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Former Alabama signee commits to rival Tennessee

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This is quite the turn of events.

In December of 2017, Davis signed on as an early piece of Alabama’s 2018 recruiting class.  Expected to enroll at the university early, Jordan Davis instead enrolled at a junior college, Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College, in mid-July as he failed to qualify academically at UA.  In October of this year, the defensive lineman took to Twitter to announce that he was recommitting to the Crimson Tide and head coach Nick Saban.

A month later?  Never mind as Davis confirmed on the same social media site that he has verbally committed to Tennessee and former Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.

In an interview with 247Sports.com not long after that announcement, the Tennessee native expounded on his decision.

“It’s just somewhere I wanted to truly go, somewhere I feel that I can really make a difference,” Davis told the recruiting website. “I just want to do something different. I want to do something big. I want to do something big for my hometown and my state.

“I mean, I shocked the world with that one.”

Davis was a consensus four-star 2018 signee, rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 6 weakside defensive end in the country; the No. 2 player at any position in the state of Tennessee; and the No. 108 player overall on that recruiting website’s composite board.  Only two defensive linemen in the Tide’s class this year — Eyabi Anoma and Stephon Wynn — were rated higher than Davis.

Whether Davis follows through on his latest commitment a month from now remains to be seen.

College football odds for Week 9: Notre Dame, Oklahoma among heavy favorites

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Notre Dame has some history of playing down to the level of heavy underdogs under Brian Kelly, but it is catching a struggling Navy squad in a neutral-site game this weekend.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who made a quarterback switch to Ian Book earlier this month, are 23.5-point favorites on this week’s college football odds against the Navy Midshipmen with a 54.5-point total for Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The matchup takes place at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego. During the nine-season Kelly era, the Fighting Irish are 15-1 straight-up and 6-9-1 against the spread as a favorite of 20.0 or more points. Notre Dame (7-0)  is also 1-4 ATS in its last five games against Navy (2-5) and 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games against American Athletic Conference foes. However, Navy comes in saddled with a losing record on the season and a 0-5 ATS record in its last five games. The total has gone OVER in six of the last eight Notre Dame-Navy matchups.

Elsewhere in Week 9 (all times ET):

West Virginia (5-1) at Baylor (4-3), Thursday, 7 p.m.
The West Virginia Mountaineers are 14-point favorites against the Baylor Bears with a 67-point total in a Thursday matchup. West Virginia is 0-4 ATS in its last four games in October. The total has gone UNDER in six of West Virginia’s last eight conference games. Baylor is 0-9 SU in its last nine road games against teams with winning records.

Miami (5-2) at Boston College (5-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
The Miami Hurricanes are 3.5-point road favorites against the Boston College Eagles with a 49.5-point total in a Friday matchup. Miami is 5-1 ATS in its last six games against Boston College. The total has gone UNDER in 15 of Boston College’s last 20 games in October.

Florida (6-1) at Georgia (6-1), Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
The Georgia Bulldogs are 6.5-point favorites against the Florida Gators with a 52-point total in a matchup at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. Florida is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games in October, according to the OddsShark College Football Database. The total has gone OVER in four of Georgia’s last five games in October.

Clemson (7-0) at Florida State (4-3), Noon
The Clemson Tigers are 16.5-point road favorites against the Florida State Seminoles with a 51-point total. The total has gone OVER in seven of Clemson’s last nine road games against teams with winning records. Florida State is 2-9 ATS in its last 11 conference games.

Texas A&M (5-2) at Mississippi State (4-3), 7 p.m.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs are 2.5-point favorites against the Texas A&M Aggies with a 45-point total. Texas A&M is 1-4 ATS in its last five games against Mississippi State. Mississippi State is 11-1 SU in its last 12 games at home in October, but is also 1-5 ATS in its last six conference games.

Iowa (6-1) at Penn State (5-2), 3:30 p.m.
The Penn State Nittany Lions are 6.5-point favorites against the Iowa Hawkeyes with a 51.5-point total. Iowa is 8-1 SU and ATS in its last nine games. The total has gone UNDER in four of Iowa’s last five road games against Penn State. Penn State is 15-6 ATS in its last 21 conference games.

Wisconsin (5-2) at Northwestern (4-3), Noon
The Wisconsin Badgers are 7-point road favorites against the Northwestern Wildcats with a 51-point total. Wisconsin is 12-2 ATS in its last 14 road games. The total has gone OVER in seven of Wisconsin’s last nine road games, with an average combined score of 50.11. Northwestern is 6-14 ATS in its last 20 games at home against teams with winning records.

Kansas State (3-4) at Oklahoma (6-1), 3:30 p.m.
The Oklahoma Sooners are heavy 24.5-point betting favorites against the Kansas State Wildcats with a 64-point total. Kansas State is 21-5 ATS in its last 26 road games against teams with winning records. Oklahoma is 11-3 ATS in its last 14 games at home.

Texas (6-1) at Oklahoma State (4-3), 8 p.m.
The Texas Longhorns are 3.5-point favorites against the Oklahoma State Cowboys with a 59.5-point total. Texas is 4-1 ATS in its last five road games against Oklahoma State. The total has gone OVER in seven of Oklahoma State’s last nine conference games.

Washington State (6-1) at Stanford (5-2), 7 p.m.
The Stanford Cardinal are 3-point favorites against the Washington State Cougars with a 53-point total. The total has gone OVER in Washington State’s last six road games, with an average combined score of 72.67. Stanford is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games. The total has gone UNDER in seven of Stanford’s last eight games in October.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

No. 12 Michigan leading No. 15 Wisconsin at the break, but could rue missed opportunities

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At the half in the Big House, No. 12 Michigan holds a 13-7 lead over No. 15 Wisconsin.

