College Football Playoff 2023: Everything is coming up USC in the fifth rankings

Welcome back to national prominence, USC.

For The Win is tracking the College Football Playoff rankings all season long. We’ll have updated title odds and notes on each contender every Tuesday the rankings are revealed. The firstsecond, third and fourth rankings can be found here.

In just two weeks USC has gone from the fringes of the playoff race to smack dab in the middle of the action with the likely Heisman Trophy-winner leading the offense.

Things happen quickly in college football. Of course, it helps when a team like LSU suffers a total meltdown against Texas A&M just hours after Michigan rocks Ohio State on the Buckeyes’ home turf.

So the Trojans jumped from No. 8 in second CFP rankings all the way up to No. 4 this week.

Equally as important: Ohio State remains in the playoff picture at No. 5 with Alabama hanging around right behind at No. 6.

It’s Conference Championship Week across the sport. That’s good news for some teams and even better news for others. Here are this week’s rankings and updated title odds to help us sort through it all.

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Heisman Odds Week 13: USC’s Caleb Williams can go collect his trophy now

Plus, a blind resume look at the favorites.

Each week this college football season, BetFTW will take a look at the 2022 Heisman Trophy race and break down the contenders. Check back each Monday as the best college football players in the country jockey for position with both oddsmakers and bettors. Preseason odds can be found here and Week 12 here

All year long we waited for C.J. Stroud to go out and make his Heisman Trophy statement with a signature performance. The betting favorite for the majority of the year just had to do something—anything—to justify his credentials and show voters his odds were based on more than his potential.

It turns out we should’ve been paying more attention to Southern California than Ohio State.

On Saturday, in a primetime game against Notre Dame, USC’s Caleb Williams went out and made himself the easy choice to win this year’s award in spectacular fashion. He may have lifted the Trojans into a College Football Playoff spot in the process.

Before we get to this week’s odds, a quick reset. Here’s a blind look at the resumes for the top Heisman contenders:

  • Player A: 4,332 passing yards, 43 touchdowns, 4 INT, 67.9 CMP%, 175.5 RTG, 81 carries, 0 rushing yards, 3 rushing TD
  • Player B: 3,340 passing yards, 37 TD, 6 INT, 66.2 CMP%, 176.2 RTG, 35 carries, 74 rushing yards, 0 rushing TD
  • Player C: 3,712 passing yards, 34 TD, 3 INT, 65.8 CMP%, 168.5 RTG, 97 carries,  351 rushing yards, 10 rushing TD
  • Player D: 3,070 passing yards, 29 TD, 3 INT, 66.6 CMP%, 171.3 RTG, 97 carries, 294 rushing yards, 5 rushing TD


Player A: Bryce Young 2021 (Heisman Winner)

Player B: C.J. Stroud

Player C: Caleb Williams

Player D: Max Duggan

But what those numbers don’t tell you are just the levels of pure wizardry Williams possesses. My colleague Michelle Martinelli has an incredible breakdown of Williams’ skillset here, but I’ll simplify things a bit more:

Williams has the “It Factor”. When you watch him scramble, extend plays and make a laser pas on the run, you know you’re watching a player operate at his peak. The USC star has been showing it all year. Saturday’s statement performance against Notre Dame was more about cementing his status than proving he deserved to be in New York. And Williams did just that.

After going virtually stride-for-stride with Stroud all season long on the Heisman board, Williams’ regular season finale extinguished whatever hope the Buckeyes star still had of winning the award.

via Sports Betting Dime

Let’s take a quick look at how the favorites fared last week.

Field size increases for NCAA Div. I Women’s Championships starting in 2023

“There is extreme importance in providing as many participation opportunities as possible for our student-athletes.”

More women’s college golf teams will have a shot at a national title in 2023.

On Monday, the NCAA Div. I Women’s Golf Committee announced the NCAA Championship field will increase from 24 to 27 starting with the 2023 championship at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, May 19-24.

“There is extreme importance in providing as many participation opportunities as possible for our student-athletes,” said Bradford Hurlbut, chair of the Div. I Women’s Golf Committee and director of athletics at Fairleigh Dickinson. “With an additional three teams qualifying for the finals site, up to an additional 18 deserving women’s golf student-athletes will have an opportunity to compete in the national championship finals, which is an important step for the sport of women’s golf and the championship.”

