BOWLING IN THE MIDWEST >>> Here’s a nice story out of Dekalb, Ill. With 17,500 tickets to move — the amount each school in the Orange Bowl is responsible for selling — Northern Illinois is offering one free ticket to every student that wants one. It will probably mean the school loses money on its BCS bowl bid. Think about that for a second.
“We consider athletics to be an important part of the university for (the students),” Northern Illinois media relations associate athletic director Donna Turner said Monday. “If it gives them a good feeling about themselves, Northern Illinois and our athletic programs, that’s an investment that’s well worth it. When you talk about the big picture, that’s more important than whatever the cost is in the short term.”
Meanwhile, at a place not far down the road physically but significantly far away on the college football food chain, an anonymous Notre Dame alum has donated enough money to bring down the price of student tickets from $300 to $150.
That’s two schools with two very different football fortunes, who both had to make (or receive) significant donations, possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars, just to get their students a chance to go to the game. How hopelessly wrecked is this entire bowl system?
DRIBS AND DRABS >>> If you think you’re ready for it, this “empty the notebook” piece from the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel has some interesting bits. Here’s quarterback Curt Phillips backing up Pelini’s 99-percent comment from Saturday:
We practiced stuff like that all season. It’s not like we put stuff in just for this game. We knew for this game, there was no point in holding anything back.
Worth a look.
COACHING CAROUSEL >>> Things are heating up across the country on the coaching front. A quick roundup:
–A few days after interviewing with Purdue, Cincinnati coach Butch Jones met with Colorado on Monday. Rumors on Twitter put the offer at nearly $3 million per year. Rumors on Twitter also have “sources” saying Jones is no longer interested in Purdue.
–Louisville coach Charlie Strong’s name has emerged at Auburn and Tennessee, but Strong isn’t saying whether he’ll be at Louisville next year. “I will say that at the right time,” he said. Sounds to me like there won’t ever be a right time.
–Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy has reportedly had conversations with both Arkansas and Tennessee. Tennesse (and maybe Arkansas) are also allegedly interested in UCLA coach Jim Mora Jr.
–Missouri offensive coordinator David Yost “resigned.” Yost has been with Gary Pinkel for 17 years, 12 at Missouri.