1. Remember when universities went on probation because student athletes got extra benefits like cars, or their parents got a house? The Los Angeles Times story alleging NCAA violations by Washington assistant Tosh Lupoi came as a revelation. Lupoi is accused of paying for tutoring and online classes for a recruit trying to academically qualify to enroll at UW. Not a car, not a house: Lupoi allegedly paid for schooling. You say it’s an NCAA violation. I say it’s progress.
2. My colleague Heather Dinich listed three ACC teams that have something to prove in bowls and didn’t even make it to Clemson. She was right about Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Miami, but Clemson has a big stage in the Discover Orange Bowl, too. The Tigers got boat raced at Dolphins Stadium by West Virginia two years ago, and this season, lost games to top-10 archrivals Florida State and South Carolina by a combined 51 points. If nothing else, No. 7 Ohio State gives Clemson a shot at redemption.
3. They say every head coach must find his niche. John Thompson washed out at East Carolina, where he went 3-20 in 2003-04. Thompson returned to being a defensive coordinator, and landed last year at Arkansas State. When Gus Malzahn left the Red Wolves to return to Auburn, interim coach Thompson led Arkansas State to a 17-13 victory over Kent State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. Once Bryan Harsin left Arkansas State for Boise State, Thompson again will fill in as head coach at the GoDaddy.com Bowl. Another win, and he’ll be on pace to even his record at .500 in 2028.