RISER: PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (25/1 TO 16/1)
This was supposed to be a transition for Penn State. Trace McSorley left. Another good running back in Miles Sanders was drafted. And how did the Nittany Lions respond? By becoming one of the best defenses in the nation on their way to a perfect 8-0 record. Penn State ranks in the top 10 in total yards and second in points allowed at just under 10 per contest. While on offense the combination of Sean Clifford and KJ Hamler has been electric.
As a result, the Nittany Lions have jumped to 16/1 to win the national championship. That puts them in the second tier of contenders with the likes of Georgia (12/1), Oregon (30/1) and Florida (40/1). Alabama and Ohio State lead the way at 5/2, followed by Clemson at 3/1 and LSU at 6/1.
The Nittany Lions now head into a bye before a big matchup with Minnesota next week. If they can win that one, you can expect their title odds to keep improving before the game that will likely decide the winner of the Big Ten East (and maybe much more) when they travel to the Horseshoe to take on Ohio State on Nov. 23.
FALLER: OKLAHOMA SOONERS (9/2 TO 18/1)
Did you hear that? That was the door slamming on the Big 12’s College Football Playoff chances. This was a down year for the Big 12 to begin with, and after Oklahoma’s shocking 48-41 loss at Kansas State as 23.5-point road favorites this past weekend. And it’s not like the Wildcats were some sort of offensive juggernaut that could go blow-for-blow with the Sooners, they rank 88th in total offense. As a result, the Sooners title odds took a nice hit, moving down to 18/1 and it could actually be worse than that.
A one-loss Big 12 champion will need to get some help to get into the CFP. With the way things are going it looks like two SEC teams will get in, Clemson is set barring a loss, and even a one-loss Big Ten champion likely has the edge over Oklahoma. But even then, that means Ohio State needs to lose. Heck, if Oregon runs the table on their way to a Pac-12 title, they could be ahead of the Sooners. Oklahoma also has a tough schedule down the stretch, with games remaining against Iowa State, at Baylor, TCU and at Oklahoma State. Oklahoma’s title odds have as much value as the Sooner Schooner at this point.
RISER: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU (6/5 TO EVEN)
Burrow actually became the favorite to be named college football’s most outstanding player last week, but with this article on hiatus we thought it would be best to catch up. Burrow has moved from 3/1 to 6/5 to even money over the last three weeks. That’s due to two factors. One: Burrow has been outstanding. In the last three weeks against Auburn, at Mississippi State and against Florida, Burrow has thrown for 941 yards while completing a crazy good 80.6 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns to just one interception. That’s against two of the better defenses in the country.
The other factor is obviously the injury to Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. Tua got hurt in the first half of the Tide’s game against Tennessee and missed last week’s game versus Arkansas. Both teams have a bye this week, before arguably the game of the year as they face off in Tuscaloosa in Week 11. If Tua can play in this game, he has plenty of value to win the Heisman, currently at 4/1. Heisman voters routinely fall victim to recency bias, so whomever preforms better and or wins this game will have a leg up when it comes to winning the award.
Despite Oklahoma’s loss, Jalen Hurts is still a contender for the award at 7/4.
FALLER: Jonathan Taylor, RB, WISCONSIN (40/1 TO 100/1)
It’s been a rough few weeks for Wisconsin. A shocking upset loss at Illinois, followed by this weekend’s beatdown at the hands of Ohio State. The Buckeyes continue to show they are just at another level compared to everyone else in the Big Ten. The Ohio State defense led by Chase Young (now on the board himself at 20/1) limited Taylor to just 52 yards on 20 attempts (2.6 yards per carry) and kept him out of the end zone last week. It was the third lowest rushing out of his career and his lowest in almost exactly a calendar year. With Wisconsin all but out of the race for the Big Ten West division, Taylor’s hopes for the Heisman have all but disappeared.