CFP: Bama -16 vs. UW, Ohio St. -3.5 vs. Clemson

Ohio St. is favored by 3.5 points at most spots for its New Year’s Eve showdown vs. Clemson at the Fiesta Bowl.

Published on Wednesday, 12/7/16, at 9:49 a.m. Eastern.

The 2016 College Football Playoff will pit No. 1 Alabama vs. fourth-ranked Washington at the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on New Year’s Eve. ESPN will have the broadcast.

Four hours later, second-seeded Clemson will take on Ohio St. at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale. ESPN will have the telecast at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

As of Dec. 7, most books had Alabama listed as a 16-point favorite vs. the Huskies. You can follow all the line moves here. Nick Saban’s team opened as a 14-point ‘chalk.’ Most spots have Chris Petersen’s squad at +650 on the money line.

After Ohio St. opened at -3, most books have moved the Buckeyes to -3.5.

For more of my thoughts on the CFP and the New Year’s Six bowls, check out my column posted to VegasInsider.com this past Sunday.

In other college football news regarding the Coaching Carousel breaking this morning, Willie Taggart is the new head coach at Oregon. Taggart was on the hot seat at USF after losing at FSU to fall to 1-3 in his third season with the Bulls in late September of 2015, but that was just because he was getting atrocious quarterback play.

Once Quinton Flowers started thriving in October of last year, the Bulls have been tough to beat. They went 7-1 to close the regular season in 2015. Behind strong years from Flowers and RB Marlon Mack, both of whom are juniors, USF went 10-2 this season.

Taggart rebuilt the USF program after it floundered under Skip Holtz. When he was at Western Kentucky, Taggart led the Hilltoppers to an 18-6 spread record in last 24 games.

Another added bonus for the Ducks: Taggart does a brilliant impression of Ric ‘The Nature Boy’ Flair.

Who will emerge as candidates at USF? There’s Charlie Strong and Lane Kiffin, who is also in the mix for the Houston job.

There are four open jobs in the AAC. Cincy’s Tommy Tuberville resigned earlier this week, while Temple’s Matt Rhule left Philadelphia to take the Baylor job and a seven-year contract yesterday. Rhule ┬áled the Owls to the nation’s best ATS record this season (11-1).

Reports out of Houston yesterday indicated ┬áthat Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley killed it in his interview with the UH brass. Riley has worked wonders for OU’s offense in two seasons as OC with Baker Mayfield running the show. Riley was the OC at East Carolina in the five seasons prior to coming to Norman. On Riley’s watch, ECU’s Shane Carden and Justin Hardy shredded the school’s record books.

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