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Tommy Tuberville’s sitting by the phone* and Jimmy Sexton’s got that particular sparkle in his eye. It can mean only one thing: The coach firin’ season is upon us once more. We’ll be tracking the carousel of progress, right here, for as long as it takes to stop spinning. Raise a glass to times past, won’t you? * Well, not anymore, but never tell us we don’t have the gift of very specific prophecy through throwaway jokes.
New Mexico State [updated 02.01.2013]
• Who’s out: DeWayne Walker, who jumps to the NFL with less than two weeks remaining between now and Signing Day. And not even for a coordinating gig: Walker will coach defensive backs for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Walker released the following statement through the athletic department: “I really appreciate the opportunity that Dr. Boston and New Mexico State gave me to be a Division I head football coach. Unfortunately, I did not get the program as far as I would have liked from a wins and losses standpoint. But, we do have a better locker room, better kids and a better foundation for the program moving forward. There are a lot of people that I want to thank for their support and will be reaching out to those individuals in the coming days. They have helped me in moving the program forward. I am excited about starting a new chapter in my coaching career, as is my family. I wish New Mexico State great success in the future and wish everyone the best. Go Aggies!” • Who’s in: Doug Martin — the one who played at Kentucky, not the one who played at Boise State. Although if Martin The Younger is really so opposed to his excellent nickname, we’re gonna refer to Martin The Elder as coach Muscle Hamster instead. It’s been a whirlwind courtship for Martin and the Aggies: He was announced as offensive coordinator on January 17, temporarily promoted to interim head coach on January 24 and will be officially announced as DeWayne Walker’s successor on Monday, February 4. Martin’s previous head coaching experience consists of a seven-year stint at Kent State, from 2004-2010. Read More…
Assorted newsy bits — of varying degrees of importance — you might have missed over the long weekend:
• Didn’t we already do this headline a week ago? ”Imminent” can mean a lot of things! In the cosmic sense, the NCAA’s investigation of Miami has spanned less than a fraction of an eyeblink, but here we are, riding on a human-speed space-time wave, just twiddling our bloggy thumbs until the ‘Canes’ notice of allegations drops. The latest rumblings, per Bruce Feldman, involve a very large book being thrown at ex-Miami and current Louisville assistant Clint Hurtt and other former ‘Canes colleagues. We’ll have more on this when we actually see the notice of allegations, unless we don’t see this notice of allegations, in which case we’ll be right back here next Monday writing a third variation on this same headline.
• And speaking of the NCAA: On the final day of the annual NCAA convention, the latest raft of changes — touted as an effort to streamline NCAA regulations — were unveiled. Your friendly neighborhood Bylaw Blogger takes a look at one proposal, regarding recruiting start dates, that was left out of the bundle.
• You a Terp? Maryland has announced walk-on football tryouts for Wednesday, January 30. You must be a full-time, currently enrolled student to be eligible for consideration.
This is also your reminder that heading into Maryland’s last regular-season football game of 2012, this is what Maryland’s injury report looked like. So if you’re an aspiring quarterback, we’re honestly not sure whether to tell you to show up or stay away.
• Meanwhile, while the internet was caving in on itself … Lost yesterday in the avalanche of news shocks was the announcement that the Mountain West has retaken San Diego State. (We’re choosing to picture this as a giant Risk board in action. The Big 12 is clearly Australia.) We have an MWC source who’s promised to tell us the second the conference poaches UCLA, and y’all will be the first to know after that.
• Coach-hirin’ follies! Go right on ahead and apply for Chip Kelly’s old job, and be sure and let us know how that works out … here is a magnificent lead followed by Rob Mullens’ insistence that he has no clubhouse leaders in mind for Kelly’s vacant seat … John-El lands at DII Fort Lewis College … Utah passing coordinator Aaron Roderick will take the OC slot at BYU [UPDATE: No he won't!] … Louisiana Tech won’t have to re-glaze any of its “I <3 OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR TONY” mugs … Tim Rosenbach joins the UNLV staff as OC.
The story of one day in the college football postseason, as told through social media.
Solid crowd at LP Field, but don’t judge it yet. This quaint stadium on the river is a honky labyrinth from hell to get to.
— Steven Godfrey (@38Godfrey) December 31, 2012
Mike Glennon still leads all prospective NFL draft picks in neckness.
— edsbs (@edsbs) December 31, 2012
Nobody stands Paul Johnson up for dinner. RT @insideusc: Lane Kiffin has some type of scrape or bump between his eyes. Not sure reason why.
