1. If you stop in at any university hospital this week or next, you’re liable to see a college coach or two visiting players. There’s no more playing hurt. Surgeries are scheduled and performed. That’s the kind of sport football is. Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville told me Thursday that 17 Red Raiders have undergone surgery this week. “You should see my training room,” Tuberville said. “It looks like a MASH unit.” Texas Tech is recovering from a 5-7 season. Nineteen starters return – as long as everyone gets healthy.
2. If Clemson has a chance to beat Virginia Tech again, then quarterback Tajh Boyd has to revert to the form that got the Tigers to 8-0, including the 23-3 victory over the Hokies on Oct. 1. In the first eight games, Boyd threw 24 touchdowns and three interceptions. In the last four, he threw four and seven, respectively, and has generally looked spooked by defensive pressure. Boyd isn’t the only reason Clemson finished 1-3. But the Tigers won’t reverse their slide unless he finds his game.
3. As with Virginia Tech, Wisconsin is favored to beat a team in the Big Ten Conference championship game that defeated the Badgers in the regular season. Unlike the Hokies, however, Wisconsin didn’t get embarrassed the first time around. Michigan State won the Oct. 22 game on a what-the-heck-Hail-Mary pass, 37-31, as time expired. Wisconsin is favored to win the rematch by nine points, which is a good thing for the Badgers. The Spartans are 3-0 in games decided by seven points or fewer; the Badgers, 0-2.