1. People a lot smarter than I am say that Penn State junior quarterback Christian Hackenberg is everything the NFL wants. They blame the fact that he never completed 60 percent of his passes, a baseline of success, and that his adjusted QBR never rose above the 58.3 he had as a freshman, on the young, depleted roster that Penn State had as a result of NCAA sanctions. OK, fine. But unless he just doesn’t want to play for James Franklin anymore, it seems like 12 more starts only could help. Look at how much Michigan State’s Connor Cook improved as a senior.
2. West Virginia’s thrilling 43-42 victory over Arizona State in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl captured Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen’s five seasons in one 60-minute game. West Virginia hit the 40-point level for the 23rd time under Holgorsen. However, the Mountaineers have lost four of those games. Four! West Virginia allowed 40 points in five games this season, when the defense was supposed to be a strength. Four of them came after All-Big 12 safety Karl Joseph blew out a knee. Defense is the reason that West Virginia is only 20-23 in the Big 12 under Holgorsen.
3. In Ohio State’s four seasons under Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes have gone 50-4 and won a national title. In Meyer’s first five seasons at Florida (2005-09), the Gators went 57-10 and won two national titles. Then Florida fell to 8-5 and Meyer resigned for health reasons. The toughest part of being a dynasty is dominating after the first recruiting cycle. As four Buckeye stars leave early for the NFL -- three of them (Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Darron Lee) possible first-round choices -- is history about to repeat itself? I think not. Meyer has a better perspective on his life. But it’s worth watching.