No. 1 Alabama, pursuing its fifth national title in eight years, would be favored by more than a touchdown over all seven potential teams it could face in the 2016 College Football Playoff, according to major sportsbooks. The Golden Nugget in Las Vegas makes 12-0 Alabama an 8-point favorite over Ohio State, -10 vs. Michigan, -12 vs. Clemson, -14 vs. Washington, -18 vs. Wisconsin, -18.5 vs. Colorado and -19 vs. Penn State, per oddsmaker Aaron Kessler.
O.M.G. What was the last team favored this heavily in nearly every game? 2001 Miami...maybe? 2011 Alabama/LSU? 1995 Nebraska? Any degenerates with historical gambling data, let us know n the comments.
Hocutt said Tuesday that, despite Penn State beating Ohio State head-to-head, the gap between the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions is "not close." And according to Hocutt, conference championships and head-to-head victories only matter when the margins between teams are "razor-thin."
It's funny that now that we have a playoff the humans say the same thing the old BCS computers did -- conference titles don't matter so much when determining who's the best. Even better, the Big Ten, who whined so loudly in 2011, is the beneficiary of those humans who agree with the old BCS computations. And, the Big 12, Co-Whiner of 2011, has been shut out in two-of-three playoffs: Eyeballs informed by data and the computers are about equal, in other words.
This has literally been one of the few bright spots of 2016.
Five-star running back and Alabama commit Najee Harris visited Tuscaloosa over the weekend. His mom took to Twitter to let people know how it went.
Paywall: They had a great OV. They picked a great game for it too -- BDS was turnt Saturday, and easily the loudest it's been all year.
"‘You are what your record says you are,’" Johnson said. "That shoulda, coulda, woulda, we’re 3-2. That’s where we are, and we’re 3-2 because we make a lot of 3-2 and 2-3 mistakes. And they’re repetitive." To get the Crimson Tide back on track, Johnson has identified a number of mistakes the team needs to address. Some areas, like turnovers (the team turned the ball over 28 times in its last two games compared to 33 times in the first three) and committing too many fouls early in the game, simply requires more focus.
Great interview, esp. RE: Braxton Key "He was cocky and probably needed to come back down to earth."
Jonathan Allen is a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. The last three winners also went on to claim the Heisman Trophy. Allen is joined on the finalist list by Louisville's Lamar Jackson, Michigan's Jabrill Peppers, Clemson's Deshaun Watson and Washington's Jake Browning.
I don't know how many times I've seen Jabrill Peppers at Michigan the past three years. He'd crack Alabama's LB rotation (may have started last year, but not this,) and he'd probably been at PR (this season post-Eddie only,) but that's about it. I'm not hating. He's a nice player, but he's not one of the five best in CFB. I oddly think he'll have a better NFL career than college career: converted DBs at LB are all the rage these days.
Now, Jonathan Allen most assuredly is one the five best in America.
Scarbrough was supposed to be a bulldozer, and instead he was stuck in the shop. When he did see the field, he struggled in pass protection and had a hard time with ball security, fumbling at the third-worst rate in the SEC (3.8 percent). Saturday marked a change of pace, though, as Scarbrough played a mostly error-free game. "It was important for him to come out and have a strong game," Harris said. "He’s been out for a while. We really wanted to get him back in the offense. He’s such an explosive player. It was good to see him come out and get in a groove."
We need the big boy to terrify the second-level. He's come up big in Alabama's two-closest game too. Kudos, Bo.
I don't want to be un-American," one bowl official said, "but nearly everyone in the bowl industry, quite frankly, is rooting against Navy." That official technically isn't rooting against Navy, just what happens if Navy wins. That's because if Navy wins the American and is in contention for the Group of 5 bid in a New Year's Six bowl, the College Football Playoff selection committee could delay announcing the highest-ranked Group of 5 champion team until Dec. 10 when Navy plays Army, six days after its final rankings are revealed. The domino effect on other bowls could "paralyze" the system, a source said.
Wow, what a messed up system. I tend to think this is on the Bowls more than Navy though. There's no legitimate reason for not having selections until the 10th, either; there's football that week and it still allows every team its 10 practices. They needn't decide on the 3rd of December.
Go Navy, Beat Army
Hurts is unflinchingly composed to the point it’s transformed into a cliché. Turn on an Alabama game on CBS or ESPN and you can’t go a quarter without a broadcaster mentioning some descriptor of maturity. It’s always been that way. The son of a coach, Hurts started as a ball boy quite young. Channelview’s defensive coordinator Terry Bunn, who’s known Jalen for over a decade, remembers Jalen attempting to sneak into huddles and listen to the coach’s calls before he officially played the game. "He was kind of intense as a ball boy," Bunn says.
"Intense ball boy" is definitely a signing day CV item.
"Do this when you watch them: You hear me talk about communication a lot, and you guys probably just blow it off," McElwain said. "When you see the great teams with really good team defense, any time a guy goes in motion, there will be 7 to 8 guys communicating through hand signals, be it banjo or lock, top hat, whatever it is. What it shows is a group of guys that understand all 11 have to be on the same page. "You see us do it a lot more. I like the way our group is doing it. But that commitment to team excellence is something Coach has been able to define. Take a look when you watch their games and see all the communication whenever there’s a shift or motion, and everybody’s on the same page. That’s impressive to see."
Film review moment: If you've not done so, do it this week -- watch Alabama's three levels communicate before every snap between- and within-groupings. It's very hard to get a veteran defense off-balance when they communicate so well, and it's doubly hard when your coordinator is Doug Nussmeier, who has the creative juices of a potted plant.