• Northern Illinois 31, Toledo 24. We do so love what's become an annual late-season scramble for division supremacy between the Huskies and Rockets, and last night's contest did not disappoint. The Huskies, who have won 10 games for the third straight year, will represent the MAC West in Detroit for the third consecutive season, and will face either Kent State or Bowling Green once they get there. Quarterback Jordan Lynch threw for 407 yards (a career best) and rushed for 162 more. No, by himself. No, seriously. Lynch was sent here by the football gods to make sure we all properly appreciate MACtion for the weeknight blessing it is. Message received. [BOX | RECAP]
• Ball State 52, Ohio 27. The Bobcats trailed by four points heading into halftime and were nearly doubled up by the end of the game, thanks mostly to a 21-point fourth-quarter scoring barrage from the Cardinals. Ball State scored three touchdowns in less than nine minutes on a Horactio Banks run, a Kelly Page pass and a Jahwan Edwards run. Page replaced starter Keith Wenning, who left the game in the second quarter with an Achilles injury. Also, this happened. [BOX | RECAP]
• Thomas Johnson update. Freshman Texas A&M wide receiver Thomas Johnson, missing since Monday, was found safe early Thursday morning in Dallas. No further information is being provided at this time, per the school's sports information department.
• The future is money's friend. Some quick updates on upcoming changes to the college football postseason system: For those of you who can't quite get tickled enough that Bill Hancock will oversee this brave new postseason, Matt Hinton has rounded up the relevant quotes. And Brett McMurphy reported last night before this morning's official announcement that the 12-year deal between the Orange Bowl, ACC, SEC, Big Ten and Notre Dame has been finalized and formalized. The selection criteria for the ACC's annual opponent are as follows:
"The selection of the opponent will be based on the guiding principle of securing the highest-ranked team in the final standings available from the Big Ten, SEC or Notre Dame, but will also utilize criteria that shares the minimum appearance standards as agreed upon by all parties. The standards include at least three guaranteed appearances over the 12 years for both the Big Ten and the SEC and a maximum of two with no minimum for Notre Dame."
ESPN will serve as the home of the Orange Bowl, and also announced yesterday a new 12-year deal to televise the Sugar Bowl, beginning in 2015.
• Coach firin' season! Our pals at Burnt Orange Nation analyze the worth of Manny Diaz.
• Coach ... hirin' season? In future employment news: Retired Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn will join his former coach at Hawaii in January and begin coaching the Warriors' quarterbacks. In hypothetical future employment news: Dave Doeren talks like a man who knows just how hot a commodity he is.
• Roster blotter. Arkansas State defensive back and All-Name contender Terrious Triplett has been dismissed from the Red Wolves ... Miami's receiver depth is so shallow at this point that we're not even sure the term "depth" can be applied ... receiver Paul Richardson is back at practice for Colorado ... and Georgia announced yesterday that linebacker Chase Vasser will miss the remainder of the season with a torn labrum, but is expected to make a full recovery.
• Tweet of the day, Ghosts of 2012 SEC Media Days Edition. He's earned this, y'all:
Sumlin, asked how he anticipated his offense would work in the SEC: "I think you guys anticipated it wouldn't."• Misc. Have yourself a very catlab morning (warning: explicit language) ... Chris Brown gets granular on Chip Kelly ... the Big 12 will reprimand Tommy Tuberville for the sideline assault-that-wasn't-unless-it-was ... tracing the long recovery path of Blair Holliday ... in case you missed it yesterday, perhaps Wednesday's nightcap will inspire you not to skip over Bruce Feldman's MACtion piece ... profiles on two of our personal sports heroes, the West Virginia Mountaineer and our own Andy Gray ... "The clip was played repeatedly on the Paul Finebaum Radio Network on Wednesday prompting several callers to comment on the governor's statement." WELL I NEVER.
— Mike Herndon (@MikeHerndonAMG) November 14, 2012