Friday, December 14, 2012
3-point stance: Fiesta familiarity
By Ivan Maisel
1. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl is a marquee game because No. 4 Oregon and No. 5 Kansas State make for the only top-10 matchup outside of the Discover BCS National Championship. But the Fiesta will be fun to watch because the Ducks and the Wildcats are similar. They wait for the other team to crack and then they pounce. Oregon does it with a fast tempo. Kansas State leads the nation in punt returns, kickoff returns and turnover margin. All three are indicative of a well-coached, well-disciplined team.
2. Ohio University began the season with the 24-14 upset at Penn State -- which was no upset -- and won its first seven games. But the Bobcats suffered 14 season-ending injuries and finished 8-4. “They were injuries that required surgery,” Ohio coach Frank Solich said. His training staff tried to discern a pattern. “Practice field, game field, opponent’s field,” Solich said. “We couldn’t piece anything together that just fit. It’s just a roll of the dice and we came up short.”
3. Speaking of dice-rolling, that’s what Colorado has done. Not by hiring head coach Mike MacIntyre -- if he could resurrect San Jose State, he can resurrect Colorado -- but in committing to raise the money to build an indoor practice facility, expand the Dal Ward Athletic Center and gussy up Folsom Field. Colorado is wading in to raise up to $100 million, according to the Boulder Daily Camera, in an uncertain economy from a fan base that a) has never given at that level and b) is all about the NFL's Broncos. That’s a tough slog.