• Fresh coaches, bought and sold! As expected, Tim DeRuyter was introduced as Fresno State’s new head coach Wednesday afternoon, replacing the entrenched and magnificently mustachioed Pat Hill. DeRuyter will have a hectic few weeks, hopping back to College Station to guide the Aggies through their Car Care Bowl appearance on New Year’s Day and cultivating facial hair to match that of his predecessor.
Elsewhere on the carousel: Turner Gill has popped up on the opposite coast, as the newest head coach at Liberty, where somebody in the marketing department really loves that Photoshop “Outer Glow” layer style filter. Mike Locksley may return to Maryland. Gus Malzahn details his whirlwind courtship with Arkansas State. Charlie Weis’ buyout is more jaw-dropping than his hire.
• Todd Graham: Introduced at Arizona State. On second thought, no other coaching personnel decisions really seem that ludicrous anymore, right? More on Graham in a little while, because hoowee, there’s a lot to unpack there.
• Math is not for everyone: South Carolina will self-impose a six-scholarship cut, a fine and probation in advance of a February NCAA hearing (remember the players caught receiving discounted hotel room rates? Doesn’t that seem forever ago?). Bryan Fischer does some quick calculations: “Sleeping on floors = 9 scholarships/three yrs. $47k discounts on hotel rooms = 6/three yrs. Ineligible players playing for a year = 5/three.”
• Outstretched hands will have to catch footballs and not monies! The NCAA’s new stipend legislation is facing an override threat from protesting schools.
• Feed the combine: Sources around the Oregon football program say LaMichael James will forgo his senior season with the Ducks; James insists he hasn’t made up his mind and is focusing his energies on the Rose Bowl. Also reportedly draft-bound: USC defensive end Nick Perry.
• Thursday whimsy. Robert Griffin returned home triumphant, but not before talking to our own Stew and Mallory on the Mandel Initiative podcast. Dan Rubenstein has a fantastic idea for #yodawg bowl sponsorship. Playoff PAC gets the ESPN Mag treatment. Brace yourselves for some more shocking evidence that the TicketCity Bowl is not a hot ticket. Mike Leach has some thoughts on Craig James’ political palatability in Texas. And this bit of breaking Arizona State news is of vital importance to your enjoyment of the upcoming Las Vegas Bowl.