Tag:Minnesota
Posted on: May 25, 2011 12:46 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 9:57 am
 

CBSSports.com College Football 100: 100-91

By the Eye on College Football bloggers

To celebrate the 100 days remaining until the first Saturday of the new college football season, this is the CBSSports.com College Football 100: our countdown of the 2011 season's 100 most influential players, coaches, administrators, venues, or any other related
things in college football. It's like that other "most influential" list, but, you know, more important. Also: it's supposed to be fun. Enjoy.

100. THE DOOLEY RULE, new NCAA regulation.
We don’t know when; we don’t know where. But we’re betting that at some point this season, college football’s new Dooley Rule -- which punishes offenses that commit a penalty in the last minute of either half with a 10-second runoff from the game clock -- makes a major impact on the outcome of a game. If it’s the right game, the rule could make a major impact on the outcome of college football’s entire season.

That’s not necessarily likely, of course. Until namesake Derek Dooley’s Tennessee team lost last year’s Music City Bowl when North Carolina stopped the clock with its own penalty, the situation hadn’t yet seemed to occur in a high-profile college football game. (There’s a reason it took until 2011 for the rule to be put into place.) But now that it’s there, we think the odds are good that we’ll see it put into practice this fall … and that the losing coach will be sure to let us know about it. -- JH

99. JARED HASSIN, running back, Army. For the last nine years, Army has fallen short of toppling their Navy counterparts. Could 2011 be the year that the Black Knights finally get over the hump? If they do, it will likely be thanks to the efforts of Hassin. He broke out in a big way his sophomore season, racking up 1,013 yards and 9 touchdowns, helping lead Army to their first postseason appearance since 1996 and first bowl win since 1985.

Hassin was originally enrolled in the Air Force Academy before transferring back to Army (his original commitment) and sitting out 2009. It was an odd recruitment, especially for the son of an Army graduate. But regardless of the process, the lifelong Army football fan is now playing for the team he grew up loving. He is undisputedly one of the most important players on the Black Knights, and fans hope the 6-3, 235-pound back can flash the historic rivalry back to the late 80's and early 90's, when Army took 9 of 11 from the Midshipmen. -- CP

98. GUNNER KIEL, quarterback, Columbus (Ind.) East High School. The nation's top quarterback in the class of 2012 and number two overall prospect according to MaxPreps analyst Tom Lemming, Kiel holds a scholarship offer from just about every program in the country. The 6-foot-4, 210 pound signal-caller is ideal for just about any kind of system and has a good arm, throws the ball accurately and is a natural born leader on the field.

Kiel comes from a long line of quarterbacks - his uncle Blair played at Notre Dame and in the NFL and both of his brothers play the position in college - and the next in line might be the most talented out of all of them. His recruitment, as one would expect from a top prospect, is not being played out in the public as he is trying to keep things close to the vest. Oklahoma, Indiana, Missouri and Alabama are a few of the schools making a strong push for his services but it will be well into the season (or after it) before he ends up making a decision; expect to hear plenty about it as 2011 progresses. -- BF

More CFB 100
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97. RYAN TANNEHILL, quarterback, Texas A&M. The Aggies had two different seasons in 2010: one B.T. (Before Tannehill) and one A.T. (After Tannehill). With Jerrod Johnson at quarterback, the Aggies were 3-3 on the season, and 0-3 in Big 12 play. Then Tannehill took over the reins against Kansas on Oct. 23 and Texas A&M didn't look back. The Aggies reeled off six straight wins, including games over Oklahoma, Nebraska and (the coup de gras) Texas. They wouldn't know defeat under Tannehill until the Cotton Bowl, where LSU won 41-24.

Still, Tannehill was a revelation. Not only was he able to run a rather potent Aggies offense, but he did so without the crippling turnovers that became a trademark of Texas A&M under Johnson. This season will be different for Tannehill, however. No longer is he the former tight end-turned-savior, but the quarterback who is supposed to make sure Texas A&M takes the next step--its first league title since 1998, and just their second Big 12 title ever. -- TF

96. GREG MATTISON, defensive coordinator, Michigan. One could certainly make the argument that it was the continuing ineptitude of former defensive coordinator Greg Robinson that cost former head coach Rich Rodriguez his job in Ann Arbor. After all, Robinson's latter year spearheading the Wolverine defense was, by far, the worst in points allowed in Michigan history; the former was the third-worst (and just for good measure, the second-worst season came in Rich-Rod's first season, with one-and-done Scott Shafer as DC). Yes, Michigan has an unusually stingy history of defense, but that's just the thing: Michigan fans have every reason to expect that stingy defense. That's just how it's done at Michigan.