— CollegeFootballTalk (@CFTalk) December 31, 2012
Does Lane Kiffin think the Sun Bowl happens on the Sun? WHAT ARE YOU WEARING CUZ
— Jason Kirk (@JasonKirkSBN) December 31, 2012
The Red Lobster scholar of the year is once again a pile of popcorn shrimp.
— Bill Hanstockings (@sundownmotel) December 31, 2012
Red Lobster scholar of the year wins a semi truck full of Cheddar Bay biscuits and a real bad attitude when you ask for a soda refill.
— Bill Hanstockings (@sundownmotel) December 31, 2012
The 2012 Music City 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 Bill Trocchi’s game preview.)
• What’s all this, then? The game born in 1998 under sponsorship from American General Life & Accident is played very much on purpose, now in its third season of being called the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. How can a city that shelters Taylor Swift dare to lay claim to “music” anything? Beef ‘O’ Brady’s claims to be known for its buffalo wings. The world is an uncertain place, and full of little mysteries.
• Where will this game be played? Nashville’s LP Field, home to the Tennessee Titans and Tennessee State Tigers.
• When is it on television? Coverage begins at noon ET on ESPN, featuring the vocal talents of Carter Blackburn, Rod Gilmore and Jemele Hill. The game will also be streamed on WatchESPN.
• Whom does it feature? ACC versus SEC.
• What about this year? A six degrees of Debbie Yow matchup! The North Carolina State Wolfpack will face the hometown Vanderbilt Commodores.
• 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.
• No. 17 UCLA 38, No. 21 USC 28. You heard a lot last week about the football monopoly in Los Angeles being over. No, again. No, for real this time. Well, you’ll hear even more about it this week, but only because it’s finally, demonstrably true. (We’re taking suggestions on which board-game related jokes to start making in its place from here on out. Balderdash? Sorry? Jenga?)
On a rainy afternoon in the Rose Bowl, the Bruins dashed out to a 24-0 lead midway through the second quarter, only to see the Trojans snatch momentum back by the start of the third, by which point Matt Barkley had thrown two touchdown passes and defensive tackle George Uko had scored a genuine Fat Guy Touchdown on a slip-and-slide fumble recovery. (Storied rivalry, historic venue, high conference stakes, home-and-home jerseys AND a FGTD: This game had it all, y’all.) A pair of traded touchdowns and a successful USC two-point conversion later, and the Trojans were trailing by three points with a little more than seven minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Saturday games of varying degrees of interest, grouped in highly subjective categories. For more in-depth preview content, visit Andy Staples’ Walkthrough.
• Biggest game we feel like we couldn’t predict if our lives depended on it: No. 3 Kansas State at TCU, 7:00 p.m. ET. We’re still harboring a dream that seemed far-fetched just a few short weeks ago, a dream inspired by Tom Fornelli suggesting that if Bill Snyder takes home the crystal football this year, he’ll break it in half and make two hard candy dishes. The ‘Cats, at 9-0, are one of six undefeated teams remaining in FBS play. No gimme games remain, but then again, they haven’t played a gimme game since Oct. 6 against Kansas. In their past three outings, they’ve beaten three ranked opponents by a combined score of 154-68.
The Horned Frogs, no slouches on defense, will pose a greater threat to K-State’s undefeated season if the Wildcats take the field without starting quarterback Collin Klein. The Heisman frontrunner’s status for Saturday has been carefully guarded almost since the moment of his injury during last week’s game against Oklahoma State. It’s entirely possible we could see this contest played out without either team fielding the quarterbacks that topped the depth charts at the year’s outset. Only one thing is for certain: This will be the purplest football contest of the regular season.
• Duck hunts. Not to be outdone by the LSU-Alabama trailer that dropped earlier this week, Oregon has released its own hype video in honor of the Ducks’ upcoming trip to USC. Among its highlights: The Duck learning to play Oregon Trail and doing the team’s laundry under threat of dysentery from a school employee, the Duck searching for a watch he does not wear, a covert laundry detergent handoff from gold-medal decathalete and Oregon grad Ashton Eaton and the implication that the Duck possesses a commercial driver’s license, which wouldn’t actually surprise anyone. Our one quibble is spelled out neatly by YouTube commenter “ChocolateJesus2K:
Wash uniforms? Oregon doesn’t wear the same thing twice.