3-point stance: Playoffs on the horizon

1.Be still my heart. The 11 BCS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick released a statement Monday saying that discussions about the postseason format beginning in 2014 had gotten down to “brass tacks,” including looking anew at ditching the rankings formula and replacing it with a committee, which is the way every other NCAA sport in all divisions picks its postseason. The BCS rating is an annual embarrassment. They can’t replace it soon enough.

2.Alabama coach Nick Saban's new eight-year, $45 million contract will pay him $5.97 million in 2019, the final season. More important, a coach who came to Tuscaloosa in 2007 with the reputation of always having his eye on the next job is starting his sixth season with the Crimson Tide. In a 39-year coaching career that has included 13 stops, Saban has never stayed anywhere for six seasons. When he says Alabama is his last stop, he’s not kidding.

3.Injuries exposed Tennessee’s lack of offensive depth in 2011, when the Vols scored seven points or fewer in five SEC losses and finished 5-7. As spring football began Monday, however, the curiosity shifted to the 3-4 defense that new coordinator Sal Sunseri brought from Alabama. Safety Brent Brewer and fullback Channing Fugate have moved to linebacker to bolster the new heart of the defense. After two mediocre seasons, coach Derek Dooley needs to give Tennessee fans reasons for optimism.