1. My colleague Heather Dinich wrote this week about which Big Ten team might play in the Rose Bowl. Let me explain it to you. Heather wrote that the GOTA (Granddaddy of Them All) is not obligated to take the Big Ten championship game loser. Translation: No. 6 Ohio State has been to the Rose Bowl only twice in the last 30 years, and not since the 2009 season. Barring an epic game between Michigan State and Iowa, and maybe even that won’t make a difference, the Buckeyes will play in Pasadena against No. 24 USC, No. 7 Stanford or No. 16 Oregon.
2. That’s going to be a fascinating social experiment that starts in the Virginia Tech coaches room next month. So far, new Hokies coach Justin Fuente has announced that he is bringing two offensive coaches from his Memphis staff, and retaining three defensive coaches, including longtime coordinator Bud Foster, from Frank Beamer’s staff. How well will they mesh? Even if they are recruiting-trip buddies or have an annual pop at the lobby bar at the American Football Coaches Association convention every January, that’s different from the 80-hour-a-week blended family they are about to become.
3. Who knows if the Touchdown Club of Columbus used head-to-head competition, but BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum, not UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, won the club’s freshman of the year award. Both threw for more than 3,000 yards. Mangum led in passing efficiency (142.2 to 133.2), Rosen in Total QBR (70.4 to 66.1). Against UCLA, Mangum went 30-of-47, 244 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Rosen, against BYU, went 11-of-23, 106 yards, one score, three INTs. Should that decide it? You tell me: Rosen rallied UCLA from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to win, 24-23.