It'll be up to Mattison, then, to keep Brady Hoke's seat cool, and he's got the pedigree to do it. Mattison is entering his 35th year of assistant coaching defense and his 16th as a defensive coordinator, and he's been a part of some very successful defenses (Florida's '06 BCS Championship team, for one). Fans shouldn't expect miracles and shutouts on Day 1 or even in Year 1, but they're going to need to see some sense this year that Michigan's old way of football is coming back. Getting the points per game allowed back under 27.5 for the first time since 2007 would be a good start. -- AJ

95. TYLER BRAY, quarterback, Tennessee. Give the sophomore gunslinger from California this: he doesn't lack for confidence. From the moment he stepped into Tennessee's starting lineup as a true freshman in midseason 2010, Bray carried himself with a swagger that paid big dividends in the Volunteers' season-ending, bowl-salvaging four-game winning streak--a streak in which Bray threw for 12 touchdowns and better than 1,200 yards. Behind four more Bray scoring strikes, the Vols nearly upset UNC in their bowl game (see above), raising expectations for even bigger things in 2011.

But Bray might have taken a little too much self-belief into spring, where he finished an up-and-down camp with a miserable 5-for-30 performance in the Orange-White Game. If he can harness his confidence and continue building on last year's impressive debut, the Vols could be major spoilers in a logjammed SEC East. If not, one of the nation's proudest programs could slip below .500 for the third time in four years. -- JH

94. JON EMBREE, head coach, Colorado. After a disastrous experience with an outsider as head coach in Dan Hawkins, Colorado turned to someone with a strong connection to the program in Embree, a former tight end and assistant coach for the Buffs. He's never been a head coach before but his fiery attitude and pledge to bring back several school traditions have already gotten players and alumni fired up for the upcoming season.

Embree has his work cut out for him though, with Colorado coming off a 5-7 season and transitioning to a new league, the Pac-12. He installed a pro-style offense during the spring and has his staff hitting the recruiting trail hard over the past few months to get word out about the program. The schedule is tough, hosting Oregon and going to both Ohio State and Stanford, but Embree has a senior quarterback in Tyler Hansen and a few solid pieces to build around. Expectations are rising in Boulder and while it might be too much to ask of Embree to turn everything around in his first year, he sure will make things more interesting up in the mountains. -- BF

93. SAVON HUGGINS, running back, Rutgers. Huggins enters his true freshman season with the Scarlet Knights with high expectations from the Rutgers fan base. At their spring game in April, Huggins drew about as much fanfare in his street clothes as the boys in pads. Huggins was one of the few big signing day steals for head coach Greg Schiano, and the Maxpreps No. 1-ranked running back should be an immediate upgrade for the Big East's worst rushing offense in 2010.

Fans are not the only ones anxiously awaiting Huggins' arrival. The coaching staff failed to identify any kind of order for the position in the post-spring depth chart. When Huggins suits up for fall camp, he will have as much of a chance to play as the three current backs on the chart. Hailing from nearby Jersey City, NJ, Huggins is the new face of Rutgers football. If he doesn't pan out into the star Schiano is hoping for, the 2006 Coach of the Year might find himself suddenly on a warmer seat in Piscataway. -- CP

92. QUALCOMM STADIUM, home field, San Diego State. Thanks to years of incompetence from its regular Aztec tenants, the former Jack Murphy Stadium's most prominent ties to college football have been the Holiday Bowl and (more recently) the Poinsettia Bowl. And those aren't insiginificant, particularly considering some of the classics that have been played in the Holiday.

But that should change this year. SDSU is poised for potentially their biggest season in school history, with senior quarterback Ryan Lindley and sophomore running back Ronnie Hillman forming the most dynamic QB-RB combo in the Mountain West. To win the conference the Aztecs will have to go through both TCU and Boise State, but wouldn't you know it--both MWC frontunners must visit Qualcomm this year, the Frogs Oct. 8 and Broncos Nov. 19. With two chances for the Aztecs, don't be surprised if "the Q" plays host to this year's version of Nevada-Boise, the upset that turns the non-AQ BCS chase on its head. -- JH

91. PAUL RHOADS, head coach, Iowa State. When Paul Rhoads took over as head coach at Iowa State in 2009, replacing Gene Chizik -- whatever happened to that guy? -- he was walking into a tough situation. The Cyclones had only won five games in the previous two seasons, but the man who grew up 20 miles outside Ames led the team to seven wins in 2009, including a win over Minnesota in the Insight Bowl. Iowa State took a step back in 2010, but did get a huge win over Texas and narrowly lost to Nebraska in overtime.

