1. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, speaking on the Longhorn Network, sounded genuinely excited about the new college football playoff. “I really feel like we are close to getting it right,” Bowlsby said. And here’s a nugget for those of us old enough to remember the special feeling of the New Year’s Day bowls. With the semifinals, Bowlsby said, “We will recapture December 31 and January 1 for college football. And that’s going to be a special festival.”
2. The relationship between the University of Oregon and Willie Lyles, the Texas-based talent spotter, wedged itself into the space between the lines of the NCAA Manual the moment that Oregon paid Lyles $25,000 for outdated, slapdash evaluations. But according to the media reports on the document dump executed by Oregon this week, the gray area is more light than dark. If the NCAA didn’t find a lack of institutional control, then Oregon is guilty of a misdemeanor, not a felony. That makes all the difference.
3. The Alabama football team made its third trip to the White House in the past four years. In 2010, President Obama hosted the Crimson Tide in the East Room; in 2012, on the South Lawn, and on Monday, on the South Portico. “They are starting to learn their way around the White House,” the President said. “I was thinking about just having some cots for them here, they’re here so often -- except we couldn’t find any that were big enough.” The Alabama traveling party left the White House just 20 minutes before the explosions in Boston.