- Ivan Maisel, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. When an offense goes up-tempo, the defense pays the price. Not just the opposing defense, either. The defenses at Arizona and No. 2 Oregon are playing 82 and 76 plays, respectively, per game. The wear-and-tear is exacting a toll in mid-November. The Ducks are playing freshmen on their defensive line, and Arizona is playing four walk-ons and two true freshmen on its defense. They are playing because that’s who’s healthy.
2. The Big East put a good face on its new reality this week. The league no longer will have an automatic bid for its champion in the postseason format that replaces the BCS in 2014. The highest-rated team among five conferences will get that bid. The Big East may have the inside track on that bid, given that Boise State, which has earned two BCS bids, is moving into the Big East, and current powers Rutgers, Cincinnati and Louisville are (so far) remaining in the league.
3. Bobby Petrino may be a hot commodity in the hiring season to come. But if Auburn does decide to force out Gene Chizik, whose Tigers have lost nine consecutive SEC games by an average margin of 23 points, I continue to hear that the school won’t try to hire Petrino. Between the scandal that brought about his departure from Arkansas, and his role in the abortive attempt to overthrow Tigers coach Tommy Tuberville in 2003, Petrino would be a difficult figure for Auburn fans to unite behind.
13hSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
2dTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney