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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

Vandy, Virginia Tech announce future home-and-home

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The mystery school has been identified.

Back in late October, Virginia Tech announced three future home-and-home series with SEC schools — Alabama in 2034 and 2035; Ole Miss in 2032 and 2037; and a school from the conference to be named later.  Tuesday, Tech and Vanderbilt confirmed that the latter is the unnamed school as both programs announced a future home-and-home in tandem press releases.

The Hokies will make the trek to Nashville on Aug. 31, 2024, with the Commodores heading north to Blacksburg on Aug. 30 the following season.

“We are excited about opening the 2024 and 2025 seasons against one of the nation’s leading programs for the last 25 years in Virginia Tech,” Vanderbilt head football coach Derek Mason said in a statement. “Those openers will be great opportunities for our football program.”

Tech and Vandy have played nine times previously, with the most recent coming in 1989.  The Hokies lead the all-time series at 6-3.

With the Tech series officially added, Vandy has been forced to adjust its future schedule.  From that school’s release:

To accommodate the Virginia Tech series, Vanderbilt has moved two games with Stanford originally scheduled in 2024-25 to Stanford, California, on Sept. 4, 2032, and Nashville on Sept. 3, 2033. The Commodores and Cardinal also have games scheduled Sept. 18, 2021, at Vanderbilt and Sept. 11, 2027, at Stanford.

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).

Mario Edwards promoted to on-field role at Florida State as David Kelly departs

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Coming off a win that put them back in the postseason after a two-year absence, there’s been yet another adjustment to Florida State’s temporary coaching staff.

Monday, FSU announced that Mario Edwards Sr. (pictured) has been promoted by interim head coach Odell Haggins to an on-field role as an assistant on the defensive side of the ball.  Edwards, who was a defensive back for the Seminoles in the nineties, had served as a senior defensive analyst this season for Willie Taggart, who was fired earlier this month after less than two full seasons on the job.

Edwards will take over the slot previously held by David Kelly, who came to FSU as a wide receivers coach in 2018 after previous stints with Taggart at Oregon and South Florida. This year, Kelly had worked exclusively as recruiting coordinator, which left FSU with one less than the 11 allotted on-field coaches.

From the football program’s release:

The NCAA permits each team to have 11 countable coaches, including the head coach. Those coaches are the only staff members permitted to recruit off-campus and, along with four graduate assistants, to provide on-field instruction.

Sitting at 6-5, FSU will close out the 2019 regular season against in-state rival Florida Nov. 30.

Semi-finalists for Ray Guy Award announced, but missing last year’s winner

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Who is the best punter in the land? According to the Ray Guy Award, there are now 10 players left in the running for that title in the 2019 season.

This year’s semi-finalists for the Ray Guy Award are Oscar Bradburn (Virginia Tech), Joseph Charlton (South Carolina), Max Duffy (Kentucky), Tyson Dyer (New Mexico), Sterling Hofrichter (Syracuse), Adam Korsak (Rutgers), Dane Roy (Houston), Tommy Townsend (Florida), Michael Turk (Arizona State), Owen White (Navy).

Somehow, last year’s winner, Texas A&M’s Braden Mann, didn’t make the cut. Mann is third in the nation in punting average (48.21 yards per punt). Not exactly sure how that happened, but there will be a new Ray Guy Award winner this season as a result of this slip form the award’s committee.