1. Kent State first-year coach Darrell Hazell spent the past seven seasons as an Ohio State assistant. He recalls how the Buckeyes struggled with Ohio in 2008 and Navy in 2009, and hopes that No. 2 Alabama will take the Golden Flashes for granted Saturday. “It’s hard to get up every week,” Hazell said. “But you’ve got to tell your team you have to get up and play. Sometimes you can tell ‘em and tell ‘em as much as you want, but if they don’t do it, that’s when you get yourself in a dogfight in the latter part of the game.”
2. The spotlight on new offensive coordinators hired to perform an extreme makeover has been focused on Steve Kragthorpe of LSU, Charlie Weis of Florida and Bryan Harsin of Texas. But the coach who may get the best results is Kevin Rogers at Boston College. Sophomore Chase Rettig started last season and struggled for the Eagles. Under Rogers’ tutelage, Rettig is displaying new confidence. And Rettig also will have one of the best tailbacks in the nation, senior Montel Harris, to draw defensive attention.
3. East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeill said Monday that his team had weathered Hurricane Irene well over the weekend. McNeill had a tree fall and land on his house, but he and the rest of the Pirates escaped injury. He seized the opportunity to show his players video about the travails ECU suffered in 1999 when Hurricane Floyd savaged the campus. “At the end,” McNeill said in his news conference Monday, “I told the team that it was not a made-up movie. It did not have directors or actors. These were Pirates like you.”