1.Oregon climbed to national power with the significant financial and emotional support of Nike founder Phil Knight for the past two decades. Now it’s Maryland’s turn. The Terps fired Ralph Friedgen and are looking at former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach. He has the backing of UnderArmour founder Kevin Plank, who a) sponsored the Red Raiders and b) is a significant emotional and financial supporter of his alma mater. I don’t know about you, but I’m already thinking how much fun an Oregon-Maryland title game would be.
2.The trickle-down effect of the win-now mentality is evident at UCLA, where Rick Neuheisel is remaking his staff after a 4-8 season. Two assistants are gone, including defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough. At least Neuheisel wasted little time. As Michigan athletic director David Brandon considers -- and considers -- whether to retain Rich Rodriguez, the lack of a decision is eating away at Rodriguez and the program. Rodriguez shrugs it off. But he doesn’t know what Brandon is waiting for, either.
3.Like J.K. McKay returning to USC, Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson will reap a lot of benefits by bringing a Mallory back to Indiana. Bill Mallory remains the most successful head coach of the Hoosiers in the past four decades. His son Doug, a well-respected defensive assistant, returns to Bloomington as co-defensive coordinator for Wilson. It’s not much, but a program bereft of history can use all the legacy it can generate.