1. What looked to be an advantage -- Stanford in the Pac-12 North -- isn’t so simple. In the past week, Oregon lost head coach Chip Kelly to the Philadelphia Eagles. A few days later, Indianapolis hired Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton (seems he knows the Colts’ starting quarterback). Oregon promoted Mark Helfrich to head coach and (as early as Tuesday) Scott Frost to offensive coordinator, so upheaval will be as little as possible. It’s Cardinal head coach David Shaw’s move.
2. Scot Loeffler coached quarterbacks at Michigan for the last six years of Lloyd Carr’s tenure (2002-07). In the five seasons since, he has worked at the Detroit Lions, Florida, Temple and Auburn. Now Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer has hired Loeffler as coordinator to shake up the Hokies’ offense. No wonder Loeffler took the job -- Beamer has the longest tenure (26 seasons) of any coach in FBS football.
3. Interesting decision by the NFL to allow the Senior Bowl to invite fourth-year juniors who have their degrees to play in the game (this year’s invitees: offensive tackles D.J. Fluker of Alabama and Justin Pugh of Syracuse). The NFL has never allowed the Senior Bowl to invite any non-seniors so as not to roil the waters with the colleges. But this is a smart, common-sense solution that will help the game, help the NFL scouts and help the players. I can’t imagine that a lot of players will qualify for this exception.