While 30 teams advance to the men’s NCAA Championship, the NCAA said the move was “made to provide an equitable championship access ratio across both Div. I men’s and women’s golf, with ten percent of both men’s and women’s teams now advancing from regionals to the finals site.”

Nichols: There’s no good reason men have more NCAA Championship teams than women

According to a release, the championship committee will implement a strength-of-field metric to even out the competition across the six regional qualifying sites. To reach the odd number of 27 teams, four will advance from three regional sites, while five teams will advance from the remaining three regional sites, which have yet to be determined.

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Double Bad Beat: A brutal turnover and meaningless 3-pointer cost Kansas the cover and cashed the over

An extra helping of bad beats to kick off Thanksgiving

As far as bad decisions go, Kevin McCullar opting for a full-court pass in the waning moments of KU’s victory over NC State on Wednesday probably won’t be remembered.

Anyone who wagered on the game definitely won’t forget it, unfortunately.

The No. 3 Jayhawks entered the Battle 4 Atlantis opener as 8.5-point favorites and, as McCullar ripped away the ball from Jarkel Joiner with 18 seconds on the clock, Kansas held a nine point lead.

You can guess where this is going. McCullar attempted to heave the ball down the floor to guard Dajuan Harris only to be intercepted by Casey Morsell, who took four dribbles up the court and launched a poorly-contested three-pointer with 2.7 seconds to play. Of course Morsell drained it, but that’s only where the trouble begins.

Not only did the bucket give NC State an exceptional backdoor cover, but it cashed the over 153 as the Jayhawks won 80-74.

An absolutely brutal double bad beat on a meaningless play.

via Action Network
via Action Network

Next time, Kevin, please just make the smart play and protect the ball. Or just win in a blowout and avoid the whole scenario.

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College golf: Oregon’s Cynthia Lu, Georgia’s Jenny Bae will return to school instead of entering LPGA Q-Series

With the new LPGA rules, college stars had a decision to make.

Five women’s college golfers had a decision to make.

Pursue a professional career or return to school for the spring semester? Michigan fifth-year senior Ashley Lau, Oregon junior Cynthia Lu, Georgia senior Jenny Bae, Michigan State senior Valery Plata and Miami sophomore Nataliya Guseva finished in the top 50 at the LPGA’s stage two qualifying last week, meaning a spot in final stage qualifying.

That is, if they turned professional.

This year, LPGA rules stated that only professionals can compete in the final stage. Eight amateurs, including the five college players, had to decide whether to turn professional and forego the spring semester of college golf or return to school and wait to pursue their future.

Oregon’s Lu, a junior, decided to stay in school.

“I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to play in LPGA Q-School stage I & II because it highlighted certain areas of my game that still need work before I turn professional,” Lu told Golfweek in a text. “With that said, I have decided to stay amateur and defer attending the Q-Series. I believe in Coach Derek (Radley) and Coach Monica (Vaughn) who will continue helping and supporting me until I make the decision to turn professional. I am so excited to play this upcoming spring season with my team. Go Ducks.”

Lu is ranked 28th in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and 35th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. She finished second in the stroke play portion of the East Lake Cup and has the defending runner-up Ducks looking to make another title push this spring.

Senior Jenny Bae is also returning to school, but Lau and Guseva have decided to forego the remainder of their seasons and enter Q-Series. Golfweek has yet to confirm Plata’s decision.

Q-Series begins Monday at Magnolia Grove Golf Course in Mobile, Alabama. The top 70 and ties advance for a 72-hole final for LPGA cards Dec. 5-11 at Highland Oaks Golf Course in Dothan, Alabama.

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College Football Playoff 2023: LSU surges, Tennessee slides as playoff picture becomes clear in fourth rankings

Will Rivalry Week add chaos to the playoff picture or will the top four solidify their semifinal spots?

For The Win is tracking the College Football Playoff rankings all season long. We’ll have updated title odds and notes on each contender every Tuesday the rankings are revealed. The first, second and third rankings can be found here.

