1. The Orange Bowl’s decision to return to a 1 p.m. New Year’s Day kickoff on Jan. 1, 2015 after some 50 years in prime time provides an interesting twist to the new postseason format. For many years, multiple bowls have kicked off in that early-afternoon time slot. Does that mean that in the years when the Orange Bowl is the site of a national semifinal game, it will have to be played against other bowl games?
2. Stanford tailback Ty Gaffney is foregoing his senior season to play pro baseball, which could mean more renown for teammate Stepfan Taylor, the most prolific rusher on the Cardinal’s running-back-by-committee. The senior quietly rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons. Taylor is out of All-American quarterback Andrew Luck’s shadow, and now Gaffney is gone. But given that junior Anthony Wilkerson and sophomore Ricky Seale are still available, the committee may keep Taylor quiet after all.
3. Darrell Royal turns 88 on Friday. The former Texas coach has been out of the game for 36 years, which means that, aside from the Orangebloods who still revere him, only history buffs have any idea how dominant his Longhorn teams were. In 20 seasons in Austin (1957-76), Royal coached Texas to three national championships, an astounding 12 Southwest Conference titles -- including eight in a row (1968-75) -- and 167 victories. That’s anyone’s definition of a Hall of Fame coach.