In 2011, however, the time for moral victories has passed. While the Cyclones have won 12 games under Rhoads in his first two seasons, only six have come against conference opponents, four of them coming against former Big 12 North teams. Now the Cyclones will no longer have seasons in which they don't have to play Texas and Oklahoma, so winning in the conference won't be easy. Of course, it's not like anybody is expecting Iowa State to compete for the conference title every season, but if Iowa State wants to be better than a program that makes the occasional bowl appearance, Rhoads is going to have to do more than pull off the occasional shocker. -- TF

Check back tomorrow at Eye on College Football for Nos. 90-81 on the countdown, and follow us on Twitter.




Posted on: May 17, 2011 12:22 pm
 

College Football Hall of Fame inductees announced

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We already knew Lloyd Carr and Eddie George had made it. But the National Football Foundation today announced the other 13 players and one coach that have also been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame for the 2011 class.

Here they are, listed alphabetically with a short bio from the original 2011 Hall of Fame ballot:

Carlos Alvarez, wide receiver, Florida

1969 consensus First Team All-America and ranks as Florida’s all-time career leader with 2,563 receiving yards. . . Two-time All-SEC, setting eight conference records in 1969. . . First Team Academic All-American.

Fisher DeBerry, coach, Air Force

Coached 1984-2006 ... Winningest coach in Air Force history, leading Falcons to three conference championships. . . Led Air Force to 12 post-season berths and three-time conference Coach of the Year. . . Named National Coach of the Year in 1985, coaching 16 All-Americans, 127 All-Conference players and 11 Academic All-Americans.

Doug English, defensive tackle, Texas

Member of three bowl teams, including 1973 Cotton Bowl championship team. . . Two-time All-SWC selection. . . Member of two Southwest Conference championship teams (1972, 73). . . Averaged 10 tackles per game.

Bill Enyart, fullback, Oregon State

Named First Team All-America in 1968. . .Set school record with 1,304 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns in 1968. . .1968 Hula Bowl MVP and two-time First Team All-Conference selection (1967-68).

Marty Lyons, defensive tackle, Alabama

1978 consensus First Team All-America who led team to 1978 National Championship at Sugar Bowl. . .Helped team to four consecutive bowl wins and three conference championships. . .1978 SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

Russell Maryland, defensive tackle, Miami

1990 unanimous First Team All-America selection and Outland Trophy winner. . .Led Miami to four consecutive bowl berths and national championships in 1987 and 1989. . .Registered 45-3-0 record during career.

Deion Sanders, cornerback, Florida State

Two-time unanimous First Team All-America in 1987 and 1988. . . 1988 Jim Thorpe Award winner. . . Returned four interceptions for touchdowns in career. . . Holds school records for most punt return yards in a season and in a career.

Jake Scott, defensive back, Georgia

Named consensus First Team All-America in 1968. . . 1968 SEC Most Valuable Player. . . Twice led the SEC in interceptions and still holds the SEC record with two interceptions returned for a touchdown in a single game.

Will Shields, offensive guard, Nebraska

1992 unanimous First Team All-America and 1992 Outland Trophy winner. . .Key to three Huskers’ NCAA rushing titles (1989, ’91, ’92). . .Led team to four bowl berths and back-to-back Big Eight titles in 1991 and 1992.

Sandy Stephens, quarterback, Minnesota

1961 consensus First Team All-America who led team to 1960 National Championship and back-to-back Rose Bowl berths. . . Nation’s first African-American All-America QB and 1961 Big Ten MVP. . . Fourth in 1961 Heisman voting.

Darryl Talley, linebacker, West Virginia

Named unanimous First Team All-America in 1982. . .Considered the most prolific tackler in school history holding the school’s record for career tackles (484). . .Member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.

Clendon Thomas, running back, Oklahoma

Led Sooners in scoring during two seasons (1956-1957) as part of 47-game winning streak ... Won two national titles under Bud Wilkinson ... in 1957 was named consensus All-American, finished ninth in Heisman Trophy balloting

Rob Waldrop, defensive lineman, Arizona

Two-time First Team All-America, garnering consensus honors in ’92 and unanimous laurels in ’93. . . Winner of Bednarik, Nagurski and Outland awards and Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year (1993). . .Led Cats to three bowl berths.

