1. Now that Texas State head coach Dennis Franchione is taking his 213 victories home on the heels of the retirement of Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer (279 victories), that means that the 2016 season will begin with only one head coach who has won at least 200 games. That would be Brian Kelly of Notre Dame (226), unless he bails on the Fighting Irish for the NFL. I bring that up only because it will have been 30 years since college football didn’t have an active coach with 200 victories. In 1986, Michigan coach Bo Schembechler began the season in first with 196 wins.
2. Franchione made eight stops in 30 seasons, including a return to Texas State. He started at the NAIA level, with Southwestern (Kansas) College, and won his way to the FBS. He won at TCU in its post-Southwest Conference years, developing LaDainian Tomlinson into an All-American running back. He won at Alabama, only to leave when the NCAA slammed the Crimson Tide much harder than he had been led to believe. And he didn’t win enough at Texas A&M, which made quite a coup when it lured Coach Fran from Tuscaloosa. His tree includes Gary Patterson and Jerry Kill. I’m sorry to see him go.
3. Iowa finished fifth in the final College Football Playoff rankings, the first team out of the playoff. But don’t look to Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz to push for an eight-team playoff. He believes the academic calendar would prevent the quarterfinals from being played in December, and he questions whether January is the right idea, too. “I don’t know why we need more,” Ferentz said Tuesday. “…We had our opportunity. We came up three points short. And hopefully next year we can push over that wall. We’re not looking back.” It helps that the Hawkeyes have the Rose Bowl to look forward to.