1. Alabama center Barrett Jones won the Campbell Trophy, the “Academic Heisman,” on Tuesday, and earned a $25,000 scholarship for postgraduate study. Jones won the 2011 Outland Trophy as a left tackle, and not only could repeat as Outland winner this season but also may win the Rimington Award as the best center. It’s safe to say that no player has ever won a national award for his play at two positions. And if one has, he didn’t win the Campbell Trophy to boot. We won’t see the likes of Jones again anytime soon.
2. If Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez dusts off his whistle after seven years to coach the Rose Bowl, he wouldn’t be the first head coach to come out of retirement after being named to the College Football Hall of Fame. Chris Ault of Nevada, whose Wolf Pack opens the bowl season against Arizona in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 15, returned nine years ago and has had a record of 70-45 (.609). Unlike Ault, Alvarez almost certainly would be a one-night-only gig.
3. The other big winner in Arkansas’s decision to hire Bret Bielema is Baylor, which signed its coach, Art Briles, to a new long-term contract. Briles, with his spread offense and Texas recruiting ties, became a logical option for the Razorbacks. He not only brought Robert Griffin III to the banks of the Brazos, he has led the Bears to three consecutive winning seasons for the first time in 61 years. That success has translated into a new stadium on campus. But would a new coach continue to succeed where so many have failed? Briles is a fit at Baylor, and the Bears are lucky to keep him.