Brent Schrotenboer, San Diego Union-Tribune: Utah running back Darrell Mack has overcome daunting odds. His mother was murdered with a lug wrench when he was 8. His father killed a woman by stabbing her 43 times and is in prison for life. On Thursday, he leads the Utes against Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl. Thanks to Mike!
Josh Peter, Yahoo! Sports: A Big Ten officiating team that came under scrutiny for its performance in two conference games last month was led by a crew chief with a history of bankruptcy, casino gambling, child abuse and allegations of sexual harassment. Thanks to Kevin of We Are Penn State.
Wendell Barnhouse, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: The coaching profession is starting to look a lot like the oldest profession. For the right direct deposit, coaches will take any job and say anything in the process.
Joseph Person, Columbia State: South Carolina's Steve Spurrier hired a special teams coach and still needs to hire a defensive coordinator, meaning one of the current Gamecock assistants is likely leaving or about to get fired.
Steve Ellis, Tallahassee Democrat: The fallout from an academic misconduct case involving Florida State athletes is expected to include game suspensions for 23 football players. That group, which includes 11 players with starting experience, will miss the Music City Bowl, according to sources.
Kyle Hightower, Orlando Sentinel: Kevin Smith, the nation's leading rusher, says he plans to return for his senior season at Central Florida.
Michael Gisick, Albuquerque Tribune: The controversial instructor at the center of an NCAA academic fraud investigation targeting the New Mexico football team continues to work at several other higher-profile schools in Southern California.
James Staley, Albuquerque Tribune: New Mexico won't have bruising running back Rodney Ferguson for Saturday's New Mexico Bowl against Nevada. He has been declared academically ineligible.
Paul Strelow, Columbia State: Clemson announced that three senior starters have been ruled academically ineligible for the Chick-fil-A Bowl against Auburn.
Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman: Jeremy Childs, who set a team record for the most receptions in a season, is among three Broncos suspended for Sunday's Sheraton Hawaii Bowl duel with East Carolina. Thanks to Matt of Statue Left.
Jake Schaller, Colorado Springs Gazette: Air Force and Troy Calhoun are finalizing details of a revised contract that will include a raise for the coach.
Greg Pearson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: The Bacardi, Salad, Raisin, Garden State, Great Lakes and Gotham bowls. How soon they forget.
Marcus R. Fuller, Poineer Press: Minnesota's Tim Brewster, whose team finished 1-11, remains obsessed with getting the Golden Gophers to the Rose Bowl.
Jeffrey Lutz, Wichita Eagle: Linebacker Arthur Brown, at one point regarded as the nation's No. 1 prep recruit, announced plans to become a member of the Miami Hurricanes.