Gene Washington, wide receiver, Michigan State

First Team All-America who led State to back-to-back national championship seasons (1965-66) and undefeated season in ‘66. . . Led MSU to consecutive Big Ten titles. . . Led team in receptions for three-straight seasons.

Posted on: May 12, 2011 5:42 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 8:05 pm
 

NCAA owes it to itself to support NFL owners

Posted by Adam Jacobi

As the days, weeks, and months creep by and the NFL labor situation gets no closer to resolution, diehard NFL fans find themselves in a predicament: what is there to do if there's no pro football? Do they breathe a sigh of relief and count the money they'll end up saving? Do they take up other activities, recommit themselves to family life on weekends, and put sports in general on the back burner? Or do they stare at an upcoming autumn devoid of football, freak out, and find the nearest college team to support until pro ball comes back?

If the NCAA is wise, it'll bank on the last scenario -- that NFL fans are really football fans. Then, it'll throw its full-throated support behind the NFL owners, who are currently fighting tooth-and-nail to protect the lockout they've placed on the players ... and reap the glorious benefits. Let's face it, no business for the NFL is good business for college football, and there are several college programs in particular that stand to benefit immensely from a protracted work stoppage in the pro ranks.

The Miami Hurricanes have a new coach and, um, plenty of seats for displaced NFL fans. Colorado has a new coach and a new conference with new rivals. Minnesota's got a new coach and a two-year-old stadium that makes the Metrodome look like... well, the Metrodome was already terrible, but TCF Bank Stadium is still a major plus for the Gophers. Those are three prime opportunities for athletic departments to encourage new fans to "help us start a new chapter in our future." Think Dolphins, Vikings, and Broncos fans aren't going to notice that opportunity? Especially if college tickets are half as expensive and there are ten times as many gorgeous young women at the tailgates?

The Houston Cougars should have Case Keenum back to finish his quest to break the NCAA passing records. He's just the next step in Houston's tradition of great college quarterbacks (David Klingler, Andre Ware, and to-a-somewhat-lesser-extent-but-he-
was-still-pretty-darned-good Kevin Kolb), and it would be insane for the Cougars not to publicize his assault on the record books on a weekly basis. Besides, no offense to the Texans, but the Cougars are the local team with more football tradition anyway.

Northwestern has billed itself as "Chicago's college football team" recently. That seems a little unfair to the hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans who are alumni of other major universities, but if the Chicago Bears are sitting at home on Sundays, Northwestern turns into the city's ONLY football team. Similarly, the idea of Indiana actually selling out its Memorial Stadium on a regular basis seems like far less of a pipe dream if Lucas Oil Stadium's sitting empty on weekends. Purdue would be happy to accommodate some of those Colts fans too.

The impact of a large influx of fans, if even for a game or two, is not insignificant. 10,000 extra tickets sold for $25 a pop equals a quarter-million dollars in extra ticket revenue alone, to say nothing of concessions, merchandise, and parking fees. That's something some teams can accomplish in one game. And that's just immediate money in. There's also the inroads made with fans, particularly younger ones. Making entreaties to families and younger adults means that the college football program can start cultivating long-lasting fan relationships -- and new donors. The alumni associations can always use the help, after all.

So, athletic directors and college coaches. Line up shoulder-to-shoulder behind the NFL's owners, and stand tall in their support. Then take, take, take from them. College football will be stronger for it.

Posted on: April 8, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: April 8, 2011 3:45 pm
 

Friday Four Links (and a cloud of dust), 4/8

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Every Friday we catch up on four stories you might have missed during the week ... and add a few extra links to help take you into the weekend.

FOUR LINKS ...

1. It's not easy for a school like Mississippi State to keep up with the Joneses of the SEC when it comes to the facilities arms race ... but $12 million worth of private donation sure helps. The artist's rendition of the future "Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex" (which will house practice fields a weight room, coaches' offices, etc.) looks like so:



2. It sounds like new Colorado coach Jon Embree isn't wasting any time reshaping the Buffaloes roster. Though a round of cuts (unfortunately) isn't exactly unprecedented for a new coaching administration, it will be interesting to see if there's any pushback from the Boulder media or academic types over his cancellation of scholarships for "effort"-related reasons that seem to straddle the "violation of team rules" line.

One player who won't mind Embree's arrival regardless: Buff kicker Justin Castor, who watched Dan Hawkins burn his redshirt last season to attempt just one field goal.

3. Unlike most sports teams, when choosing a design for their Rose Bowl championship rings, TCU went reserved, classy, tasteful :



Or, perhaps, the opposite of that. (Not that they don't deserve rings that would fit around this blogger's wrist, of course.)

