- Ivan Maisel, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Jimmy Johnson has been out of coaching for more than a decade, and out of college football for nearly 25 years. But he knows enough about the University of Miami to know that he likes second-year coach Al Golden. “I told Al he’s doing it the right way,” Johnson said Tuesday at his College Football Hall of Fame press conference in New York. “He’s an outstanding recruiter. He’s very disciplined. I think he’s the perfect guy to get Miami back on track.”
2. The Big Ten athletic directors backed away from commissioner Jim Delany’s trial balloon of playing semifinal games on campus. It is, in theory, a good idea to even the playing field. But it ignores the history of bowls and the celebratory nature of the traditional postseason. All sides seem to want to integrate the playoff system into the bowls as much as possible. The battleship that is college football’s postseason doesn’t turn easily.
3. A very happy 100th birthday Thursday to Ace Parker, one of the greatest American athletes of the prewar era. Parker starred for Wallace Wade at Duke from 1934-36 as a single-wing tailback (5.9-yard rushing average), punter and defensive back. The 1936 Blue Devils went 9-1 with seven shutouts. Parker won the NFL MVP Award in 1940 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Parker also played outfield for two seasons for the Philadelphia Athletics (1936-37). He is the oldest living member of the Pro and College Football Halls of Fame.