Designated Read: A powerful shell
• Ask me what my job is, then ask me the hardest thing about it: The Mountain West has to look out for the Mountain West, and it’s leveraging every last iota of influence out of its one season with both Boise State and TCU to angle for a BCS auto-bid for 2012 (in which it will operate without the Big 12-bound Horned Frogs) and 2013 (when the Broncos are scheduled to make their exit for the Big East).
• Fresh coaches, bought and sold! Colorado State is expected to announce Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain as the next head coach of the Rams this afternoon. McElwain has been Nick Saban’s coordinator since 2008; this will be his first head coaching position. And Toledo has replaced the recently departed Tim Beckman with his offensive coordinator, Matt Campbell, a three-year veteran of the Rockets’ staff.
• Dispatches from Happy Valley: You can relive the brief proceedings of Jerry Sandusky’s preliminary hearing here, but if you missed his court appearance, you didn’t miss much: Sandusky and his legal team waived the right to the hearing, and the case is going to trial.
• Kuechly Kuechly Kuechly Kuechly Kuechly Kuechly Kuechly: Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, who’s already got the Butkus, Lombardi and Lott IMPACT Awards, and of whom we are becoming very fond because he’s a killy defender who looks like a big ol’ mathlete, can add the Bronco Nagurski Trophy to his groaning hardware shelf.
• Roster blotter: Miami RB Lamar Miller: Cutting out early for the draft. Alabama RT D.J. Fluker: Staying put in Tuscaloosa. Oklahoma RB Roy Finch: Cited for property damage to a friend’s computer. Nebraska center Mike Caputo and defensive end Eric Martin: Both bad at driving. And in the oddest news of the day, UCF’s two-year starting quarterback Jeff Godfrey is leaving the Knights amid renewed competition for his job, an unfavorable eligibility ruling and, it seems, more than a whiff of helicopter dad-dom.
• Tuesday whimsy: Virginia Tech’s attempt to sell off its Sugar Bowl tickets is just the saddest. Realignment gets relegated to the miscellany bin when a school joins the Big East and Big West at the same time. And I fully expect Lane Kiffin’s all-white sideline getup to get him in huge with the panda crowd. He will fly the bear back to California (business class, natch), where it will become a regular fixture in the Coliseum endzones, before accidentally taking the next head coaching job intended for Ed Orgeron in a madcap mix-up.