Continued from page 2

___

QUICK HITS

_ It has no BCS implications, but the Sun Belt championship will be decided in Jonesboro, Ark., on Saturday when Middle Tennessee (8-3, 6-1) faces Arkansas State (8-3, 6-1). Both will be heading to bowl games.

_ With the hirings and firings at this time of year also comes the squelching of speculation and rumors. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher and Boise State’s Chris Petersen spent part of their Mondays batting aside questions about other jobs.

_ Yes, if things break a certain way this weekend, the Orange Bowl could be Kent State against Georgia Tech.

_ Speaking of the MAC, Kent State plays Northern Illinois in an intriguing conference title game that could also impact the Heisman Trophy race. Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch is third in the nation in total offense at 363 yards per game, 20 less than Manziel. Lynch is more bullish and less elusive than Manziel as a runner, but every bit as effective with 10 straight 100-yard games.

___

LAST WORD

“How long does he have?” _ Former Colorado coach Jon Embree when asked if the next coach of the Buffaloes can turn the program around.

___

Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP