilner reports to be roughly 12 full-time employees).
The Pac-12 Network has had its share of problems as it was, but with no live sports to be airing or reacting to, the budget cuts with the conference’s network are not exactly surprising.
As for Scott, the commissioner of the conference is among the leaders in power conference commissioner salary. Scott was reportedly receiving a salary of $5.2 million when last reported last year. Only Jim Delany of the Big Ten was making more in his final year on the Big Ten books. As reported by Wilner, the salary cutback is scheduled to run through June at this point. What happens after June remains to be seen.
Another week has brought us another batch of national title odds to gloss over. And although the sportsbook may be different, the usual names appear to be the betting favorites to win the college football national championship in 2020.
Clemson is the favorite to win it all next season, according to the latest national title odds released by Caesar’s on Monday (Caesars also released their win totals for the upcoming season). The Tigers are on the board with +250 odds to win it all, staying slightly ahead of Ohio State (+300) and ahead of SEC contenders Alabama (+500) and Georgia (+700). That order falls in line with the top three on the board from an offshore sportsbook recently reviewed (HERE).
Defending national champion LSU has been given the same odds to repeat as national champion as the Oklahoma Sooners, at 18-1. The Florida Gators are ahead of both at 12-1.
Ben Fawkes of ESPN shared the national title odds via Twitter, including odds for Oregon, Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas, Texas A&M, Auburn, and Penn State.
Clemson, Ohio State and Alabama had the highest win totals released by Caesar’s on Monday.
We may have questions about when the college football season will begin, but the oddsmakers never rest. Caesar’s Entertainment has released its batch of win totals for every FBS team for the 2020 season, with the usual suspects receiving some of the highest win totals for the new season.
Alabama has the highest win total from the sportsbook with a line set at 10.5 SEC East contenders Georgia and Florida each have been given a win total of 10. Defending national champion LSU opens at a win total of 9, according to the information relayed by Chris Fallicia of ESPN, via Twitter.
Defending Big Ten champion Ohio State has the highest win total in the Big Ten, 11. Penn State and Wisconsin are next in line with a win total projection of 9.5, followed by Michigan at 9. Not surprisingly, Clemson easily has the highest win total on the board in the ACC, at 11.5.
Based on the win totals from Caesars, Oklahoma (10) and Oregon (9.5) appear to be the conference favorites in the Big 12 and Pac-12, respectively.
You can check out the win totals for every FBS team, broken down by conference and including independents, below:
Anyone going to go with me on a Rutgers over 2.5 wins this year? There is an outside chance of it hitting before October. You heard it here first.