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Friday, December 21, 2012
3-point stance: Long layoff dulls games

By Ivan Maisel

1. The interruption between the regular season and the bowls is one problem that college football will never solve. Three (or five or six) weeks without a game can dull the skills of any team. The BYU and San Diego State offenses proved that in the Poinsettia Bowl on Thursday night. Cougar linebacker Kyle Van Noy played his way onto every All-Bowl team with two fourth-quarter touchdowns in the 23-6 victory. But two fourth-quarter plays do not an exciting game make.

2. Penn State coach Bill O’Brien and Oregon coach Chip Kelly have been friends for almost 20 years. O’Brien -- a pretty fair quarterback coach himself -- called Kelly’s ability during his six seasons as offensive coordinator and head coach to transition from one quarterback to another, from Dennis Dixon to Jeremiah Masoli to Darron Thomas to Marcus Mariota, “amazing.”  “One guy graduates or leaves,” O’Brien said, “the next guy’s up, ready to go, the same type of production.”

3. Man, have Texas Tech fans embraced the hiring of former Red Raider quarterback Kliff Kingsbury. Athletic director Kirby Hocutt told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that the school has sold 1,200 season tickets since the hire. That’s terrific. I hope the fans temper their enthusiasm with patience as a 33-year-old who has coached for all of six years learns how to be a head coach. Pat Fitzgerald was 31 when he took over a 7-5 team at Northwestern. Not until his third season did he have as much as a winning record.