1. The Big Ten and Pac-12 used the word “collaboration” to describe the new scheduling agreement they announced Wednesday. Here’s another word: “commonsensical.” And a question: Where has this been during the last two years of realignment craziness? The leagues expand their footprint without losing their identity. If the Big 12 and SEC had done this, it would have prevented a lot of bad blood. In the case of the Big Ten and Pac-12, it pays to have worked together for 65 years.
2. In announcing its 2012 schedule of league games Wednesday, the SEC illustrated the aftermath of expansion. It’s a makeshift schedule; that is, it’s good for 2012 only. The league kept all six permanent intradivision rivalries intact – good news for Alabama-Tennessee, Auburn-Georgia, etc. But we lose Alabama-Georgia in exchange for Alabama-Texas A&M and Georgia-Missouri. In fact, the Bulldogs play all six SEC East opponents by Oct. 27, before they play their two SEC West foes. That’s weird.
3. Here’s hoping that the Mid-American Conference, home to the Cradle of Coaches at Miami U., continues to become the Cradle of Resurrected Coaches. Frank Solich, dumped by his alma mater, Nebraska, has become a perennial winner at Ohio. Akron just hired Terry Bowden, formerly of Auburn. And you know that Ohio native Jim Tressel would have ended up in the MAC if the NCAA hadn’t made him persona non grata for five years. Paging Ralph Friedgen, Houston Nutt and, -- duh – Bob Toledo.