3-point stance: A stat to watch

1. One of my favorite preseason statistics, one that I find a reliable predictor for success, is the number of career starts returning on the offensive line. According to the 2012 Phil Steele College Football Review, which arrived over the weekend, Ball State is first in the FBS with 115 career starts, followed by NC State (112), West Virginia and Tennessee (105), LSU (104), FIU (103) and Oklahoma (102). Rice has the fewest career starts (15), followed by Penn State, Virginia Tech and UAB (17).

2. As the first anniversary of Jim Tressel’s resignation from Ohio State passes, think about the changes in the Big Ten. Half of the 12 schools have head coaches in their first or second season on campus. By contrast, four of the 10 coaches in the Big 12 have spent at least 11 years in their job: Bill Snyder of Kansas State (20), Mack Brown of Texas (14), Bob Stoops of Oklahoma (13) and Gary Patterson of TCU (11). That’s one more reason the Big 12 is looking resurgent.

3. I interviewed TCU tailback Ed Wesley in Fort Worth 14 months ago and found an uncommonly mature, level-headed player, exactly what the Horned Frogs needed as they came off a Rose Bowl victory. Wesley spoke of how TCU had to put its success behind it and move on in order to achieve more. Wesley, who has rushed for 1,800 yards in the past two seasons, is leaving TCU for family reasons, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and hopes for the NFL supplemental draft. The guess here is that the setback is temporary.