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Bobby Curran

Why UH Should Cheer Fresno

It’s hard to turn Hawaii fans into Fresno State boosters, but a share of a BCS payout could have many of us barking “Who let the Dogs out?” The estimate is UH could be in for nearly half a million bucks if the Bulldogs get to one of the big games.

They will have to either finish in the top 12 of the BCS standings or be in the top 16 and ahead of one of the champions of a BCS conference. And Fresno State has had some close calls, including a couple of overtime wins and the UH contest, when they surrendered 34 unanswered points and hung on for a 42-37 victory.

By the time you read this, you’ll know if they’ve beaten Nevada at home and, if so, will have to win two more road games against Wyoming and San Jose State, as well as an easy home date with New Mexico. UH athletics director Ben Jay will root as hard as anyone for the Bulldogs, as that will be a large and unexpected boost to UH’s 2013-14 bottom line. * Prior to last Saturday, five teams were undefeated in college football’s Top Ten, and each believed it could stay unbeaten for the remainder of the regular season.

Alabama, Oregon and Florida State have appeared to be the three best teams, but Ohio State and Baylor also could lay claim to a spot in the national championship game by virtue of being undefeated. And this leads many to wish that next year’s four-team playoff was already in place.

But a growing number of college football analysts are saying why wait for the post season. Matt Zemek of CollegeFootballNews.com, among others, believes it’s time for some changes.

“College football would be better if schools were forced to include one non-conference game per year in which they had no say in scheduling,” say Zemek. “Suppose Baylor was matched up with Ohio State or Oregon, or Florida State played Alabama. You could easily start to learn about where the power is, but you’d need to flex-schedule those games.”

Any number of critics introduce obstacles to the plan, including travel and logistics, but none of them is insurmountable. The hard part is selling the idea politically. What incentive would the SEC have for changing the way it schedules? It’s won the last seven titles with the system the way it is, so who could force changes?

“ESPN,” responds Zemek. “Can you imagine the ratings and dollars that would generate? It would be crazy.”

So what if Ohio State had to lose Florida A&M or Alabama give up Georgia State. It seems like an excellent idea, but getting college presidents and conference commissioners to agree on anything is very difficult. * There will be some coaching changes in the NFL between now and next year’s draft. The most obvious pink slip will go to Tampa Bay’s Greg Schiano, whose abominable record and tough-love coaching style have made the only question whether he’ll last the season. Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier may not survive the musical chairs at quarterback, and the Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Garrett could be gone if Jerry Jones’ team fails to make the playoffs.

And you can bet there’ll be somebody let go who we haven’t yet considered because, as Jerry Glanville famously said about non-performers in the league: “Know what the NFL stands for? Not for long.”

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