1. The Big Ten, which introduced instant replay to college football in 2003, might experiment with having goal-line cameras at a few games this season to give instant-replay officials the best possible angle for crucial decisions. The Big Ten had the goal-line cameras working at Michigan and Michigan State this spring and is expected to use them during games at Big Ten stadiums during the regular season. If the cameras are beneficial, the league plans to spend more than $1 million to have them at all Big Ten home games in the near future.
The Birmingham News reported earlier this month that two SEC officiating crews will experiment with a wireless communication system, similar to the one used in international soccer, in hopes of communicating better among themselves and explaining rulings to coaches.
2. Terry Bowden hasn't coached an FBS team in a game since he resigned after six games at Auburn in 1998. Now, after a 5,066-day hiatus, Bowden will return to the FBS ranks when he guides Akron into its Thursday-night opener against visiting Central Florida at InfoCision Stadium. Bowden, who spent the past three seasons coaching at FCS program North Alabama, inherits one of the bigger rebuilding jobs in the country. The Zips are coming off back-to-back 1-11 seasons under former coach Rob Ianello and are picked to finish near the bottom of the MAC East (only FBS newcomer Massachusetts was picked to finish below them in preseason voting by the media). Bowden gets his first crack at an SEC opponent when Akron plays at Tennessee on Sept. 22.
3. Tennessee hasn't been much of a factor in the SEC race the past couple of seasons, but fan interest hasn't diminished much. With the Volunteers opening the season against NC State in Friday night's Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Atlanta's Georgia Dome, at least one high school in Alabama and another in Tennessee have rescheduled their football games to Thursday night so it wouldn't interfere with the Volunteers' opener, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Marion County (Tenn.) High School coach Mac McCurry told the newspaper he didn't have much of a choice.
"We would probably lose money on Friday in just general attendance, but we're trying to accomodate our fan base," he said. "A lot of them would like to see both."