Tuesday November 22nd, 2011

• No vapors in the desert air: RichRod returneth! Arizona AD Greg Byrne further endeared himself to sports nerds by tweeting the announcement himself Monday evening. The school's full release is available for your perusal here. Stewart Mandel likes the move, thanks to the noted absence of trappings that come with the Wildcats, and I'm inclined to agree. There's a void beyond the top-tier teams in the Pac-12, and Rodriguez will have his kind of quarterback right away.

• Fresh coaches, bought and sold: Elsewhere in skipper-tracking: UMass fires Kevin Morris before the Minutemen even get to the MAC. There is curiosity about the movements of Skip Holtz. George O'Leary gets that old chestnut, the public vote of confidence. Can't wait for Urban Meyer's next career move to be a critically reviled, ratings-happy television special.

• We remember: Arkansas held a candlelight memorial service for tight end Garrett Uekman, where Bobby Petrino remarked, "Moments like this make you realize just how insignificant wins and losses can be and how important the people around you are. Garrett was important to all of us." Our continued best wishes to the Razorbacks football community.

• Bowltyme! Very pleased to learn a third postseason slot has been filled, with Louisiana accepting an invitation to the New Orleans Bowl. A Ragin' Cajuns tailgate in NOLA? So, so, so there.

• Penn State things: Now is the time in the timeline where folks start looking back at recent Penn State history and poking for crumbly places. Up today: The New York Times with a profile on Graham Spanier, and the Wall Street Journal with a history of Joe Paterno's run-ins with the university over player discipline.

• Home for the ruptured: Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday will miss the Apple Cup with a lacerated liver, which is a really, really good excuse for getting out of things. (Although, from what I've heard about Halliday, they'll probably have to chain him to the bed to keep him from suiting up.) In less drastic but still unfortunate news, Texas A&M RB Cyrus Gray has a stress fracture in his shoulder.

• Roster blotter: Here's a fun sentence: "According to a police report, [TCU kicker Ross] Evans is accused of kicking in the door of a Denton apartment on Nov. 8 while trying to retrieve a cell phone."

• Quote of the day:  "Urban Meyer is saying a whole lot of nothing. The only statement that will hold any weight is 'I am not interested in coaching Ohio State.' If you're not interested in coaching Ohio State, that's a very simple statement to make. He's saying everything BUT that." -- Charles Robinson • Tuesday whimsy: LSU punter Brad Wing isn't nominated for the Ray Guy award, making the rest of these lists patently useless to right-thinking fans. BYU and the Big East are in a spat. One hopes Mississippi State's Egg Bowl cleats are not made of solid gold; that seems like more of a Nutt affectation. Tyler Bray wants to talk about his tackling prowess. And Baylor gets social to get Griffin the Heisman.

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