[B][I]Under on incredible historical hot streak in Army-Navy game[/I][/B]
There’s only one game on the college football schedule this weekend, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity to make some cash for bettors before the start of the bowl season.
The Under is a perfect 11-0 in the last 11 matchups between Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen. The Over/Under line for this weekend’s game between the two teams opened as high as 50 offshore but has been bet down to 46 as of Tuesday.
The movement shouldn’t scare off bettors too much. The total for the annual final match of the Commander-in-Chief Trophy series has closed at a smaller number in each of the last seven years and the Under is still filling up the win column.
One explanation for the Under streak could be the play caller for the Cadets and Midshipmen in recent years. Army and Navy routinely finish near the bottom in passing attempts per game, but the two teams start treating their matchups like a forward pass is still illegal.
Army attempted an average of 9.3 passes per game in 2016 and threw just four passes against Navy. There were 14 pass attempts in last year’s game with eight of them leading to completions and three resulting in interceptions.
The game kicks off 3:00 p.m. ET on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. More than 55 percent of contest players are picking the game to go Over the 46-point total.
[B][I]CFB notebook: Oklahoma’s Mayfield wins Walter Camp award
December 7, 2017[/I][/B]
Oklahoma senior quarterback Baker Mayfield was selected as the Walter Camp Player of the Year, the Walter Camp Football Foundation announced Thursday.
Mayfield, the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year, is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday.
The other finalists were Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson and three running backs — Penn State’s Saquon Barkley, Stanford’s Bryce Love and San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny. Jackson was the 2016 winner.
Mayfield has passed for 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns while leading the Sooners (12-1) into the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma will face Georgia in a semifinal matchup.
[B]–Tennessee hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt[/B] as its new head coach, the school confirmed.
Pruitt, 43, officially will be introduced as the Volunteers’ 26th head coach on Thursday night.
“Six days ago, I mentioned several attributes that I sought to find in the next leader of our football program, and Coach Pruitt meets all criteria,” new Tennessee athletic director and former coach Phillip Fulmer said in a statement. “I’m certain he appreciates the unique opportunity to lead a program of Tennessee’s caliber. He’s driven to win at the highest level. He will honor our university’s values, operate with integrity and be a role model for our student-athletes.”
Pruitt has been the defensive coordinator with the Crimson Tide for the past two seasons. Alabama is ranked first nationally in scoring defense this season and second in total defense.
[B]–Mike Riley is back at Oregon State [/B]– this time as an assistant head coach.
Riley’s appointment was announced by new coach Jonathan Smith, who played one season (1998) under Riley and later was a graduate assistant (2003) on Riley’s staff.
Riley served two stints as Oregon State’s coach — from 1997-98 and 2003-14 — and is the school’s all-time winningest coach. Riley had a 93-80 record with the Beavers before spending the past three seasons at Nebraska, where he was fired with a 19-19 record.
Smith also announced the additions of Brian Lindgren (offensive coordinator), Jim Michakczik (run game coordinator/offensive line coach) and Jake Cookus (special teams coordinator).
[B][I]Harbaugh in favor of 16-team playoffs
December 7, 2017[/I][/B]
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh would like to see the College Football Playoff expanded to 16 teams.
”I would just analyze it in terms of every other sport whether its gymnastics, basketball, pro football, FCS football … pick a sport and they have a playoff to get to a champion,” Harbaugh said. ”None of them start with the last four. You have a great model with the NFL with their 12 teams and a great model in the FCS with their 16 teams and they just (increased) it to 24.”
Harbaugh was in Florida on Thursday for the Outback Bowl contract signing. Michigan will play South Carolina in the game on New Year’s Day.
The current playoff format has four teams, with Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma and Alabama making up the field this year. While the Southeastern Conference has two teams in the playoff for the first time, the Big Ten and Pac-12 were shut out.
It was the second consecutive year the Big Ten champion was shut out of the playoffs. Last year, Ohio State was chosen over Penn State despite losing to the Nittany Lions during the regular season.
This year, Ohio State finished 11-2 and won the conference, but was edged out by Alabama. The Crimson Tide finished 11-1 and did not play in the SEC championship game.
Harbaugh said a 16-team playoff would make the most sense.
”Eight teams would be better than four and 12 would be better than eight,” Harbaugh said. ”I think 16 is kind of the sweet spot.”
A 16-team playoff would force the eventual champion to play four postseason games which could add extra weeks to the season but Harbaugh said the season is already long as it is.
”The national champion now is playing 15 games, 14 games for the teams in the playoffs,” Harbaugh said. ”They are already playing a lot of games.”
Harbaugh refused to discuss any potential interest in returning to the NFL.
