If you want my Keys to the Game for the Auburn Tigers and the Oregon Ducks in the BCS Championship game tonight, they can be found here, on the Business Insider.
This week in college football was a mixed bag of sorts. The headlines were split between coaching changes and the final bowl games. It is the weekend's national headline, however, that hits home, and leads off this week's Monday Musings.
1. The Arizona Shootings. While there is never a good time for what happened in Arizona over the weekend with U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time for college football. The BCS National Championship game will be played in Glendale, AZ tonight. How will this event impact the BCS national championship game? As of 10:53 A.M. Eastern time, the BCS has not made any announcement on its official website regarding the shootings and what might be done for security or otherwise. While the shootings were in Tucson (2 hours south of Glendale), it is 100% appropriate and in order for the pre-game program to be adjusted one or two minutes to offer condolences and hold a moment of silence for everyone who was affected.
2. 4-2. Teams from the BCS non-AQ conferences were 4-2 against teams from AQ conferences. Air Force beat Georgia Tech in the Independence Bowl, Central Florida beat Georgia in the Liberty Bowl, Nevada beat Boston College in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, and TCU highlighted the non-AQ victories by beating Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Only Southern Mississippi (lost to Louisville in the St. Petersburg Bowl) and East Carolina (lost to Maryland in the Military Bowl) failed to beat their AQ conference opponents.
3. Who needs a coach? Michigan fired Rich Rodriguez last week, but they can’t seem to find anyone to replace him. Who would have thought the Michigan job would ever be so undesirable? Jim Harbaugh is not interested. Brady Hoke doesn’t seem to meet their standards. Les Miles? He is going to need some pretty big reasons to leave Louisiana State after he was …
4. Validated. Even with the national championship in 2007, Les Miles struggled to win over the LSU faithful. He struggled with an 8-5 and a 9-4 season the next two years. With the big win over Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl, Miles has an 11 win season with HIS players, and likely a top 10 finish. He also led LSU to its best start (7-0) since 1973 (9-0).
5. Hoping to get lucky. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, in a bold move, decided to return for his senior season. Recent history shows that he will be lucky to maintain his projected number one pick status. Jake Locker has seen his draft stock drop significantly this year. Colt McCoy had the same thing happen to him. Sam Bradford suffered an injury and was extremely lucky to recover in time for the draft. Tim Tebow also had a scare with a concussion. Matt Leinart dropped from the number one pick to the 10th overall pick. Now with Jim Harbaugh leaving for the NFL, another set of risks and unknowns is thrown into the mix. Luck will be very lucky to keep his lofty draft position after playing one more year.
6. Suicide coaching hire. Incoming Florida Gators coach Will Muschamp proved one thing this week: he is a defensive genius. That is the only reason I can think of that would make him want to hire beleaguered former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis as his offensive coordinator. Why anyone in the college ranks would trust their offense to Weis is a mystery to me. Weis belongs in the NFL. Hiring Weis could be suicide to Muschamps’ tenure at Florida, and it hasn’t even started.
7. Wake me up from this nightmare. Coaching the Maryland Terrapins might be some aspiring college coach’s dream job. That aspiring coach better be one who plays with a round, orange ball. For new Maryland coach Randy Edsall to call coaching the football team his dream job makes me think he is having a nightmare. What makes Maryland any different from UConn? He is going from one basketball school in a basketball conference to another. Hurry, somebody pinch that guy.
8. Exposed. Most of us learned our lesson back in September when Virginia Tech lost back-to-back games to Boise State and James Madison. The BCS had to learn the hard way. Stanford exposed Virginia Tech, the ACC automatic qualifying champion, with their 40-12 shellacking in the Orange Bowl last Monday night. Should have pitted the Hokies against UConn. Both the Orange and Fiesta bowls would have been better attended and more competitive.
9. Make the most of it. Knowing they would not get to play again until October next season, the infamous “tattoo 5” for Ohio State made the most of it. They were all key players in the Buckeye’s first bowl win ever against an SEC team--Arkansas, 31-26. Fortunately, those first five games next year will be played against much inferior competition.
10. Who needs a coach? Part 2. The Pittsburgh Panthers lost incumbent coach Dave Wannstedt when he was fired at the end of the season. They lost newly hired head coach Make Heywood literally days later when he was arrested. Going into the BBVA Compass Bowl they still didn’t have a coach. That didn’t seem to matter as the Panthers sent the Kentucky Wildcats back to the blue grass state with their tails between their legs, 27-10.