Akron...After a desultory 1-11 campaign, the Zips have dismissed HC Rob Ianello after just two years on the job. Rumored replacements include the past two Ohio State head coaches, Jim Tressel and Luke Fickell, the latter on the job on an interim basis for the Buckeyes this season.
Arizona...Wildcats have hired former West Virginia and Michigan HC Rich Rodriguez to the same position beginning in 2012.
Arizona State...Veteran HC Dennis Erickson has been relieved of duties after Sun Devils lost their last four games (all as favorites) to finish 6-6 for the second straight year. Erickson had not finished above .500 at ASU since his first season (2007). Reported candidates in the queue at Tempe are Houston HC Kevin Sumlin, Southern Miss HC Larry Fedora, Eastern Michigan HC Ron English, Tennessee d.c. Justin Wilcox, Wisconsin o.c. Paul Chryst, and former head coaches Mike Leach (Texas Tech) and Mike Bellotti (Oregon).
Baylor...QB RG III suffered a scary head/neck injury when pounded to the artificial surface at Arlington late in 2nd Q vs. Texas Tech last Saturday. Griffin didn't return to action but Bears continued to pile on the points behind backup QB Nick Florence, a former starter in 2009 when Griffin was sidelined, and a possible redshirt candidate. But Florence passed for 151 yards in relief and two TDs vs. Red Raiders. Check Griffin's status for Texas this week.
BYU...Cougars might be minus sr. QB Riley Nelson (ribs) again this week at Hawaii, although former starter Jake Heaps has filled in admirably since Nelson was injured.
Colorado State...QB Pete Thomas (knee) missed last week's game vs. Air Force and is ‘questionable’ for Border War finale vs. Wyoming. Frosh Garrett Grayson was erratic in relief vs. Falcons, passing for only 125 yards with a costly endzone pick in 45-21 loss.
Florida...QB John Brantley was KO'd with an apparent concussion in 2nd half last Saturday vs. Florida State after enduring a brutal evening, suffering 3 picks. Backup Jacoby Brissett threw another for the final Seminoles' TD in 21-7 FSU win. Status unknown for Gators' bowl game. LB Darrin Kitchens was also carried off the field on a stretcher after second half kickoff.
Georgia...Frosh star RB Isaiah Crowell sat out Saturday's 31-17 won over Georgia Tech with an ankle injury, check status for upcoming SEC title tilt vs. LSU.
Illinois...HC Ron Zook was relived of duties after Fighting Illini concluded their season with a sixth-straight loss, a listless 27-7 surrender at Minnesota. Illinois had begun the season with six straight wins. Potential successors being mentioned include Cincinnati HC Butch Jones (who was hired for Bearcat job by new Illinois AD Mike Thomas), Toledo HC Tim Beckman, Houston HC Kevin Sumlin, Northern Illinois HC Dave Doeren, Iowa STate HC Paul Rhoads, Western Kentucky HC Willie Taggart, and Eastern Michigan HC Ron English.
Iowa State...WR Josh Lenz, Cyclones' second leading receiver with 34 catches, is ‘questionable’ for Kansas State finale after missing last week's Oklahoma game with leg injury. ISU "O" gained a season-low 245 yards in 26-6 loss at Norman played in howling wind conditions.
Kansas...HC Turner Gill was dismissed after season-ending 24-10 loss to Missouri at Kansas City. Gill's 2-year mark was 5-19. Rumored in the queue to succeed GIll in Lawrence are former Texas Tech HC Mike Leach, Air Force HC Troy Calhoun, Oklahoma d.c. Brent Venables, and Florida State d.c. Mark Stoops.
Kentucky...Cats aren’t bowling but they nonetheless ended 26-game losing streak vs. hated Tennessee in 10-7 win last Saturday at Lexington. WR/QB Matt Roark was summoned to QB duties due to injuries to Maxwell Smith and Morgan Newton and did just enough, rushing for 124 yards and passing for only 15 in tedious win. Result was important for 2nd-year HC Joker Phillips, who was feeling heat from Cat backers after UK had already been eliminated form bowl consideration for the first time since 2005. Joker's contract was also recently extended by AD Mitch Barnhart.
Memphis...Tigers have pulled the plug on HC Larry Porter after just two years on the job in which Tigers recorded a poor 3-21 mark. Potential successors include Arkansas State HC Hugh Freeze, UL-Lafayette HC Mark Hudspeth, North Alabama (and former Auburn) HC Terry Bowden, and former Tulane and Clemson HC Tommy Bowden, who was considered for the job two years ago when Porter was initially hired.
Nevada...Leading rusher Mike Ball (704 YR and 5.2 ypc) was dismissed from Wolf Pack by HC Chris Ault prior to last week's 21-17 loss at Utah State. Nevada does not miss Ball with drop-off to Lampford Mark (111 YR at Utah State) and Stefphon Jefferson negligible, but electric RS frosh QB Cody Fajordo's loss to an ankle injury in 3rd Q at Logan was a bit more costly. Senior QB Tyler Lantrip finished the game at USU, but his fumble at the Aggie 11-yard-line in the closing minutes proved costly for Nevada. Pack concludes its regular season on Saturday vs. Idaho at Reno.
