Discover BCS National Championship - Notre Dame v Alabama

Bama-Oregon-Ohio State go 1-2-3 in AP poll


As expected, Alabama claimed the top spot in the final Associated Press poll of the 2012 season.  Thanks to the beatdown the Tide put on Notre Dame, however, there was a rather significant shakeup around the top of that last poll.

The Irish tumbled from the top spot in the final regular season poll down to No. 4, with Oregon taking over the No. 2 spot and Ohio State, ineligible for the postseason thanks to NCAA sanctions.  The Buckeyes, incidentally, were the only team at the FBS level to finish the season undefeated.

Florida’s own whooping in its bowl game cost the Gators as UF fell from No. 4 to No. 9.

As was the case in the coaches’ poll, the SEC placed three teams in the Top Five with Georgia and Texas A&M tied for No. 5.  That conference also set an AP poll standard by placing a total of five teams in the Top Ten, with South Carolina at No. 8 being the other.

Alabama, incidentally, won their ninth AP poll title, breaking a tie with, you guessed it, Notre Dame for the most all-time.

Stanford moved up one spot to No. 7 and Florida State three to No. 10 to complete the Top 10.

Louisville was easily the biggest climber from the final regular season poll to the final 2012 poll, leaping up nine spots to No. 13 on the strength of its Sugar Bowl win over the Gators.  Others making significant moves upward was Northwestern from No. 21 to No. 17, Clemson from No. 14 to No. 11 and San Jose State from No. 24 to No. 21.  A&M, incidentally, moved up from No. 10 into the Top Five.

On the flip side, a pair of MAC schools took the steepest hit in the rankings while still staying in the poll, with Kent State falling seven spots to a tie for No. 25 with Nebraska and Northern Illinois down six to No. 22.  Four teams dropped five spots apiece — Kansas State (No.12), LSU (No. 14), Oregon State (No. 20) and Michigan (No. 24) — while Oklahoma fell three to No. 15.

For some reason, Texas entered the rankings at No. 19 while Vanderbilt jumped in at No. 23.  UCLA (then-No. 17) was the only team to drop out of the Top 25.

Final 2012 AP Poll


Bud Foster says he is too invested in Virginia Tech to leave Hokies

Bud Foster

For years there was a thought that Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster would one day be the successor to longtime head coach Frank Beamer. With Beamer announcing his decision to retire at the end of the season, there was never any word about Foster being handed the keys to the program. Instead, Virginia Tech has found a coach with an offensive identity in the hiring of Justin Fuente from Memphis. Given the way coaching changes can tend to go, nobody would have blamed Foster for being a tad miffed at not getting the job in Blacksburg, but he will remain the defensive coordinator of the Hokies as a key member of Fuente’s new staff. He says he has put in too much work to leave now.

“I’m rooted in here. We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears in this place,” Foster said Monday. “It wasn’t hard. I wouldn’t have stayed here for as long as I’ve had if I didn’t feel like we had the opportunity to win at the highest level. I feel that more than ever right now.”

Fuente being able to keep Foster on the staff is a huge advantage. Foster not only ensures Fuente will have a dependable coach managing the defense, which should remain one of the top defensive units in the ACC as long as he stays put. Keeping Foster on the staff also allows for some tremendous stability during the transition, which can always be key when a coach with no previous ties to the university takes over a program. Foster can help Fuente get acclimated to his new surroundings and also keep valuable recruiting ties alive and well during the change.

Foster acknowledged he would love to one day be a head coach, and that dream will continue, but for now he is more interested in contributing at Virginia Tech.

“I always wanted to be a head coach. This would be a dream job. I’m happy with where I am. I’ll never be bitter. I won’t cry myself to sleep wishing “what-ifs” and they type of thing. My goal is to be the best football coach I can possibly be. I want to help this program be the best football program it can possibly be.”

Maryland wasting no time getting in touch with Mark Richt

Mark Richt

On Monday morning Georgia head coach Mark Richt said he was absolutely going to continue coaching even though his days at Georgia are coming to an end. If that is the case, Maryland would like to make that a reality for Richt.

According to a report from Inside MD Sports, Maryland has made first contact with Richt and a meeting could come as soon as tomorrow. Maryland is looking to fill a head coaching vacancy after firing Randy Edsall during the season. Richt will not be the only potential candidate to interview for the Maryland job. The Washington Post reported Monday interim head coach Mike Locksley was also given a chance to interview for the job on a permanent basis. That interview was reportedly set to happen Monday.

It would make sense for Maryland to make a call to Richt. With Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank looking to help build the Maryland program, there are sufficient funds to make a splashy hire for the program, which is showing signs of a well-structured future with plans to improve the football program. The Maryland job has some good potential in the long-term and competes in the same division as some tough opponents. That would include at least two coaches Richt is very familiar with; Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Penn State’s James Franklin. Richt faced Meyer when the Buckeyes head coach was at Florida, and Franklin of course coached at Vanderbilt. All three were in the same SEC East Division down south. Could they be reunited in the Big Ten East in 2016?

Whatever the case may be, if Maryland can land Richt as its next head coach, it would be a tremendous hire for the Terrapins. Heck, he already has the attire for it.

Unlike Missouri, 5-7 Nebraska will jump at opportunity to go bowling

Cethan Carter

Nebraska will be first in line to accept a bowl invitation when it arrives in the mail, despite going 5-7 this season. The Huskers, who are first in line among 5-7 candidates based on APR scores, will reportedly accept a bowl invitation to fill the first vacancy left to fill once all bowl-eligible teams are slotted into the postseason mix.

Missouri released a statement earlier today saying it will not accept a bowl invitation following a 5-7 season. The Tigers would have been the second team among 5-7 teams to receive a bowl invitation based on APR scores. According to a report by Brett McMurphy of, Kansas State would be next in line, followed by Minnesota, San Jose State, Illinois and Rice.

Missouri and Nebraska would appear to have different agendas of course. Nebraska is coming off the first season under new head coach Mike Riley, while Missouri is in the midst of a full coaching search. The decision not to go to a bowl game allows Missouri’s coaching staff in place under the now retired Gary Pinkel to pursue new opportunities without having bowl preparations get in the way.

Maryland sack master Yannick Ngakoue entering NFL Draft

Yannick Ngakoue, Christian Hackenberg

Maryland will have a new head coach in 2016. Whoever that head coach ends up being will have to find a way to replace one of Maryland’s best players. Defensive lineman Yannick Ngakoue says he will skip his final year of eligibility with the Terrapins and declare for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Ngakoue was the second in the Big Ten with 13.0 sacks this season, trailing only Penn State defensive lineman Carl Nassib. Ngakoue’s sack total is a Maryland school record and was one of the few reasons for optimism for Maryland’s dreadful football season, which ended with just three wins.