The Only Actual News Thus Far This Week: Condolences to our new friends from West Virginia and the family of former coach Bill Stewart, who passed away Monday afternoon from a heart attack. Well-liked by almost everyone that knew him, the memorials have been pouring in.
Well, There's This Other News: The Missoulian has finally gotten under the bizarre situation at Montana which resulted in the dismissals of head coach Robin Pflugrad and athletic director Jim O'Day. It's not a pretty picture. However, the worst aspect appears to be that no matter what Pflugrad and O'Day may have done to try and cover up any sexual assault allegations, it seems that university vice president Jim Foley's ultimately going to be even worse off after suggesting that action be taken against a victim under the school's Student Code of Conduct. Hey, Jim, here's a hint: shut up. The school is in serious danger of being attacked by the federal government under Title IV (that's the Civil Rights Act) and Title IX, and this is just not going to end well for anyone.
At this point, it's hard not to suspect that the Big 12 and SEC are operating under a gentleman's agreement to decide who's going to take what parts. That's just an opinion, but it only makes sense after the "Champions Bowl" announcement, and much of the underground chatter regarding what schools are talking to and/or targets of each league seems to be oh-so-conveniently aligned in such a fashion that they don't overlap. Yeah, there are people out there musing about the possibility of Florida State going to the SEC or Virginia Tech to the Big 12, but what can be pieced together by actual statements and at least quasi-reliable off-the-record sourcing seems to mostly point toward FSU, Clemson, and two of Georgia Tech, Miami, and Notre Dame going to the Big 12 while Virginia Tech and either North Carolina or Georgia Tech going to the SEC. Is that what's going to happen? Probably not, as there always seems to be a wrench in the works.
Meanwhile, Sam Mellinger of the Star notes that Missouri might have stayed had they known things were going to play out as they appear to be.
Other realignment nuggets: The Big East will hold their football championship game at campus sites once they start playing it, and they're also sorting out divisions (which may not be geographical). Also, the Sun Belt has decided against considering Idaho as a member, which pretty much dooms them to FCS. The statement also tends to indicate New Mexico State is out of luck as well. Finally, a nice piece by Tony Barnhart on the opportunities being afforded FCS programs in realignment -- where he notes that Appalachian State would have been second in attendance in Conference USA last year.
College Football Hall of Fame, Part Two: There are two separate classes which go into the College Football Hall of Fame together every year. The first was announced a couple of weeks ago, including our own Mark Simoneau; the second is the Divisional Class, which includes players and coaches from the lower divisions. The Divisional Class was announced today, and includes Richard McGeorge (TE, Elon), Chris Bisaillon (WR, Illinois Wesleyan), Jim Holder (RB, Oklahoma Panhandle State), and Rex Mirich (T/DL, Northern Arizona), as well as coaches Gene Carpenter (Adams State, Millersville), William "Lone Star" Dietz (Washington State, Purdue, Louisiana Tech, Haskell, Albright), and Ron Harms (Concordia (NE), Adams State, Texas A&I -- now Texas A&M-Kingsville).
Let's Avoid a Brawl This Time: Xavier and Cincinnati are moving their annual game to the neutral location of US Bank Arena starting next year in hopes of toning down some of the hostility. I can't wait to see how they respond to riots in the stands now that the arena will be full of both team's fans.
Diablerie: Stanford has renamed the position of offensive coordinator to "the Andrew Luck Director of Offense", and as much as I wish I was kidding, I'm not. ... Pam Ward will no longer be calling college football games, and I won't comment. ... Tennessee TE Cameron Clear, the new Cameron Newton. ... The Mississippi State football coach is Dan Mullen, not John Paul Jones. Just so we're clear. ... VCU will retain their rivalry with Old Dominion as both schools depart the CAA; VCU is also trying to schedule a series with Murray State. Fun times.