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NCAAF Notebook: Georgia vs. Clemson could be the game of the year

Profile Picture: Dan Halverson

September 1st, 2021

College football is finally upon us! After a 2020 season that gave us opt-outs, cancellations, short schedules, and empty stadiums, the 2021 season feels like a much-deserved revival tour. Let’s take a spin around the country and examine the top stories in the sport with our NCAAF Notebook.

Zeb Norland to the rescue

In one of the odder situations we've ever seen, South Carolina graduate assistant Zeb Norland will be trading in his coaching clipboard for a starter’s helmet. Norland came to South Carolina in the offseason with hopes of beginning his coaching career, but due to injuries and lack of depth, Norland is set to be the starting quarterback this Saturday for the Gamecocks against Eastern Illinois.

Norland comes to South Carolina after backing up Trey Lance at North Dakota State before beginning his career at Iowa State. Having experience at the Division I level and playing behind a future NFL first-round pick, it's fair to assume that Norland is up for the job. Most players, especially quarterbacks, don’t pursue coaching if they aren’t ahead of the curve with understanding the game.

What South Carolina, SEC, and fans of the sport in general will be carefully watching when Norland takes the field, is if he’s got the arm to cut it in the toughest conference in the country. If Norland gets no support and struggles, the Gamecocks are going to be in for a brutally long year.

Nebraska Sellout Streak set to continue

The Nebraska Huskers struggled to a 30-22 loss to start the season, their first road game to kick off a season since 1999. In Week 1 they return to Lincoln for their home debut, and thanks to the deep pockets of two proud boosters, the regular season sellout streak will continue.

It will be Nebraska’s 376th consecutive sellout, a record that dates back to 1962 and is a source of great pride for the fanbase and athletic program. Following the disappointing loss and COVID-19’s Delta variant disrupting some of the normal excitement of a home season opener, there was legitimate reason to believe the streak would end. While technically the streak continues, don’t be surprised to see plenty of empty seats in the corners of the stadium as Nebraska battles Fordham.

Georgia vs. Clemson could be the game of the year

The game of the week, and arguably one of the most appealing matchups of the year, takes place in Week 1 when Georgia takes on Clemson. It is a primetime game that gives us an early look at two national title contenders. In a game that will catapult the winner into pole position for the playoff, the Clemson Tigers are short 3-point favorites.

Sat, September 4 2021, 11:30 PM

Clemson

Moneyline

-165

Spread

-3

Total

O 51

Georgia

Moneyline

+135

Spread

+3

Total

U 51

In the national title futures, Alabama is the favorite at +300, but Clemson is second at +350 and Georgia is fifth at +700. These are two of the most talented teams in the country, and they have strength at truly every position on the field. If either team comes out with excellent quarterback play and wins in dominating fashion, expect their futures odds to see a deserving drop in the market.

NCAAF Championship 2021/2022

Sun, December 5 2021, 10:56 AM

Alabama Crimson Tide

+300

Clemson Tigers

+350

Ohio State Buckeyes

+450

Oklahoma Sooners

+600

Georgia Bulldogs

+700

Texas A&M Aggies

+4000

Iowa State Cyclones

+4000

LSU Tigers

+5000

Florida Gators

+5000

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

+8000

Millionaire Freshman 

The Name Image Likeness (NIL) passage for college football athletes has changed the sport. Athletes once barred from receiving payment for their athletic achievements are now being actively recruited by paying companies for their endorsement. The latest news on this front is Ohio State signee, Quinn Ewers.

Ewers reportedly has signed a $1.4 million deal with GT Sports Marketing, and will be skipping his senior year of high school football in Texas in order to enrol early at Ohio State. Ewers was once a Texas commit, but changed his mind in October of 2020, and will join an already-loaded quarterback room behind C.J. Stroud. Stroud, it is worth noting, is just a redshirt freshman.

It is a remarkable series of events, and will have implications none of us can likely predict. A backup quarterback is set to make $1.4 million. Welcome to college football in 2021.

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