3-point stance: Case closed on 2010 Auburn

1. The NCAA closed its investigation of Auburn over the recruitment of former quarterback Cam Newton and removed the shadow that hovered over his Heisman Trophy and the Tigers’ crystal football. It is good to know once and for all that 80 interviews conducted by the NCAA didn’t find evidence worthy of a Letter of Inquiry. Auburn will have to live with the conspiracy theorists, of course -- that’s the price of success today -- but the Tigers’ miracle climb to the BCS title should get its due from anyone who held back.

2. Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa has been limited in his comeback from an Achilles’ tendon tear late last season. After rushing for 519 yards last season, he has minus-8 yards in two games. But Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, whose Hawkeyes play the Wildcats this week, said the lack of rushing isn’t the same as being immobile. “He may not be running north and south but he's running east, west,” Ferentz said. “…The real danger right there is you've got a guy who can break the pocket and still throw the ball down the field.”

3. You may have seen when the AP poll came out Sunday that there are no ranked teams from Florida for the first time since Dec. 6, 1982. Just to put that into perspective, that poll came out nine days before Alabama coach Bear Bryant announced his retirement. Former Florida coach Urban Meyer, who has already retired, was an 18-year-old shortstop in the Atlanta Braves’ minor-league system. And since that poll, Florida schools have won 10 national championships, a total which won’t increase in 2011.