The Gilded Ham New Mexico Bowl; more Designated Reads
• My god, it’s full of stats. Just for funsies, and maybe also because we’re football-free until Thursday, here is a list of NCAA bowl records broken by Nevada and Arizona in the 2012 New Mexico Bowl, via Wolf Pack sports info:
-Most plays (combined, both teams): Nevada-Arizona, 188 (Previous, 187, by Auburn-Northwestern in 2010 Outback Bowl).
-Most first downs: Nevada, 39 (Previous, 36—Oklahoma (48) vs. Virginia (14) (Gator, Dec. 29, 1991) (16 rush, 18 pass, 2 penalty); Marshall (64) vs. East Carolina (61) (2 ot) (GMAC, 2001) (9 rush, 25 pass, 2 penalty).
-Most first downs, both teams: Nevada-Arizona, 70 (Previous: 62—North Carolina St. (56)  vs. Kansas (26)  (Tangerine, 2003).
-Most first downs rushing: Nevada, 28 (Previous: 26—Oklahoma (40) vs. Auburn (22) (Sugar, Jan. 1, 1972); Navy (51) vs. Colorado St. (30) (Poinsettia, 2005).
-Most first downs rushing, both teams: Nevada-Arizona, 38 (Previous: 36—Colorado (47)  & Alabama (33)  (Liberty, 1969); Miami (FL) (46)  & Texas (3)  (Cotton, 1991).
An auspicious beginning to the postseason, no?
• Further bowltyme antics. In case you missed it last week, follow along with Stewart Mandel’s Bowl Pickoff right over here.
• Actual playoff happenings. Mount Union continues to do Mount Union things, gaining another D-III championship on Friday night … Valdosta State wrecked Winston-Salem State in the Division II title game … Sam Houston State and North Dakota State will face off for the FCS championship.
• Coach-firin’ follies, hiring edition. One of the finest witness protection names in major college football, Matt Canada, will join Dave Doeren’s NC State staff as offensive coordinator … Jeremy Pruitt is reportedly bound for Tallahassee from Tuscaloosa as Jimbo Fisher’s new defensive coordinator … Sonny Dykes is actually bothering to hire a defensive coordinator at Cal!
• Roster blotter. Michigan cornerback J.T. Floyd, punter Will Hagerup and linebacker Brandin Hawthorne have been suspended for the Outback Bowl, for the ever-popular-and-mysterious Violation Of Team Rules … also not appearing in this Outback Bowl: South Carolina receiver D.L. Moore … Stanford quarterback Brett Nottingham intends to transfer from the Cardinal … Matt Barkley is still resting his shoulder.
• Tweet of the day, I. Social media bridging the generation gap in Los Angeles:
— Elika Sadeghi (@steakNstiffarms) December 17, 2012
• Tweet of the day, II. It’s a marshmallow world in winter, ain’t it, Holgo?
— Dana Holgorsen (@Holgorsendana) December 17, 2012
• Misc. Want a Four Verts shirt this holiday season? Smart Football’s freshly launched store has you covered … ESPN will roll out “instant” replay clips via Twitter this postseason … via @RickMuscles, listen to classic fight songs performed operatically … cool story on Stanford’s Alex Debniak … view the demolition of K-State’s press box … and it’s not overly concerned with rhyme scheme or prepositions, but give Texas Tech’s holiday video high marks for sincerity. Will reassess if they recut it to be narrated by Kliff Kingsbury in a v-neck Santa suit.