1. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly explained why coaches like to know who their starting quarterback is early in preseason camp. Senior Tommy Rees, Kelly said, has been able to focus on his ability to extend plays. He can work on his communication with his wideouts and moving within the pocket. Coaches trying to name a starter, Kelly said, are “focused on reps and calling plays and evaluating ... (There's) so many other things that we were able to work on this year.”
2. One popular line of thought regarding Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is that if there’s any question regarding his eligibility, the Aggies shouldn’t play him against Rice on Saturday. Because, after all, it’s Rice. Well, no one is saying the Owls have the same talent as the Aggies. But Rice does have 19 fifth-year seniors who rose up from a 2-6 start last season to win its last five games. Rice will win a lot of games on experience alone.
3. Nine teams finished last season with at least a five-game winning streak. Yet only two lost their head coaches: Utah State (Gary Andersen to Wisconsin) and San Jose State (Mike MacIntyre left for Colorado). The other surprise? Three of the nine schools play in the Southeastern Conference and none of them -- Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and South Carolina -- is Alabama. The two-time defending BCS champ starts with “only” a four-game winning streak.