”I don’t get into it,” Harbaugh said. ”I’m not talking to you about it. I’m not answering your questions about it. I’m not going to play the game.”
SAYING NO TO SOCIAL MEDIA
Outside of the occasional tweet South Carolina coach Will Muschamp has little use for social media.
When asked what good he thinks comes from social media the Gamecocks coach emphatically answered, ”nothing.”
”Unfortunately right now in our world because of social media everybody has a platform and 99 percent of the platforms aren’t worth a damn,” Muschamp added.
Muschamp said he was upset by the treatment of Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano after it was announced that he was going to become the head coach at Tennessee.
Backlash from fans on social media and campus forced Tennessee athletic director John Currie to rescind the offer to Schiano.
”It was sad and ridiculous,” Muschamp said. ”Because (Schiano) is a heck of a football coach and by all accounts, and I don’t know Greg personally, he’s an outstanding person.”
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[B][I]Army holds off Navy in the snow, 14-13
December 9, 2017[/I][/B]
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Just when you thought Army-Navy couldn’t get any more intense, it snowed.
Then 60 minutes of bruising football came down to squinting through that snow to see where a long field goal attempt would land.
Wide left. Cue the celebration for Army. The Black Knights are back.
Bennett Moehring narrowly missed a 48-yard field goal on the final play and Army held off Navy 14-13 on Saturday to win the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the first time since 1996.
Army (9-3) earned its second straight win over Navy (6-6) following 14 straight losses in the series.
”We’ve got seniors in there that went 4-8 as freshmen and 2-10 as sophomores,” Army coach Jeff Monken said. ”Now they’ve won 17 games in the last two years. Really an incredible change.”
After trailing most of the game, Ahmad Bradshaw pushed over the goal line on a quarterback sneak with 5:10 remaining and Blake Wilson kicked the extra point to put Army ahead.
But Navy’s spectacular Malcolm Perry wasn’t finished.
The quarterback, who ran for 250 yards on 30 carries and a 68-yard score in the second quarter, led Navy to the Army 31 with 3 seconds left.
Navy elected to try a field goal, and after about 10 players used their feet to clear the steady snow during a timeout, Moehring’s kick was long enough but drifted barely left.
”Came up a couple of feet short,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. ”This is a great rivalry. It was another classic game.”
Army cut its deficit in the series to 60-51-7 in a matchup of bowl-bound teams. The Black Knights claimed the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy thanks to an earlier victory over Air Force.
”That trophy hadn’t been in our possession for 21 years,” said Monken, in his fourth season. ”To be able to accomplish that with this team is a great source of pride.”
In a game that included only three passes – Army completed its lone toss – the Black Knights produced a 13-play, 65-yard drive to take a late lead. John Trainor tiptoed the sideline for 8 yards one play before Bradshaw’s 12th touchdown of the season.
Bradshaw also scored the go-ahead touchdown in last year’s victory over Navy.
”I actually don’t think I would’ve gotten in if not for my fullback and my offensive line,” said Bradshaw, who rushed for 94 yards on 21 carries. ”I kind of stopped, but I felt like (fullback) Andy (Davidson) picked me up and kind of walked me into the end zone.”
Navy took advantage of the ensuing kickoff going out of bounds and moved down the field. Perry dropped a shotgun snap on fourth down at the Army 37, but picked up the ball and ran for a first down. But Navy committed two false start penalties, making the final field goal attempt more difficult.
Snow started falling in the late morning on the 29-degree day. Workers used blowers to uncover the lines and hashmarks during timeouts as a light snow fell throughout.
The teams, both of whom run the triple-option, combined to complete only 59 passes all season. The snow made both coaches want to throw it even less as Navy went ahead 7-0 on Darnell Woolfolk’s 3-yard run on the opening possession.
The first pass came with under 9 minutes left in the second quarter. Army completed its only pass, a 20-yard wobbler from Bradshaw to Calen Holt, midway through the third quarter.
The weather made one of sports’ biggest rivalries an even more physical contest. Army’s all-white uniforms – a nod to the 10th Mountain Division of World War II – served as almost camouflage in the snow.
Perry was the star through three quarters. Getting the start at quarterback ahead of Zach Abey, his long touchdown run in the second quarter was his third rushing TD of more than 65 yards this season.
Perry looked like he might have another long touchdown run, but he stumbled and fell at the Navy 11 early in the third quarter. Army senior John Voit chased him down.
”I’m not sure if I hit his foot or not,” Voit said. ”But I think I got enough where he slipped slipped in the snow and thank God he went down down.”
Army then held Navy to a Moehring’s second field goal, from 24 yards, to make it 13-7 and allow for their fourth quarter comeback.
