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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).

CeeDee Lamb’s status for Oklahoma vs. TCU ‘up in the air’

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Whether one of the most dynamic wide receivers in the game returns to the playing field in Week 13 remains to be seen.

Because of an unspecified “medical issue,” CeeDee Lamb didn’t take the field for Oklahoma’s stunning comeback win over previously unbeaten Baylor this past weekend.  With TCU on tap this coming weekend, questions continue to linger about his availability as the receiver’s head coach labeled him as “up in the air” at his Monday press conference.

“CeeDee’s still going to be up in the air,” Lincoln Riley state. “It’s not a definite no, but certainly not a definite yes right now.”

Lamb had dressed for the Baylor game and participated in warmups, but was ruled out shortly before kickoff and then watched the second half in street clothes.

Editor’s note: Looking for tickets for Oklahoma-TCU? Click here

A true junior, Lamb currently leads the Sooners in receptions (44), receiving yards (983) and receiving touchdowns (13).  The touchdowns are tied for second nationally, while his 22.3 yards per catch is fourth.

Monday morning, Lamb was named as one of a dozen semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award.

John Mackey Award names eight semi-finalists for top tight end award

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Eight of the nation’s top tight ends were officially named semi-finalists for this season’s John Mackey Award on Monday. The award, named after Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end and former Syracuse player John Mackey, is presented to the nation’s top tight-end as determined by a select voting panel.

This year’s semi-finalists are:

  • Harrison Bryant, Florida Atlantic
  • Hunter Bryant, Washington
  • Brycen Hopkins, Purdue
  • Brevin Jordan, Miami
  • Charlie Kolar, Iowa State
  • Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
  • Colby Parkinson, Stanford
  • Giovanni Ricci, Western Michigan

A couple of notable omissions from this list stand out. Florida’s Kyle Pitts, who has the second-most receptions and fifth-most receiving yards among the nation’s tight ends somehow slipped through the voters here. The sophomore for the Gators has averaged 4.2 receptions per game and has accounted for 566 yards and five touchdowns for the Gators. No other tight end in the SEC has more yards per game than Pitts. Penn State’s Pat Freiemuth being omitted was also slightly surprising. Freiermuth has seven touchdowns, easily more than any other Big Ten tight end this season and tied for third-most in the conference this season.

Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson won the John Mackey Award in 2018. Other past winners of the award include Dallas Clark of Iowa, Tyler Eiffert of Notre Dame, Jake Butt of Michigan, Austin Seferian-Jenkins of Washington, and Aaron Hernandez of Florida.

This year’s Mackey Award winner will be announced on Dec. 11th.

Biletnikoff Award whittles hunt for nation’s top receiver down to 12

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The Biletnikoff Award on Monday announced its list of 12 semifinalists for the 2019 award. The award specifies that any player who catches a pass is eligible to win — not just wideouts — but only wideouts have won the award through its 25-year history.

And for what has to be the first time in Biletnikoff history, both LSU and Alabama have two semifinalists, including 2018 winner Jerry Jeudy.

The semifinalists are:

Rashod Bateman, Minnesota: 44 catches for 945 yards (21.5 yards per) and seven touchdowns
Omar Bayless, Arkansas State: 73 catches for 1,262 yards (17.3 yards per) and 14 touchdowns
Ja'Marr Chase, LSU: 57 catches for 1,116 yards (19.6 yards per) and 13 touchdowns
Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty: 64 catches for 1,244 yards (19.4 yards per) and eight touchdowns
Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State: 73 catches for 1,021 yards (14 yards per) and 13 touchdowns
Justin Jefferson, LSU: 71 catches for 1,010 yards (14.2 yards per) and 11 touchdowns
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama: 64 catches for 867 yards (13.6 yards per) and nine touchdowns
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma: 44 catches for 983 yards (22.3 yards per) and 12 touchdowns
Michael Pittman, Jr., USC: 82 catches for 1,118 yards (13.6 yards per) and nine touchdowns
James Proche, SMU: 88 catches for 1,008 yards (11.5 yards per) and 12 touchdowns
Devonta Smith, Alabama: 56 catches for 1,026 yards (18.3 yards per) and 11 touchdowns
Sage Surratt, Wake Forest: 66 catches for 1,001 yards (15.2 yards per) and 11 touchdowns

The notable snub here is Devin Duvernay of Texas, who is one off the lead for catches (87) but could not crack the voters’ top 12. (Full disclosure: I am a Biletnikoff voter and had Duvernay on my semifinalist list.)

The 12 semifinalists will be chopped down to three next Monday, with the winner announced at the Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 12.