Happy Friday to all, and thanks for writing into the mailbag. Keep those questions and comments coming.
Matt Coss in Portland writes: Now that BYU has two bowl agreements in place, we know their fate if they have a winning record in 2012 and 2013. Were these bowl agreements necessary for the school to have a post-season in those years? Doesn't that take away some of the excitement from the regular season?
Andrea Adelson: The bowl agreements make it much easier to have a postseason, that is for sure. Without them, then BYU would have to rely on getting selected as an at-large team, and that could have put them in less desirable locations against in less desirable matchups. Navy and Army have tie-ins to games, and Notre Dame has a deal to be taken in the Champs Sports Bowl depending on other Big East selections. So yes, the agreements were all but necessary. As for taking away some of the excitement, BYU still has a chance to make it into a BCS game should it qualify. And as a member of a conference, there are only so many bowl tie-ins. Can't imagine it was terribly exciting going to Las Vegas five years in a row. Then again, it is Vegas.
Daniel Hoy in Toledo writes: How will the MAC coaching changes affect the Ohio Bobcats and Northern Illinois in the bowl games?
Adelson: No impact on Ohio. As for Northern Illinois, it could go one of two ways: The team could be flat after a crazy 72-hour period in which it lost the MAC title game and then head coach Jerry Kill. Or the players could be fired up to prove that they will be just fine without him.
Austin in Orlando writes: Do you think that the Big East is going to join UCF as an all sports member by the end of this season? It only seems practical now that the Knights are No. 25 in football, and next in line to be ranked in basketball. If the Big East does not want UCF, is UCF ready for the ACC or SEC?
Adelson: I don't think it's going to happen by the end of the season. A big wild card is Villanova, which recently announced it is not going to make a decision on whether to move up to FBS until April. It's unclear whether the Big East will wait that long to make another move. But UCF is right up there to be selected. That is UCF's only hope at this point. No shot at the ACC or SEC.
Loren Cooper in Hampton, Neb., writes: What kinds of things will need to happen in the various bowls for Boise to jump a couple spots in the final polls?
Adelson: Well, teams ahead of the Broncos are going to have to lose and Boise State is going to have to win. Losses by No. 7 Oklahoma in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, No. 8 Arkansas in the Allstate Sugar Bowl and No. 9 Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl would be the best bets. Now here is something interesting to ponder -- if No. 6 Ohio State loses to Arkansas and Boise State wins -- who finishes ranked higher? E. Gordon Gee wants to know!
Kevin in Provo, Utah, asks: What do you think the chances are that Bronco Mendenhall would put Brandon Doman in as a new OC (assuming that he will get rid of Robert Anae). I've read articles where Bronco praises Doman as the best quarterbacks coach in the country, and I know Doman won't want to stick around forever if he doesn't get a promotion or raise. What would be the best move in your opinion?
Adelson: I know a lot of fans are unhappy with Anae this season, but here is something I wonder -- how much of the two QB system at the beginning of the year should be blamed on Anae, and how much should be blamed on Mendenhall? This is an offense that has been just fine until this season, and I think a lot of the troubles started with that QB rotation. Doman is a great coach, no question, but I think Anae deserves another year to call the plays. More importantly, I think Doman needs another year working with Jake Heaps full time to get him prepared to be a true leader of this offense.
Spencer in Provo, Utah, writes: What do you think about Craig Thompson's two-faced decision to add Hawaii as a football only school after he shot BYU down when the Cougars wanted to leave all their sports in the MWC and go independent in football? It seems terribly hypocritical and even though the presidents of the universities make the decision on who to add to the league he has a voice in what is happening.
Adelson: There are a lot of politics behind the scenes involving BYU and its relationship with the Mountain West. There could have been more resistance from the university presents to accept that plan than we know publicly. So I am not ready to call Thompson a hypocrite. I also think BYU preferred to take its other sports to the WAC.