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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.

Central Michigan becomes sixth FBS program with No. 1 overall picks in both NFL, CFL drafts

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If you haven’t already heard, one MAC school joined some rather select draft company this past week.

For the fourth straight year Thursday, a player from an FBS program went No. 1 overall in the Canadian Football League draft; that’s the first time FBS players have gone first in back-to-back-to-back-to-back years in the Great White North’s version of the Player Selection Meeting. This time around the honor went to Mark Chapman, the Central Michigan wide receiver who led the Chippewas in receptions (59) and receiving yards (875) this past season.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were the team drafting Chapman with that top pick, trading up from No. 2 overall with the Montreal Alouettes to select the receiver.

“I’m just excited,” Chapman, who holds dual-citizenship as his mother was born in Canada and his father in the United States, said according to his former college team’s official website. “To go No. 1 overall, it’s surreal. I never envisioned myself in this position.

When you add Chapman to Eric Fisher, the former Chips offensive tackle who was the first player taken in the 2013 NFL draft, CMU becomes just the sixth FBS program — the first from a Group of Five conference, incidentally — to have players selected No. 1 overall in both the NFL and CFL drafts.

The other five?

SYRACUSE
RB Ernie Davis, 1962 (NFL)
OT Steve Scully, 1975 (CFL)

UTAH
QB Alex Smith, 2005 (NFL)
OL Chad Folk, 1997 (CFL)

WASHINGTON STATE
QB Drew Bledsoe, 1993 (NFL)
DE Rob Meier, 1999 (CFL)
DE Adam Braidwood, 2006 (CFL)

IOWA
QB Randy Duncan, 1959 (NFL)
DL Faith Ekakitie, 2017 (CFL)

OKLAHOMA
DE Lee Roy Selmon, 1976 (NFL)
RB Billy Sims, 1980 (NFL)
QB Sam Bradford, 2010 (NFL)
QB Baker Mayfield, 2018 (NFL)
OL Josiah St. John, 2016 (CFL)

Big 12 Coordinator of Football Officials Walt Anderson resigns to be full-time in NFL

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Big 12 fans will have to learn a new name to curse at when officials blow a call in a game this fall.

Speaking at Big 12 spring meetings in Arizona on Wednesday afternoon, Commissioner Bob Bowlsby confirmed that the conference’s Coordinator of Football Officials Walt Anderson has submitted his resignation and will no longer be involved with the league. A replacement is expected to be found over the coming months and announced later this summer.

Anderson had been pulling double-duty for years in splitting his time between the Big 12 and the NFL, where he was a recognizable face on Sundays. He was hired last fall to be a full-time official with the league office but continued to perform his duties at the college level.

That arrangement didn’t last long.

Baker Mayfield becomes first former walk-on to be selected No. 1 overall in NFL draft

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You can add yet another notch to Baker Mayfield‘s burgeoning list of accomplishments.

In the weeks leading up to the 2018 NFL draft, most mock drafts had either USC quarterback Sam Darnold or Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen going No. 1 overall to the Cleveland Browns. In the last 24 hours, however, there was a growing buzz surrounding the Oklahoma signal-caller for that top spot.

Thursday night, at a little after 8 p.m. ET at AT&T Stadium, that buzz turned into a reality as the Browns made Mayfield the first pick of this year’s draft. And, not only did he become the fourth-ever Sooner to be taken No. 1 overall, he becomes the only player who began his collegiate career as a walk-on to be selected first in the draft.

Famously, Mayfield walked not once but twice in his collegiate playing career — first at Texas Tech and then again at Oklahoma after he decided to transfer from the Red Raiders. Mayfield, a three-star 2013 recruit who was rated as the No. 42 pro-style quarterback in the country, actually held offers from pre-Lane Kiffin Florida Atlantic, New Mexico and Rice before opting to become a walk-on in Lubbock.

While with the Red Raiders, Mayfield became, it’s believed, the first-ever to start a season opener as a true freshman walk-on.

After transferring to the Sooners and sitting out the 2014 season, the Austin, Tex., native became one of the most prolific quarterbacks in college football history. He helped lead the Sooners to the College Football Playoffs two of the last three seasons and put together back-to-back years in 2016 and 2017 that were the best, passer rating-wise, in the history of the game. He capped off that prodigious statistical run by winning the 2017 Heisman Trophy in one of the biggest landslides in the award’s history.

After committing to Oklahoma earlier this month, Notre Dame grad transfer Jay Hayes flips to Georgia

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That whole thing where Oklahoma landed a graduate transfer from Notre Dame?  Never mind.  Pretend it never happened.

April 15, a little over a week after he announced his transfer from Notre Dame, Jay Hayes took to Twitter to confirm that he had committed to continuing his collegiate playing career at Oklahoma.  Ten days later, the defensive lineman has done an about-face, taking to the same social media service to announce that he is flipping from OU to Georgia.

“This is it!” the lineman wrote, presumably meaning there will be no more flipping.

As a graduate transfer, Hayes will be eligible to play immediately for the Bulldogs in 2018.  This will be the lineman’s final season of eligibility.

Hayes, a four-star member of the Irish’s 2014 recruiting class, played in 26 games for the Irish over the last three seasons, including starts in all 13 games at defensive end in a 2017 season that saw him record 27 tackles and a sack.