4. After the success of last year's Illinois-Northwestern game at Wrigley Field (and that in the face of the "offense only faces one way" debacle), it's no surprise that the Boston Red Sox would consider hosting a college football game of their own at Fenway Park. Though such a game is still just a twinkle in the Sox executive's eye at this stage, it's no surprise that Boston College fans would like to volunteer their team's services.

AND THE CLOUD ...

Cal receiver Tevin Carter has left the Bears program citing a lack of interest in football; Carter did not catch a pass last season ... "Top-level donors" at Arizona State are getting a sneak peek at the team's new uniforms ... Minnesota signee Peter Westerhaus suffered a skull fracture and received 50 stitches after being hit in the face by a boulder on a family hiking trip in the Grand Canyon. He'll be fine for fall practice, though ... Staying with the Gophers, a bill to allow alcohol sales in TCF Bank Stadium's "premium seating" has made it through committee ... The intensity of the Iron Bowl rivalry extends itself to a gymnastics meet, not that you should be surprised by that ... And speaking of Auburn, reserve linebacker Jessel Curry and reserve safety Ryan Smith are not currently with the Tigers during spring practice, though the door to their return doesn't sound closed yet ... And speaking of Alabama, here's 50 photos (!) illustrating the process (pun intended ) of bringing the Tide's new Nick Saban statue to, uh, life ...  A useful look at the SEC's overall athletic program program margins, of which football is obviously the largest part ... Things got feisty at Texas A&M's practice this week ... The most in-depth 2011 preview of UL-Monroe you're going to find, courtesy of new stats-loving blog Football Study Hall .


Posted on: March 31, 2011 12:14 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 12:17 pm
 

Big Ten divisions confuse even Tom Osborne

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

This Chicago Tribune Q&A with Tom Osborne is chockful of interesting nuggets from the Nebraska athletic director, such as ...
  • his ambivalence about the statue of himself outside the athletics building, and his wish for a button that would make the statue disappear into the sidewalk
  • that the huge William Jennings Bryan quote outside the building has "never resonated" with him
  • that during expansion discussions, Jim Delany was so secretive even Osborne didn't know where the meetings would be taking place until his driver dropped him off
  • speaking about his disappointment in Dan Beebe's decision not to visit Lincoln because of death threats, Osborne said most of his death threats "just got thrown in the waste basket"
But this brief exchange might be most interesting of all:
Q: Is Nebraska a Legend or a Leader?

A: I think we're in the Legends.

Q: You are.

A: But I had to think a little bit.
That's right: even the athletic director of the school whose addition created the Big Ten's new six-team divisions can't keep them straight enough to know for certain which one his team is in.

But it's all water under the bridge for now, since the Big Ten is showing no inclination to change the names anytime in the forseeable future. So as a public service both to Mr. Osborne and the general Eye on College Football reading public, here's an easy guide to remembering which team is a "Legend" and which is a "Leader":
1. The letter "N" only appears in the name "Legends." So that's where the two "N" schools, Nebraska and Northwestern, were placed.

2. Remember that Nebraska shares a division with the only other Big Ten school on the Great Plains, Iowa, who the Huskers now face in an annual rivalry game we're referring to as the Corn Bowl until such time as it receives an actual name

3. Michigan's fight song famously refers to the Wolverines as the "Leaders and the best." Because irony rules the world with an iron(ic) fist, this is why Michigan was also placed in the Legends division.

4. Joining Michigan are the other two "M" schools, Michigan State and Minnesota. (These also happen to be Michigan's two most traditional rivals aside from Ohio State.)

5.
So that's your six Legends: Nebraska, Northwestern, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota. All other schools -- any that doesn't start with "N" or "M" and isn't Iowa -- go in the Leaders file.
So there you go. Now if someone could just help us remember which ACC teams are in the Atlantic and which are in the Coastal, we'll be all set.

Posted on: March 7, 2011 1:03 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2011 1:05 pm
 

2011 College Football HOF Ballot Announced

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The National Football Foundation released its list of the 79 players and nine coaches who are eligible for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame on Monday, and the list of first-time nominees includes some big names. Names like former Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier, Alabama linebacker Derrick Thomas, NC State running back Ted Brown, Minnesota quarterback Sandy Stephens, and Michigan State running back Lorenzo White are just a few of the first-timers on this year's list.

You can see the entire ballot here.

