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Three-point stance: Change is mediocre

1. Texas A&M fired R.C. Slocum in 2002 for going 6-6. In seven seasons since, the Aggies are 41-42. Syracuse let Paul Pasqualoni go in 2004 for being mediocre. In five years since, the Orange is 13-44. In 2006, Minnesota dumped Glen Mason for going 64-57 over 10 seasons. In three seasons since, Tim Brewster is 14-22. It’s good that Gopher athletic director Joel Maturi said he expects Brewster will return in 2010. Moral: there’s no guarantee that change is for the better.

2. Two mysteries I’d like solved: one, how did the Football Writers Association of America choose an Alabama defender as a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy and select tackle Terrence Cody over linebacker Rolando McClain? Not that Cody isn’t a dominant player, but I’m guessing they didn’t see a lot of the Crimson Tide. Two, how many cotton fields will be picked to create a tuxedo for the 6-4, 345-pound Mount Cody?

3. Steve Ellis began covering Florida State for the Tallahassee Democrat in 1990. No one worked harder knew any college football beat better than Steve knew coach Bobby Bowden and the Seminoles. “One of the best I’ve ever seen -- I don’t know if I’ve ever seen them better -- at finding out what’s happening before I find out,” Bowden said Thursday. That’s the essence of what we do. Ellis, who suffered a heart attack last week, died Thursday at age 54. I can’t believe it.