Michigan moved the ball well throughout the half — punting only once — but should have more to show for its 203 yards on 31 snaps than those 13 points.

The missed opportunities started on Michigan’s first drive of the game, a 55-yard march that ended in a missed 41-yard field goal try by Quinn Nordin. After forcing a Wisconsin punt, the Wolverines got on the board thanks to an 81-yard burst by quarterback Shea Patterson, taking the ball from the Michigan 14 to the Wisconsin 5. Two Karan Higdon runs punched it in from there, putting Michigan up 7-0 a minute and a half into the second quarter.

Wisconsin answered with its own quick-strike drive, getting 38 yards on three Jonathan Taylor runs followed by a 33-yard scoring jaunt by Kendric Pryor, leveling the game at 7-7 at the 11:26 mark of the second quarter.

After two straight three-and-outs, Michigan pushed into Badger territory, but the drive stalled and this time Nordin converted a 42-yarder.

On the next play from scrimmage, Josh Metellus snared a tipped Alex Hornibrook pass at the Wisconsin 46 and returned it 31 yards to the 15. But Michigan did not move forward from there, forcing the second Nordin field goal in a 61-second span, pushing the lead to 13-7 with 3:11 left before halftime.

After another Wisconsin three-and-out, Donovan Peoples-Jones returned an Anthony Lotti punt 26 yards to the Badgers’ 49 and then hauled in a 17-yard reception to put the Wolverines at the Wisconsin 32 with 1:30 left before the break, but Patterson lost the ball on a sack by Wisconsin’s Ryan Connelly. Michigan recovered the fumble, but the 15-yard loss forced a 54-yard Nordin try on the final play of the first half, which fluttered wide left.

Michigan will receive to open the second half.

Suspended WR Quintez Cephus sues Wisconsin for violating constitutional rights

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There’s been yet another development in a situation involving one of Wisconsin’s top returning wide receivers.

According to madison.com, Quintez Cephus has sued the University of Wisconsin-Madison in U.S. District Court, claiming that the school violated his constitutional rights.  That claim arises from a Title IX investigation that was conducted despite Cephus’ “inability to participate in an interview or otherwise meaningfully participate in the university’s process,” the lawsuit states, due to his involvement in an ongoing criminal investigation.

Two days after very loudly proclaiming his innocence and announcing he was taking a leave of absence, Cephus was charged in late August with felony sexual assault of an intoxicated victim and felony sexual assault.  The criminal complaint filed against him states that he allegedly “sexually assaulted two drunken women at once in the bedroom of his apartment in April.” The day after his arrest, Cephus’ lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the charges, claiming in part that surveillance camera footage and text messages paint an entirely different picture of the events that night.

In mid-September, Dane County (Wis.) Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky denied the defense team’s motion following a two-hour hearing, ordering Cephus to stand trial on the sexual assault charges.

“Defendants have knowingly and intentionally forced (Cephus) into the predicament of having to either waive his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination by choosing to participate in the university process despite the potential harm to his criminal defense,” the lawsuit states, “or decline to participate in the university’s process thus leading to the inevitable finding of responsibility and severe sanctions.”

Among other things, the lawsuit is calling for a halt to disciplinary proceedings until Cephus’ criminal case is resolved.  The findings of those proceedings could result in Cephus’ expulsion from the school.

Additionally, the website wrote, “[t]he lawsuit seeks unspecified money for emotional and psychological damage, damage to Cephus’ reputation and future career prospects, and past and future economic losses, among other damages.”

In a statement, a UW-M spokesperson told the site that “[w]e have not yet reviewed this lawsuit. However, we are confident that our processes related to these types of investigations comply with federal law.”

Cephus led the Badgers in receiving touchdowns last season with six and yards per catch at 16.7. His 501 receiving yards were good for second, while his 30 receptions were third on the team.  Cephus and Danny Davis were UW’s starting receivers heading into summer camp.  Davis was named in the criminal complaint filed against Cephus and suspended for the first two games of the 2018 season.

Wisconsin loses TE Zander Neuville to season-ending knee injury

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Zander Neuville just simply can’t avoid getting bitten by the injury bug.

The latest example of that phenomenon played out Thursday, with Wisconsin confirming that Neuville will miss the remainder of the 2018 season because of an unspecified injury to his left knee.  Per the school, the Badgers’ No. 1 blocking tight end sustained the injury during practice this week.

“That was unfortunate,” head coach Paul Chryst said. “Again, as a team, you’ve got to be able to overcome that, but you feel terrible for ‘Z’ and him having to go through that.”

Neuville suffered a torn ACL in his right knee late in the regular season last year and missed the Big Ten championship game as well as the Orange Bowl win over Miami.  This year, Neuville suffered a right ankle injury in the Week 3 loss to BYU that lingered on into the Week 4 win over Iowa and contributed to him playing in just five snaps that game.  The Badgers are coming off their lone in-season weekend off.

A fifth-year senior, it appears highly unlikely that Neuville could successfully petition the NCAA for a sixth season of eligibility.

After starting 11 games last season, Neuville had started a pair of games this season.  He had one catch for three yards this season, and will, in all likelihood, finish his UW playing career with 84 yards and two touchdowns on 10 receptions.