"It's an enormous honor to just be on the ballot when you think that more than 4.79 million people have played college football," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell in the official release. "The Hall's requirement of being a First Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of only 1,900 individuals who are even eligible to be on the ballot, so being in today's group of 79 names means an individual is truly among the greatest to ever have played the game, and we are proud to announce their names today." 

The ballot has already been sent out to the more than 12,000 voting members of the NFF, and their selections will then be sent to the NFF Honors Court. The Honors Court, which has 13 members, will then deliberate and select the newest Hall of Fame classed based on the votes. The newest inductees will be announced at a May press conference in New York, and the class will be inducted on December 6.

As for who should be in this year's class, while I'm too young to remember seeing a lot of names on the ballot play, I do remember seeing Derrick Thomas and Tommie Frazier. And from what I saw of those two in their careers, if they weren't Hall of Famers, then I don't know who is.
Posted on: March 1, 2011 10:30 am
Edited on: March 1, 2011 10:35 am
 

Minnesota WR granted medical hardship

Posted by Chip Patterson

After finishing with a 2-6 record in conference, Minnesota did not have many reasons to cheer in conference competition in 2010.  But just after the Big Ten denied a sixth year of eligibility to Purdue wide receiver Keith Smith, league officials delivered different news to the Golden Gophers.  

Wide receiver Brandon Green played in two games for Minnesota before suffering a season-ending knee injury.  On Monday Green was granted a medical hardship from the Big Ten and will have two years of eligibility remaining at Minnesota.  After the 1-6 start that led to Tim Brewster's mid-season firing, the Golden Gophers are hoping to turn things around under new head coach Jerry Kill.  Green will personally benefit from the extra year as he tries to fight for snaps among a corps that returns the top three reception leaders from 2010.

But with Adam Weber graduated, Green will have a chance to try and create some chemistry with Marqueis Gray.  Gray, who primarily played wide receiver in 2010, will be moved to quarterback for 2011.  Gray is a dual-threat quarterback who demands attention and is able to extend plays to create opportunities for his receivers.  

Kill will get his first look at the new offense when the Golden Gophers kick off spring practice on March 24.      

Posted on: February 25, 2011 2:45 pm
 

Friday Four Links (and a cloud of dust), Feb. 25

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Every Friday we catch up on four stories you might have missed during the week ... and add a few extra links to help take you into the weekend.


FOUR LINKS ...

1. Future scheduling is very much in the news today, with discussions about moving the new Big 12's biggest in-state rivalry games to Dec. 3 and the Big East finally releasing its 2011 slate. But maybe nowhere is it more in the news than at Nevada, which is desperately trying to work its way out of a brutal road stretch (at Oregon, at Texas Tech, at Boise State, all back-to-back-to-back) ... but still found the time to tentatively schedule a home-and-home series with Oregon State for 2017 and 2018. (Is there a way to schedule them for that far ahead that wouldn't be tentative?)

2. Yes, Virginia, when you would have already been the clearcut No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, you need some kind of insurance policy when you decide to go back to school. Andrew Luck's is worth $5 million already and could wind up being worth even more , depending on the new NFL collective bargaining agreement.

3. Your weekly Friday Four Links position coaching update: former Minnesota assistant John Butler is South Carolina's new special teams coordinator ; Louisville defensive line coach Clint Hurtt will not be accepting Auburn's offer of the same position following Tracy Rocker's departure; which means former Butler colleague with the Gophers Tim Cross is, by process of elimination , the likely front-runner on the Plains; and well-traveled assistant Danny Barrett is the new running backs coach at UCF.

4. Despite saying the scandal that erupted around Cam Newton "kind of stained almost everybody" involved with it -- including himself, we presume -- Dan Mullen also said he had "no regrets" about his Mississippi State program's recruitment of Newton or its handling of the situation. No regrets aside from the part where Newton chose Auburn and went on to win the Heisman and a national championship, it's safe to assume.

AND A CLOUD ...

Tennessee junior cornerback Art Evans spoke publicly for the first time since being reinstated following a three-month suspension; Evans missed the last six games of 2010 after falling behind on his car payments ... In addition to his infamous call to the Paul Finebaum radio show, accused Toomer's Corner oak poisoner Harvey Updyke may have also bragged about committing the crime on an Alabama fan site ... More buzz is buzzing about Oklahoma countering Texas's "Longhorn Network" with one of their own ... Remember former Florida and Ole Miss defensive back Jamar Hornsby? If you do, it won't surpise you to learn he's currently in jail ... Without Nebraska, does the Big 12 have enough quality games for its television obligations?

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com