You play as you practice, the old coaches’ adage goes — and it’s mostly true. To know what’s likely to happen on Saturday, you’ve got to know what’s happening in the meeting rooms and on the practice fields during the week.
That’s why the college football practice report is here for you every Friday with the inside word on weekly preparations around the country. We’ll check in on depth charts, game plans, personnel and health; unmask practice standouts ready to break out; assess the quality of prep, the mood of the fans and the coaches’ message for the week; and let you know who’s distracted and who’s dialed in.
All so that you can make more educated wagers. All odds from Caesars Sportsbook M8BET as of Thursday. Virginia Cavaliers at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-12.5, 48.5) Since the expansion of the playoff in 2014, we’ve written a lot here about the bubble-burst phenomenon and Notre Dame’s unique susceptibility to it. When there’s no league championship in play and the goals board reads “playoff or bust,” it’s a tough sell to get the team motivated once they’re out of contention.
Indeed, the Irish are just 5-12 ATS in the expanded playoff era after suffering a second loss. The 4-8 record in 2016 was an archetypal case of bubble-burst, with the wheels coming off after a second September setback.