”There was never a moment our guys doubted we were going to win the game,” Monken said. ”When you love a group of people like I love them, I can tell when their emotions change. We never lost momentum.”
Army: Monken has Army on a major upswing. This victory will do wonders for a program that had suffered through the longest losing streak by either team in this rivalry.
Navy: Perry was the fastest and most dangerous player on the field, and Niumatalolo indicated the quarterback job will be his next season. Navy outgunned Army 296-241, but were again hurt by costly penalties.
Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper coached after missing Wednesday’s practice to be with his 14-year-old son. Jarren Jasper has had medical issues as he awaits a heart transplant.
Simone Askew made history when she led the Corps of Cadets in the pregame march-on. Askew is the first black woman to be first captain, the highest student position at West Point.
[B]TRUMP & TILLERSON:[/B] A year after attending the game as president-elect, Donald Trump tweeted that he would be watching on TV. ”On behalf of an entire Nation, THANK YOU for your sacrifice and service!” the president wrote.
After the game, Trump tweeted: ”Great Army – Navy Game. Army wins 14 to 13 and brings home the COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF’S TROPHY! Congratulations!”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson handled the opening coin toss.
Army: Armed Forces Bowl vs. San Diego State on Dec. 23 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Navy: Military Bowl vs. Virginia on Dec. 28 in Annapolis, Maryland.[/B]
The College Football Playoff was probably surrounded with more controversy this year than ever before. Though there was never a doubt that Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia were going to get into the CFP, Alabama’s inclusion over Big Ten winner, Ohio State was definitely something that still has fans buzzing a week after the bracket was released.
Whether you support the Crimson Tide and their inclusion into the playoff or loathe the decision, the one thing we can all agree upon is that we’ve got no problem watching Alabama/Clemson Act III. These two teams put on two bonanzas in the National Championship Games of the last two seasons, and we’re all hoping that the semifinal between the Tide and Tigers in the Sugar Bowl will provide just as much drama.
Here We Go Again[/B]
The way the college bowl system works, it’s practically impossible to have the same two teams play against each other in consecutive years. When Alabama and Clemson met in the National Championship Game last season, it was the first time that two Power Five teams met in consecutive postseason games since 1992 and 1993 when Florida State beat Nebraska in consecutive Orange Bowls.
The fact that we’re getting Clemson and Alabama for a third straight postseason is in unheralded territory. In fact, it’s only happened once before in FBS history that two teams have met in three straight postseasons. The only other time it happened was during a dominant run for USC and Ohio State between 1972 and 1974.
The Trojans played in 10 of the 14 Rose Bowls from 1966 through 1979 while Ohio State or Michigan represented the Big Ten every single season from 1968 through 1980.
The Trojans won two of the three straight matchups with Ohio State with both wins resulting in National Championships. The Buckeyes opened as 7-point favorites at BookMaker.eu.
The College Football Playoff has been around for four seasons, and this is the third time that a defending national champ is going to be playing in the CFP.
Florida State was the first national champion to put its title on the line in the playoff, getting blasted by Oregon 59-20 in the first ever playoff game at the Rose Bowl.
After Ohio State didn’t reach the CFP in 2015, Alabama reached the National Championship Game by beating Washington 24-7 at the Georgia Dome.
Remember, though, that no team has gone on to win back-to-back national championships since Alabama won the title in 2011 and 2012. The Crimson Tide are the only ones to go back-to-back since Nebraska in 1994 and 1995.
Needless to say, the odds are stacked against Clemson (3-point underdog currently at BookMaker.eu) in spite of the fact that it’s the No. 1 seed in the playoff.
[B]The Favorite/Under Parlay[/B]
History will tell you that the deeper you get into the bowl season, the lower-scoring the games tend to be. Teams have weeks upon weeks to study up on each other, and the end result is that the defenses are sometimes a bit ahead of the offenses.
The favorite/under parlay in the College Football Playoff games has been massive over the course of the last two years. Not only have all four of the favored teams won and covered their semifinal games in the last two seasons, but all four games have gone under the total as well.
Then again, the four losing teams in the semifinals these last two seasons combined to score just 24 points, so perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising.
[B]A New Day for Underdogs[/B]
The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds have been favored in all six of the previous national semifinals. All of that is out the door this year.
The SEC is painted to be the best conference in America, and not only is it the first league to ever put two teams into the playoff, but it now has both of the favorites even though Georgia and Alabama are No. 3 and No. 4 respectively. There’s definitely a lack of respect for No. 1 Clemson and No. 2 Oklahoma, though the spreads are so close in these games that it’s entirely possible there’s a flip in the betting action before these games kick off on New Year’s Day.