Three & Out: Week 13 College Football Reflections

By Zach Pugh
Brian Losness-US PRESSWIRE

First Down: Not unless it’s Oregon

It’s that time of year: bowl season is upon us and the coaching carousel has already begun to turn. There are currently 12 openings across the nation in the FBS and a popular name is already surfacing as a possibility. Boise State Broncos head coach Chris Peterson has fans of many programs asking, why not? While the rumors have even led to SEC country, it’s difficult to really buy into Peterson leaving what he has helped build in Boise.

This season, the Coaches Poll has been very favorable to the Broncos. The status quo within the poll has now become respect for the Boise State brand. Peterson has taken the Broncos to a level even Dan Hawkins didn’t accomplish and now the term “brand” applies to Boise State because of him–respect, stadium renovations and a nice extension that gives Peterson $2 million in the first year, $2.2 million in the second, $2.4 million in the third, $2.6 million in the fourth and $2.8 million in the fifth. Peterson has an amazing thing going with the smurf turf, so why leave it for a program that needs some building?

While the intrigue could be there for Peterson to take a crack at the Arkansas Razorbacks or even Auburn Tigers, there’s no reason to leave Boise State unless it’s the Oregon Ducks. The argument for the California Bears is understandable as well, but would that even be better than his gig at BSU? Former Bears head coach Jeff Tedford proved it’s possible to earn a bowl berth every year in Berkeley, but is there anything more Peterson can accomplish in Cal that he can’t in Boise?

One would argue Peterson can’t win a national title with the Broncos. This could very well be true, but he would have a better chance of winning the Coaches Trophy in Eugene. Is it really a question why? Peterson would have some of the best facilities in the nation, far better resources, the backing of Phil Knight and all the talent the Ducks have acquired. This is only possible if Chip Kelly heads to the NFL and if current Oregon offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich doesn’t take the job, but maybe he can be sold on working with Peterson as the head man. Oregon and Peterson isn’t that far of a stretch. Don’t forget, Peterson was the Ducks’ wide receivers coach for five years.

Second Down: So, now what?

Hey, Ohio State Buckeyes fans, I really feel for you. While you witnessed a season in which your team went undefeated and the beginning of the Urban Meyer era, you probably feel cheated. It truly is a shame the Buckeyes can’t participate in this year’s BCS Championship because as intriguing as it is to see the Notre Dame Fighting Irish go against the best in the SEC, the Irish and Buckeyes would’ve been equally must see TV.

What Braxton Miller has done this season has been the biggest reason the Buckeyes finished without losing. Miller has more rushing yards than any other FBS quarterback, including Heisman Trophy favorite Johnny Manziel, and gets the job done through the air, averaging eight yards per attempt. The defense was impressive as well, ranking first nationally in passes broken up. They were also tied for first in the Big Ten in interceptions and second in sacks.

But none of that matters in the narrow view of the season, does it? There will always be the question of what if? What if the Buckeyes had a shot at Notre Dame, what if Miller received more than a first glance in Heisman race? While this was a bittersweet season for fans, the future is bright in Columbus. We already know what Meyer can do on the recruiting trail and his history with helping quarterbacks reach their peak is well-known. Don’t worry, Ohio State, you will have the last laugh.

Third Down: The Next “BCS Buster”

The Mid-American Conference has had their best season as a conference in 2012. The conference known for its Tuesday night games–which is clever marketing–is a very quality football conference and it keeps growing. There are currently two teams nationally ranked in the BCS and AP Poll for the first time in history and two top 10 defenses to go along with seven bowl eligible teams.

It doesn’t stop there. Orange Bowl representatives have informed the MAC they will be in attendance for the MAC Championship this Friday. The Kent State Golden Flashes just need to win and they have a shot to finish ranked at least 16th in the BCS rankings, which would most likely put them ahead of the Big East Conference champion, solidifying their slot in a BCS game.


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