1. One of the biggest reasons that Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart pushed his chips behind Butch Jones is he believed that Jones had the chops to serve as an advocate in the Hart’s attempt to change the culture on campus. The university administration has used the athletic department as an ATM, saddling it with financial responsibilities that the Vols’ SEC competitors don’t have. Hart wanted his new coach to be able -- and willing -- to explain how that financial burden translates onto the field.
2. Here’s the weirdest statistic of the 2012 season: No team in the nation lost more fumbles (21) than Nebraska, which won the Big Ten Leaders Division and finished 10-3. And here’s that stat’s mirror image. No team in the nation lost fewer fumbles (3) than Iowa, which came in last in the Big Ten Leaders Division and finished 4-8. Actually, those stats together may be the weirdest of any season.
3. The way that the Big East is slowly dissolving before our eyes, the conference should try to get Airborne as a title sponsor. The Big East began as a hoops league and tried to reap the whirlwind of football by attaching itself to Miami two decades ago. But football and the Big East went together like cricket and the SEC. Boston College and Syracuse are gone. Miami, Virginia Tech and Rutgers, brought in for football, are gone. Can you blame the Catholic schools for saying, forgive the expression, to hell with it?