UCLA: Dave Doeren

3-point stance: Image issues

December, 24, 2013
12/24/13
5:00
AM PT
1. To recap, we’ve got an argument at Boise State over whether the starting quarterback urinated off the hotel balcony, and an assistant coach at Colorado State who yelled a gay slur at the opposing quarterback in the middle of a game. At least Ram defensive line coach Greg Lupfer, after being suspended without pay for two weeks, had the sense to realize he is lucky to still have a job. This is not how the Mountain West Conference wishes to be known during the holiday season. Or any other time of the year.

2. The Hyundai Sun Bowl is doing exactly what bowls should do and, these days, rarely can: match two teams that have never played one another. UCLA has played 31 games against teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but none of them against Virginia Tech. Bowls these days exist to sell tickets, so they emphasize regional matchups. But in the pioneer days of bowling, intersectional matchups helped give the bowls an identity. To me, that makes the Bruins and the Hokies a special game.

3. Gus Malzahn has gotten a lot of attention for the turnaround that he engineered at Auburn, which went from winless in the SEC in 2012 to playing for the crystal football in 2013. Dave Doeren of North Carolina State has gotten significantly less attention for his variation of what Malzahn did -- in reverse. Doeren led Northern Illinois to an 8-0 record in the Mid-American Conference in 2012. He moved to North Carolina State this season and went 0-8 in the ACC.

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