The vaunted Boulder-Akron talent pipeline is alive and well with the transfer of former Colorado quarterback Nick Hirschman into Terry Bowden’s savvy-shopping embrace. The Buffs have approximately negative-four viable quarterbacks on the roster at this point, but Mike MacIntyre won football games at San Jose State, so.
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• “Group of five” still just sounds so ominous. Jeremy Fowler reports on the coalescing system the Big East, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt are working on to distribute playoff revenue from the new postseason system:
In this proposed system, more than half the group’s roughly $86-million playoff pot would be distributed among the Big East, Mountain West, Mid-American Conference, Conference USA and Sun Belt as guaranteed base shares, according to a source with direct knowledge of the discussions. The source expects those shares to be evenly split, but added discussions are ongoing. The second tier pays out based on a conference’s body of work — the top conference gets the highest amount, then “X” amount for the next-rated conference, and on down. The third tier pays a kicker to the conference with the highest-ranked team, which is guaranteed an access bowl bid or, if among the top-four teams in the country, a semifinal berth in the playoff.
• Harbros’ early broing days. Check out Dan Wetzel’s tale of relatively wee Harbaughs recruiting youngsters to their dad’s team at Western Kentucky, including an appearance by one Willie Taggart.
• Exactly how you would’ve guessed. Former Miami Hurricanes make up the biggest slice of Super Bowl roster pie charts, but two of the next five teams on that list are … Marshall and Utah? Marshall and Utah! Go ThunderUtes!
• From the no-jokes department. Compelling story via OTL on UCLA researchers and evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in living football players.
The 2012 Valero Alamo Bowl is just hours away. We’re sure you have so many questions. We’re here to help. (For an X’s and O’s breakdown, click through to Stewart Mandel’s game preview.)
• What’s all this, then? After a couple weeks of Beefo-come-lately bowls whose provenance might be described as “questionable,” we’re starting to break into the name-brand bowls. The Alamo has been around since 1993 and has featured at least one ranked team in 16-of-20 games since then (counting this year).
• Where will this game be played? The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
• When is it on television? Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. ET on ESPN. Sean McDonough and Chris Spielman are your announcers, with Quint Kessenich on sideline duty.
• Whom does it feature? Since 2010, the Alamo Bowl has pitted the Pac-12′s second-place team against the third choice from the Big 12.
• What about this year? The 9-3, 13th-ranked Oregon State Beavers are your Pac-12 representative, while the 8-4, 23rd-ranked Texas Longhorns rep the Big 12. That makes this the 2012-13 bowl season’s first occurrence of ranked-on-ranked action.
Tracking the zeitgeist of college football’s second weekend through social media:
MAMA! COME ON INSIDE! ONE OF THESE UTAH TEAMS BOUT TO PUNT! CAN’T MISS THAT!
— Jason Kirk (@JasonKirkSBN) September 8, 2012
ACC MISSED THE BOAT ON UTAH.
— THE KEY PLAY (@thekeyplay) September 8, 2012
Special Teams Coach Beehive was a sentimental hire from the start for Utah. Won’t save his job after this game. (Plus: is beehive.)
— edsbs (@edsbs) September 8, 2012
— Bobby Big Wheel (@BobbyBigWheel) September 8, 2012
Fox Sports South’s The NEW College Football Show (or the NEW TO YOU College Football Show if you’re like us and didn’t get the channel last year) begins its second season at the end of this month, and in order to keep the NEWness all NEW and stuff, has cut a fresh set of promos. Here’s the one we can’t stop watching, starring Tommy Bowden and a chalkboard that tags along behind him like a wooden paddle-duck toy:
Take some feel-good newsbits and unserious readings with you into the first bleak weekend of this interminable offseason. We’ll get through this together, I swear, by the blood of Terry Bowden.
• Speaking of the offseason: It’s here. And it’s horrific. Pre-Snap Read is here to help, with 230-item to-do list to while away the winter, spring and summer with tasks from the practical (“Make a new set of house keys”) to the conciliatory (“Go to one NBA game — but that’s it”) to the fantastical (“Imagine ’95 Nebraska against 2011 Alabama”) to the downright goofy (“Don’t use chewing tobacco for a month”).
• Here’s one way: How many paranoia-induced patterns can you spot in the last AP Poll of the 2011 season? Re-rank the one-loss teams. Re-rank the four-loss teams. Marvel that Cincinnati is in there at all. We killed an hour with this at breakfast, easy.
• The greatest downtime distraction returns: The Fulmer Cup makes its triumphant re-entrance onto the national scene, with a couple false alarms already on the books
but no official points tallied after three days and change. We spoke too soon! Great hustle, South Carolina! C’mon, Ohio State, get with it! Urban Meyer’s your coach now and everything!
Just a quick flurry of news reading before I board yet another plane:
• Fresh coaches, bought and sold! Of ALL THE DAYS to be traveling during business hours! To miss this Terry-Bowden-to-Akron bombshell! That brimstoney scent on the wind is the aroma of a thousand blog sniping engines spinning up to life, for where there is a Bowden in a head-coaching gig, administrative mayhem and general hilarity are sure to eventually follow. Bowden leaves behind an island of misfit toys in Florence, Ala., only to join up with an abominable snowman: His new AD, you’ll recall, fired previous coach Rob Ianello over the phone while Ianello was driving to his mother’s funeral. Elsewhere on the carousel: Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst to Pitt, and Houston’s Tony Levine to Houston! Huzzah!
• Keep your thoughts with College Station: The worst sort of news out of Texas A&M: Senior offensive lineman Joseph Villavisencio died in a car crash Thursday, on his way home for winter break. He was 22 years old. Our sincere best wishes and condolences to his family and the A&M football community.
• Roster blotter: Matt Barkley, noted Christmas tree impersonator and fine football player, will give it one more round with the Trojans. Just remember where you heard Matt Leinart’s opinion first. Charlie Weis re-ups on quarterbacks. Four Bruins are out for the bowl game, as is FSU’s Jermaine Thomas. And Virginia Tech kicker Cody Journell is in a world of trouble, arrested for felony breaking and entering.