Three-point stance: Kelly a surprise winner

1.The biggest surprise of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show to me was Brian Kelly. Not that word got out just before the show began that he would leave Cincinnati for Notre Dame. But that he won the Home Depot Coach of the Year. Kelly did go undefeated, not that that makes it automatic. Chris Petersen has gone undefeated in three of his four seasons at Boise State and hasn’t won squat.

2.Toby Gerhart of Stanford won the Doak Walker Award on Thursday night. Since the award began in 1990, five running backs have won the Heisman Trophy – Rashaan Salaam of Colorado (1994), Eddie George of Ohio State (1995), Ricky Williams of Texas (1998), Ron Dayne of Wisconsin (1999) and Reggie Bush of USC (2005). All five also won the Doak. I bet that streak is broken this year and Mark Ingram of Alabama wins the Heisman.

3.The chancellor of the University of Alabama system cancelled classes from Jan. 6-8 because of the BCS Championship Game. It’s a good guess that not a whole lot of studying will be going on in Tuscaloosa that week. More important, as I understand it, is that the cancellation allows Alabama to pay its players a travel stipend to California. It’s one of the few ways the NCAA allows members to put money in the pockets of student-athletes.