Rivalry Week is upon the college football world and some playoff-hopefuls will have an easier time than others as the CFP committee’s latest rankings made clear.

No. 1 Georgia gets to face a 5-6 Georgia Tech team at Sanford Stadium—though Tech is coming off its best win of the season after defeating No. 13 UNC, 21-17, last week.

No. 4 TCU hosts a similarly lowly Iowa State team.

Meanwhile, No. 2 Ohio State hosts No. 3 Michigan to decide which team will play in the Big Ten Championship and essentially lock up a playoff spot. That game may very well decide who wins the Heisman Trophy as well.

And the drama rounds out with No.  6 USC facing No. 15 Notre Dame while No. 5 LSU get Texas A&M.

The College Football Playoff Committee just set the table for the home stretch of the postseason run. Let’s check out the full rankings.

Cincinnati’s garbage time run against Arizona is already one of the wildest backdoor covers this season

Cincy may have lost, but the Bearcats still pulled off one of the best comebacks in college (betting) history.

Arizona bettors watched a surefire win get snapped out of existence late Monday night as the No. 14 Wildcats defeated Cincinnati, 101-93, at the Maui Invitational.

The Bearcats closed as an 8.5-point underdog in Hawaii and trailed 101-83 with 1:34 remaining in regulation. Yes, you read that right. Cincy went on a 10-0 run over the last 94 seconds to pull off a stunning backdoor cover.

It’s an absolutely miserable way to lose a bet—and considering the majority of bettors were on Arizona, that misery was spread far and wide.

According to Action Network, 80 percent of the bets placed on the spread and 70 percent of the money wagered was on Arizona to cover. The Wildcats had numerous chances to hang on until giving up a deep three-pointer with 10 seconds left, killing whatever hope Arizona bettors had left.

Over the final 94 seconds Arizona missed a jumper, a layup and a three-pointer while Cincy grabbed three defensive boards and made three three-pointers.

Via Action Network

That’s about as painful a bad beat as you’ll see all season. Absolute nightmare fuel.

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Heisman Odds Week 12: Hendon Hooker’s injury creates chaos for the field ahead of Rivalry Week

Caleb Williams, Blake Corum and C.J. Stroud can win themselves a Heisman in Week 12.

Each week this college football season, BetFTW will take a look at the 2022 Heisman Trophy race and break down the contenders. Check back each Monday as the best college football players in the country jockey for position with both oddsmakers and bettors. Preseason odds can be found here and Week 11 here

There’s no way to have the Heisman conversation this week without talking about Hendon Hooker. Tennessee’s electric quarterback wasn’t the betting favorite to win the award, but by virtually every metric and eye test he should’ve been. After helping the Volunteers (mostly) dice up a ruthless SEC schedule, Hooker showed he possessed every tool needed to succeed at the college level and beyond.

Now his year is over, disrupted by a torn ACL in the waning moments of a Tennessee loss at South Carolina that not only ended the Vols’ playoff dreams but Hooker’s college career, as well. The quarterback will rehab with an eye towards the NFL draft and getting his professional tenure started.

There is absolutely an argument to be made that Hooker has done enough already to win the Heisman. His season ends with 3,135 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and two interceptions for a 175.5 QB rating. He also ran for 430 yards and five scores on 104 carries. But he only played in 11 games. While every other contender is gearing up for a resume-solidifying week against their school’s respective rival, Hooker’s campaign has come to a close.

It’s entirely possible this year’s Heisman is awarded to the star played on whichever team wins the Michigan-Ohio State game. If the Wolverines win with Blake Corum scoring multiple touchdowns, he’ll be worthy of a spot in New York. If the Buckeyes dominate with C.J. Stroud doing the bulk of the heavy-lifting, it’s hard to imagine he won’t have locked up the award.

That leaves bettors with an interesting predicament. Bet on the Heisman-winner outright or attempt to parlay a Michigan/Ohio State win with either Stroud or Corum scoring multiple times. It’ll be worth watching the odds all week to see which line is better.

Here’s where the Heisman race stands heading into Week 12.

