1.The semifinal teams get four of the 12 slots in the new six-team rotation of “major bowls.” The commissioners are studying two plans to fill the other eight slots. One would simply follow whatever ranking will be used, from 5-12. Another would guarantee any conference champion that finishes at a certain ranking –- Top 16? Top 20? -- and use the rankings to fill the remaining slots. That’s good news for the Mountain West and Conference USA. That system would have produced five bowl berths in the last 12 years.
2.The commissioners have said all along that they wanted the next postseason contract to extend 10 to 12 years, as opposed to the recent four-year deals. The long-term deal should stand guard against the urge to expand the four-team playoff to eight or 16 teams. That said, 12 years is a long time. You have to think that the need for more money will arise in that time. And after a few years of team No. 5 screaming about being left out, the need to quell controversy will arise, too. Let’s see how ironclad that 12-year deal will be.
3.The donation of memorabilia to Minnesota by the family of Paul Giel, the Gophers' two-time All-American tailback and the 1953 Heisman runner-up, is a wonderful window into the 1950s. There is the “All-American sweater” that Giel wore while appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show, which America gathered to watch on Sunday nights. There’s also a one-of-a-kind personalized Little Brown Jug presented to Giel after he led Minnesota to a 22-0 win over Michigan in 1952. Don’t see that happening in today’s game, either.