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Top seven remains the same in latest CFP rankings

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The third edition of the 2019 College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday, and the top seven teams remained the same from last week’s rankings. This means, as expected, Alabama remained No. 5 following the devastating loss of Tua Tagovailoa.

Minnesota remained in striking distance following their loss to Iowa (now at No. 17) at No. 10, with No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 2 Ohio State (potentially) still on their schedule. Oklahoma and Penn State moved one spot apiece, keeping the Top 10 stagnant.

Auburn fell three spots to No. 15, one spot behind No. 14 Baylor, who will spend the week wondering how high they would’ve climbed if the rankings were taken at halftime on Saturday night.

Memphis swapped spots with Cincinnati as the highest-rated Group of 5 team at No. 18; the Tigers and Bearcats SMU rejoined the rankings after falling out last week. They were joined by Iowa State at No. 22, who replaced then-No. 19 Texas, and USC at No. 23.

The full rankings:

1. LSU
2. Ohio State
3. Clemson
4. Georgia
5. Alabama
6. Oregon
7. Utah
8. Penn State
9. Oklahoma
10. Minnesota
11. Florida
12. Wisconsin
13. Michigan
14. Baylor
15. Auburn
16. Notre Dame
17. Iowa
18. Memphis
19. Cincinnati
20. Boise State
21. Oklahoma State
22. Iowa State
23. USC
24. Appalachian State
25. SMU

Ohio State remains wagering title favorite as Clemson inches closer

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With three weeks left in the regular season, including championship weekend, the true contenders for the 2019 national championship are coming into focus.

Ahead of Week 12’s action, Ohio State was one offshore sportsbook’s wagering favorite to win this year’s College Football Playoff championship at 2/1.  Heading into Week 13, the Buckeyes remain at that same 2/1.

Sitting at 3/1 the week before, Clemson saw its title odds shorten a bit to 5/2, the same as LSU’s.  The Tigers had sat at that same 5/2 heading into last Saturday’s win over Ole Miss.  Both of those teams are just ahead of Georgia at 7/1, which is shorter than the Bulldogs’ 9/1 they were getting at this time last week.

At the other end of the wagering spectrum is Alabama, which lost starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in a win and, not surprisingly, saw its odds tumble from 10/1 to 14/1.  Two weeks ago, the Crimson Tide was at 11/4 to win the title.

At 16/1, Oklahoma and Oregon were next up, followed by Utah and Penn State at 40/1 and 50/1, respectively.  After suffering their first losses of the season in Week 12, Minnesota is now at 150/1 (50/1 a week ago) and Baylor at 250/1 (66/1).

Expanded NFL schedule could bring games to college stadiums

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Browns-Steelers at The Horseshoe in Columbus? Colts-Texans at Notre Dame Stadium? Lions-Bears at the Big House in Ann Arbor? Nick Saban’s former NFL team playing in his current college team’s home stadium?

The latter might be a stretch, but the others certainly would be in the realm of possibility, depending on how the next several months play out.

The NFL and its ownership groups are in the midst of negotiations with the NFL Players Association on a new collective bargaining agreement.  One of the main talking points, in addition to finally relaxing its archaic marijuana policy, is expanding the regular season.

Currently at 16 games, the push is on for a 17-game regular season that could potentially (and mercifully) see the preseason cut in half.  A report from CBS Sports over the weekend noted that “[t]he additional game for each club would be played out-of-market, the sources said, with a heavy emphasis on key international locales like the United Kingdom (London and Ireland, in particular), Germany, Mexico and Brazil.”

In that same report, it’s briefly noted that the out-of-market games for NFL teams could be played at college stadiums as well.

The NFL has also talked internally about playing games in other cities in the U.S. which do not have pro teams, with some buzz about playing a game at Notre Dame or Alabama, as well as Hawaii and cities in Canada. It is viewed as a unique and profound way to grow the game globally and extend the reach of sales, merchandising and broadcast rights around the globe, with there only so much more room for growth within America.

The current CBA does not expire until 2021, meaning any NFL games in college stadiums wouldn’t happen until 2022 at the earliest (if at all).  There’s little doubt, though, that most, if not all, college stadiums would more than welcome the additional revenue — revenue that could go to overpaying head coaches and not paying players — that would come with hosting an NFL game.

Family of Tua Tagovailoa release post-surgery statement, thankful for ‘outpouring of love and support’

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As the college and professional football worlds collectively await Tua Tagovailoa’s official decision on his future, it’s statement time yet again.

After hours and hours worth of ofttimes ominous speculation, Alabama announced Saturday night that Tua Tagovailoa had been diagnosed with a dislocated right hip, an injury suffered in the first half of its rout of Mississippi State, and would miss the remainder of the 2019 season. Sunday night, it was confirmed the junior quarterback would be undergoing surgery the following day in Houston; Monday, that hip surgery was deemed a success, although the rehab from the procedure is expected to be lengthy and arduous even as a full recovery is expected.

Tuesday morning, Tagovailoa’s family released a statement thanking everyone for “the outpouring of love and support,” describing the care the son received as “nothing short of amazing.”

Below is the family’s statement, in its entirety:

We would like to thank all of the Alabama family and everyone across the world for the prayers and outpouring of love and support for our son and our family. We felt the unceasing prayer, and words can’t express how overwhelming and uplifting that has been for us. We have total faith in God’s plan for Tua, and we know his plan is never wrong. God’s grace, mercy, love and faithfulness in our lives has never been more evident, despite this setback. The care and support Tua and our family has received is nothing short of amazing, and we can’t express our appreciation enough for Dr. Cain, Jeff Allen, Coach Saban, Tua’s teammates, the Alabama Athletics department, our pastors and all of the doctors and nurses that have done such an outstanding job of taking care of Tua. God Bless and Roll Tide!

Alabama corner suspended for missing class enters transfer portal

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There’s been yet another twist in the saga that is Scooby Carter.

On his radio show this past week, Nick Saban revealed that he had to suspend a player for Saturday’s game against Mississippi State in Starkville because he missed a class, although the head coach didn’t reveal the player’s identity; on the day of the game, it was confirmed that the player in question was Carter.

Monday on his personal Twitter account, Carter (pictured, No. 11) announced that, “after talking with my family I believe it is best for me to rethink my decision and enter my name into the transfer portal.”

The true freshman cornerback gave no specific reason for his decision.

Carter was a four-star member of the Crimson Tide’ 2019 recruiting class, rated as the No. 9 cornerback in the country and the No. 15 player at any position in the state of Texas.  He was the highest-rated corner signed by the Tide this past cycle.

In three games as a true freshman this season, Carter has been credited with one tackle.