1. UCF’s George O’Leary is the coach who taught me that the farther a freshman lines up from the ball, the faster he can get on the field. Teenaged linemen, especially on offense, need to physically mature into their role. Washington guard Colin Porter seemed to defy the rule. He started 10 games as a freshman in 2010 and all 13 games last season. But Porter’s career is over. His shoulders, shot through with degenerative arthritis, no longer could take the pounding. Perhaps this proved O’Leary’s rule is right after all.
2. Alabama goes to the White House on Thursday for winning the BCS Championship. Air Force goes Monday to receive the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy. One big difference -- the Crimson Tide is taking its entire team. The Falcons take only the seniors. Air Force SID Troy Garnhart said it is part tradition, part expense. It is cool that the 28 seniors make up coach Troy Calhoun’s first signing class. One other big difference -- half of Air Force’s delegation will come from the Pentagon, just across the Potomac River.
3. In his ESPN The Magazine story on marijuana use among college football players, Mark Schlabach cites the most recent NCAA survey (taken in 2009) in which nearly a quarter of players said they had used the drug in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, medical marijuana is available in 15 states and the District of Columbia, and 13 states have decriminalized the drug for non-medical, personal use. It would appear that college football players who use marijuana are closer to the mainstream than we might think.