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Thursday Morning Brews (1/1/15)

Happy Holidays.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Hitting the Links Is A Gambler And A Monk

Containing Amari Cooper

Of course, Cooper is only part of the story with Alabama's offense, and that's what makes them so dangerous. Keying on any one thing leaves the defense vulnerable, but not keying on any one thing still leaves Lane Kiffin open to mix up his bag of plays and rely on his players' athletic advantages. And yes, Cooper, White, Jones, and Howard do have athletic advantages on OSU's corners.

John Chavis Headed to Texas A&M

Les Miles could not convince the administration to up the ante on what was already the fourth-best salary for an assistant in the country. Kevin Sumlin gets a very capable coordinator and a man who's been able to stop Sumlin with his Mustang defenses.


Zach Travis sits down and talks about what's been missing that Jim Harbaugh can fix, Greg Mattison, and Harbaugh's long-term chances at Michigan.

A Saban-Sized Effect on Recruiting

It was easy to get excited about recruits during the Brady Hoke era, but obviously the problem was the other side of the coin. Harbaugh should deliver on developing players, but he may also be an even better recruiter.

Randy Gregory Declares for Draft

On a decent number of plays this year, Gregory held his own against linemen with fifty pounds on him, and that was a plus from before. But it also wasn't something he could do all game, and he didn't stand a chance when multiple linemen tried moving him away from the action. It will never be his strength to stop the run, but NFL coordinators will find ways to mask his weaknesses and use his raw athleticism as often as possible.

Jim Harbaugh's Early ChecklistMotivational Abilities

The emphasis on assistants is a great lesson for other Big Ten teams, which have seen some osmosis there in recent years.

TCU Feelin' Peachy, Routs Ole Miss

Three more interceptions for the Ole Miss defense, but the lack of a sturdy running attack killed the Rebels again. Meanwhile, TCU can still take another step forward if it finds a star running back somewhere on that roster, rather than relying on Boykin.

Mississippi State Falls to Georgia Tech

Don't look now, but the SEC isn't doing that hot in bowl season. 4-3 overall, two of their wins were uncomfortably close - A&M 45-37 over West Virginia, and South Carolina 24-21 over Miami.

Big Ten Recruiting Roundup

It's been a while, but here's where all the Big Ten teams stand as the 2015 cycle winds down.

Jeff Jones Is Eligible for Spring

Jones will obviously be key for Minnesota next year without David Cobb.

No Coaching Changes for Northwestern...But Add Tommy Rees as GA

If there was any team that needed a shot in the arm, it might have been Northwestern. With that said, the Wildcats finished a respectable eighth in the conference in total defense, as well as ninth on offense. They also managed to beat Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and Penn State. But the Cats have now gone 5-7 two years running, and they need to show results in the Big Ten West in the next year or two.

Wisconsin OC Andy Ludwig Heads to Vandy | Langdsorf Hired As Nebraska's OC

Wisconsin's offense is in good hands with Paul Chryst, while Langdsorf brings a good record resurrecting Eli Manning's career.

Joel Stave Considered Transferring Before GA's Departure

For all that Tanner McEvoy was talked about, Stave has been a very solid safety net and game manager for the Badgers.

Happy Holidays, from Minnesota Athletics

This was a great use of media by the Gophers in addition to their 'Brick by Brick' slogan and changing uniform design. They're doing more right than just play football.

The Big Ten, As Game of Thrones Factions

This will be up to GoT enthusiasts to determine the accuracy of this list, but it's the second of a greatly entertaining series by TCR.