1. Mack Brown stated forcefully Monday that he intends to stay at Texas until he fixes what ails the Longhorns. Since they reached the BCS Championship Game three seasons ago, they are 17-14 overall, 1-8 vs. ranked opponents. That’s a definition of mediocrity. But athletic director DeLoss Dodds, who has been there so long I’m pretty sure he hired Dana X. Bible in 1937, knows that Brown represents what Texas wants to be. Even with the recent struggles, Brown is averaging 10 wins a season at Texas. Dodds won’t act rashly.
2. No. 1 Alabama’s visit to Tennessee renews a rivalry so precious that the SEC has protected it in its two expansions. It is an odd rivalry because of the swings of domination. Since 1961, Alabama has had four winning streaks of anywhere from four to 11 seasons; Tennessee has had three streaks ranging from four to seven consecutive wins. The current streak: Alabama, five straight. It might be the Stonehenge of college football. If you can explain the streaks, I’d love to hear it.
3. William C. Friday, who died last Friday at age 92, was the rare university president who understood how and why athletics and academics could live together. As the president of North Carolina for 30 years, Friday saw the emergence of the athletic-industrial complex and tried to steer it down the middle of the road. The Knight Commission would not have been the voice of reform that it has been for nearly 25 years without the guidance and leadership of Friday. Big-time sports owe him a debt.