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Tuesday, September 10, 2013
3-point stance: The right approach

By Ivan Maisel

1. The way that Oklahoma State has reacted to the coming investigative piece by Sports Illustrated is a textbook example of how to handle a P.R. firestorm. Athletic director Mike Holder made respectful comments about the Sports Illustrated journalists working on the piece. He promised the university would be thorough in its own investigation. He apologized to the Cowpoke alums and to the rest of the Big 12. Either Holder knows how to play the game or he knows that SI has his school dead to rights. Or both.

2. The firing of Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz on Sunday, coupled with the feeble USC offense Saturday night, sucked a lot of oxygen out of the weekend postmortems. Toss in the wild marquee games (Florida-Miami, South Carolina-Georgia, Notre Dame-Michigan) and it was real easy to overlook the fact that most of the top 10 did what top-10 teams should do -- beat lesser teams by greater margins. It wasn’t as crazy a weekend as it appeared.

3. It’s Time-Zone Gamesmanship Week, as in, UCLA (at Nebraska) and Stanford (at Army) both play at 9 a.m., Pacific time. Wisconsin plays at Arizona State at 9:30 p.m., Central time. Yeah, I know -- TV networks have something to do with this. I asked Stanford head coach David Shaw earlier this year if he planned to do any extra prep for Breakfast at West Point. He said that in 2011, when the Cardinal played at Duke, the coaches got them up early all week. When the game started, Stanford played great in the first half. In the second half, they had nothing left. This year, Shaw said, no early practices.