Auburn finishes fall 2022 as Bushnell/Golfweek Div. I Coaches Poll’s No. 1 team

The Tigers earned 15 first-place votes and 543 points in the poll.

Auburn, who captured victories at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate, Marquette Invitational and Isleworth Collegiate, is the Bushnell/Golfweek Div. I Coaches Poll No. 1 for Nov. 18.

The Tigers earned 15 first-place votes and 543 points in the poll. Vanderbilt (seven first-place votes and 533 points), Texas Tech, North Carolina and Arizona State rounded out the top five, while Stanford, Tennessee, Illinois, Florida and Georgia Tech completed the top 10 for the second straight poll.

Ohio State is ranked for the first time this season at No. 25.

Rank Team (first-place votes) Points Previous
1 Auburn (15) 543 1
2 Vanderbilt (7) 533 2
3 Texas Tech 487 4
4 North Carolina 469 5
5 Arizona State 467 3
6 Stanford 430 6
7 Tennessee 415 7
8 Illinois 380 8
9 Florida 363 9
10 Georgia Tech 345 10
11 Texas A&M 321 14
12 Virginia 315 12
13 Oklahoma 296 11
14 Florida State 266 13
15 Pepperdine 256 15
16 Oklahoma State 205 16
17 Alabama 195 17
18 Texas 168 19
19 Kansas State 160 21
20 San Diego State 148 22
21 Colorado State 112 18
22 Arizona 82 25
23 Mississippi State 47 23
24 Georgia 43 20
25 Ohio State 25 NR

Others receiving votes: Georgia Southern (24); Oregon (18); Mississippi (15); LSU (11); Washington (6); Baylor (2); Purdue (2); Cincinnati (1); Georgia State (1).

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Anderson finishes fall 2022 as No. 1 team in Bushnell/Golfweek Div. II Coaches Poll

The Trojans received 13 of a possible 18 first-place votes and 444 points in the process.

Anderson (South Carolina) is No. 1 for the second consecutive Bushnell/Golfweek Division II Coaches Poll.

The Trojans received 13 of a possible 18 first-place votes and 444 points in the process. They were followed in the top five by Barry (five first-place votes), West Florida, Lee and Grand Valley State. Oklahoma Christian, North Georgia, Henderson State, Nova Southeastern, who jumped from No. 13 to No. 9, and Sonoma State round out the top 10.

Clayton State rose six spots from No. 18 in the October 28 poll to No. 12, and Tampa to No. 13 from No. 17. Saint Leo (No. 17), Carson-Newman (No. 20), Northeastern State (No. 23) and Stanislaus State (T-24) each entered after receiving votes on October 28.

There were 25 others received votes.

Rank Team (first-place votes) Points Previous
1 Anderson (SC) (13) 444 1
2 Barry (5) 431 3
3 West Florida 404 2
4 Lee 373 6
5 Grand Valley State 367 4
6 Oklahoma Christian 345 5
7 North Georgia 329 10
8 Henderson State 320 8
9 Nova Southeastern 279 13
10 Sonoma State 278 9
11 Georgia Southwestern State 269 11
12 Clayton State 228 18
13 Tampa 197 17
14 Missouri – St. Louis 188 14
15 Colorado State Pueblo 162 15
16 Western New Mexico 159 16
17 Saint Leo 131 RV
18 Cal State-Monterey Bay 122 12
19 Limestone 111 25
20 Carson-Newman 87 RV
21 Simon Fraser 86 23
22 Lincoln Memorial 57 20
23 Northeastern State 56 RV
T-24 Findlay 52 24
T-24 Stanislaus State 52 RV

Others receiving votes: Lander (45); Chico State (40); Western Washington (38); Harding (34); Washburn (33); Midwestern State (26); Cameron (17); Wayne State (MI) (14); McKendree (13); Columbus State (11); Cal State-East Bay (9); Florida Southern (7); Flagler (5); Coker (4); Erskine (4); Holy Names (4); Union (TN) (4); Barton (3); Cal State-San Marcos (2); Lincoln (MO) (2); Lynn (2); Missouri S&T (2); Winona State (2); Colorado Mines (1); South Carolina Aiken (1).

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