Non-AQ hopes dashed as Auburn, Oregon roll on to Glendale

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Don’t be alarmed; that sound you just heard was the rush of air being released from TCU’s party balloons.

A day that began with the notion in some corners that at least one or possibly both of the top two teams in the nation could go down in defeat — thus opening the door for the Horned Frogs to crash the big boy table at the title game — ended the exact same way it started.  Auburn and Oregon unblemished, unscathed and on an early January collision course for Glendale.

And, honestly, the outcomes were never really much in doubt.  Nor, for that matter, are their respective crystal credentials.

Oregon had perhaps the “toughest” time of the two today, leading in-state rival Oregon State by just nine points at the half then outscoring the Beavers 21-10 in the second half to come away with a worse-than-it-looked 37-20 win.

Auburn, on the other hand, left little doubt as to the outcome, especially in the second half.  After crushing South Carolina’s soul at the end of the first half, Auburn proceeded to grind the Gamecocks’ manhood to a bloody pulp in the second half, outscoring USC 28-3 to win going away.

(As an aside, and, speaking of winning going away — which we will do in a bit — is there any way you could not give the Heisman to Cam Newton in a landslide?  Just give the man the trophy now and save everyone the hassle of working their way through the ungodly New York City traffic.)

In the end, and as much as I hate to admit it given how much I despise the system, the correct teams will be playing in the BcS title game.  If you look at Auburn’s and Oregon’s complete body of work throughout the entire 2010 season, they are the two teams most worthy of a working vacation in Arizona.

Sure, you could make a case that either Stanford or Wisconsin are playing better football at this point in the season — and they would be the two schools that serve as this season’s microcosm of the dire need for a playoff — but the totality of the work of the two teams that will face-off in the title game should be unquestioned.  They did it on the field and under criteria utilized by the current system that determines the national champion.  Bottom line.  End of story.

While I will continue to rail against the BcS, I won’t impugn what those two schools accomplished this season.  They are the worthiest of the worthy and deserve the shot at hoisting the crystal.  They’ve more than earned the right.

Absolutely nobody should take that away from them, regardless of the crap system that got them there.

Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt named son after former Tide linebackers Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson

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It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.

Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.

Helmet sticker to Al.com.

Wisconsin’s season tickets for 100th anniversary of Camp Randall are a thing of beauty

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The Wisconsin Badgers are gearing up for their 100th season playing home football game sin Camp Randall Stadium. As part of the season-long celebration, Wisconsin put some brilliant artistic detail into their season tickets for the 2017 season.

Each ticket to a home Wisconsin game is designed like a retro-style program. These are beautifully done and mimic the style of a program cover from decades past. I’m particularly fond of the program cover for the Purdue game, which features Wisconsin’s Bucky floating in space with a ship with the Purdue logo nearby. Is that a space train? The Band Day program for the game against Florida Atlantic also looks fantastic.

These tickets will surely be must-have collectibles for Wisconsin fans. If Wisconsin wants to make a few extra bucks, then blowing up these images and selling them as posters may be a good decision as well. And I wouldn’t put it past Wisconsin to suit up in a retro-style uniform for at least home game this season in Madison.

Stanford schedules 2018 game against FCS UC Davis

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Let this post serve as your annual reminder that Notre Dame, UCLA and USC remain the only FBS programs who have never played a game against or scheduled a game with a team from the FCS/Div. 1-AA.

In that vein, Stanford announced Wednesday that it has scheduled a 2018 game against UC Davis.  That game will, of course, be played at the Cardinal’s football home, Stanford Stadium, on Sept. 15 of that year.

The two football programs have met three times previously, the last coming in 2014.  The Cardinal holds a 2-1 advantage in the miniseries, with the lone loss coming back in 2005

In addition to the game against the FCS program, Stanford also has 2018 non-conference games scheduled with San Diego State, at home, and Notre Dame, in South Bend.  Their Pac-12 schedule that season consists of home games against Oregon State, USC, Utah, and Washington State as well as road trips to Arizona State, California, Oregon, UCLA, and Washington.

Other future non-conference games, with the annual rivalry game versus Notre Dame a given, include Boston College, BYU, Kansas State, Northwestern, TCU and Vanderbilt.

Starting slotback leaves Army for Elon

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Even as Tyler Campbell seemed determined to transfer from the Army football program, head coach Jeff Monken had held out hope that the starting slotback would reverse course and return to the service academy.  In the end, that hope proved futile.

According to Sal Interdonato of HudsonValley.com, Campbell has followed through with his departure plans and has transferred to Elon.  As the Phoenix play at the FCS level, Campbell will be eligible to play immediately in 2017.

A third-year junior, Campbell will have two seasons of eligibility at his disposal.

Last season, Campbell started 11 of the 13 games in which he played.  He ran for 326 yards on 34 carries — his 9.6 yards per carry was tops on the Black Knights — while adding another 71 yards on a pair of receptions.  He saved his best for last, rushing for a career-high 88 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown, in the Heart of Dallas Bowl win over North Texas.

While in the offensive backfield at Army, he’ll play in the defensive backfield at Elon as he’s currently listed as a cornerback for the Phoenix.