New Mexico State...QB Matt Christian missed last week's 44-0 debacle at La Tech with a hip injury, with backup Travaughn Colwell going the whole way at Ruston, throwing 3 picks in Aggies' second straight lopsided loss (42-7 week before at BYU). NMSU closes season at home on Saturday vs. Utah State in the all-Aggie battle.
Notre Dame...RB Jonas Gray (791 YR, 6.9 ypc, 12 TDs) missed last week's 28-14 ND loss at Stanford with a knee injury and is also out for Irish's upcoming bowl date, likely at the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando. Gray had a chance to join Cierre Wood as a rare pair of 1000-yard rushers for Irish.
Oregon...RB LaMichael James suffered another elbow injury last Saturday vs. Oregon State) the other elbow from previous injury suffered in October vs. Cal) after rushing for 142 yards against Beavers, but is expected to be available for Friday's Pac-12 title game vs. UCLA. Deep stable of Duck runners has not skipped a beat in James' absences this season (Kenjon Barner 830 YR and 6.5 ypc and frosh De'Anthony Thomas 8.3 ypc).
Pitt...Top Panther WR Devin Street (43 catches TY) is listed as ‘questionable’ for this week's Syracuse finale with an undisclosed injury.
South Florida...Bulls need a win over West Virginia this Thursday to get bowl-eligible, a hard-to-imagine thought after USF opened 4-0 in September. QB B.J. Daniels missed last week's 34-24 loss to Louisville with shoulder problems and is ‘questionable’ for Mountaineers; if he can't go then jr. Bobby Eveld (1 TD and 4 picks in 2011) gets his second straight start.
Texas...Horns' true frosh offensive weapons RB Malcolm Brown & WR Jaxon Shipley were back in action last Thursday at Texas A&M after missing several recent games due to injuries. Brown led Horn rushers with 39 yards and Shipley caught 3 passes in 27-25 Texas thrill win that was very important to keep heat from mounting further on HC Mack Brown, rumored to be under the gun in Austin. Horns conclude regular season this week vs. Baylor.
Toledo...QB Austin Dantin (concussion) missed last week's game at Ball State, but it didn't hurt Rockets as QB "1-B" Terrance Owens passed for 4 TDs at Muncie. Dantin will likely be available for Toledo's bowl game, expected to be Little Caesar's at Detroit on Dec. 27.
UAB...Neil Callaway's 5-year run as Blazers coach has ended as he resigned under pressure after season-ending 38-35 loss at Florida Atlantic (Owls' first win of season). UAB is reportedly considering some veteran former coaches to succeed Callaway, including Tommy Bowden (ex-Clemson and Tulane), Jeff Bower (ex-Southern Miss), and Phil Fulmer (ex-Tennessee).
UCLA...Rick Neuheisel is out as UCLA's coach after last week's 50-0 humiliation at hands of rival Southern Cal, which beat Neuheisel each of the past four years by an aggregate 134-28 score. Neuheisel will be allowed to coach the Pac-12 title game at Oregon, but o.c. Mike Johnson would lead the Bruins should they play in a bowl game. UCLA AD Dan Guerrero, responsible for blowing the last two Bruin football hires (Karl Dorrell and Neuheisel), apparently gets another shot to get it right. Although some are pushing hard for former Texas Tech HC Mike Leach to receive consideration, early word from Westwood is that Guerrero has instead targeted Cincinnati HC Butch Jones, Boise HC Chris Petersen, and Houston HC Kevin Sumlin, although few believe the latter two would be interested, and Jones is mentioned as the front-runner for the Illinois opening. Other names who could enter the UCLA are a pair of former Bruin assistants, DeWayne Walker (former UCLA d.c. and current New Mexico State HC) and Tom Cable (former Bruin o.c., Idaho and Oakland Raiders HC, now Seattle Seahawks o.c.), Wyoming's Dave Christensen, and Eastern Michigan's Ron English.
UNLV...QB Caleb Herring went out with shoulder injury late in 4th Q of UNLV's 31-14 loss to San Diego State last week. Rebs, who led 14-0 in early going, were unable to mount a late drive after Herring's injury, then saw a punt blocked which led to Aztecs' final TD on a short Ronnie Hillman run. Herring's backup Sean Reilly could not ignite a late rally promptly tossed a pick on his second attempt. Check Herrring's status for this week's finale at TCU.
Utah...Utes lost bulwark of offense, RB John White (1405 YR), with ankle injury in first half of last Friday's bitter 17-14 loss to Colorado which ended up costing Utes a chance to represent Pac-12 South in conference title game at Oregon. Check's White's status for bowl game, although Utes have a serviceable backup RB in Tauni Vakapuna (77 YR vs. Buffs). Utah PK Coleman Peterson missed three field goals to help scuttle Utes against CU.
Western Michigan...QB Alex Carder missed reg.-season fin ale vs. Akron due to shoulder injury, but bowl-bound Broncos weren't slowed a bit as backup Tyler VanTubbergren completed 19 of 21 passes for 6 TDs and ran for another score in WMU's 68-19 romp!